The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 81

Roger de Conde," she whispered, dropping a tiny parcel to
him, "and wear it ever, for my sake. We may never meet again, for the
Earl my father, is a mighty man, not easily turned from his decisions;
therefore I shall say to you, Roger de Conde, what you forbid my saying.
I love you, and be ye prince or scullion, you may have me, if you can
find the means to take me."

"Wait, my lady, until I return, then shall you decide, and if ye be
of the same mind as today, never fear but that I shall take ye. Again,
farewell." And with a brave smile that hid a sad heart, Norman of Torn
passed out of the castle yard.

When he undid the parcel which Bertrade had tossed to him, he found that
it contained a beautifully wrought ring set with a single opal.

The Outlaw of Torn raised the little circlet to his lips, and then
slipped it upon the third finger of his left hand.


Norman of Torn did not return to the castle of Leicester "in a few
days," nor for many months. For news came to him that Bertrade de
Montfort had been posted off to France in charge of her mother.

From now on, the forces of Torn were employed in repeated attacks
on royalist barons, encroaching ever and ever southward until even
Berkshire and Surrey and Sussex felt the weight of the iron hand of the

Nearly a year had elapsed since that day when he had held the fair form
of Bertrade de Montfort in his arms, and in all that time he had heard
no word from her.

He would have followed her to France but for the fact that, after he had
parted from her and the intoxication of her immediate presence had left
his brain clear to think rationally, he had realized the futility of
his hopes, and he had seen that the pressing of his suit could mean only
suffering and mortification for the woman he loved.

His better judgment told him that she, on her part, when freed from
the subtle spell woven by the nearness and the newness of a first love,
would doubtless be glad to forget the words she had spoken in the
heat of a divine passion. He would wait, then, until fate threw them
together, and should that ever chance, while she was still free, he
would let her know that Roger de Conde and the Outlaw of Torn were one
and the same.

If she wants me then, he thought, but she

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