The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 91

highroad.

She slid quickly from her palfrey and ran fearlessly toward his
prostrate form, reckless of the tangled mass of snorting, trampling,
steel-clad horses, and surging fighting-men that surrounded him. And
well it was for Norman of Torn that this brave girl was there that day,
for even as she reached his side, the sword point of one of the soldiers
was at his throat for the coup de grace.

With a cry, Joan de Tany threw herself across the outlaw's body,
shielding him as best she could from the threatening sword.

Cursing loudly, the soldier grasped her roughly by the arm to drag her
from his prey, but at this juncture, a richly armored knight galloped up
and drew rein beside the party.

The newcomer was a man of about forty-five or fifty; tall, handsome,
black-mustached and with the haughty arrogance of pride most often
seen upon the faces of those who have been raised by unmerited favor to
positions of power and affluence.

He was John de Fulm, Earl of Buckingham, a foreigner by birth and for
years one of the King's favorites; the bitterest enemy of De Montfort
and the barons.

"What now?" he cried. "What goes on here?"

The soldiers fell back, and one of them replied:

"A party of the King's enemies attacked us, My Lord Earl, but we routed
them, taking these two prisoners."

"Who be ye?" he said, turning toward Joan who was kneeling beside De
Conde, and as she raised her head, "My God! The daughter of De Tany! a
noble prize indeed my men. And who be the knight?"

"Look for yourself, My Lord Earl," replied the girl removing the helm,
which she had been unlacing from the fallen man.

"Edward?" he ejaculated. "But no, it cannot be, I did but yesterday
leave Edward in Dover."

"I know not who he be," said Joan de Tany, "except that he be the most
marvelous fighter and the bravest man it has ever been given me to see.
He called himself Roger de Conde, but I know nothing of him other than
that he looks like a prince, and fights like a devil. I think he has no
quarrel with either side, My Lord, and so, as you certainly do not make
war on women, you will let us go our way in peace as we were when your
soldiers wantonly set upon us."

"A De Tany, madam, were a great and valuable capture in these troublous
times," replied the Earl, "and that alone were enough to necessitate my
keeping you; but a beautiful De Tany is yet a different matter and

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