but that he had completely devoured me, and so no
suspicion of my escape would cause a search to be made for me.
Coiling the rope that had carried me thus far upon my strange
journey, I sought for the other end, but found that as I followed
it forward it extended always before me. So this was the meaning
of the words: "Follow the rope."
The tunnel through which I crawled was low and dark. I had followed
it for several hundred yards when I felt a knot beneath my fingers.
"Beyond the knots lies danger."
Now I went with the utmost caution, and a moment later a sharp turn
in the tunnel brought me to an opening into a large, brilliantly
The trend of the tunnel I had been traversing had been slightly
upward, and from this I judged that the chamber into which I now
found myself looking must be either on the first floor of the palace
or directly beneath the first floor.
Upon the opposite wall were many strange instruments and devices,
and in the center of the room stood a long table, at which two men
were seated in earnest conversation.
He who faced me was a yellow man--a little, wizened-up, pasty-faced
old fellow with great eyes that showed the white round the entire
circumference of the iris.
His companion was a black man, and I did not need to see his face
to know that it was Thurid, for there was no other of the First
Born north of the ice-barrier.
Thurid was speaking as I came within hearing of the men's voices.
"Solan," he was saying, "there is no risk and the reward is great.
You know that you hate Salensus Oll and that nothing would please
you more than to thwart him in some cherished plan. There be
nothing that he more cherishes today than the idea of wedding the
beautiful Princess of Helium; but I, too, want her, and with your
help I may win her.
"You need not more than step from this room for an instant when
I give you the signal. I will do the rest, and then, when I am
gone, you may come and throw the great switch back into its place,
and all will be as before. I need but an hour's start to be safe
beyond the devilish power that you control in this hidden chamber
beneath the palace of your master. See how easy," and with the
words the black dator rose from his seat and, crossing the room,
laid his hand
It started, directly, in the London palace of Henry III, and was the result of a quarrel between the King and his powerful brother-in-law, Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester.Page 17
building, and with her was a little boy who never went abroad alone, nor by day.Page 21
must be very cruel and hard upon the poor.Page 24
The horse, released, sprang up also, and the two stood--the handsome boy and the beautiful black--gazing with startled eyes, like two wild things, at the strange intruder who confronted them.Page 35
we, be fit to command us.Page 43
"Ride, madam," cried Norman of Torn, "for fly I shall not, nor may I, alone, unarmored, and on foot hope more than to momentarily delay these three fellows, but in that time you should easily make your escape.Page 68
The great linden wood shields of the men were covered with gray leather and, in the upper right hand corner of each, was the black falcon's wing.Page 73
Norman of Torn was both elated and sad.Page 75
Then she explained briefly to her astonished father and brothers what had befallen during the past few days.Page 79
Then, but not before, shall I speak to the Earl, thy father.Page 89
The fellow made a most vicious return assault upon De Conde, attempting to ride him down in one mad rush, but his thrust passed harmlessly from the tip of the outlaw's sword, and as the officer wheeled back to renew the battle, they settled down to fierce combat, their horses wheeling and turning shoulder to shoulder.Page 91
Ah! That was friendship indeed! What else was it that tried to force its way above the threshold of his bruised and wavering memory? Words? Words of love? And lips pressed to his? No, it must be but a figment of his wounded brain.Page 94
With a muttered oath, the imprisoned man turned to hurl himself against the bolted door, but ere he had taken a single step, the sound of heavy feet without brought him to a stop, and the jingle of keys as one was fitted to the lock of the door sent him gliding stealthily to the wall beside the doorway, where the inswinging door would conceal him.Page 97
He was puzzled, for he had not dreamed that friendship was so sweet.Page 103
Slipping the spring lock, Norman of Torn entered the apartment followed closely by his henchmen.Page 108
All unconscious of the rapidly approaching foes, Norman of Torn waited composedly in the anteroom for Joan de Tany.Page 110
In reply to their hail, Joan de Tany asked their mission.Page 116
" That same spring evening in the year 1264, a messenger drew rein before the walls of Torn and, to the challenge of the watch, cried: "A royal messenger from His Illustrious Majesty, Henry, by the grace of God, King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Aquitaine, to Norman of Torn, Open, in the name of the King!" Norman of Torn directed that the King's messenger be admitted, and the knight was quickly ushered into the great hall of the castle.Page 122
Though some few were killed or captured, those who escaped were sufficient to arouse the sleeping army of the royalists to the close proximity and gravity of their danger.