Click here to Download The Outlaw of Torn PDF Book by Edgar Rice Burroughs Language English having PDF Size 1.5 MB and No of Pages 147.
Here is a story that has lain dormant for seven hundred years. At first it was suppressed by one of the Plantagenet kings of England. Later it was forgotten. I happened to dig it up by accident. The accident being the relationship of my wife’s cousin to a certain Father Superior in a very ancient monastery in Europe. He let me pry about among a quantity of mildewed and musty manuscripts and I came across this.
The Outlaw of Torn PDF Book by Edgar Rice Burroughs
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|No of Pages||147|
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It is very interesting— partially since it is a bit of hitherto unrecorded history, but principally from the fact that it records the story of a most remarkable revenge and the adventurous life of its innocent victim —Richard, the lost prince of England. In the retelling of it, I have left out most of the history.
What interested me was the unique character about whom the tale revolves—the visored horseman who—but let us wait until we get to him. It all happened in the thirteenth century, and while it was happening, it shook England from north to south and from east to west; and reached across the channel and shook France.
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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. Never mind the quarrel, that’s history, and you can read all about it at your leisure. But on this June day in the year of our Lord 1243.
Henry so forgot himself as to very unjustly accuse De Montfort of treason in the presence of a number of the King’s gentlemen. De Montfort paled. He was a tall, handsome man, and when he drew himself to his full height and turned those gray eyes on the victim of his wrath, as he did that day, he was very imposing.
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A power in England, second only to the King himself, and with the heart of a lion in him, he answered the King as no other man in all England would have dared answer him. “My Lord King,” he cried, “that you be my Lord King alone prevents Simon de Montfort from demanding satisfaction for such a gross insult.
That you take advantage of your kingship to say what you would never dare say were you not king, brands me not a traitor, though it does brand you a coward.” Tense silence fell upon the little company of lords and courtiers as these awful words fell from the lips of a subject, addressed to his king. The Outlaw of Torn PDF Book
They were horrified, for De Montfort’s bold challenge was to them but little short of sacrilege. Henry, flushing in mortification and anger, rose to advance upon De Montfort, but suddenly recollecting the power which he represented, he thought better of whatever action he contemplated and, with a haughty sneer, turned to his courtiers.
“Come, my gentlemen,” he said, “methought that we were to have a turn with the foils this morning. Already it waxeth late. Come, De Fulm! Come, Leybourn!” and the King left the apartment followed by his gentlemen, all of whom had drawn away from the Earl of Leicester when it became apparent that the royal displeasure was strong against him.
As the arras fell behind the departing King, De Montfort shrugged his broad shoulders, and turning, left the apartment by another door. At fifteen, the youth was a magnificent swordsman and horseman, and with an utter contempt for pain or danger—a contempt which was the result of the heroic methods adopted by the little old man in the training of him. The Outlaw of Torn PDF Book
Often the two practiced with razor-sharp swords, and without armor or other protection of any description. “Thus only,” the old man was wont to say, “mayst thou become the absolute master of thy blade. Of such a nicety must be thy handling of the weapon that thou mayst touch an antagonist at will and so lightly, shouldst thou desire, that thy point.
Wholly under the control of a master hand, mayst be stopped before it inflicts so much as a scratch.” But in practice, there were many accidents, and then one or both of them would nurse a punctured skin for a few days. So, while blood was often let on both sides, the training produced a fearless swordsman who was so truly the master of his point.
That he could stop a thrust within a fraction of an inch of the spot he sought. At fifteen, he was a very strong and straight and handsome lad. Bronzed and hardy from his outdoor life; of few words, for there was none that he might talk with save the taciturn old man; hating the English, for that he was taught as thoroughly as swordsmanship. The Outlaw of Torn PDF Book
Speaking French fluently and English poorly— and waiting impatiently for the day when the old man should send him out into the world with clanking armor and lance and shield to do battle with the knights of England. It was about this time that there occurred the first important break in the monotony of his existence.
Far down the rocky trail that led from the valley below through the Derby hills to the ruined castle, three armored knights urged their tired horses late one afternoon of a chill autumn day. Off the main road and far from any habitation, they had espied the castle’s towers through a rift in the hills, and now they spurred toward it in search of food and shelter.
As the road led them winding higher into the hills, they suddenly emerged upon the downs below the castle where a sight met their eyes which caused them to draw rein and watch in admiration. There, before them upon the downs, a boy battled with a lunging, rearing horse—a perfect demon of a black horse. The Outlaw of Torn PDF Book
Striking and biting in a frenzy of rage, it sought ever to escape or injure the lithe figure which clung leech-like to its shoulder. The boy was on the ground. His left hand grasped the heavy mane; his right arm lay across the beast’s withers and his right hand drew steadily in upon a halter rope with which he had taken a half hitch about the horse’s muzzle.
Now the black reared and wheeled, striking and biting, full upon the youth, but the active figure swung with him—always just behind the giant shoulder— and ever and ever he drew the great arched neck farther and farther to the right. Less than half the journey had been accomplished.
They were winding across a little hollow toward a low ridge covered with dense forest, into the somber shadows of which the road wound. There was a glint of armor among the drenched foliage, but the rain-buffeted eyes of the riders saw it not. On they came, their patient horses plodding slowly through the sticky road and hurtling storm. The Outlaw of Torn PDF Book Download
Now they were halfway up the ridge’s side. There was a movement in the dark shadows of the grim wood, and then, without cry or warning, a band of steel-clad horsemen broke forth with couched spears. Charging at full run down upon them, they overthrew three of the girl’s escort before a blow could be struck in her defense.
Her two remaining guardians wheeled to meet the return attack, and nobly did they acquit themselves, for it took the entire eleven who were pitted against them to overcome and slay the two. In the melee, none had noticed the girl, but presently one of her assailants, a little, grim, gray man, discovered that she had put spurs to her palfrey and escaped.
Calling to his companions he set out at a rapid pace in pursuit. Reckless of the slippery road and the blinding rain, Bertrade de Montfort urged her mount into a wild run, for she had recognized the arms of Peter of Colfax on the shields of several of the attacking party. Nobly, the beautiful Arab bent to her call for speed. The Outlaw of Torn PDF Book Download
The great beasts of her pursuers, bred in Normandy and Flanders, might have been tethered in their stalls for all the chance they had of overtaking the flying white steed that fairly split the gray rain as lightning flies through the clouds. But for the fiendish cunning of the little grim, gray man’s foresight, Bertrade de Montfort would have made good her escape that day.
As it was, however, her fleet mount had carried her but two hundred yards ere, in the midst of the dark wood, she ran full upon a rope stretched across the roadway between two trees. As the horse fell, with a terrible lunge, tripped by the stout rope, Bertrade de Montfort was thrown far before him, where she lay, a little, limp bedraggled figure, in the mud of the road.
There they found her. The little, grim, gray man did not even dismount, so indifferent was he to her fate; dead or in the hands of Peter of Colfax, it was all the same to him. In either event, his purpose would be accomplished, and Bertrade de Montfort would no longer lure Norman of Torn from the path he had laid out for him. The Outlaw of Torn PDF Book Download
Several days after Norman of Torn’s visit to the castle of Leicester, a young knight appeared before the Earl’s gates demanding admittance to have speech with Simon de Montfort. The Earl received him, and as the young man entered his presence, Simon de Montfort sprang to his feet in astonishment. “My Lord Prince,” he cried.
“What do ye here, and alone?” The young man smiled. “I be no prince, My Lord,” he said, “though some have said that I favor the King’s son. I be Roger de Conde, whom it may have pleased your gracious daughter to mention. I have come to pay homage to Bertrade de Montfort.” “Ah,” said De Montfort, rising to greet the young knight cordially.
“An you be that Roger de Conde who rescued my daughter from the fellows of Peter of Colfax, the arms of the De Montforts are open to you. “Bertrade has had your name upon her tongue many times since her return. She will be glad indeed to receive you, as is her father. She has told us of your valiant espousal of her cause, and the thanks of her brothers and mother await you, Roger de Conde. The Outlaw of Torn PDF Book Free
“She also told us of your strange likeness to Prince Edward, but until I saw you, I could not believe two men could be born of different mothers and yet be so identical. Come, we will seek out my daughter and her mother.” De Montfort led the young man to a small chamber where they were greeted by Princess Eleanor, his wife, and by Bertrade de Montfort.
The girl was frankly glad to see him once more and laughingly chide him because he had allowed another to usurp his prerogative and rescue her from Peter of Colfax. “And to think,” she cried, “that it should have been Norman of Torn who fulfilled your duties for you. But he did not capture Sir Peter’s head, my friend; that is still at large to be brought to me upon a golden dish.”
“I have not forgotten, Lady Bertrade,” said Roger de Conde. “Peter of Colfax will return.” The girl glanced at him quickly. “The very words of the Outlaw of Torn,” she said. “How many men be ye, Roger de Conde? With raised visor, you could pass in the King’s court for the King’s son; and in manner, and form, and swordsmanship, and your visor lowered, you might easily be hanged for Norman of Torn.” The Outlaw of Torn PDF Book Download
“And which would it please ye most that I be?” he laughed. “Neither,” she answered, “I be satisfied with my friend, Roger de Conde.” “So ye like not the Devil of Torn?” he asked. “He has done me a great service, and I be under monstrous obligations to him, but he be, nathless, the Outlaw of Torn and I the daughter of an earl and a king’s sister.”
“A most unbridgeable gulf indeed,” commented Roger de Conde, drily. “Not even gratitude could lead a king’s niece to receive Norman of Torn on a footing of equality.” “He has my friendship, always,” said the girl, “but I doubt me if Norman of Torn be the man to impose upon it.” “One can never tell,” said Roger de Conde, “what manner of fool a man may be.
When a man’s head be filled with a pretty face, what room be there for reason?” “Soon thou wilt be a courtier, if thou keep long at this turning of pretty compliments,” said the girl coldly; “and I like not courtiers, nor their empty, hypocritical chatter.” He raised her hand to his lips in farewell as he started to speak, but something—was it an almost imperceptible pressure of her little fingers. The Outlaw of Torn PDF Book Free
A quickening of her breath or a swaying of her body toward him?—caused him to pause and raise his eyes to hers. For an instant they stood thus, the eyes of the man sinking deep into the eyes of the maid, and then hers closed and with a little sigh that was half gasp, she swayed toward him, and the Devil of Torn folded the King’s niece in his mighty arms. and his lips placed the seal of a great love upon those that were upturned to him.