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Source global Wall Street Journal     time 2022-01-15 17:05:07
Typefacelarge in Small
And then Norman of Torn took the man by the neck with one powerful hand and, despite his struggles, and the beating of his mailed fists, bent him back upon the table, and there, forcing his teeth apart with the point of his sword, Norman of Torn rammed the King's message down the knight's throat; wax, parchment and all.

Before the guard at the door could halt him, he had broken into the room and, addressing the King, cried:

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.

Until the following Spring, Norman of Torn continued to occupy himself with occasional pillages against the royalists of the surrounding counties, and his patrols so covered the public highways that it became a matter of grievous import to the King's party, for no one was safe in the district who even so much as sympathized with the King's cause, and many were the dead foreheads that bore the grim mark of the Devil of Torn.

Then we shall be friends, Norman of Torn, for albeit I have few enemies, no man has too many friends, and I like your face and your manner, though there be much to wish for in your manners. Sit down and eat with me, and I will talk to your heart's content, for be there one other thing I more love than eating, it is talking.”

Wouldst thou draw a single breath in security if thou knew Edwild the Serf were ranging unchecked through Derby? Edwild, whose father was torn limb from limb upon the rack because he would not confess to killing a buck in the new forest, a buck which fell before the arrow of another man; Edwild, whose mother was burned for witchcraft by Holy Church.

De Montfort has told him as much a dozen times, and now that all of us, both Norman and Saxon barons, have already met together and formed a pact for our mutual protection, the King must surely realize that the time for temporizing be past, and that unless he would have a civil war upon his hands, he must keep the promises he so glibly makes, instead of breaking them the moment De Montfort's back be turned.”

Bertrade flushed, and then bit her lip as she felt the warm blood mount to her cheek.


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