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Outlaws have as their strongest defense the fear which they inspire, and little time was lost in making reprisals, and these caused Buck Peters to ride into Buckskin one bright October morning and then out the other side of the town. Coming to himself with a start he looked around shamefacedly and retraced his course.

"Marry, if thou must needs know," said De Bracy, "it was the Templar Brian de Bois-Guilbert that shaped out the enterprise, which the adventure of the men of Benjamin suggested to me. He is to aid me in the onslaught, and he and his followers will personate the outlaws, from whom my valorous arm is, after changing my garb, to rescue the lady."

Having finally ruined her commerce, they sacked her colonies, and, the lust for blood and treasure having been roused to a sort of madness, they cast off patriotic allegiances and became mere robbers and outlaws.

Being the friend, as he pretended, of the lower classes of society, he collected vast multitudes of revolted slaves, outlaws, and other desperadoes, and advanced toward Rome. He assumed, himself, the dress, and air, and savage demeanor of his followers.

"But, bethink you I have your royal promise of grace and amnesty." "That will I keep," said the King, holding in check his ire by a mighty effort. "But, look you! Only forty days do I grant of respite. When this time has elapsed, let these bold outlaws look to their safety!"

But they have tried, time and time again, to capture these fellows, but only got badly mauled in two or three fights. Only four of the ten came back; the other six were shot down one by one as they were climbing the side of a mountain, and these four were made prisoners by the outlaws, who gave them such a fright that they will never get over it.

The station-keepers, hostlers, etc., were low, rough characters, as already described; and from western Nebraska to Nevada a considerable sprinkling of them might be fairly set down as outlaws fugitives from justice, criminals whose best security was a section of country which was without law and without even the pretence of it.

This community had been formed in the manner to which legend assigns the foundation of ancient Rome, namely, by the gathering together in this strong place of various outlaws and violent characters who for one reason or another had quarrelled with and defied the government.

For the time we were, of course, outlaws, and liable to have our throats cut at any moment. Our poor horses at last became incapable even of a trot, and, dismounting, we walked on, leading them by the bridles. About midnight we approached a watercourse, the upper part of the Rio Barriga Negra Black Belly River and on coming near it the tinkling of a bell attracted our attention.

I had seen the like too often to mistake these signs, and I said to Olaf: "Here is fighting on hand, my king." And then before he answered, came Wulfnoth out of the great door and hurried up to the party, doffing his velvet cap as he saw the ladies. "Ho, friend Relf," he said, "what is amiss?" "Outlaws, earl," said the thane, "and in strong force."

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