The old fellow had been wont to obey the imperious little Lady Joan from her earliest childhood, and the habit was so strong upon him that he wheeled his horse and galloped after the flying palfrey of the Lady Mary de Stutevill.
As Joan de Tany turned again to the encounter before her, she saw fully twenty men surrounding Roger de Conde, and while he was taking heavy toll of those before him he could not cope with the men who attacked him from behind; and even as she looked she saw a battle axe fall full upon his helm, and his sword drop from his nerveless fingers as his lifeless body rolled from the back of Sir Mortimer to the battletramped clay of the highroad.
With a cry Joan de Tany threw herself across the outlaw's body, shielding him as best she could from the threatening sword.
he said, turning toward Joan who was kneeling beside De Conde, and as she raised her head, "My God
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.