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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin

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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin
page 310



far worse than before ; and he collected his forces and marched southwards, in hopes of intercepting the Syrian army in the desert. He missed them ; but Shawer, full of admiration for the good faith which seemed to him to have actuated the Christians, welcomed them with every demonstration of gratitude when they arrived in Egypt, and placed, to use the phrase of the historian, all the treasures of the country at their disposal. Amaury established his camp near Cairo, on the banks of the Nile, and then held counsel what next to do. He determined to make another attempt to intercept Shirkoh, and though he again missed the main army, he came upon a small rear-guard, which he either killed or made prisoners. From the prisoners he learned that a great disaster had befallen the Turks on their way across the desert. South of Moab there had arisen a frightful storm and whirlwind, in which the sand was driven about like the waves of the sea. To escape it, the troops dismounted and crouched behind the beasts, covering their faces ; they lost all their camels, most of their provisions, and a vast number of their men. Amaury came back again in good spirits at this intelligence, and thinking of returning home again, the tempest having done the work of his own sword. But he overrated the power of the Egyptians, and Shawer, knowing how utterly unable his own forces were to cope with those of Shirkoh, shattered as these were, implored the king to remain in Egypt and help him to drive off the invader. He undertook to give the Christians a sum of four hundred thousand gold pieces, half to be paid on the spot, half when the work was done, provided that the king undertook not to leave Egypt till the enemy had been driven out. The terms were agreed to; the king gave his right hand, in token of fidelity, and sent Hugh of Csesarea, accompanied by a Templar named Foucher, to receive the personal promise of the great and mysterious caliph himself, whom no one had yet seen.


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