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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 398



a number of tbe Sultan's ships were riding at anchor near the entrance to the harbour of Tyre; the sailors and marines were tranquilly sleeping in happy ignorance of the enemy's movements, when, just before morning, they were rudely awakened to find themselves surrounded and at the mercy of the 'Christians, by whom they were at once boarded and captured. The Mohammedans were paralysed at this sudden and unexpected reverse, and the remainder of the fleet were hastily ordered off to Beirut, towards which they made the best of their way, the army riding alongside of them upon the shore to cover their flight. Before, however, they had got far, the Frank vessels came suddenly down upon them, and the Mohammedan sailors, precipitating themselves into the wate,r, made hastily for the shore, leaving their vessels without a soul on board. One schooner alone managed to elude her pursuers, and got off with all her crew. When the Christians came upon the deserted vessels (which they still believed to be full of men) they fancied that the Mohammedans were too terrified to give them battle, and poured tumultuously out upon the shore and attacked the main body of Saladin's troops. The latter had by this time somewhat recovered their presence of mind, and gave them a warm reception ; a desperate conflict took place, and the Franks were at last driven back towards the town. Two of their leaders fell into the enemy's hands, and " a great count " was also taken prisoner. El Melek ed Dhâhir, who had not taken part in any of the previous engagements^ at once ordered the last mentioned prisoner to be beheaded, and the Mohammedans, believing him to be the Marquis of Montferrat himself (whom he did resemble in form and features) were greatly delighted at the supposed death of so formidable an antagonist. But they had experienced a very heavy blow, and would fain have compelled the Sultan to relinquish the enterprise against Tyre and return home. Saladin, however, reproached


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