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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 53



60 HEROINES OF THE CRUSADES. « waiving. His regards were fixed upon me, and Iiis appear-ance recalled a dim recollection which I was vainly striving to trace, when at a word from him, the whole band disap-peared behind an angle in the wall. The old man then lighted a torch and approached me, carefully removed the bandage from my head, anointed my wound with sweet-smelling balm, and gave me to drink of a fiery liquid, which spread like an elixir through my veins, and seemed instantly to reanimate me. With a smile at my puzzled look, he plucked away the false beard and hair, and re-vealed to my astonished sight, the swarthy countenance of Hard rager: " Well met, holy father," said he, with his wonted laugh. " Hast come to bring a blessing to the habitation of Har-drager ?" "Is this thine habitation ?" said I. "Then I was not so far wrong in thinking myself in purgatory !" (for I was ill-pleased with the strange place and bad company.) " But by what fatal mischance came I hither ? Has the Saviour, for my sins, denied me at last the sight of his holy sepul-chre ?" and I sank back in despair. "Nay," said Hardrager, "but for the mischance which thou deplorest, thou mightest indeed have been in purga-tory." " And where am I ?" eagerly inquired I. " Thou art in the strong-hold of the Old Man of the Mountain, and guarded by the assassin band of Mount Lebanon," replied he. "The saints preserve me !" said I, ejaculating a prayer. " In truth thou showest little gratitude," said Hardrager, " to one who hath saved thy life, (thanks to the good Hunga-rian steed that brought me to thy rescue). Knowest thou not the proverb ? ' Speak well of the bridge that carried thee safe over !' " Finding from his words, but more especially from the seriousness of ,his manner, that this wild man had really undertaken to render me an essential service, I began to regard him with more complacency, and finally brought


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