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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 57



have perished beneath their javelins, had not the frantic gestures, and more especially the green turbans of our as-sailants, reminded me of the cave of Hardrager, and recall-ed his parting words. Hastily opening my purse, I held up the Arabic scroll, before the eyes of a barbarian, whose drawn scimeter was flashing above,my head. At sight of it his demeanor instantly changed. He alighted, assisted me to rise, laid his hand upon his heart to express his concern for what had happened, and shout-ing, Allah ackbar, to his companions, drew them from their work of blood, and forthwith the flying band disap-peared. Nearly half our number were slain, and the rest of us wounded and disheartened, slowly retraced our steps to Jerusalem, and relinquished all attempts to visit the other holy places with which the vicinity abounds. Though the patriarch, and the monks of the various monasteries gave us hospitable entertainments, yet, such had been the length, the weariness and discouragements of the way, and such the thinning of our ranks by famine, fatigue, disease, and hostility, that we were fain to choose the readiest means of return. Learning that a fleet of Genoese merchantmen were anchored in the harbor of Joppa, we determined to pur-chase a passage over seas with them. The archbishops, therefore, gathered the pilgrims together, and number-ed them, and of the seven thousand that had set out from Mentz, scarce three thousand remained ; and on our way from Jerusalem to the place of embarkation through the rocky defiles which are the favorite haunts of the barbarians, we estimated that another thousand perished. Our voyage to Brundusium was the most prosperous part of our journey. Thence we came to Borne ; where I showed my life to our holy father the pope, and was absolved of all that lay on my conscience, concerning many grievous points, as men must needs have that travel in company with so many people of divers sects and beliefs. We then proceeded through Italy, and the archbishops took the 64 HEROINES OF THE CRUSADES.


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