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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 84



been defeated and slain. The Infidels in mockery had formed here a great pile of their bones, and covered them with earth ; so that when Robert arrived with his forces, he pitched his tent just beside the green sepulchre of those who had found martyrdom on that very spot. Peter the Hermit, with the remnant of his forces, soon after joined the besiegers, and the arnvy, as they were then numbered, consisted of 600,000 infantry and 100,000 mailed cavalry. Each man confessed his sins, and the sacrifice of mass being offered, they commenced the erection of engines, and other preparations for the siege. Soliman himself was en-camped upon the mountains, scarcely ten miles off, watch-ing in what manner he might best free his city from the enemies that clustered around it. Two of his messengers were intercepted by Godfrey. They confessed that they were sent to concert with the besieged a double attack upon the christian camp. The crusaders immediately pre-pared for the conflict. By break of day the Moslems be-gan to descend from the hills, and issue from the town. The Christians received them everywhere with determined valor, repulsed them on all points, became in turn the assailants, and all the plain around Nice grew one general scene of conflict. This attack was twice repeated with the same result, and the sultan was at last compelled to retire, astonished at the lion-like courage of the Franks, who with a thousand lances, could charge, and easily put to flight twenty thousand Turks. But amidst these splendid achievements, which the Saxon Gilbert described, with great vividness, he said it was mournful to see the pilgrims at nightfall collecting the dead bodies of their companions and bearing them in sad procession to the cypress groves adjacent, where by the melancholy glare of the torches they buried them without coffin or shroud. "To intimidate the besieged, the croises cut off the heads of the fallen Moslems, and shot them from their engines into the city. " The Turks invented a horrid method of retaliation. Long iron hooks were let down from the walls, by which the ADELA. 91


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