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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 85



bodies of the slaughtered Christians were seized and drawn up through the air, and after being stripped and maimed were again cast forth upon the ground. " Young Gilbert being wounded and lying insensible, was grappled and drawn into the city in this manner, but find-ing that life was not extinct, they delivered him over to the care of Soli man's physicians, who tended him as a prisoner of note. The siege had been protracted to some length and the Christians had succeeded in undermining a huge tower at the north-eastern angle of the wall. The Sultana, alarmed at the loss of this important defence, determined upon flight. Several boats were prepared, and the Queen, with her train, among whom was young Gilbert, attended by a dark-eyed daughter of an Emir, beautiful as an houri, attempted to make her escape at night by way of the lake. As the little fleet moved stealthily in the shadow of the overhanging cliff, Becket siezed a bow, and dexterously discharged an arrow towards the nearest outpost of the christian camp. " The twang of the bow-string attracted the attention of the Moslems, but Zaida perceiving the danger of her fa-vorite smote the strings of her harp, and thus, ingeniously reproducing the sound, made the whole appear the result of accident. " Becket afterwards learned, that the dart fell at the very feet of the sentinel dozing by the watch-fire, who started up, aroused his comrades, and soon the knights of Duke Robert swarmed along the shore. " The Paynims plied their oars in vain, the Normans in-tercepted their flight. The Sultana was taken prisoner, and only the boat of the Emir with the disappointed Gilbert escaped capture. "The Christians having thus discovered the means, by which the city was supplied with provisions, procured boats from Constantinople and converted the siege into a block-ade. All hope now abandoned the Turks, and about the time of the summer solstice they offered terms of capitu-lation. 92 HEROINES OF THE CRUSADES.


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