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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 86



" The necessary negotiations were in progress, when Tatius, the lieutenant of the subtle Alexius, entered into a private treaty with the besieged, and while waiting for the gates to be opened, with indignation and astonishment the Chris-tians discovered the imperial ensign floating upon the walls of Nice. Alexius endeavored to appease their wrath by distributing rich bribes among the chiefs, and largesses among the private soldiers, but dissatisfied and exasperated they struck their tents, and departed without setting foot within the city they had conquered. "Meanwhile, the captive Becket, was conveyed to the army of the Sultan, and though his ardent spirit chafed at restraint, and panted for the fight, his impatience was soothed by the tender attentions, and sweet songs, of the Emir's daughter. " Soliman, with the whole of his force, amounting to 200,000 men, hung upon the rear of the crusading army, concealing his own evolutions, by his perfect knowledge of the country, and watching those of the croises with the keen anxiety of a falcon hovering over its prey. By some mischance, Robert and Bohemond were separated from the main body of the army. They encamped nevertheless on the banks of a beautiful stream, in the valley of the Gor-gon, and passed the night in repose. Scarcely had they commenced their march, on the following morning, when the immense army of the Sultan appeared upon the hills. From his station upon a lofty eminence, Becket had oppor-tunity to watch the progress of the contest, and from chris-tian captives that were brought to the camp, he learned many particulars concerning his companions. " Our brother Robert, with a vigor and promptitude for-eign to his character, drew up his forces, formed a rampart of wagons and baggage, and exhorted his men to meet with bravery the overwhelming shock. The terrific cries of the Turks, as they bore down upon the little band, the tramp of cavalry—the ringing of armor—the clash of shields—the trumpets of the christian hosts—the shouts of the chiefs and heralds, raised so fearful a din that ADELA. 93


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