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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 190



whispering, " "Whither dost thou lead me ? There is hero no sign of human life. Let us return." But the spirited slave "bent the weak will of the mistress to her purpose; and with alternate assurances of safety and incitements to curiosity, led the way to the rear of the ruined pile, where descending a stone stair, she gave three raps upon a low door. The grating of rusty bolts was heard, the door was cautiously opened, and Berengaria felt herself suddenly drawn within the portal. A glare of dazzling light blinded and bewildered her, and a stifling vapor added to her for-mer terror, almost stupefied her senses. The voice of Elsiebede somewhat reassured her, and a's her eyes became accustomed to the light, she took a survey of the scene before her. The apartment seemed to have been originally the kitchen of the castle, one end being oc-cupied by a wide, large chimney, now built up except in the centre, where a furnace, covered with crucibles, glowed with the most intense heat. A white screen with a small dark screen before it, nearly concealed one side, of the apartment, while on the other side from three serpent-formed tubes connected through the wall with retorts, gleamed tongues of colored flame. "Various gallipots, alem-bics, horologues, diagrams, 'and dusty manuscripts were deposited upon shelves in angles of the wall. The principal occupant was a man of a lean, haggard figure, bowed less by age than by toil and privation. A few black, uncombed locks escaping from the folds of a turban, once white, now begrimed with smoke and dust, straggled over a swarthy forehead, marked with lines caused by intense thought, and abortive speculations. He was dressed in Moorish garments, the sleeves tucked above the elbows, revealing his emaciated arms, while his talon-like fingers grasped an immense triangular crystal, through which he was casting refractions upon the screen. His deep, cavernous eyes seemed to gleam with the fires of in-sanity, yet he spoke in a tone of deep abstraction, though with something like the voice of affection. " Disturb me not, my daughter, but stand aside till I have completed my BERENGARIA OF NAVARRE. 201


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