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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 216



again with all speed into the offing. While the ship lay thus tossing at the mercy of the waves, dismantled frag-ments of shattered wrecks floated by, the broken masts and spars contending with the waters, like lost mariners strug-gling for life. While Berengaria gave way to the harrowing conviction that the Trenc-the-mere, with its precious freight, had foun-dered in the storm, Richard, whose ship had been driven into Rhodes, was collecting his scattered fleet and scouring the sea for his lost treasure. Arrived off Cyprus, he beheld the royal galley, and learning that it had been driven from the harbor by the pitiless despot, he landed in great wrath, and sent a message to Isaac, suggesting the propriety of calling his subjects from the work of plundering the wrecks to the exercise of the rites of hospitality. The arrogant Cypriot answered that, "whatever goods the sea threw upon his island, he should take without leave asked of any one." " By Jesu, Heaven's king, they shall be bought full dear," retorted Richard, and seizing his bat-tle-axe, he led his crusaders to the rescue, and soon drove the self-styled emperor, with his myrmidons, to the moun-tains. Without loss of time, Richard pursued him thither, and guided by the heron of burnished gold that gleamed from the imperial pavilion, penetrated- the camp in the darkness, made a great slaughter of the enemy, and brought away all the treasure; Isaac again escaping with much difficulty. Two beautiful Arab steeds, Fanuelle and Layard, fell to the lot of the conqueror. " In the world was not their peer, Dromedary nor destrère." With this magnificent booty King Richard returned, and taking possession of his enemies' capital, made signals for the entrance of the galley that had so long kept unwilling quarantine without the port. Berengaria, almost overcome with fatigue and fear, and fluttered with joy, was lifted on shore by the strong arms of the conquering Cœur de Lion. As he assisted her trembling steps towards the palace, a BERENGARIA OF NAVARRE. 227


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