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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades


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 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Heroines of the Crusades
page 254

ing spring. During the carnival, the services of the royal ladies were in requisition for a brilliant masquerade. The affair, involving an uncommon call for bijouterie, the queen found no little amusement in searching the shops of the jewellers in pursuit of appropriate decorations. On one of these excursions her attention was attracted by the appear-ance of a boy clad in mean apparel who was offering a valuable jewel for sale. The eagerness and suspicion with which the shopman regarded it excited her curiosity, and stepping forward she recognized the signet ring of Richard. Hastily purchasing the precious talisman she ordered the youth to follow her, intending to question him further con-cerning his master ; but when she reached her apartments, he had disappeared. She sent messengers in every direc-tion, and caused the most searching inquiries to be made, but all in vain ; he was nowhere to be found. Her anxiety for the fate of Richard, found vent in fruitless exertions and floods of tears. The mysterious circumstances reawa-kened all her superstitious apprehensions. She was con-vinced that the fatal ring which she had so foolishly given and so weakly allowed him to retain, had finally accom-plished his prediction, " betrayed him to his direst foe, or drowned him in the sea." At one moment she bewailed him as dead, at the next upbraided her friends for neglect-ing to deliver him from the dungeon in which she was posi-tive the Duke of Austria had confined him. Blonde!, whose devotion to his royal friend equalled her own, set off at once under the character of a wandering minstrel in search of his master. At length the pope, moved by Berengaria's distress, placed her under the escort of Count Raimoud of Toulouse, the hero of the tournament, who, with a strong guard, con-ducted the queens across the country to Navarre. The valiant Raimond soon found it an easier and pleasanter task to soothe the mind of the lovely Joanna, than to listen to the unavailing complaints of the despairing Berengaria, and so resigned did he become to his grateful duties, that before they reached the end of their journey he had become BERENGARIA OF NAVARRE. 265

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