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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 342



and thousands of bloody bands were raised for its destruc-tion. At this moment the figure of an armed knight, of lofty stature, appeared upon the bridge. Forcing his way throngli the mob, he shouted to the sailors as the boat was about to shoot the arch, "Back! Bear back!! upon your lives ! ! r Beturn to the tower ! ! ! !" The frightened boat-men turned at the critical moment, and the knight, by the prowess of his single arm, diverted the attack to himself, till the queen was again sheltered by the walls of the for-tress. Boar upon roar again swelled through the streets. The crowd hurried on in search of prey, swaying to and fro, like trees in a tempest. Again the feeble walls that shel-tered the fair Castilian, felt the terrible presence of demons in human form. The sight of a French attendant again raised the cry of " Death to foreigners," and madly they rushed to the onslaught. But the strange knight was al-ready at the door, and backed by Guy de Lusignan and the retainers, for some hours kept the infuriated multitude at bay, but at every moment the crowd became denser, the cries more terrific, and Eleanora drawing the little Eva to her bosom, and surrounded by her own maidens, and the females of the household, was striving to recall the prayers for the dying, when a distant shout of rescue swelled upon the breeze. The shrill blast of a trumpet confirmed the uncertain hope, and the defiant threats of the multi-tude began to give place to the bowlings of baffled rage. On came the tramp of horsemen, the clangor of armor ; louder roared the din of the fight ; not now the sounds of fall-ing dwellings, flying missiles, and female shrieks, but the ringing clash of Damascus steel, and the regular tramp of mounted horsemen. The warlike shout of " Edward to the rescue," " Give way to the prince," drove on the mot-ley mass like sands before the desert wind, and scattered them through all the lanes and alleys of the vast metrop-olis. At the sound of her husband's name, Eleanora sprang from her knees and rushed to the door-way, where she be-held, advancing at the head of the troops, taller than all HEROINES OF THE CRUSADES.


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