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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 372



388 HEROINES OF THE CRUSADES. CHAPTER VII. MEANTIME the palace of Acre had been witness of a fear-ful scene. Since the fall of Nazareth the Emir of Joppa had opened negotiations with Edward, professing a desire to become a christian convert. So eager was the king for this happy consummation that he cherished the deceitful hope, held out by the Infidel, and granted him every op-portunity for gaining information concerning the tenets and practices of the church. Letters and messages frequently passed between them, and so accustomed had the English guards become to the brown haick and green turban of the swarthy Mohamme-dan, who carried the despatches, that they gave him free ingress to the city and admitted him to the palace, and even ushered him into the king's ante-chamber almost without question or'suspicion. The day had been unusuallysultry, even for the Syrian climate. The heat of the atmosphere somewhat aggravated the symptoms of the disease from which Edward was slowly recovering, and Eleanora had passed many weary hours in vain endeavors to soothe his restlessness and induce re-pose. As the sun declined a cooling breeze sprang up from the sea, seeming to the patient wife to bear healing on its wings, and the invalid, stretched on his couch before the casement, began at length to yield to the soothing influence of slumber, when the chamberlain entered to say that the emissary from Joppa waited an audience. " Now have I no faith in the conversion of this Infidel," said Eleanora, with an impatience unusual to her gentle spirit, " since his messenger disturbs my lord's repose." " Verily thou lackest thine accustomed charity," replied Edward. "I had thought to hear thee declare the conver-sion of this Saracen my crowning glory in Palestine. But thou art weary, my love. Go to thy rest, thy long vigils by


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