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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT. Saladin. Prince of Chivalry

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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT.
Saladin. Prince of Chivalry
page 67



ber of the government, and Bihrous already had cause to be annoyed at the conduct of the sons of Schadi. Very likely the first offense was the more serious in the eyes of Bihrous, and the second only furnished another excuse for meting out punishment. Ayub had been the offender then, and fortunate was the apparently misguided impulse which had inspired him ; for it brought about direct contact with Zenghi, and placed the latter under deep obligation. Zenghi was in dire distress at the time. One of his rare reverses had put his army in flight and they had reached the Tigris with the victorious army of Sultan Masoud close behind and eager to wipe out the defeated. Across the water stood the frowning fortress of Tekrit, accessible only if the holder thereof was willing. Ayub chose to be the savior of Zenghi, provided the necessary boats to convey him and his forces across the river, and the provisions and equipment to help them on their way. It was a service Zenghi never forgot, but Bihrous did not appreciate this aid to the Atabeg of Mosul, who was subjecting all the other rulers to his will. He wrote to Ayub : " You had our enemy in your power. Why, then, did you treat him so well and let him escape? " Ayub's explanation is not recorded, but the fact remains he had, by good judgment or good fortune, thrown his lot with the future master, and now, needing a job, he turned to Zenghi for his reward, and found him ready to give it, Shirkuh also received satisfactory employment in


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