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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT. Saladin. Prince of Chivalry

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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT.
Saladin. Prince of Chivalry
page 194



However, a council of the nobles, with the assent of the King, had finally persuaded the haughty Gerard to sink his animosity for the time being, and to join with the Grand Master of the Hospital and Balian of Ibelin in a mission to Raymond, with the object of persuading him to drop his relations with Saladin and come back to his former allegiance. The three had set out for Tiberias, but Balian, unfortunately for his cause, had stopped on the way while his companions went on to Faba. When he reached the latter stronghold the next day he found its walls deserted, the gates open and only two invalids in the castle, who told him the Grand Masters had left on learning that a body of Saracens had entered the land. Anxiously the Count rode on to get further information, which confirmed all his fears. The previous day el-Afdal, son of Saladin, had secured from Raymond permission to cross the Jordan for a single day, upon the condition that he would molest neither town nor house and retire with the setting sun. El-Afdal was bent on a foraging expedition, but kept his word and was on the point of withdrawing when the choleric Gerard descended upon him with forty knights and seven hundred soldiers he had secured at Nazareth. It was a quixotic performance, for the Saracens outnumbered them ten to one, and reaped the reward of its folly. The Grand Master of the Hospital was killed and Gerard himself only escaped by good fortune, leaving practically all his followers on the field of battle.


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