free ebooks

God Wills It! by William Stearns Davis

Then a massacre of the Antiochers

Richard cast a glance at Godfrey.

"My lord," said he, "Rollo is at the end of his speed. We cannot run from fresh horses."

The Duke shook his head when he heard the deep pants of Marchegai. "It is true," he answered. "I think we had best say 'Our Father,' and look to our swords."

But down the forest lane came a clear voice, singing lustily the sweet Languedoc:--

"Merrily under the greenwood flying, _Zu, zu_, away to my Mirabel! Swift! For my lady waits long,--is sighing! _Zu, zu_, more speed to my Mirabel!"

"De Valmont's voice, as I hope for heaven!" cried Richard, dropping the bridle. And straight toward them cantered a merry body of cavaliers and men-at-arms, Louis's broad pennon leading.

"_Ahois!_ Forward! Infidels!" thundered the Valmonter, couching lance as he saw the two awaiting him. But there was a loud laugh when the two knights were recognized.

"Holy Mass!" swore Louis; "and were not you, my Lord Godfrey, on the foray to Urdeh?"

The Duke shook his head, the instinct of a leader once more uppermost.

"I was not," quoth he, curtly, explaining nothing. "And you, De Valmont? What means this party so far from the walls?"

"We rode after Sir Philip of Amiens, who rode with a few knights this way from the city this morning, and has not returned. We fear they met Arabs. It is rumored the Prince Kerbogha is as near as Afrin, and advancing!"

"By the Holy Trinity, he _is_ advancing!" shouted the Duke, mounting with a leap. "Leave Philip of Amiens to God; he is long since passed from your aid. Back to the city with speed, if you wish not for martyrdom."

And wearied though Marchegai was, Godfrey made him outpace all the rest as they raced toward Antioch. Richard saw the Christian banners on the walls as he drew near. Once inside the gates he needed nothing to tell him the city had been sacked in a way that bred slight glory to the soldiers of the Cross. He left Godfrey to rouse the chiefs, and to spread the dread tidings of Kerbogha's approach. His own St. Julieners he found in the house of a Moslem merchant they had unceremoniously slaughtered. They were so drunken that only Herbert and Sebastian were able to receive him. A gloomy tale they gave him--the city stormed, then a massacre of the Antiochers,--Christian and Moslem alike,--so terrible that even the fiends must have trembled to find mortal spirits more bloody than they. After the orgy of killing had come days of unholy revellings, drunkenness, and deeds no pen may tell. To crown all, the provisions found in the city had been so wasted, that starvation was close at hand. Richard in his turn told how it had prospered with him at Aleppo. Sebastian sighed when he heard of Mary in the custody of Musa.

eBook Search
Social Sharing
Share Button
About us is a collection of free ebooks that can be read online. Ebooks are split into pages for easier reading and better bookmarking.

We have more than 35,000 free books in our collection and are adding new books daily.

We invite you to link to us, so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful free website.

© 2010-2013 - All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us