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God Wills It! by William Stearns Davis

And while Raymond and Tancred went to beat back the sally


"I

cry pardon, fair lords," said Longsword. "I am a young knight to instruct my betters." But Godfrey answered him:--

"There is none of us too great to listen to brave words like these;" and Tancred, leaping up, added: "Yes, by God's help I will make it good on my body against any who cry 'backward,' till the city be won. Away with all these bats of darkness that are lighting on our heads! How does the night advance?"

"By the stars, midnight," answered Gaston, just entered.

"Good," ran on the Prince, sweeping all before him. "Pass the word through the host that we assault at dawn. Let every spare hand work to repair the towers. Let the rest sleep. We can make shift to move my Lord Godfrey's tower. If we have suffered without the walls, rest assured the infidels have splintered some bones within." The ebb tide had turned. The flood ran swiftly now.

"God wills it! Attack with the morning!" the two Roberts were crying, as loud as the rest. And others shouted:--

"An end to divisions. Let us have one leader! Let us proclaim Godfrey king. To-morrow we will crown him in Jerusalem!"

But the pure-hearted Duke beckoned for silence, and answered: "God forbid, dear brothers, that I should be styled 'sire,' and wear crown of gold, where my Saviour was spit upon and crowned with thorns.

We have one work now--to storm the city."

"The infidels are attacking the machines!" thundered Raimbaud of Orange, from the tent door. "To the rescue, fair lords!"

"Rescue! Rescue!" cried all, flying forth with drawn swords. And while Raymond and Tancred went to beat back the sally, Richard found himself close to Godfrey. "Our Lady bless you, De St. Julien," said Bouillon, grasping Richard's hand. "It was only a word you said; but a word in season will raise or pluck down kingdoms. How shall I reward you? I was near despair when I saw the gloom settling ever blacker over the council."

"Only this, fair Duke, that I may be in the front of the assault."

"Rashest of the rash! Some day the saints will grow weary of protecting you, and you will be slain."

"What matter, if all else is well?"

So Richard hastened off into the night, found his own encampment in the maze of tents, and told his men there was to be no retreat--that with the morning the storm would be renewed.

"And will you follow your seigneur, now as ever?" was his question to the fifty gaunt, mailed figures (all of his five hundred that were left) that grouped before the dying camp-fire.

"Through all hell,--though each Moslem were a thousand devils!" answered De Carnac; and every St. Julien man roared forth "Amen!"


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