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KING RICHARD'S CRUSADE (CONTINUED)
THE besiegers were greatly encouraged by the coming of
King Richard. "This is the man," they said, "for whom
we have waited so long. Now that he is come, the
assault will speedily be made, for he is the best of
all the warriors in Christendom." But their hopes were
delayed for a time by the sickness which came upon him
a few days after his coming. This sickness held him for
ten days or more. The King of France also suffered from
the same, as did others in the host. The Count of
Flanders was so ill that he died.
As soon as the King of France was recovered of his
sickness, he busied himself with setting up engines of
war in such places as seemed best. There he kept them
at work day and night. To one of these engines, that
was of great power, he gave the name of "The Bad
Neighbour." The Turks within the city had one with
which they answered this, calling it "The Bad Kinsman."
Often did they destroy King Philip's
 engine, but it was as often repaired. At last it broke
down a great part of the chief wall of the city, and
shattered also a certain tower which was called the
"Accursed Tower." The Duke of Burgundy had also an
engine, as had the Knights of the Temple, and the
Knights of the Hospital of St. John, with which they
did very great damage to the Turks.
Besides all these, there was a stone-sling which was
called "God's Stone-sling." Near to this a certain
priest preached continually, begging money for its
repairing, and for paying those who gathered stones for
it. King Richard himself had two stone-slings,
marvellously made, with which he could hit the mark at
an incredible distance. Another engine he had that was
called "The Belfry," covered with closely-fitting
hides, so that it could not be burnt with Greek fire,
nor destroyed by stones. 'Tis certain that a single
stone discharged by one of the King's engines slew
twelve men. This stone was sent for Saladin to look at.
The King of the French had also various implements and
engines of war. One of these was a contrivance made of
hurdles, strongly bound together, and covered with raw
hides. Under this the King would sit, his cross-bow in
his hand, watching if any Turk should show himself on
the walls. One day the Turks threw a quantity of Greek
fire on to this thing,
 aiming at it at the same time with a stone-sling.
Between the two, it was utterly destroyed, to the great
wrath of the King, who in his rage proclaimed, by the
voice of a herald, a general assault for the next day.
On that same day Saladin had declared that he would
cross the trenches and destroy the whole army of the
Christians. He did not keep his word, but sent his
lieutenant in his place. Under his leading, the Turks
attacked the trenches with great fury, and were as
firmly resisted by the French. The Turks, dismounting
from their horses, advanced on foot. The two sides
fought hand to hand, using swords, daggers, two-handed
axes, and clubs furnished with iron teeth.
Meanwhile the men that had been set by the King of
France to make mines had reached the foundations of the
walls, and filling the space which they had made with
logs, set them on fire. At last the wall—the beams on
which it rested being burnt through—gave way, sloping
by degrees, but not falling flat. The Christians ran up
to make their way into the town by this place, and the
Turks, on the other hand, ran up, resolved to drive
In this fight a certain Alberic Clements did a very
noble thing. Seeing that the French were labouring much
but doing little, he cried out, "To-day I will either
die or, with God's leave, enter Acre." Thereupon he
climbed up by the ladder to the top of the
 wall, and there stood, slaying many of the Turks, who
rushed upon him from all sides. But when others sought
to follow him, the ladder broke, for it could not bear
the number of those that crowded upon it. Some were
crushed to death, others were grievously wounded. As
for Alberic, he was left alone on the wall, and there
perished, pierced by wounds without number.
King Richard was now so far recovered from his sickness
that he could turn his thoughts to the taking of the
city. He caused a shed made of hurdles covered with
hides to be brought up to the ditch outside the city
wall. In shelter of this he put some of the most
skilful of his crossbow-men. He was himself carried to
the place on silken cushions, and lay there using his
cross-bow, with which he was very skilful. Many of the
Saracens did he slay with his bolts.
SHOOTING WITH THE CROSS-BOW.
After this, that his men might be encouraged the sooner
to make a breach in the wall, he proclaimed that he
would give two gold pieces to every one who should pull
a stone from the wall near to the Accursed Tower. This
bounty he increased to three and even four gold pieces.
Many stones did the young knights with their followers
draw out, though the Turks attacked them fiercely all
the while. The Turks themselves were in their turn
assailed by the
 machines. These hurled the stones with such force that
no armour could stand against them.
At last, when the tower had in this way been brought to
the ground, the King's men-at-arms attempted to take
the town by storm. But the Turks came up in great
numbers to resist them. At close quarters they fought
with each other, hand against hand, and sword against
sword. But as the English were few, and the Turks
increased in number, the men-at-arms were compelled to
 were slain with the sword, and not a few perished by
the Greek fire, for the Turks used this abundantly.
The next day the leaders of the Turks offered to give
up the city on condition that all the garrison should
be suffered to depart with their arms and their goods.
The King of France was willing to accept the condition,
but King Richard would not enter an empty city after so
long a siege.
Not long afterwards the city was surrendered on the
terms that follow. The Turks should restore the Holy
Cross, should give up such Christian captives as they
had, and should pay a great sum of money for their
lives, they being suffered to go whither they would
without arms or food, and carrying nothing but their
shirts. They should also surrender, as hostages for the
due performance of these terms, the noblest of their