| Our Little Crusader Cousin of Long Ago|
|by Evaleen Stein|
|The story of Hugh, page to King Richard the Lion-Hearted of England, and Raymond, page to Count William of France, and their adventures in Palestine during the third crusade. Through their eyes we see how, even with all their quarrels and failures, the men of the third crusade left a lasting record of gallant and heroic deeds. Ages 8-10 |
HUGH TELLS OF THE VOYAGE
 The next morning Hugh did a number of errands for
King Richard, and then the latter, who was fond of the
lad, told him he might run along and look around a bit
with his friend Raymond. Hugh at once hurried over
toward the French camp, and though Raymond had told him
in what direction to look for Count William's tent, he
was quite uncertain of finding it among so many
thousands. But luckily he had not gone far when he
spied Raymond holding the bridle of a war-horse his
master was mounting. He was going with a company of
French knights to see if they could find some Saracens
thought to be hiding in the hills and trying to bring
food to the besieged city.
As soon as Count William rode off the tow pages
ran down to the shore to watch the rest of the ships
being unloaded. These were of many kinds and sizes: as
no one then had dreamed of
 steamboats, and all had sails, and long rows of oars,
too. The smaller ones were called galleys and the
larger "busses" and dromonds;" these last usually had
one deck and a few
cabins below, and carried about two hundred men,
including fifty knights and their horses, and
provisions for a year. At each end was built up a
platform where trumpeters could sit, or, more important
when the ship was in a fight, where archers could be
stationed: for gunpowder was not yet invented. Also,
at the top of the mast was a little cage-like place to
which archers could climb by means of a rope ladder.
These ships were thought very large and fine in those
days, though to us they would look very small and
As the two boys watched, "Look!" said Raymond,
"that must be King Richard's horse they are taking off
the Trenchmer. See how careful they are with him and
how proudly he steps along. But, Hugh," he added, as
he eyed the horse more critically, "that's not the one
he had in Sicily; that was a black one from Spain, I
"Yes," said Hugh, "it was, but he likes this one
better; he got him in the island of Cyprus
 on the way here, and his name is Favelle. Isn't he
handsome? And they say the jewels on his harness and
trappings are worth a fortune, and besides these the
stirrups and all the trimmings of the saddle are pure
gold and on his crupper are two little golden lions
pawing each other! And there come more of the knights'
horses, all with their armor!"
For war-horses, then were protected by armor, the same
as their masters.
"And they will find it mighty hot and
uncomfortable in this country!" said Raymond. "I've
seen the horses and knights, too, just panting after
they have been fighting a while. I guess the Saracens
know better how to do in a climate like this. They
ride the fastest kind of Arabian horses and carry just
light shields, and they seem to depend more on shooting
their arrows and then getting out of the way quickly.
Of course in hand-to-hand fighting our crusaders can
smash harder with their battle-axes and things."
"I see the armies here have a good many fighting
machines," said Hugh, ‘but I believe King Richard has
brought some better ones. There are some of them now
coming off yonder galleys," and he pointed to the hughe
struc-  tures being set up on the beach; some were for pounding
through city walls, and were called"battering-rams"
because of the ram's head of copper fastened on the end
of the great beam of wood which did the pounding and
which was hung by ropes to a strong framework. There
were other ropes fastened to the beam and it sometimes
took hundreds of men to pull it back and forth. Other
of the machines were called catapults, petraries and
mangonels and were made to shoot arrows or hurl stones
a great distance.
As the boys eyed these machines, "You know," went
on Hugh, "they are the ones King Richard had built in
Sicily last winter because he thought wood wwas scarce
over here. He even brought stones for the catapults.
Do you see that pile there on the beach?"
"Yes," answered Raymond, "it was a good thing he
got them ready in Sicily. Wood and stones are scarce
here. And just a few days ago our French army was
attacking the city walls and the Saracens poured down
some Greek fire and burned up two of King Philip's
biggest machines. That Greek fire is horrible! A lot
of soldiers have been burned to death by its
get-  ting under their armor, and water won't put it out. I
never say anything like it before."
"I saw some of it on the way here, when King
Richard fought the Saracen ship," said Hugh.
"What all did King Richard do on the way?" asked
Raymond. "We didn't stop anywhere or have any
adventures!" he added regretfully.
"Well," said Hugh, "things generally are moving
when King Richard is around. Didn't
we have a fine exciting winter in Sicily when he was
fighting King Tancred there?"
"Yes, indeed!" answered Raymond, his eyes
sparkling. "I never did know, though, what the quarrel
was about; you know King Philip kept out of it."
"There was reason enough to fight," said Hugh.
"It seems the husband of Queen Joan, King Richard's
sister, used to be king of Sicily, and when he died a
while ago Tancred got himself made king and shut up
Queen Joan and took away all her money. He earned the
good beating he got!"
"Did they make up afterward?" asked Raymond.
"You know about that time we sailed for here with King
 "Yes," said Hugh, "they gave each other presents,
and then King Richard invited everybody to a big feast
in honor of his betrothal to Princess Berengaria. His
mother, Queen Eleanor, had brought her from Navarre,
somewhere near Spain, where her father is king. King
Richard couldn't go after her himself, because he had
started on the crusade, but he wanted to get married
and take her along."
"But I thought you said yesterday they were
married in Cyprus," said Raymond, looking rather
"So they were," answered Hugh, "for when the
princess got to Sicily,—it was just after you left,—it
was Lent, you know, and it's against the church rules
to have grand weddings then. So they thought, as Lent
would soon be over, they would stop at Rhodes, one of
the islands on the way, and get married there. King
Richard had that handsome ship over there fitted up for
the ladies, for Queen Joan decided to come, too, and he
sent along some of our best knights to guard them.
You just ought to have seen us start away from Sicily.
I believe everybody there was out to see us off! It
was a fine bright day, and we had flags flying and
music playing and
every-  thing lively. When it got dark they lighted the big
red lantern on the mast of the Trenchmer—see it over
there?—so the others could follow our ship. But in a
little where there was a terrible storm came up."
"Were you scared?" asked Raymond.
"Yes, " admitted Hugh, after a moment's
hesitation," I was. The storm lasted two days and I
thought surely we should all upset and be drowned!
Several of the ships were wrecked and blown to pieces,
a lot of them ran up on little islands, and the third
day we managed to put into the harbor at Rhodes. The
Trenchmer was pretty badly battered up, but when King
Richard looked around and saw the ladies' ship wasn't
there he wouldn't stay, but gave orders to sail right
on for Cyprus, which was the next big island. He
thought maybe he would find the princess there. The
next day we sighted Cyprus, and there was the ladies'
ship standing off outside the harbor of a town."
"Why were they outside the harbor? " asked
"That was what King Richard wanted to know,"
replied Hugh. "So he sent two sailors and one of our
knights in the Trenchmer's
lit-  tle life-boat to see what was the matter: and the
captain of the ladies' ship told them that two others
of our galleys had been wrecked on the coast and when
the men tried to swim ashore the Cyprus people beat
them off so they could get all the valuable things that
floated. They acted so mean that the captain didn't
dare land with the ladies. When our folks came back
and told King Richard that, he was simply furious!"
"What did he do?" inquired Raymond, who was listening
"Do?" eachoed Hugh, "why, the wind wasn't toward the
harbor so we could sail in, but he ordered the rowers
to get the Trenchmer there as fast as they could.
Then we all hurried ashore and King Richard sent for
the king of Cyprus, whose name was Issac. When Isaac
showed fight and wouldn't apologize for the outrageous
way his people acted about the wreck, King Richard just
grabbed his big battle-ax—you know how enormous it
is—and waving it in the air, he rushed toward the town
to attack it. All our knights went after him, and a
good many from some other ships that had come up, and
before long King Richard had taken the town. And right
away he signalled
 for the ladies' ship to come on, and he took Princess
Berengaria and Queen Joan and their maids of honor and
put them in Isaac's best palace. Then he took another
fine palace for himself, and all the knights had very
grand houses to stay in."
"What became of Isaac?" put in Raymond. "At
first he promised everything King Richard wanted,"
replied Hugh, "but when King Richard found he was all
the while plotting behind his back, he made him
prisoner. Isaac cried and made such a fuss about being
chained up that King Richard said his chains should be
silver because he had been a king. He looked pretty
scornful, though, when he said it, and put a good
strong fuard over him, so I guess Isaac will never get
Cyprus back again."
"How long did you stay there?" asked Raymond.
"A whole month," answered Hugh, "and then came the
wedding. It was the grandest affair! King Richard
looked magnificent' he had on a bright rose-colored
satin tunic and a mantle of striped silver tissue all
embroidered with jewels, and his belt and sword were
sparkling with more jewels, and on his head was a
 kind of cap of red velvet brocaded with gold lions, and
he carried a gold scepter in his hand. The Princess
Berengaria looked like a fairy beside him,—you saw how
little she is. She wore a wonderful white dress, with
lots of gold and diamonds," he added vaguely, for he
could remember Richard's costume better than his
bride's. "And then," he went on. "I helped carry in
the dishes at the feast afterward, and I was worn out
when it was over. I never saw so many fine things to
eat in all my life, and everything was served on gold
and silver platters, for we used all Isaac's best
things and he was very rich. Right away after the
feast we loaded up the ships again and started for
"When was it you fought the Saracen ship?" was
Raymond's next question.
"Why that was two days after we left Cyprus," replied
Hugh. "It was the biggest ship I ever saw. King
Richard thought it must have held nearly fifteen
"Whew!" exclaimed Raymond, with round eyes. "I didn't
know ships could be so big!"
"Neither did I," said Hugh, "but it was. It seems it
was carrying food and money for Acre here; I suppose
they thought they could
 sneak it into the city some way. The ship was so big
that King Richard knew the Trenchmer couldn't fight it
alone, so he ordered six more of our fleet to line up
in a row and they all started to ram the Saracen one.
It was then the Saracens began throwing Greek fire on
ours. They threw vases full of it,—it's a kind of
liquid, you know,—and when the vases smashed, it
caught fire in the air, and it got on some of the
sailors and burned them to death!"
"Did the rams make a hole in the ship?" asked Raymond.
"Yes," said Hugh, "and when the Saracens saw that, they
began to chop more holes as fast as they could, for
they wanted the ship to sink before our men could climb
on it. I guess they thought they would rather drown
than fall into the hands of our crusaders, and then,
too, they didn't want us to get all the food and
treasure they had on board. But King Richard and the
rest hurried and climbed on it and got most of the
things off and put on our ships. The Saracens fought
like everything, but unless they could swim somewhere I
don't think many were alive when our fighters got
through with them. Some of our men were killed but
most got back
 all right to our ships, and then we sailed on for
Palestine. When King Richard first caught sight of the
coast he said two words I couldn't understand,—one of
the knights said they were Latin and meant ‘Holy
Land'—and then he never took his eyes off it, but just
stood watching it in a kind of dream till we landed."
"Well," said Raymond, drawing a long breath, "of course
our trip here was all very starange and new to me but
it was nothing like so exciting as yours!"
But by this time the boys knew they had better be going
back to their masters, so they parted for the day.
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