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Tales of the Enchanted Islands of the Atlantic

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Author Topic: Tales of the Enchanted Islands of the Atlantic  (Read 3242 times)
Lisa Wolfe
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« Reply #90 on: January 27, 2009, 11:38:11 pm »

grasped in their hands. The Arabs said that their fashion of mail armor had come to them from King David, "to whom," they said, "God made iron soft, and it became in his hands as thread." More than half of them were mounted on the swift horses which were peculiar to their people; and the white, red, and black turbans and cloaks made a most striking picture around the camp-fires. These men, too, were already trained and successful soldiers, held together both by a common religion and by the hope of spoil. There were twelve thousand of them by the most probable estimate,--for Musa had sent reinforcements,--and they had against them from five to eight times their number. But of the Spaniards only a small part were armed or drilled, or used to warfare, and great multitudes of them had to put their reliance in clubs, slings, axes, and short scythes. The cavalry were on the wings, where Luis found himself, with Count Julian and Archbishop Oppas to command them. Soon, however, Don Alonzo and Luis were detached, with others, to act as escort to the king, Don Rodrigo.

p. 152

The battle began soon after daybreak on Sunday, July 19, 711. As the Spanish troops advanced, their trumpets sounded defiance and were answered by Moorish horns and kettledrums. While they drew near, the shouts of the Spaniards were drowned in the lelie of the Arabs, the phrase Lá ilá-ha ella-llah--there is no deity but God. As they came nearer yet, there is a tradition that Rodrigo looking on the Moslem, said, "By the faith of the Messiah, these are the very men I saw painted on the walls of the cave at Toledo." Yet he certainly bore himself like a king, and he rode on the battle-field in a chariot of ivory lined with gold, having a silken awning decked with pearls and rubies, while the vehicle was drawn by three white mules abreast. He was then nearly eighty, and was dressed in a silken robe embroidered with pearls. He had brought with him in carts and on mules his treasures in jewels and money; and he had trains of mules whose only load consisted of ropes, to bind the arms of his captives, so sure was he of making every Arab his prisoner. Driving along the lines he addressed his troops

p. 153

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