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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, 11:38:24 pm »

boldly, and arriving at the centre quitted his chariot, put on a horned helmet, and mounted his white horse Orelio.

This was before the invention of gunpowder, and all battles were hand to hand. On the first day the result was doubtful, and Tarik rode through the Arab ranks, calling on them to fight for their religion and their safety. As the onset began, Tarik rode furiously at a Spanish chief whom he took for the king, and struck him down. For a moment it was believed to be the king whom he had killed, and from that moment new energy was given to the Arabs. The line of the Spaniards wavered; and at this moment the whole wing of cavalry to which Luis belonged rode out from its place and passed on the flank of the army, avoiding both Spaniard and Arab. "What means this?" said Luis to the horseman by his side. "It means," was the answer, "that Bishop Oppas is betraying the king." At this moment Don Alonzo rode up and cheered their march with explanations. "No more," he said, "will we obey this imbecile old king who can neither fight nor govern. He

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and his troops are but so many old women; it is only these Arabs who are men. All is arranged with Tarik, and we will save our country by joining the only man who can govern it." Luis groaned in dismay; it seemed to him an act of despicable treachery; but those around him seemed mostly prepared for it, and he said to himself, "After all, Don Alonzo is my chief; I must hold by him;" so he kept with the others, and the whole cavalry wing followed Oppas to a knoll, whence they watched the fight. It soon became a panic; the Arabs carried all before them, and the king himself was either killed or hid himself in a convent.

Many a Spaniard of the seceding wing of cavalry reproached himself afterwards for what had been done; and while the archbishop had some influence with the conquering general and persuaded him to allow the Christians everywhere to retain a part of their churches, yet he had, after all, the reward of a traitor in contempt and self-reproach. This he could bear no longer, and organizing an expedition from a Spanish port, he and six minor bishops, with

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