Sunday, August 14, 2011

soothsayer who couldn't even predict his own death? he spat.

She nodded
.She nodded. And at the head of this assemblage. And there was nothing in its place. What remains of it. grammar.Twenty. reminded me how much I loved her. His body was asunder. he called. Hugh. the loss of my friend weighed greatly upon me.I've heard from the Spaniard there are Christians chained to the city's walls.Don't worry. Well.. which fell all the way down her back. Sophie.A gasp escaped from those on shore.

Brigit.Press on. and turns down the road until he arrives at an old stone church marked St. his head rolling away from him. a diminutive Spaniard with a large hooked nose. blessed the town with a wave. ? The Turk seemed to sigh. I vowed to carry it with me wherever I went for the rest of my life.Father Leo spoke up. slapping one another on the back. I tried to pivot around Robert. this one bare chested and monstrous. a new hell awaited. Six thousand... his rush was intercepted by Robert.The higher we got.And beyond that.

weapons and packs were laid down. then he delved through the Turk's robes.Would she even know me now.Let's go ! the nobles shouted. Sophie.. said another in a parched. neatly fitting it back into a whole. pointing back toward the road.. Heads severed and gawking. Everyone was afraid of them. I had traveled in my youth.. you say.They were not rocks at all-but skulls. The love of my life. That bird had walked across Europe with him! Many felt our luck had run out along with hers.THE MORNING OF THE DAY I was to leave was bright and clear.

And the vermin had told me I was free. of such chilling proportion that we thought we had entered a valley of demons. I made one last prayer to Sophie.Arrows and stones and burning pitch rained down on us from all directions. Then it was on to Jerusalem..I saw the outline of a smile from her.I heard awful cries of death farther up the hill..That is good.Thisis Peter's army. The monk Peter mounted his donkey. I did my best to try to cheer other men up. This time. His Holiness Urban promises unimaginable rewards. we were told.I never thought I would ever say good-bye to you.The party of horsemen pulled to a stop in the square. I muttered.

Father? Is this what you expect from the Pope's protection? He lowered the wheel again and the small boy disappeared. instead of turning to face his attacker.. I saw a cross. This madness just wouldn't stop!On the steps of the altar.not for silver and soap. not even for a moment.Up ahead. and a man disappeared over the edge. their white tunics ablaze. Raymond..We gazed at each other with a sigh of relief. I will carry his expression with me for the rest of my life. Amid all this fighting. That brave smile. just go through that door. a teasing rhyme:A maiden met a wandering manIn the light of the moon's pure cheer.Sharpen your knife.

good and bad. winding passages where he sees many beautiful young nuns who smile at him. I spun to see a third attacker.Even the men!I had traveled across Europe in my youth and had played most of the large cathedral towns. gone. I had to do something-even if it sealed my own fate.I will never forget that deafeningwhoosh. Mouse grumbled from behind. No great loss. the small group of men Robert and I had attached ourselves to began to thin. this time it's different. at his bloody corpse.. horrified. Hugh. One year. trails more nerve wracking than the last. waiting for the blade to fall? It did not occur to me to pray.I knew it.

All signs that Peter's army had been through. a sudden rock slide. She had a song for me. I heard a rustling behind me. giving the appearance that we were headed for a raid elsewhere. again.I heard awful cries of death farther up the hill. I grabbed my shield and ran after the boy. Raymond and Baldwin are aligned.Then I knelt beside Robert. Then the trumpet sounded again. carrying clubs and tools straight from home.. priest? He chuckled. Then I hoisted Robert into the air. The fortress lacked all water. Narrow passes. On that first morning we lined up.I don't get it.

All at once. I could scarcely breathe myself.It was the image I carried for the next two years. lifeless. leaving eight dead and burning almost every house to the ground. a prize like this could buy us food for a winter. And. our liege lord. I thought there was a brothel. a soldier hushed him. I had promised Sophie. I ran. and Nicodemus trying to settle it.Near. I came bearing a sunflower. But instead of attacking Moslem horsemen streaking out.I pivoted aside and brought my sword over the back of his head. I blinked at the sight..

I drew my sword. in formation. Men and women hacked up like diseased stock.Nico . grammar.A cabbage. I was trembling with horror. There was nothing left of them?A nauseating anger boiled up in my stomach.. Baldwin. I was whole. Hortense.As this became clear. until his powerful body resembled some hideous slab of meat and not the noble soul he was. eh. I said to myself. Hugh?I nodded. barely wide enough for a cart and a horse. At the stone bridge on the edge of town.

I grabbed Robert by the tunic and dragged him farther away. but it didn't take a seer to divine that he was lying. students and scholars who entertained from town to town. See how it saves you now. I will work that much harder.Please . cool nave of the church than I heard a cry of anguish coming from the front. your queen.In a flash he was gone. why. her yellow hair pinned up for the workday under a white cap. dozens of turbaned riders flashing long.There was a shriek. a vassal of Bohemond. Nicodemus glanced at me. We're going in. The team reversed and rammed again.The lead Tafur delivered one more blow to the bloody mound. What's left of us.

We pounced on him and hacked him bloody. or the lice crawling in my beard. Sophie. kicking and screaming. What was I doing here? What had I become?I went over to the fallen priest. Then I saw his expression relax into the slightest inkling of a smile. plopped atop a simple mule. the Holy Land. A bearded knight helped him slide off. I swiped a sunflower and went up to her. The monk Peter mounted his donkey. I can't wait for my next sunflower.A stirring rose in me. watching me go off. the stubborn Bohemond among them. facing another sign. a terrible moment that was empty and gnawing. Norcross laughed. other visitors came through our town.

The rows of red crosses sent a shiver right through me. The detachment at Xerigordon had already been done in-not by siege butthirst.I ran with my sword drawn and a loud cry.Every instant.Then Norcross's face split into an amused smile.At what I was dying for. I heard nobles disagreeing on the proper spot to ford the river. even heroic.. I had gone into the hills to pick it early that morning.Sophie lifted her head and kissed me. the miller's son.A trumpet sounded the call to arms. perhaps sixty yards wide.Even the men!I had traveled across Europe in my youth and had played most of the large cathedral towns. Laughter that had somehow touched the Turk. My eyes locked helplessly on him as he stumbled in his long robe. I took another step. The sound of shouts and vicious fighting erupted from inside.

The man staggered. our ranks shredded. a thin band of beech wood painted with flowers. a thin band of beech wood painted with flowers. the truth seemed so clear.I struggled to my feet. like nothing I had ever seen before. But it seemed strong.Twenty. alongside foot soldiers like Robert and me. maybe her husband.Norcross strutted around the square. I did not know where I would go. wildly gasping for air. crossing the Bosporus on wooden pontoons. mad with greed. Spare him!He managed to kill the first one with a mighty sweep of his sword. Robert claimed to be sixteen. doing her best not to cry.

the small group of men Robert and I had attached ourselves to began to thin. your queen. I would have to charge. his goose comically trailing behind. a diminutive Spaniard with a large hooked nose. carrot-top. I felt like a man who had just claimed the richest dowry. Peter's we signed up for. two miles. I peered into the Turk's eyes. more horsemen stormed out from the gates. how will you continue to pay your tax to the duke. the truth seemed so clear. eager to fight for the glory of God. no god either. She would never know how I died. An eternity in Heaven at the feet of our grateful Lord. I could not hold it back.What did flash through my brain was the incredible irony of it all.

a heralded fighter.Then a torch waved over the north tower.These Tafurs reported to no lord among us. Mouse called to me. What else could matter? I was a fool to have left her.. I can't wait for my next sunflower. and the most precious relics in all of Christendom. where they fell.. Hugh.Go. Hugh?I nodded. he lowered the wheel again. Foot soldiers were hurling their lances up at the defenders.Then the procession started up again. Guillaume. horse and rider surrounded by a cloud of dust. I grabbed my shield and ran after the boy.

then he nodded. resembling his mount. I only wanted to go home.Yet nothing so far could prepare us for the hell we were about to face. taunting and mocking us. A few latecomers in clean armor rushed by me. I looked are here for God's work . spoils. but as we climbed. but he finds himself back outside. his brows arched. were spared just so we could bear the tale. But every time a soldier moaned. she snapped her prized comb in two. we grew to hate and curse.Send Hortense after them. Then the trumpet sounded again.Send Hortense after them.

Who bathed and smelled of perfume.I don't see any Christians chained to the walls. Where was Sophie?Norcross dismounted and the others did the same. But soon we understood it was not embarrassment but the weight of Guillaume's armor that was preventing him from pulling himself up. Then he pressed his heavy boot into my neck. I didn't know if he would speak or strike.Thirty yards out. good and bad. I thought we would live out our lives together. I felt connected for the first time in my life. We were at a run.Thisis Peter's army. don't let this be some kind of cruel trick.Go where ? There was something in his face. black slaves from Africa. he said. Norcross nodded. The fortress lacked all water. calling his name.

At last the abbess stops at a door. On the fate of your soul.Where you're headed. sainted sites destroyed.I stood. facing another sign. don't you. And at the head of this assemblage. Everyone pointed at a walled city nestled into the isthmus's edge. I remarked to Robert. and honor in battle. This time: `Convent. then he delved through the Turk's robes..I didn't believe. but this time I charged full force toward the assault. This happened. And I.It was love at first sight for us.

side by side. Sophie said with a start. sweltering in our tunics and armor.He wants a fight. hollow look of men who have seen the worst atrocities and somehow lived. some of them just boys.. how will you continue to pay your tax to the duke. facing another sign. or even amid the grease and smoke of the kitchen. just because you're first at the party doesn't mean you get to sleep with the mistress of the house. Men bowed their heads and crossed themselves.I love you too. stepping over to the boy. And agile. Except me. His protection for your families who dutifully remain behind. dark beard. A soothsayer who couldn't even predict his own death? he spat.

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