Alexius Part 24


    Hereupon, Mascabeles’ men, seeing that the leaders had dismounted, and apparently started an argument afresh, dismounted too; or rather some did, and tied their reins to the branches, and lay down and rested in the shade cast by the horses and the trees, while the others rode home. For they were all tired from the warmth and want of food and drink (for it was the summer season when the sun casts its rays vertically, and the heat had become unbearable). So much then for these; but Robert, the sly fox, had arranged all this beforehand, and now suddenly throws himself on Mascabeles, drops his kindly expression for a furious one, and attacks him with murderous intent.

    Robert’s horsemen

    And gripping, he was gripped in return, and dragged, and was dragged, and together they went rolling down the hill. When the four men waiting in ambush saw this, they jumped out of the marsh, ran at Gulielmus, bound him, and then ran back as if to join Robert’s horsemen stationed on the other hill, but they were already galloping down the slope towards them, and behind came Gulielmus’ men in hot pursuit.

    Robert for his part jumped on his horse, quickly donned his helmet, seized his spear, and brandished it fiercely and sheltering himself behind his shield, turned round, and struck one of Gulielmus’ men such a blow with his spear that he yielded up his life on the spot. In the meantime, he held back the rush of his father-in-law’s cavalry, and checked the relief they were bringing (because when they saw Robert’s horsemen coming down upon them from above with the position all in their favour, they immediately turned their backs). After Robert had in this wise stopped the onrush of Gulielmus’ horsemen, Mascabeles was taken bound and a prisoner of war to the very fortress which he had given as wedding-gift to Robert at the time he betrothed his daughter to him.

    And so it came about that the city had its own master as ” prisoner ” within it, and hence probably it got its name of ” prison-house.” And it will not be amiss if I enlarge on Robert’s cruelty. For when he had once got Mascabeles in his power, he first had all his teeth pulled out, and demanded for each of them a stupendous weight of money, and enquired where this money was stored. He did not leave off drawing them until he had taken all, for both teeth and money gave out simultaneously, and then Robert cast his eyes upon Gulielmus’ eyes, and grudging him his sight, deprived him of his eyes.

    Read More about One Autumn Night part 7


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