In that assembly, it was agreed upon to lay siege to the city of Sagitta, otherwise called Sidon; upon which, having directed every one of the nobles to go home, that they might provide armour and all other necessaries for the siege, he sent messengers to the English, requiring them not to remove their fleet and army from Joppa, but to wait there for his farther commands; informing them, that he and his nobles had resolved, with their aid, to lay siege to the city of Sidon, but it would require some time to provide the necessary engines and warlike instruments, for assaulting the walls of that place. The pilgrims answered, that they would attend his orders at Joppa, promising to be obedient to him in all things, even unto death. The king went soon afterwards, with the patriarch and all his attendants to the city of Acre; where, during forty days, he was busily employed in the construction of engines, and many different kinds of warlike instruments, and of every thing necessary for the intended siege.
When this intended expedition came to the knowledge of the inhabitants of Sidon, and they understood that a powerful army of pilgrims lay in readiness at Joppa, to assist the king of Jerusalem, they were afraid of being subdued and destroyed by the Christians, as Caesaria, Assur, Acre, Cayphas, and Tabaria had already been; and they sent secret emissaries to the king, offering a large sum of money in gold byzants, and a considerable yearly tribute, on condition that he would spare their lives and refrain from the intended siege. After a lengthened negotiation, during which the inhabitants of Sidon rose considerably in their offers, the king, being in great straits for means to discharge the pay of his soldiers, hearkened willingly to the offers of the Sidonians; yet, afraid of reproach from the Christians, he dared not openly to consent to their proposals.
In the meantime, Hugh of Tabaria, who was a principal warrior among the Christians of Palestine, and indefatigable in assaulting the pagans on all occasions, having gathered together 200 horse and 400 infantry, suddenly invaded the country of a great Saracen lord, named Suet, on the frontiers of the territory of Damascus, where he took a rich booty of gold and silver and many cattle, which would have proved of great importance in assisting the army at the siege of Sidon. On his return with this prey by the city of Belinas, otherwise called Caesaria Philippi, the Turks of Damascus, with the Saracen inhabitants of the country, gathered together in great numbers, and pursued the troops of Hugh, that they might recover the booty. Coming up with them in the mountains, over which the infantry belonging to Hugh of Tabaria were driving their prey, the Turks prevailed over the Christians, and the plunder was recovered. On receiving this intelligence, Hugh, who happened to be at some distance, hastened with his cavalry to succour his footmen, and to recover the spoil: But happening to fall in with the