The Fall of the Grand Sarrasin eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 122 pages of information about The Fall of the Grand Sarrasin.
as it were from the sky.  I dimly saw Jacques locked arm to arm and breast to breast with a villain, his equal in strength and stature; and then, as I had seen wrestlers in peaceful times, so each now on that narrow spot, grasping cutlasses the while, strove with all manner of feint and twist and turn to throw his adversary.  Close to the side they were, when I saw the thickset pirate swing as easy as a child across Jacques’ back.  The two clung together for a moment.  Jacques struggled to get loose.  But the villain clung too well.  And so they both fell together into the deep well below.  Creux de la Mort the islanders call it to this day.

I sought rather with sword play to strike the villain in my path, and old Simon by my side saw soon his place to strike in, and gave him a deadly stroke.  But as he did so the first two rogues dropped from above, and the little narrow ledge of rock, with its far outlook over the waves, and pleasant vision of white surf running over the rocks, and still gulls seated thereon, was soon like hell itself, full of dark and evil faces.  Now Simon was attacked at back and front, as he stumbled back over the bodies; a great knife was thrust into his back, even as he faced a rogue before his face, and I saw the old faithful soul fall forward, and making a kind of stagger with his arms up, ere he fell, drop into the pool below.  So, according to his prayer, he died in the sea, and nobly, as any knight of great fame, was true to death.

Now, what of myself.  The villains would not kill me, though this they could have done many times.  Yet like a young lion I fought fiercely with my back against the rock, and I know not how many I slashed and cut with my weapon, till, with a swift stroke, one struck it out of my hand, and I seemed at their mercy.  But my great knife was in my hand in its place, and with that I hastened another of these evil men to his last account.  And then two, rushing at me from either side, pinioned me as I stood with a rope, and I, seeing no hope in struggling longer, like a naughty child, let myself be led or carried to their boat, and so taken on board the dark ship, whither they bore me.

And once on board they took little heed of me.  Only they bound me more securely with cords that cut my ankles, and threw me in a corner of their craft amid some baggage.  One that I judged to be Mahmud the Terrible came and gazed on me with a dark smile, but said no word.

Now, after two hours or more, I heard a voice say from the tiller, “Straight for St. Martin’s Point!” and in a short time we came to anchor in a certain harbour.  I know not of a surety, for mine eyes were blinded, but I guess it was Moulin Huet.  And presently I was partly unbound, set upon my feet, and made to walk.  So, blindfolded and miserable, I entered again that dear island, that I had left for Normandy but two nights before.


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The Fall of the Grand Sarrasin from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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