A Knight of the White Cross : a tale of the siege of Rhodes eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 431 pages of information about A Knight of the White Cross .
of the Order, alarm quickly changed into delight, the sharp, angry clang of the bells was succeeded by peals of gladness, and the joy of the citizens at being relieved from the cloud of anxiety that had hung over the city since my last visit, was unbounded.  I went at once to the council chamber, where I found many of the leading citizens already assembled, having been summoned in hot haste as soon as our approach was made out.  At first they were almost incredulous when I told them that every ship of the pirate fleet had been either destroyed or captured, and that the fleet in the offing consisted entirely of your galley and the thirteen corsairs she had captured.  As soon as they really grasped the fact, they sent off messengers to the churches to order the joy bells to be rung, and to the dockyard to arrest all work upon the galleys.  Then I had to give them a short account of the surprise and destruction of the corsair fleet, and finally they begged me to ask you to delay your entry to the port for a couple of hours, in order that they might have time to prepare a suitable reception for you.”

“I suppose there is no help for it,” Gervaise said.  “Is there anything that we ought to do?”

“I should decorate the galley with all the flags on board:  should set every one to work to make great flags with the cross of the Order to hoist to the masthead of the prizes, instead of the little things that are now flying; and under them we will hoist the flags of the corsairs, among which are those of Tripoli, Tunis, and Algiers.  I do not know that there is aught else we can do.”

CHAPTER XVI FESTIVITIES

At last the fleet, headed by the galley, to which all the knights had returned, rowed towards the port.  A gun flashed out from the fort at its entrance, and at once those from all the other batteries responded; bells pealed out again, and a confused roar of cheering broke from the crowds occupying every spot from which a view of the harbour could be obtained.  The ships in the port were all decked with flags, and the front windows and balconies of every house were hung with tapestries and bright curtains.  As soon as the galley entered the port, a state barge, flying the flag of the Republic, advanced to meet her from the wharf.  As she approached, Ralph gave orders for the oars to be laid in, and the barge was soon alongside.  The knights were already ranged along the poop, and, accompanied by Ralph and Caretto, Gervaise moved to the gangway to receive the visitors.  At their head was Battista Fragoso, the doge, in his robe of state, and following him were a body of the highest nobles of Genoa, all brilliant in gala costume.

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A Knight of the White Cross : a tale of the siege of Rhodes from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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