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

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 507 pages of information about A Knight of the White Cross .
the breach over the deep ditch.  Maddened by fear, the fugitives strove to cut a way through their friends.  The whole of the defenders of the breach now fell upon the rear of the struggling mass, hewing them down almost without resistance, while the cannon from the walls and towers kept up an unceasing fire until the last survivors of what had become a massacre, succeeded in gaining their works beyond the ditch, and fled to their camp.  From every gateway and postern the knights now poured out, and, gathering together, advanced to the attack of St. Stephen’s Hill.  They met with but a faint resistance.  The greater portion of the disorganised troops had made no pause at their camp, but had continued their headlong flight to the harbour, where their ships were moored, Paleologus himself, heartbroken and despairing at his failure, sharing their flight.  The camp, with all its rich booty and the great banner of the pasha, fell into the hands of the victors, who, satisfied with their success, and exhausted by their efforts, made no attempt to follow the flying foe, or to hinder their embarkation; for even now the Turks, enormously outnumbering them as they did, might be driven by despair to a resistance so desperate as once again to turn the tide of victory.


Gervaise knew nothing at the time of the final result of the battle, for as soon as the knights had burst through the circle of his opponents, he sank insensible on the body of the grand master.  When he came to himself, he was lying on a bed in the hospital of the Order.  As soon as he moved, Ralph Harcourt, who was, with other knights, occupied in tending the wounded, came to his bedside.  “Thank God that you are conscious again, Gervaise!  They told me that it was but faintness and loss of blood, and that none of your wounds were likely to prove mortal, and for the last twelve hours they have declared that you were asleep:  but you looked so white that I could not but fear you would never wake again.”

“How is the grand master?” Gervaise asked eagerly.  Ralph shook his head.

“He is wounded sorely, Gervaise, and the leech declares that one at least of his wounds is mortal; still, I cannot bring myself to believe that so great a hero will be taken away in the moment of victory, after having done such marvels for the cause not only of the Order, but of all Christendom.”

“Then you beat them back again from the breach?” Gervaise said.

“That was not all.  They were in such confusion that we sallied out, captured their camp, with the pasha’s banner and an enormous quantity of spoil, and pursued them to their harbour.  Then we halted, fearing that they might in their desperation turn upon us, and, terribly weakened as we were by our losses, have again snatched the victory from our grasp.  So we let them go on board their ships without interference, and this morning there is not

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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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