Turks Franks Cumans and Manichaeans part 8

Then they brought other jars containing a great deal of naphtha which caught the fire and made the flames shoot up into the air and converted the Franks’ engines into ashes. And the light of the breaking day mingled with the light from the towering blaze of the wooden sheds. Thus Balduinus! soldiers reaped the fruits of the carelessness in which they had indulged and of which they repented now that the smoke and fire shewed them the result. Some of the soldiers standing near the sheds were taken captive, six in number, and on seeing them the Tyrian governor had their heads cut off and shot into Balduinus’ camp from catapults.

When the soldiers saw the fire and the heads they were seized with panic, jumped on their horses and fled as if utterly terrified by those heads, although Balduinus rode to and fro among them and called back the fugitives and tried to embolden them in every way. But ‘he was singing to deaf men’; for once they had abandoned themselves to flight, they kept steadily on their course and seemed swifter than any bird. And the goal of their course was the fortress locally called Ace, for that appeared to those cowardly runagates like a tower of refuge. Then in despair and at an utter loss Balduinus, though unwillingly, followed the fleeing soldiers and likewise ran away, to the city mentioned.

Emperor had already reached Seleucia

Meanwhile Buturnites; embarked on his Cyprian ships (they were twelve in all) and sailed along the coast towards Ace, and there met Balduinus and then reported to him all the Emperor had ordered him to say ; but he supplemented his speech by saying that the Emperor had already reached Seleucia. This was not true at all but just an artifice to frighten the barbarian and make him dismiss him quicly. But Balduinus was not deceived by this dodge, and rebuked Butumites sternly for having lied. For he had already received information from elsewhere of the Emperor’s doings, namely that he had gone down to the long coast, suppressed the pirate-ships which were ravaging those shores, and then returned home from there because he was ill (about this we will speak more in detail later on).

With this information Balduinus contradicted Butumites, and after censuring him for his false statement, said, “You must come with me to the Holy Sepulchre and from there I will send ambassadors to carry our decisions to the Emperor.” Directly they reached the Holy City, he demanded the money which the Emperor had sent. Butumites said, ” If you promise that you will help the Emperor against Tancred and thus keep the oath which you made with him when you passed through, then you shall receive the money which was sent for you without delay.” Balduinus however was anxious to get the money although eager to help Tancred and not the Emperor, and when he did not get it, he was annoyed.

Read More about The Revolt of the Comneni part 13

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