Victory over the Turks part 19

He had indeed sent scouts ahead to look round and see whether any enemies had come out foraging. The scouts met Masut already approaching with a large army and after conversing with him, they agreed to his designs upon Saisan, and returned and assured the latter that they bad not seen anyone. Saisan believed their report and was journeying on unconcernedly when the barbarian forces, of Masat met him. Running out from the rank a man called Gazes, the son of [407] the satrap Asan Catuch, whom Saisan bad killed some time before, struck him with his spear. Saisan turned round quickly and snatched the spear from Gazes’ hands, saying, “I did not know that even women bear spears against us now,” and then he fled taking the road back to the Emperor.

Very near Philomelium

But he was checked by Pucheas, who had long ago joined Masut’s party though pretending to be Saisan’s friend, and now came forward and suggested a better plan. But in reality he was [laying] snares and digging a pit for him, he advised him not to return to the Emperor, but to turn aside a little from the road and enter Tyragium, a small town situated very near Philomelium. Saisan, the fool, followed Pucheas’ advice and on reaching Tyragium, was received pleasantly by the Roman inhabitants who knew the Emperor’s goodwill towards him. Soon the barbarians arrived and Masut encircled the walls and got ready for a siege. Then Saisan looked down from the walls and violently upbraided his fellow-barbarians, saying that the Roman forces with the Emperor were close at hand, and if they did not desist from fighting, they would suffer the worst.

And the Romans inside resisted the Turks bravely. Pucheas who now shed his disguise and openly revealed the wolf hidden under his skin, came down from the walls after promising Saisan to encourage the inhabitants to make a bolder resistance, but really he threatened them, advising them to submit and open their gates to the Tarks, if they did not wish to fall victims to the barbarians for many forces were already on their way from Chorosan itself. And they, partly through fear of the multitude of barbarians, and partly because they were persuaded by Pucheas’ advice, granted the Turks entry. The latter seized the Sultan Saisan and put out his eyes, and as they had not got the instrument used for this purpose, the candelabrum given to Saisan by the Emperor served as the instrument.

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