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dismay, faced about to encounter those who were attacking them in the rear at the same time responding to their cries, in faint and despairing exclamations of “Allah kierim,” God is great! With the quickness of thought, I comprehended whence our deliverance had come, and uttering a few words of encouragement to Haroun, we roused the remainder of our strength for a fresh effort. But, as far as we were concerned, the strife was at an end; the icy hand of terror had frozen the energies of our foes, who, giving up all for lost, suffered themselves to be hewed down, almost without resistance, by those who, in our last extremity, had come to our aid. Oh, Destiny! how strangely dost thou work ! how resistless is thy power!
A horrid scene now ensued. The Turks, as they show no mercy, scorn to ask it. Entangled in the copse, and exhausted with the struggle, they must have seen that escape was impossible, had they even thought of such a thing; which, in truth, they almost never do, for they are among the bravest of human beings. In those who had so opportunely ranged themselves on our aide, they had men to deal with after their own fashion; men nurtured to violence, and trained to consider it as meritorious to spill Moslemin blood. No quarter was asked or given; and the whole party, with the exception of one or two of their scouts who had continued on horseback at a little distance, were butchered with
remorseless fury. I could with difficulty restrain Haroun from participating in the carnage.
By this time you will doubtless have divined whence our most seasonable deliverance came. The shepherd, who had thrown himself in our way to warn us of our danger, disappeared the instant the conflict began; but meeting a party of the banditti whom the noise of the firing had alarmed and drawn from their retreat, he hastily told them that three of their associates were attacked by at least twenty Turks, well mounted and armed; and that unless they used the utmost expedition, their comrades would be overpowered and murdered. was enough. You know the rest,
When the work of slaughter was finished, they discovered the ruse of the shepherd, but expressed no resentment on that account, although one of their number had been grievously wounded by a shot fired at random in the melée. On the contrary, the person who, from his superb equipments and the tone of command with which he spoke, appeared to be the chief, came up to me as I lay upon the ground, with an expression of rough kindness in his looks, and proceeded to examine carefully the nature of my wounds; after which he went to the dead body of my servant, the Albanian costume having apparently attracted his observation, and surveying the features for a while with fixed attention, he suddenly started as if from a profound reverie-dashed his
helmet and sabre to the earth-knelt down beside the lifeless corpse-and, exclaiming in an agony of grief, "My ancient comrade!" burst into tears. The robbers clustered around him in respectful silence, their rugged countenances wearing the expression of deep sympathy. What a group, and what a contrast! Figure to yourself the men who, only a few short minutes before, had recklessly plunged into a mortal strife, and whose blades were still reeking with the blood they had so mercilessly shed, bending over the dead body of a former associate in the subdued attitude of grief, while tears streamed from the eyes of their daring leader; imagine the rapid transition from the fury of the combat, and the enormities that followed, to the melting tenderness of real sorrow; picture to yourself all this, with its accompaniments, and you will not wonder that, though half fainting from exhaustion and loss of blood, the scene powerfully affected me. Human feeling, thought I, is never altogether extinguished, even in the most desperate natures; some bright green oasis, pleasant to the eye, and soothing to the spirit, may be discovered even in the most barren and desolate hearts.
After a little time spent in gazing earnestly on the countenance of my brave and unfortunate attendant, which, though now fixed in death, still wore the expression of stern devotion and heroic courage, the arch-bandit rose from his kneeling posture, and turning to me, said, "Be of good cheer, your
wounds are mere sabre cuts, and not dangerous; you shall be properly cared for:" and after a brief pause, May I inquire," he added, "the name of the brave man I have now the honour to address, and by whose side my ancient comrade has fallen ?" I had scarcely strength enough remaining to answer his question." Phanarioti!" he exclaimed with amazement; "blessed be the Panagia for this hour! Have you forgotten the wretch with the plague spot upon him, abandoned-condemned to die a horrible death, yet saved by the intrepid hu manity of a countryman-yourself? That wretch is now before you-is called Montenero-and, so fortune, hard fortune, has willed it, is the chief of a gang of robbers; but though a brigand and an outlaw, he has never been ungrateful, and now renders thanks to Heaven for this opportunity of doing somewhat in aquittance of an old and sacred debt." "I had thoughts," he added, "of chastising the knave who led us to embark in a fruitless combat ; but I will reward him for his fortunate lie; he shall have that which will buy him a crook of gold!" So saying, he pulled a small flask from his pouch, filled it with water from the rock, and gave it me to drink. Never draught was more grateful to the lips of mortal man; for to know what thirst is, one must have crossed the Great Desart, or been wounded in battle. He then very adroitly and expeditiously dressed and bandaged the sabre gashes in my head and arms; and having ordered his people to catch some
of the stray horses, caused me to be placed on one which he pointed out, with a brigand on each side to support me. Inca few minutes we set forward at a space I could ill endure; but the chief seemed anxious to clear the defiles with as little delay as possible, and I submitted without a murmur. To wards the close of our journey, however, I becamé quite insensible; and when my recollection returned, I found myself on a sort of couch in a wretched hut, with the chief standing in an anxious attitude by my side.
As Montenero had predicted, my wounds soon began to close; and being supplied with every little delicacy he could procure for me, my strength recruited daily. He invariably brought me food and drink with his own hand; took an evident pleasure in doing me every little office which he thought could contribute to my ease; and, in short, watched over me as a parent watches over the sick-bed of an only child.