Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/430

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Robert the Bruce.

[1329 A.D.-

The flotilla remained twelve days at Sluys, in order to give other knights-errant the opportunity of joining in the adventure, but Douglas never left his ship. He received many visitors on board in princely fashion, keeping open table, and treating his guests with wines of two kinds and different kinds of spice.

Alfonso XI., King of Castile, being then at war with Osmyn, the Moorish Prince of Granada, Douglas before leaving Scotland had resolved to take part in that holy war, as it was considered, on his way to Jerusalem. So he sailed as far south as Seville, where, after resting awhile to restore men and horses from the fatigue of a stormy passage, he rode to King Alfonso's camp on the frontiers, and was received with much honour.

There were knights from many lands serving under the King of Castile, for the chivalry of Europe desired no better quarrel than that of a Christian monarch against the Paynim, wherein renown and ransom might be secured to make this life worth living, as well as salvation ensured for the life to come. By none of these foreign cavaliers was Douglas welcomed more heartily than by the English. Among these soldiers of fortune and the Cross there was one of wide-spread fame for his deeds of arms. Now it had been the fortune of this knight to receive so many wounds that his face was all hacked to pieces. He expressed a great desire to see Douglas, of whose renown he had heard so much, in order to compare notes on mutilation. Great was his surprise to find that there was not a single scar on the Scottish knight's visage. "Praised be God!" ex-