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By Gwen McKinley

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As now the boys looked across the deep ditch filled with sea water, the Saracen camp, like that of the crusaders, seemed a town of tents. There were fewer fluttering banners and pennons than those of the Christians, but many of the tents were striped with gay colors and gorgeously furnished within. Indeed, if our two pages could have peeped into that belonging to the Sultan Saladin, camped with his hosts on the hills beyond the city, they would have fairly gasped at the magnificence of it, for the people of the far East have always loved color and gold and gems, and Saladin's tent was much more splendid than even the handsome ones of the crusading kings.

But they did not turn back. The princes and knights set to work to raise great armies, and knights and soldiers from other countries joined them. " Long and hard was the journey; thousands died on the way from sickness and hardships and fighting enemies in countries through which they passed. But at last the crusaders reached Palestine, which they finally conquered after many months of gallant fighting. Indeed, the fame of the heroes of that first crusade is still handed down in poetry and stories.

Many of them even sold all they had and spent their time making pilgrimages from one holy place to another; for they believed that to go on foot and pray at these shrines would benefit them greatly in the life to come. Some went to shrines of saints near their homes, some to the city of Rome and elsewhere; but of course the most sacred place of all to visit was Jerusalem, where is the tomb of our Saviour. To pray at this, the Holy Sepulchre, as it was most often called, these pilgrims longed to do more than anything else.

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A Problem in Card Shuffling by Gwen McKinley


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