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The Pilgrim's Shell or Fergan the Quarryman
A Tale from the Feudal Times

written by "De Leon, Daniel, 1852-1914"
...ders, running up from the other end of the street and marching towards the large square, passed by shouting: "The people of Tancred are pillaging the Mosque of Omar. * * * By all the saints of Paradise and all the devils of hell, we want our part of the booty!" "And we stay here amusing ourselves with corpses!" cried out the butchers under Peter the Hermit's terrace. "Let's on to the mosque! To the sack! To the sack!" Again Fergan was carried by the torrent of the crowd and arrived upon a spacious square littered with Saracen corpses, seeing that, after the assault had succeeded, the Saracens had retreated, fighting from street to street, and drawn themselves up before the mosque, where a last battle was delivered. At that place, these heroes were all killed defending the temple, the refuge of the women, the children and the old men, too feeble to fight, and who relied upon the pity and mercy of the vanquishers. Easier far had it been to excite the pity of a hungry tiger than that of the Crusaders. Several tiers of marble stairs led down to the Mosque of Omar, whose floor was about three feet below the level of the street. Such had been the butchery indulged in by the Crusaders, and so much blood had run down into the temple, which measured more than one thousand feet in circumference, that the blood, rising above the first stairs, began to run over into the square. The interior of the Mosque of Omar offered to the eye but one vast sheet of blood, still warm, and the vapor of which rose like a light mist above an innumerable mass of corpses, here wholly, yonder only partially submerged in the red lake, where heads and members hacked from the trunk with hatchets, were seen floating at large. Of the Crusaders who entered the Mosque of Omar for pillage, some waded in blood to their waists. The warmth of the flowing blood and the site of the shocking butchery made Fergan reel with dizziness. His heart thumped against his ribs and his ...

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