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34880Y172 When Minstrels Visited The Castle, .....

Q&@

THEY USUALLY SANG
ABOUT THE BRAVE CRUSADERS
WHO FOUGHT IN THE HOLY LAND!
When John went to church, he enjoyed
looking at the stained-glass Windows: one showed Godfrey of Bouillon
riding a horse & impaling a very wicked-looking Muslim on his lance! Another showed the souls of sinners
BURNING IN HELL! John listened attentively to the local priest, thé most learned man who knew? Almost every
Sunday, the Priest explained - with the help of well-crafted parables & hilarious jokes - that there was absolutely
nó salvation outside the Holy Catholic Church, thàt the POPE IN ROME was our holy father & that we always had
to obey Hìs Còmmands! Ìf we mùrdered or stóle, God would send us to hell; but if we killed infidel Muslims, God
would welcome us to heaven! So one day when Johnboy was just turning eighteen a disheveled knight rode to
the Castle's Gate, & a choked voice announced Thé News: SALADIN HAS DESTROYED THE CRUSADER ARMY @
HATTIN! JERUSALEM HAS FALLEN! THE POPE HAS DECLARED A NEW CRUSADE, PROMISING ETERNAL
SALVATION TO ANY-ONE WHO DIES IN IT! All around people looked shocked & worried, but John's face lìt ùp
in an otherworldly glow & he proclaimed: I AM GOING TO FIGHT THE INFIDELS & LIBERATE THE HOLY LAND!'
Everyone fell silent for a moment, & then smiles & tears appeared on their faces! His mother wiped her eyes,
gáve Johnboy a big hug & told him how proud she was of hìm! His father gave him a mighty pat on the back,
& said: 'IF ONLY I WAS YOUR AGE, SON, I WOULD JOIN YOU! OUR FAMILY'S HONOUR IS AT STAKE - I AM SURE
YOU WON'T DISAPPOINT US!' Two of his friends announced that they were coming too! Even John's sworn rival,
the baron on the other side of the river, paid a visit to wìsh hìm Godspeed...