The Tiger and the Cauldron(35)

Chapter 35 TALAQAN Ghazan had launched everything into the attack. His archers in two pincer waves strove to cut into Baidu’s flanks while five thousand heavy cavalrymen from the Khorasan tumen mounted two charges against the enemy’s front ranks. Rashid watched apprehensively from the hilltop. The last hour had been one of inactivity for him …

Continue reading The Tiger and the Cauldron(35)

The Tiger and the Cauldron(34)

Chapter 34 QAZVIN The western walls of Qazvin looked very strong and forbidding, thought Hassan, and the gate, one of seven round the city, very small and narrow. Doquz, crouching ten paces away, her eyes fixed frowningly on the guards’ positions, seemed to be above fear. It was beyond him to understand what she had …

Continue reading The Tiger and the Cauldron(34)

The Tiger and the Cauldron(33)

Chapter 33 Doquz squatted in the shade of the battlements and covered her face with her hands. ‘Was that very foolish, Sabbah?’ she asked. ‘The man’s attitude infuriated me but I should not have reacted as I did.’ ‘Foolish or not, they have gone, or will have gone soon,’ Hassan said. ‘Zanjani had only contempt …

Continue reading The Tiger and the Cauldron(33)

The Tiger and the Cauldron(32)

Chapter 32 TALAQAN Ghazan’s forces had twice driven a wedge into the centre of Baidu’s army and twice they had been driven back. Twice his regiments of picked archers had closed on the enemy flanks like the claws of a gigantic eagle, releasing hail after hail of arrows into their midst, and twice they had …

Continue reading The Tiger and the Cauldron(32)

The Tiger and the Cauldron(31)

Chapter 31 Dawn came too quickly for Hassan. He had hardly slept but his body felt warm and alive. Doquz lay close to him beneath the double blanket, her wounded arm still wrapped round his chest, one knee pressing against his belly and her cheek nuzzling his chin. Over the last fortnight the growth of …

Continue reading The Tiger and the Cauldron(31)

The Tiger and the Cauldron(30)

Chapter 30 Note: the parasang is an old Persian measure of distance, equal to about 5.5 kilometres The mechanism built by the Assassins for drawing water had long been dismantled, however a search of the caves uncovered some urns and wine casks abandoned by later occupiers of the fortress. Most were damaged or wasted beyond …

Continue reading The Tiger and the Cauldron(30)

The Tiger and the Cauldron(28)

Chapter 28 THE VALLEY OF THE ASSASSINS The rock on which the once impregnable fortress of Alamut stood lay in the heart of the Alburz Mountains. There were many such rocks and many such fortresses in the region, but three had earned a place in popular myth, Lamasar, Maymun-Diz and Alamut itself - last bastions …

Continue reading The Tiger and the Cauldron(28)

The Tiger and the Cauldron(26)

Chapter 26 Sabbah and Nazim raised the portcullis. Khumar, having despatched the one remaining guard with his sword, descended to ground level and went to calm the terrified ponies. The commotion had drawn some servants from the villa and they watched these proceedings from the inner gate, perplexed and reluctant to intervene. Doquz got to …

Continue reading The Tiger and the Cauldron(26)