Post-classical history

§ Jum’a Flees from Battle

When the battle was over and the Franks withdrew, Jum’a (may God have mercy upon him) came to me and apologized for his son Mahmud, saying, ‘That dog fled from your side!’

‘And what of it?’ I replied.

‘He flees from you and you say, “What of it?”’ he said.

‘By your life, Jum’a,’ I swore, ‘one day you too will flee from my side.’

‘It shames me to think it!’ he replied. ‘By God, my death would be easier for me to bear than fleeing from you.’

Only a few days had passed when the cavalry of Hama made a raid on us. They took a herd of cattle from us and penned it in on the island below Jalali Mill, and their archers climbed up on the mill85 in order to protect the herd. So I went over to them, with Jum’a and Shuja’ al-Dawla Madi, one of our adopted men, a man of courage.86

I said to the two of them, ‘Let’s cross the river and go and get our animals.’ So we crossed over.

As for Madi, his horse was struck by an arrow, which eventually killed it. But first the horse struggled on and carried Madi back to his comrades. As for me, my horse was struck by an arrow at the nape of its neck, the arrow penetrating a span’s-depth. But, by God, it neither shied nor was disturbed, nor even showed that it felt the wound. As for Jum’a, he turned back in fear for his horse.

When we returned I said, ‘Jum’a, didn’t I tell you that you would flee from my side, when you were heaping blame on your son Mahmud?’

‘By God,’ he replied, ‘I was afraid of nothing except for my horse. She is precious to me.’ And he apologized.

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