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The Crescent And The Cross


When Sir Hugh's kinsman, Sir John de Collingham, came back from the Holy Land, he brought with him a flag bearing the sign of a crescent, as shown in the illustration. It was noticed that De Fortibus spent much time in examining this crescent and comparing it with the cross borne by the Crusaders on their own banners. One day, in the presence of a goodly company, he made the following striking announcement:—

"I have thought much of late, friends and masters, of the conversion of the crescent to the cross, and this has led me to the finding of matters at which I marvel greatly, for that which I shall now make known is mystical and deep. Truly it was shown to me in a dream that this crescent of the enemy may be exactly converted into the cross of our own banner. Herein is a sign that bodes good for our wars in the Holy Land."

Sir Hugh de Fortibus then explained that the crescent in one banner might be cut into pieces that would exactly form the perfect cross in the other. It is certainly rather curious; and I show how the conversion from crescent to cross may be made in ten pieces, using every part of the crescent. The flag was alike on both sides, so pieces may be turned over where required.

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