66 THE TRAVELS OF
And whilst they abode there the Cadi went to the Melic and said : " What are we about ? for the law of Machomet is going to destruction unless something else be done. For these Frank Rabbans will now go preaching through the whole country, and as they have done such great marvels here which the whole of the people have seen, all will be converted to them, and so the law of Machomet will lose all power. And that this be not so there is a thing you ought to consider, and that is that Machomet path ordered in the Alchoran (i.e. in his law) that if any one shall slay a Christian he shall have as much merit as if he had gone to Mecha." (Now ye must know that Alchoran is the law of the Saracens as the Gospel is the law of the Christians ; and Mecha is the place where Machomet is buried, and the Saracens go there on pilgrimage just as Christians go to the Sepulchre.)1
Then the Melic answered the Cadi : " Go then and do as thou wilt."
10. The same history continued.
And when he had thus spoken the Cadi immediately took four armed men and sent them to slay the friars. But by the time these men had crossed the water it was night, and so at that late hour they could not find them. And now the Melic caused all the Christians who were in the city to be seized and put in prison. But when midnight was come the friars got up to say matins, and so the men who had been sent to slay them discovered where they were, and took them away outside the town beneath a certain tree, and said to them : " Ye must know that we have orders from the Cadi and the Melic to slay you ; and we are reluctant to do it, for ye are good and holy men. But we can do no otherwise.
1 It" is curious how persistently the error of Mahommed's being buried at Mecca was repeated. Even Mandeville, who had served the Saracens in Egypt, repeats it.