THE BATTLE OF RONCEVALLES 197
Oliver had climbed a hill, from which he could see into the plains of Spain. ' Roland,' cried he, ' do you see those shining helmets and glittering swords ? It is Ganelon who has done this, and it was he who had you left here.'
' Be silent, Oliver,' answered Roland. ' He is my stepfather. I will not hear him ill spoken of.' Then Oliver went down the hill and told his soldiers what he had seen. ' No battle will ever be like this one,' he said; ' you will need all your strength to keep your ground and not be driven back.' ' Cursed be he who runs away,' answered they. ' There is not one of us but knows how to die.'
' The Infidels are many,' said Oliver again, ' and our Franks are but few. Roland, blow your horn; Charles will hear it and come to our help.'
' You are mad to say that,' replied Roland, ' for in France I should lose all my glory. No ; but my sword Durendal knows how to strike, and our Franks will fight hard, and with what joy ! It was an ill day for the Unbelievers when they came here, for none, I tell you, none will escape.'
' The Unbelievers are man}7-,' said Oliver again, ' and we are very few. Roland, my friend, sound your horn; Charles will hear it, and come to our help.'
' I should be mad if I did so,' answered Roland. ' In France, when they knew it, I should lose all my glory! No; but my sword Durendal knows how to strike, and