Saracens. And there may still have been living some old, old men or women who could tell Ferdinand stories of the 24th of May (anniversary of the battle) as it was observed each year until the Revolution of 1789. At the southern extremity of the battlefield there stood for many generations a gigantic equestrian statue, of wood, representing the holy warrior, Missolin, rallying his flock to rout the unbelievers. And in the presence of a great concourse singing songs of grateful praise to Missolin, his statue was crowned with garlands by young maidens wearing the picturesque gala dress of that vicinity.
Some forty-odd years after Missolin's victory, Charlemagne went with his twelve knights and his great army through Tarbes on his way to Spain to fight the Moors. And when that ill-starred expedition was defeated and its warriors bold were fleeing back to France, Roland--so the story goes--finding no pass in the Pyrénées where he needed one desperately, cleaved one with his sword Durandal.
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