The First Is A Large Mass, The
Second Very Much Smaller; The Queen Knew By That How Great Her Loss
Had Been, And Never Since Then Ventured Against The Gallas.
At Kimr Dengea Theodore fell in with a caravan of salt-merchants
on their route to Godjam.
He asked them why they went to the rebels
instead of coming to him. The chief of the caravan honestly replied
that they had heard from merchants that his Majesty was in the habit
of burning people alive, and consequently they were afraid to come
near him. Theodore said, "It is true I am a bad man, but if you had
trusted and come to me, I would have treated you well; but as you
prefer the rebels, I will take care that in future you do not go
to them." He then seized the salt and mules, sent all the merchants
into an empty house, had it surrounded with dry wood, put guards
at the door, and set fire to it.
The peasants of Gahinte, to whom Theodore offered an amnesty,
declined to accept it; on three occasions he issued a proclamation
offering them a free pardon should they return to him. At last,
however, they sent him some priests to see what terms he would make;
he received the priests well, and told them that he would not enter
Gahinte: he only required a few supplies; but to prove to him their
sincerity they must send from each village a person of influence
to reside in his camp until he left Begemder.
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