Anything small and valuable was quickly hidden in pouches and folds of lupine skin - jewels that were the frozen tears of maidens, necklaces of twisted golden snakes, mined alive from the mineral-rich mountains to the north. Several men took weapons or shields, or strapped pieces of armour to their bodies, before pulling the coverings back.
Lawrence: Did Abu Tawi come to Aquaba for gold?
Abu Tawi: No. But gold is always honorable.
My wealth is here, the sword and spear, the breast-defending shield.
With this I plough, with this I sow, with this I reap the field.
With this I tread the luscious grape, and drink the red-blood wine;
And slaves around in order wait, and all are counted mine.
But he, who will not rear the lance upon the battlefield,
Nor sway the sword, nor stand behind the breast-defending shield.
On lowly knee must worship me with servile kiss adored.
And peal the cry of homage high, and hail me mighty lord.
— Translated from the Cretan poet, Hybrias. From The Culture of War by Martin van Crevald.