Margery travels to Mount Quarentyne or the Mount of Temptation where Christ fasted for forty days from the River Jordan. How long this would have taken them depends upon which spot on the Jordan River they had been visiting. Mount Quarentyne is said to be a hill in the Judean desert that supposedly towers over the town of Jericho in the West Bank. It’s exact location is unbeknownst to us today. Assuming Margery and her company walked to Jericho from the piece of the Jordan River closest to it, this journey is only about 6 miles and thus probably took about an hour to an hour and a half by foot. Margery does remark as she departs from the River Jordan that the weather was so hot she thought “her feet would be burn because of the heat” (110). This is one of the only descriptions of weather Margery ever gives. Kempe describes Mount Quarentyne as being very steep and difficult to climb. Her companions refused to help Margery up the mountain because they could “scarcely help themselves” (110). Eventually, she pays a handsome Muslim man a small sum of money and he assists her up the Mount. Kempe then describes that she became very thirsty and that by the grace of God, the Grey Friars (Franciscan Friars) took pity on her and comforted her even though her own countrymen did not acknowledge her.
Once again, Margery continues to make a cultural commentary on her fellow pilgrims in that they do not assist her or sympathize with her in her times of need (when she has trouble climbing and is extremely thirsty). By detailing that a Muslim man assists her and that Grey Friars comforted her, Margery is throwing serious shade on her fellow pilgrims and countrymen, portraying them as ungodly. Even a man who does not see Jesus Christ as the Savior bothers to help Margery (if for a small payment) but her “religiously motivated” companions will not. While the Crusades ended over 100 years prior to Margery’s text that was dictated in the 1430s, it is notable that Kempe describes the Saracen man as handsome and portrays him as strong and helpful, considering he practically carries her up a large mountain younger people in good health are struggling to climb. Margery seems to have no animosity for this man of another faith, and because he treats her well, it is almost as though she sees God within his actions even though she cannot see this in her companions who constantly berate and ignore her. I think this is not only an insult to her fellow English pilgrims, but a compliment to the Muslims of Jerusalem, in that Margery trusts them to assist her up to a holy site. The animosity of the Crusades is not felt in Kempe’s particular description of a Muslim man on page 110 of her text. Considering we still see animosity between Christians and Muslims of the world today, I think it would be far-fetched to see this as a scenario in which racism towards Muslim communities or animosity between the two religions didn’t exist. However, I think it does say something about Margery’s faith in that she is able to see her Christian God working in (and believes the Christian God can work through) a man not of Christian faith.