54 Surveillance

He breathed a sigh of relief as he recognised the Prince arriving on foot at the gate. He marvelled that a man of his status should travel unaccompanied. Someday he would make him pay for that careless attitude.

Bertrand du Guesclin-13th May 1355

Across the street from the Prince’s house in La Réole, Bertrand du Guesclin yawned noisily. He rolled over and surveyed his surroundings; the dirty bedroom and unmade bed of a tawdry inn.

He glanced at the primitive sideboard complete with a pink earthenware jug and bowl, both chipped and matching the chamber pot under his bed. He knew that the jug and bowl would not be used. Here, no one expected him to wash or comb his hair.

During his journey south he had spent some time in the border areas and had decided that the remit he had been given by Jacques de Bourbon was like a licence to print money. He had made contact with several companies of routiers and decided that what he was looking for was a band who were relatively poorly organised on whom he could impose his will. Once he had proved how effective his leadership could be, he could then extend his influence on better-organised companies, possibly by exterminating their current leadership.

In the meantime, there was a relatively boring task of finding and killing a teenage girl. There would be a substantial pay packet and who knew what fiendish delights could occur during the final coup de grace, but right now he considered it the most boring task he had ever undertaken.

Once he had discovered that Joan was headed for Bordeaux he had known where she could be found. From the time had been driven away from her by William Montacute, he had researched her movements. Given the right inducement, people were always prepared to talk. He knew about the ships Joan used and the location of the Prince’s houses at La Réole and the Château Levison.

He had spent two days watching the two houses. It did not take long to discover that there was no-one in residence at the Château. On his return to La Réole, he had advice from the local butcher that the only occupant of the townhouse was une jolie fille. Du Guesclin was not sure that at the age of twenty-seven, Joan still qualified as a fille but he knew it would be her. He discovered that although the house was not fortified, it was well-guarded. He made no attempt to test out the security.

At the end of the first day, he caught a glimpse of Joan in the courtyard. Any desire to thrust himself upon Joan was dismissed out of hand; for now, his interest lay in finding the Prince. Having seen Joan, he was confident that he would find the Prince here, but as the days passed and became a week he felt a twinge of anxiety; his whole plan depended on following the Prince to his ultimate destination.


He breathed a sigh of relief as he recognised the Prince arriving on foot at the gate. He marvelled that a man of his status should travel unaccompanied. Someday he would make him pay for that careless attitude, but for now, he was content. He fell asleep.

The most dangerous woman in the world

The Treasure of Trencavel

List of Characters

Table Of Contents

References

characters

List of Places

Table of Contents

Reference

Extract from The Prisoner of Foix--Chapter 43 -The EntranceNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley-26th April 1355

 

'Looks like we are going to see a bit of excitement, John. The Captain tried to get an agreement from the Prince that if there is surf running across the channel to Arcachon we will turn back to Bordeaux, but the Prince would hear none of it. Instead, he has offered to provide insurance for all three ships. If they are damaged or sunk, the owners will be compensated and every sailor who makes the passage will be given a bounty payment. What none of this seems to take into account is that if we sink in rough, fast-flowing waters we might all drown.'

John raised his eyebrows. 'But that is what we are going to do?'

'Yes, despite the fact that surf running accross the entrance is not uncommon and the deep water channel moves continually. In the end, the Prince attacked their captains on their weakest point, their professional pride! He threw down the gauntlet. He offered to take the Sally first through the channel, and to take control during the passage.' He raised his brow. 'We are going into the Bay of Arcachon, come what may! '

Extract from The Eagle of Carcassone -- Chapter 24-- A Real GoddessNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley - 22 July 1355

An hour later John walked with Ximene close to the river along the valley below St Feriole. It was the very essence of a summer’s day. The sun was fierce but in the shadow of the trees, it was cool and fragrant. The trees and shrubs along the riverbank hid their progress, from the Château, from St Feriole.

Eventually they reached a point where John thought it was safe to emerge from cover. To his satisfaction the stream extended into a pool with a sandy beach, shaded by trees. Where the stream entered the pool there was a flat grassy area, almost circular. Behind this, the bulk of two mountain ridges provided a splendid backdrop. 

He looked around once more ‘Not just a good training ground but a great training ground. If the Greek heroes knew about this they might be tempted to join me, to train with me’

Ximene laughed out loud. He turned to look at her. She had removed her outer clothes and was wearing a white chemise, cut short so that it barely reached her knees. Around her waist, she wore a plaited leather belt, obviously fashioned from the multitude of leather straps to be found in the tackle room.

She ran her hands down over her breasts. ‘When you were unconscious I heard you muttering about gods and goddesses, so  I have decided that from now on, for you, I will be the goddess.’