29 Common Knowledge

‘People are not sure he is a real person. Whenever anyone escapes from the Inquisition, credit is given to Don Fernandino. People assign him the supernatural powers of being able to appear and disappear at will.’

Ximene Trencavel – 17th March 1355

Later in the day, Ximene patted the bed. ‘Come Pipa, sit beside me, there is something I must tell you.’

Pipa obeyed instantly, almost jumping onto the bed, swivelling as she did so, lifting a leg, drawing it in, cuddling her knee in her arms and resting her chin on it.


‘Well?’

‘I think you know that I have been proposed as the future wife of the Black Prince?’

Pipa chuckled. ‘I could hardly have missed it.’

‘And that I have insisted that certain conditions must be met before I would agree to such a marriage?’

Pipa chuckled again. ‘I could hardly have missed it. Alyse cannot stop talking about it.’

‘And that I will meet the Prince during the Count’s summer hunt?’

‘Common knowledge.

At Muret?

‘Well, sort of, yes. Not directly but lots of people are helping to make preparations for the hunt and yes, I believe it will be at Muret, which incidentally is very close to my father’s castle at Beaufort.’ Pipa lifted her other leg onto the bed and fell back against the pillows, hands now behind her head. ‘What are you driving at Ximene? Suddenly I feel nervous. What have you not told me?’

Ximene paused. She rolled over to lie alongside Pipa. ‘When I leave for the hunt I will never return to Foix, I intend to use the hunt to escape from the Comte’s control.’

‘Where will you go?’

‘Sicily, but it will be as if I have vanished without a trace. Once I am free I will then conduct negotiations with the Black Prince.’ Ximene kissed Pipa’s cheek. ‘I am telling you this because I want you to know that I am not abandoning our relationship, that it is precious to me. I will find a way of letting you know where I am so that you may then join me.’

Pipa sat bolt upright, ‘But how are you going to do this? The Comte will not allow it, he will stop you.’

‘No he will not. I will have help, Guillam and Don Fernandino.’

‘Don Fernandino!’ Pipa shrieked. ‘People are not sure he is a real person. Whenever anyone escapes from the Inquisition, credit is given to Don Fernandino. People assign him the supernatural powers of being able to appear and disappear at will. Without such powers, many of his escapes seem impossible.’ She shook her head. ‘He is then a real person?’

‘Yes, he is a real person.’

The most dangerous woman in the world

The Treasure of Trencavel

List of Characters

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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.’