98 The Preferred Solution

‘ Once we have our person inside, Ximene is as good as dead. It won’t be anything sophisticated. He will grab her from behind and slit her throat.’

Bertrand du Guesclin-10th June 1355

Bertrand Du Guesclin had returned to Pamiers and sought out John Stuart.’It just didn’t work.’

As usual, Stuart looked surprised. ‘What do you mean?’

‘I spent several days watching the hunt. The first problem was just finding the Trencavel girl. Du Guesclin wrinkled his nose. ‘It wasn’t as if she was in the forest on her own. There were at least a hundred, perhaps more, involved in the hunt.

The Cardinal’s informer, what’s his name… Dominic gave us good information; she rides a grey horse. With that information, we were able to pinpoint her location. Every day, she started off surrounded by guards but then she rode away from them, so there was certainly an opportunity. Dominic then gave us a specific location for the hunt on a specific day.’

Stuart blinked an eye. ‘So what went wrong?’

‘We made a total mess of it. ‘The girl herself is somewhat different from what I had been lead to expect. She is a very good horsewoman and not exactly defenceless. She has a crossbow and she can use it. She personally killed one of my men without giving it a second thought. Also, After the Prince arrived, she was given a personal guard, one of the Prince’s men. Also rides a grey horse. Formidable.’


‘If I say formidable, I mean formidable. He uses axes, he put the fear of god into my men.’

‘So what can I do to help?’

‘I have given up on the plan of kidnapping the girl. We now know, again through Dominic, that she is being taken back to Château Foix. I will settle for the bounty on her head. It looks to me as though she will marry the Black Prince and be whisked off to England. We will get no chance to deliver her to the Inquisition, so I will provide an assassin and need him to be able to access the Château.’

‘What can I do about that?’ John Stuart asked.

Du Guesclin glared at him. ‘Don’t be stupid. Dominic has been supplying us with information. Now I want to use him to get somebody into the Château. The Château might need additional cooks for a big feast … anything! Once we have our person inside, Ximene is as good as dead. It won’t be anything sophisticated. He will grab her from behind and slit her throat.’

The most dangerous woman in the world

The Treasure of Trencavel

List of Characters

Table Of Contents



List of Places

Table of Contents


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.’