Bertrand du Guesclin – 22 June 1355
Only ten minutes made the difference between escape and capture.
They had only turned the first bend in the road when du Guesclin cautiously approached the village. He was still in a black rage as he searched for his prey. He promised himself that he would never again invove himself in any enterprise where he did not have total control. However he had only half the number of men he had earlier in the day. some he suspected had been killed but the others had simply run away.
He moved quietly round the outskirts of the village looking in barns and outhouses. Suddenly he found himself surrounded by a dozen soldiers. ‘Good morning gentlemen and to what may we owe the pleasure of your company?’
The soldiers were armed with pikes and crossbows. Du Guesclin realized immediately that resistance would be futile. ‘We are searching for two young people, a boy and a girl, who are heretics. I am acting for the Bishop of Palmiers’
Sabastien spoke lazily but came straight to the point. ‘That may be true but you may also be Routiers, making an assessment of what we have of value and planning a full scale raid later.’ He smiled but it was not a humorous smile. ‘I will tell you what I will do. We will hold you here and send for a member of the bishops staff who might verify the tale you tell.’
He paused. ‘The nearest point at which we could find such a representative would be Foix, but we may have to go all the way to Pamiers. It will take at least a day possibly longer.’
Du Guesclin’s eyes bulged. ‘If the heretics get away as a result of your interference it will not bode well for you.’
‘I do not intend to interfere with the churches work, so I will make a concession. I will allow you to put a man on the road either side of the village to ensure that no-one leaves. But you Monsieur and the rest of your associates will remain under my care until your credentials are verified. So you see.. I am not obstructing you activities.’
Du Guesclin promised himsel revenge at some time in the future but accepted the terms and asked Gerade to man the road to the east and Justin the road to the west. He found a moment to whisper in Gerade’s ear.
‘Do not wait on the outskirts of the village, ride along the road and check everything and everyone. If they are not here I think they will have gone east and there may be something which will give them away.’