3 Recriminations

Bertrand du Guesclin – 21 June 1355

As dusk fell, Sir Bertrand du Guesclin made no attempt to hide his fury.

‘Gerade come here. Only three months ago I was selected by King John for this task. He picked me, knighted me in Paris specifically to perform this task. All I had to do was capture or kill a teenage girl.

Initially I wanted to capture her as I thought there was potential of obtaining a ransom. I failed. I then sent Thomas Bewsley into Château Foix, to murder her. He disapeared without trace. God knows what happened to him. Then we got a whisper about an escape attempt We were watching the Château, hoping to get a signal from Thomas, when all hell broke loose. It was difficult to tell what was going on.’

Guesclin paused and swivelled his head. ‘That is when you got involved.’

‘Yes you asked me to mingle with the riders as the rode away from Foix towards Montgilliard . The larger group went west towards St Gaudens the smaller group went east and came here to Montsegur. What was never clear to me was why you thought the girl was here? This group seemed to consist entirely of soldiers.’

‘I got some information from Thomas before he vanished that the girl might be heading here on her way to the Mediterranean coast. I personally interviewed the guards  on the barrier on the road to Monsegur. Somewhere around fifty riders passed through the barrier. Where would they be going? What were they doing? They were not behaving  rationally… unless they had a specific task.

‘But from that point onwards.?’

The plan was good, the execution dreadful. By morning we had the road to the east blocked.   We had more men on that narrow road than we really needed. The Inquisitor from Pamiers brough a substantial force which was supposed to surround the village and either capture them or drive them out. We had twenty men hidden in the woods to intercept any who tried to flee’

Gerade nodded. ‘I was one of those, We were to keep hidden and await those fleeing to the west.’

There were five mounted men preventing us reaching the village. To me it is obvious. The girl was in the village, but the inquisitor attacked an army and was shot to pieces.’

Gerade scratched his head ‘I don’t know but I will tell you this. The men just did not want to chase this girl any more. And do you know why? They are terrified. You explained to me the value of terror as a weapon. Well it is being used on us. Its the man on the grey horse. The one who uses the axes.

Du Guesclin snorted. ‘The Bodyguard we encountered at Muret. He is the girl’s bodyguard.

Gerade pursued his theme.

He does something which we don’t believe an ordinary human being can do, so we, they, the men are terrified. He can ride a horse using an axe in both hands… and the horse; it seems to understand what he is doing. It puts him in the ideal position for every conflict. And that’s not all.

Gerade adopted a conspiratorial tone.

‘Do you know why their leader is called the Black Prince?’

‘Is it just possible it is because he has very dark skin?’ Du Guesclin replied sarcastically.

‘No it’s because he dabbles in black magic. He casts spells. He can kill people just by thinking them dead. Those arrows could not have carried the distance they did today without the intervention of the devil.’

‘Arrrgh! Is that what the inquisitor told you? We here is some good news for you of the inqustors men managed to stick a pike into the man on the man on the gey horse.Those who saw it happen are sure the man on the grey horse will be badly wounded.’

‘It is another reason to believe that they will still be in the village.’

‘But I heard the same story. it was the hose which killed the inquistors man, trampled him to death.’

Get away from me, find my men and bring them back here. I will sleep here at the side of the track. tell them if they don’t come they will loose the share of the brotherhood’s prfits and I will hunt them down and kill them… and if you don’t bring them back you will suffer the same fate. ’

Du Guesclin paused. I will disembowel you and hold them in front of your face before I kill you.

Gerade knew from personal experience that du Guesclin was capable of doing almos anything. He attempted to buy some time.

‘Wouldn’t you like to find a room in an inn somewhere’

‘No! I don’t want to waste any time, They are probably still in the village but I can’t surround a village on my own!

The most dangerous woman in the world

The Treasure of Trencavel

List of Characters

Table Of Contents



List of Places

Table of Contents

Pseudo History


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.’

The Prisoner of FoixVol 1 of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

Aquitaine, an English possession, is in crisis. It is under threat from neighbouring nations and internal dissension.

The Black Prince, King Edward III’s eldest son has been given the task of taking command in Aquitaine.

Suddenly there is an opportunity. Ximene Trencavel is the heiress to the lands of Occitan, to the east of Aquitaine: lands controlled by the Franks. Ximene wants independence, both for herself and for Occitan.

A union between Aquitaine and Occitan would be mutually beneficial. The Black Prince undertakes a secret journey to meet Ximene to negotiate a marriage contract. It is, however, a marriage neither of them really wants.

Meanwhile, the  Franks plot to murder Ximene to prevent ,not just the marriage, but any kind of union between England and Occitan.

The Eagle Of CarcassonneVol II of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

The loose alliance between Ximene Trencavel and the Black Prince is under threat.

The Prince invades Occitan, to show his support for Ximene but it becomes an invasion which creates more problems than it solves.

The Prince has fallen hopelessly in love with Joan of Kent and Joan is now determined to marry him and become the next Queen of England.

Joan is therefore  determined to convince Ximene that she should not marry the Prince.

Part of her strategy is to encourage Ximene’s relationship with John Stanley—one of the Princes bodyguards—not an easy task as both John and Ximene have doubts about their compatibility.

However, John is grievously injured in a battle and Ximene commits herself to nurse him back to health.