John’s assessment had proved to be correct. They had reached the ‘La Place de L’Aigle Dor’ with the curtains singed extensively on the outside but still wet. In the square, there were still people running in every direction, some trying to save themselves, others trying to save their belongings. The centre of the square was piled with people’s most precious possessions and a growing group who realised that they would be safe there. The south side of the square was ablaze but the fire was concentrated in propert fronting onto the square itself.
It proved easy to leave the Bastide via the Eastern gate. From there they avoided the crowds using the bridge towards La Cité and walked the horses across further downstream. As they had climbed the hill at the far side of the river they became aware the Prince’s army watching from the ridge.
The blazon of Aquitaine gave away the position of the Prince himself. Early the next day Don Fernandino and John paid their respects to the Prince.
Once again he was polite but formal.
“ How is Ximene? Can she travel? What should we do next” He gave them no time for a reply
“I need to stay here for a few days to arrange for an orderly retreat to Bordeaux and to make sure we are safe whilst we are recovering the treasure. I have also sent out riders to collect as many loose horses as possible. The Earl has told me that we will need a substantial baggage train to deal with the treasure.’
John took it on himself to reply
“ Sire, we need to get some treatment for Ximene’s injuries. We have contacted a physician overnight and he will meet us at a hunting lodge which Don Fernandino has rented in Couisa.”
‘Good, wait for me there, I will not be more than two or three days”
The Prince delegated twelve of the Lions of Aquitaine and a full troop of of archers and pikemen to ride with them. ‘I do not want to loose Ximene again.’