Other that this brief discussion John was given no time with Ximene. He was summonsed to meet the Prince, who was still in his camp outside of Carcassonne.The Prince greeted John like an old friend, giving him a private audience.Things move on apace. Other that the deer hunt when I first met him, this is the first time I have spoken to him without either lord John or the Earl hovering in the background.John learned that the Prince had been busy.“ You and your colleagues achieved something that I could not, a clear cut victory!’John was about to object but the Prince cut him off .‘No just one but two victories! Whilst I have been camped here the good citizens of Carcassonne have come to tell me of their preparedness to swear allegience to me. I have been invited to make a tour of the bastide and have been able to surveyed the damage’He chuckled‘You did a good job! But then I have learned that you usually do!His eyes gleamed with delight.‘I thought you might like to know that you are absolved from any guilt for the destruction of the Bastide. Current opinion is that I did it. There are two versions. The first version is that I have invented a secret weapon, which is capable of wreaking havoc at a great distance. The second version is that I am known as the Black Prince because I am a master of the occult. According to this second version it was a spell which caused the destruction!”The Prince’s shoulders shook as he laughed.“I do not mind which version they believe. If it means that they are prepared a to change their allegence, I don’t care. I hope these legends get spread around, it would make my enemies a little more apprehensive when they go into battle with me, I will not complain. Apprehension is not known to lead to good decision making on the battlefield!”He adopted a more serious demeanour.“Now something for Ximene . There were bodies were still lying around the scaffold when I entered the Bastide. The guard you killed with your throwing knife John, was known to me. He was a Stuart a member of the Garde Ecosse the bodyguard of the French king composed entirely of the sons of Scottish nobles.’‘You knew him well?’The Prince was obviously considering how much to divulge“One of the titles the Earl of Salisbury holds, but does not use is King of Mann. He does not use it because in truth he has never managed to take possession of his kingdom, the Isle of Mann which lies in the Irish Sea half way between Ireland and Scotland.’The Prince hesitated but saw the John was hanging on his every word.“I know the man you killed because I have been in negotiation with him over the future of the isle. He is the son of the Scottish Pretender. At one point they were prepared to swear allegiance to the English King in exchange for sovereignty over the Island, something they cannot obtain from the Scottish King.’Another hesitation‘We refused because we believe that the Earl is the rightful inheritor of the kingdom, being a descendant of the original Viking Kings.’‘And the reason for him being here?’‘For this man, a member of the an elite French guard to be here may mean Ximenes suffering, was not a despicable accident of fate, but a deliberate plot to kill her in such a way that no blame could be attached to the French King!”Johns mind raced, as he tried to test out the implications of what he had just been told.