15 — 5th July — In the Mind — Copy

18th July — Chapter seven of Thread A — John’s rescue and recovery

At Mazerou, despite continuing to make physical progress John feels detached from reality… It is if he is in a dream. Despite Ximene visiting his bed every night he feels no sexual arousal. He is in despair, Will he ever fully recover and function as a man should? Ximene shares his fears.

John Stanley – 8th July 1355

John felt compliant, obedient; but confused, resentful.

He had always welcomed an environment where the rules were set and all he had to do was follow them, but this was different. It was as if he was totally separated from the world around him. A world which was specifically designed to oppress him.

The blackness of the cellars and tunnels closed in on him. The flickering lights from the flares terrified him, at times it was as if the world was on fire. Perhaps they were all in hell. He could eat nothing, even the smell of food made him feel sick. He was aware of Don Fernandino, Guilliam and Ximene but felt they had no desire to communicate with him. they were just another component of the oppressive environment.

Also, most of the time he was in pain, serious pain something that none of them seemed to be interested in.

They did not listen to anything he said. In fact, he had no real desire to communicate with them. He had no idea who Don Fernandino was and it seemed that he was making decisions without any right to do so. Guillam he recognised, but he was rarely there and he struggled to pin down the relationship. When he was there, Guillam seemed sympathetic but did absolutely nothing to help.

Then there was Ximene, always close to him physically but separated from him emotionally. He had fond memories of Ximene, but the memories were far from precise. He dreamed of her when they were asleep in the same bed, but there was always an impenetrable barrier. She was a mysterious, distant princess.

When he was out of the bed she was the source of his pain, always pushing him to do things he was not able to do comfortably, which caused him distress. As he exercised, John reflected on his relationship with Ximene. She is my big sister. This is what big sisters do, bully their brothers!

He frowned. There was something badly wrong. Deep inside he wanted to hold her tight and kiss her passionately, but he was not sure it would be appropriate. His kisses had become chased tokens of affection. Despite the pain she inflicted on him, he loved her but found it difficult to determine what kind of love it was.

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.