Ximene’s trading company is very sucessful. She believes however that her complicated relationship with John Stanley is a failure.
What was intended was that he would help her progress by using his growing influence to pinpoint advantages for her and she in return will make opportunities for him.
Ximene believed that if no one knew of their relationship and the way they were helping each other it would enhance this effect. In a way this has worked but it was always intended that they would spend time together in secret. Now she has lost contact.
Pipa has taken up a relationship with John of Gaunt. Pipa marries Geoffrey Chaucer as a cover for this relationship.
Ximene restablishes contact with John but influenced by her Cathar beliefs introduces him to another woman, a concubine who has been given to her by the Emir of Caramaran. As a threesome they visit Grenada to establish wether the moors are capable, or willing, to assist the Black Prince reinstate King Pedro of Castille
John rides north with the Moors and takes part in the battle of Najera at the side of the Black Prince where Pedro’s enemies, including du Guesclin, are defated.