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town. And they desired the Scots in the French king's name, that they would set on and make such war in the realm of England, that the king might be fain to return home to rescue his own realm, and to leave up the siege at Tournay : and the French king promised them men and money to aid them so to do. And so the Scots departed out of the forest of Gedeours and passed through Scotland, and won again divers fortresses, and so passed the town of Berwick and the river of Tyne, and entered into the country of Northumberland, the which sometime was a realm. There they found great plenty of beasts, and wasted and brent all the country to Durham : then they returned by another way, destroying the country. In this voyage they destroyed more than three days' journey into the realm of England, and then returned into Scotland and conquered again all the fortresses that were holden by the Englishmen, except the city of Berwick and three other castles, the which did them great trouble. They were so strong, that it would have been hard to have found any such in any country: the one was Stirling, another Roxburgh, and the third the chief of all Scotland, Edinburgh, the which castle standeth on a high rock, that a man must rest once or twice or he come to the highest of the bill; and captain there was sir Walter [of Limoges, brother to sir Richard] Limousin, who had before so valiantly kept the castle of Thun against the Frenchmen. So it was that sir William Douglas devised a feat, and discovered his intention to his companions, to the earl Patrick, to sir Simon Fraser and to Alexander Ramsay, and all they agreed together. Then they took a two hundred of the wild Scots and entered into the sea, and made provision of oats, meal, coals and wood ; 1 and so peaceably they arrived at a port near to the castle of Edinburgh. And in the night they armed them and took a ten or twelve of their company, such as they did trust best, and did disguise them in poor torn coats and hats, like poor men of the country, and charged a twelve small horses with sacks, some with oats, some with wheat-meal and some with coals ; and they did set all their company in a bushment in 1 'De charbon et de feuvre,' but the true reading is 'de charbon de feuvre,' i.e. charcoal for smiths' forges (faber). F

an old destroyed abbey thereby, near to, the foot of the hill. And when the day began to appear, covertly armed as they were, they went up the hill with their merchandise. And when they were in the mid way, sir William Douglas and sir Simon Fraser, disguised as they were, went a little before and came to the porter and said : ` Sir, in great fear we have brought hither oats and wheat-meal ; and if ye have any need thereof, we will sell it to you good cheap.' `Marry,' said the porter, `and we have need thereof; but it is so early, that I dare not awake the captain nor his steward. But let them come in and I shall open the outer gate.' And so they all entered into the gate of the bails : sir William Douglas saw well how the porter had the keys in his hands of the great gate of the castle. Then when the first gate was opened, as ye have heard, their horses with carriages entered in ; and the two that came last, laden with coals, they made them to fall down on the ground-sill of the gate, to the intent that the gate should not be closed again. And then they took the porter and slew him so peaceably, that he never spake word. Then they took the great keys and opened the castle gate then sir William Douglas blew a horn and did cast away their torn coats and laid all the other sacks overthwart the gate, to the intent that it should not be shut again. And when they of the bushment heard the horn, in all haste they might they mounted the hill. Then the watchman of the castle with noise of the horn awoke, and saw how the people were coming all armed to the castle-ward. Then he blew his horn and cried, `Treason ! treason ! Sirs, arise and arm you shortly, for yonder be men of arms approaching to your fortress.' Then every man arose and armed them and came to the gate ; but s



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