lodged, and drew to that part, embattled in good order, and lodged them on another hill against the Scots, and ranged their battles and made semblant to have come to them. Then the Scots issued out of their lodges and set their battles along the river side against them ; but they would never come toward the English host, and the Englishmen could not go to them, without they would have been slain or taken at advantage. Thus they lodged each against other the space of eighteen days; and oftentimes the king of England sent to them his heralds of arms, offering them that if they would come and fight with him, he would give them place sufficient on the plain ground to pitch their field; or else let them give him room and place, and he assured them that he would come over the river and fight with them but the Scots would never agree thereto. Thus both the hosts suffered much pain and travail the space that they lay so near together: and the first night that the English host was thus lodged on the second mountain the lord William Douglas took with him about two hundred men of arms and passed the river far off from the host, so that he was not perceived, and suddenly he brake into the English host about midnight crying, 'Douglas! Douglas! Ye shall all die, thieves r of England !' and he slew, or he ceased, three hundred men, some in their beds and some scant ready ; and he strake his horse with the spurs and came to the king's own tent, always crying ,Douglas!' and strake asunder two or three cords of the king's tent and so departed, and in that retreat he lost some of his men. Then he returned again to the Scots, so that there was no more done but every night the English host made good and sure watch, for they doubted makinof skryes ; and ever the most part of-the host lay in their harness ; and every day there were scrimmisbes made, and men slain on both parties: and in conclusion, the last day of~twenty-four, there was a Scottish knight taken, who against his will shewed to the lords of England what state and condition the Scots were in : he
1 The translator found ' larron' in his text, but a better reading is 'baron' : ' Ye shall all die, ye English barons'; or with 'Engles' alone, 'Ye shall all die, ye English.'
was so sore examined that for fear of his life he shewed how the lords of Scotland were accorded among themselves that the same night every man should be ready armed, and to follow the banners of the lord William Douglas, and every man to keep him secret- But the knight could not shew them what they intended to do. Then the lords of England drew them to council, and there it was thought among them that the Scots. might in the night time come and assail their host on both sides, to adventure themselves either to live or die, for they could endure no longer the famine that was among them. Then the English lords ordained three great battles, and so stood in three parties without their lodgings, and made great fires, thereby to see the better, and caused all their pages to keep their lodgings and horses. Thus they stood still all that night armed, every man under his own standard and banner ; and in the breaking of the day two trumpets of Scotland met with the English scout-watch, who took the trumpets and brought them before the king of England and his council, and then they said openly, 'Sirs, what do ye watch here? Ye lose but your time, for on the jeopardy of our heads the Scots are gone and departed before midnight, and they are at the least by this time three or four mile on their way ; and they left us two behind to the intent that we should shew this to you.' Then the English lords said that it were but a folly to follow the Scots, for they saw well they could not overtake them: yet for doubt of deceiving they kept still the two trumpets privily, and caused their battles to stand still arranged till it was near prime. And when they saw for truth that the Scots were departed, then every man had leave to retray to their lodging, and the lords took counsel to determine what should be hest to do. And in the meantime divers of the English host mounted on their horses and passed. over the river, and came to the mountain whereas the Scots bad been ; and there they found more than five hundred greatbeasts ready slain, because the Scots could not drive them before their host and because that the Englishmen should have but small profit of them. Also there they found