pace, and always his number increased; for there were divers that fell to his company that had no white hats, but they cried, `Treason, treason !' and came about by a strait lane into the market-place, whereas the baily was, representing the earl's person. And as soon as Gilbert Mahew and his brethren saw John Lyon come into the place, they fled away as fast as they might, and so did all other except such as the baily brought with him. As soon as John Lyon was come into the place, the captain of the white hats with a great company with him came to the baily, and without any word speaking they took and cast him to the earth and slew him there, and then the earl's banner was cast down to the ground and torn all to pieces ; and they touched no man there but the baily, and then they came all about John Lyon. And when the earl's men saw the baily dead and the earl's banner all to-torn, they were greatly abashed and so took their horses and voided out of the town. Ye may well know that Gilbert Mahew and his brethren, who were enemies to John Lyon, were not well assured of themselves in their own houses : wherefore they departed as fast as they might and voided the town one after another, and left behind them wives, children and heritages, and went as soon as they might to the earl and shewed him how his baily was slain; of the which tidings the earl was sore displeased, and good cause why, for they had done him great despite, and said and sware how it should be greatly recompensed, or ever that he returned again into Gaunt, and that they should never have peace with him, in ensample to all other towns. So Gilbert Mahew and his brethren abode still with the earl, and John Lyon and the white hats persevered still in their outrage. When Roger d'Auterive was thus slain and all other departed, and that none appeared before the white hats to be revenged, then John Lyon, who intended to overrun the mariners,' because he loved them not, said : ` Sirs, on afore to these false traitors the Mahews, that would this day destroy the franchise of the town of Gaunt' ; and so they ran along the streets to their houses, but they found nobody there, for they were departed : then they
1 Or according to another reading, `the Mahews.'
were sought for in lodgings, street by street and chamber by chamber. And when John Lyon heard how none of them could be found, he was sore displeased then he gave all their goods to his company, and so all their houses were pilled and robbed, so that nothing was left, as though they had been false traitors to the town ; and when they had done, they returned into their own houses. And after that there was no officer of the earl's, neither within the town nor without, that once said to them they had done evil, and as at that time they durst not, for the white hats were so multiplied that none durst displease them: they went in the streets by great companies, but there were none that would meet with them. It was said in divers places in the town, and without also, how they had some supportation of some officers and rich men in Gaunt; the which was likely to be so, for who durst begin such a riot as to enterprise to slay the earl's baily holding the earl's banner in his hands, doing his office, without some bolsterer or comforter in their deed? And after that they multiplied and were so strong in the town, that they cared for no manner of aid but of themselves there were none that durst displease them or withsay anything that they would do. This bail y Roger d'Auterive was taken by the friars and so buried in their church. When this thing was thus fortuned, divers good men, sage and rich, of the town of Gaunt were right sorry, and began to speak and murmur, and said each to other how they had done a great outrage in slaying thus the earl's baily in doing of his office, and how of right their lord the earl must need be displeased with them, and by all likelihood never to have rest nor peace with him, and how that these ungracious people had brought all the town in peril to be destroyed, without God find some reme