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Page 243 (Chronicles of Froissart)

page 243

Boele, `and I think it were better that we were lodged on the Mount d'Or ; for be you sure I know so well Peter du Bois and Ralph de Herselle, sith that they have sent for us, surely they will fight with the earl wherefore I am sure they will approach as near to him as they can ; therefore I counsel let us go that way.' So they determined to take that way; and when they had gone a two miles, they were weary of going afoot, and or they were ware, they were between the two bushments ; and when they saw that, they cried all, 'We be betrayed.' There were never men that made less defence than they did as then, for every man did what he could to save himself some returned to Ypres, and some took the fields and fled, he that best might, without array or order, and the earl's men took and slew them without mercy: howbeit, John Boele and Arnold Clerck saved themselves. They that fled towards Courtray met with the Gauntois, who were departed from Roulers and were in the way to Rosebeque. When Peter du Bois and the other saw them that fled, they demanded of them what they ailed. They answered and said they could not tell, for they said they had not the leisure to know the matter, but they said they fled like men betrayed. Then Peter du Bois had divers imaginations, other to go forward and to return again the flyers and to fight with their enemies who chased them, or else to draw to Courtray. All things considered, they determined to draw back for that time, the which they thought was for them as then most profitable. So they drew aback in a battle ranged in good order, and the same day returned to Courtray ; and thither also drew many of them that fled: so they lodged all within Courtray, and made the gates to be well kept, to the intent that they should not be suddenly taken. And when John Boele and Arnold Clerck were returned and had reckoned all their people, then they knew well that of them of Gaunt, such as had been sent to Ypres before, they had lost in number a twelve hundred, and as many of them of Ypres ; and if they of the bushment had chased them that fled to Ypres and to Courtray, there had but a few scaped, but all had been dead or taken; but' they chased not far, they tools heed to nothing but to slay them that were within their busbment, the which saved all the residue. They of Ypres were sore abashed when they saw their people return beaten and discomfited the same day that they were issued out, and demanded how it might be, and divers answered and said how John Boele had betrayed them and had brought them to be shamefully slain. Ye have heard oftentimes recorded bow it is a hard work to appease a commonty when they be stirred. I say this because of them of Gaunt. When they were the same day drawn back to Courtray, they that were discomfited knew well that John Boele was in the town. Then more than a thousand drew together and said : `Let us go on the false traitor John Boele, who hath betrayed us ; for by him and by none other we took that way that brought us into the bushment of our enemies: for if we had believed Arnold de Clerck, we had been in surety, for he would have brought us to our own company, an John Boele had not been, who hath sold and betrayed us and brought us whereas we were betrayed and discomfited.' Lo, ye may see how these commons accused him of treason, and yet I think verily they had no cause so to do ; for if it had been as they said; and that he had sold and betrayed them to the earl, he would never have returned again to them, but rather have bidden still with the earl. Howbeit, I cannot excuse him so, but that it cost him his life, and I shall tell you how. The Gauntois went and took him in his lodging and so brought him into the street, and there he was stricken all to pieces, so that every man bare away a piece of him. Thus ended John Boele. The next day the Gauntois departed from Courtray and returned to Gaunt, and did send John de Launoit to the castle of Gavre, a castle of the earl's standing by the river of l'Escault, and there this John made a garrison.



Page 243 (Chronicles of Froissart)