February 24, 2020

Memoirs or Chronicle of the Fourth Crusade part 117

Then did the Emperor Henry, and the remainder of his people return to Constantinople, and prepare once again to go towards Adrianople. And while he was so preparing, Thierri of Loos the seneschal, who was in Nicomedia, and William of Perchoi, and all their people, went out foraging on a certain day. And the people of Theodore Lascaris knew of it, and surprised them, and fell upon them. Now the people of Theodore Lascaris were very many, and our people very few. So the battle began, and they fought hand to hand, and before very long the few were not able to stand against the many.

Thierri of Loos did right well, as also his people; he was twice struck down, and by main strength his men remounted him. And William of Perchoi was also struck down, and remounted and rescued. But numbers hemmed them in too sore, and the Franks were discomfited. There was taken Thierri of Loos, wounded in the face, and in peril of death. There, too, were most of his people taken, for few escaped. William of Perchoi fled on a hackney, wounded in the hand.

Those that escaped from the discomfiture rallied in the church of St. Sophia.

He who dictates this history heard blame attached in this affair-whether rightly or wrongly he knows not-to a certain knight named Anseau of Remi, who was liegeman of Thierri of Loos the seneschal, and chief of his men; and who abandoned him in the fray.

Then did those who had returned to the church of St. Sophia in Nicomedia, viz. William of Perchoi and Anseau of Remi, take a messenger, and send him flying to Constantinople, to the Emperor Henry; and they told the emperor what had befallen, how the seneschal had been taken with his men; how they themselves were besieged in the church of St. Sophia, in Nicomedia, and how they had food for no more than five days; and they told him he must know of a certainty that if he did not succour them they must be killed or taken. The emperor, as one hearing a cry of distress, passed over the straits of St. George, he and his people, each as best he could, and pell-mell, to go to the relief of those in Nicomedia. And so the march to Adrianople was put off once more.

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