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About this period the English had worked so well, that they had raised two boulevards on the river Loire, the one being on a little island on the side, and to the right of Saint Lawrence, formed of faggots, sand, and wood. The second, was to the right of the former, in the field of Saint Privé, and on the bank of the river; which they traversed at this spot, conveying food the one to the other; and to guard them was appointed captain Messire Lancelot de L'Isle, Marshal of England.
Thursday, the tenth day of the said month, arrived in Orleans a great quantity of powder for cannon, and provisions which were conveyed from Bourges for its comfort and succour. On this same day, was a very hot and great skirmish as well with cannon as other culverins; so that those who fired them did their duty in a noble manner, insomuch, that many English were killed and a number taken prisoners.
The ensuing Tuesday, about nine at night, the whole of the roofings and walls of the Tournelles were destroyed and thrown down, and six English killed under them, by a cannon-ball of iron; which piece was planted on the boulevard of the beautiful Cross of the bridge, and fired off at that hour.
On the following Wednesday, the twelfth day of the said month of January, the alarm-bell of the belfry was rung, because the English uttered loud cries, and sounded their trumpets and their clarions before the boulevard of Regnart gate; and on the same day towards morning six hundred hogs were driven into Orleans.
Next Saturday, fifteenth day of the said month, about eight at night, sallied forth from the city, the Bastard of Orleans, the lord of Saint Severe and Messire James de Chabanes, accompanied by many knights, esquires, captains and citizens of Orleans, in order to make a charge upon part of the forces at Saint Lawrence des Orgerilz; but the English perceived them, and cried to arms throughout their host; in consequence of which, they armed themselves in such wise, that there was a very great and a violent skirmish. At length the French retired to the boulevard of Regnart gate, for the English sallied out in full force, so that the French were well beaten.
The Sunday next ensuing, about two in the afternoon, came to the English army, twelve hundred combatants commanded by Messire John Fascot, (Fastolf) bringing with them food, bombs, cannon, powder, arrows, and other implements of war, whereof their army stood in great need.
The Monday following, the seventeenth of the said month, happened a most marvellous occurrence; for the English fired from a cannon on their boulevard of the wooden cross; the stone from which fell before the boulevard of Banier gate, in the midst of more than one hundred persons, without killing or
harming any one ; only striking a Frenchman upon the foot, in such wise, that his shoe was carried away without doing him the least injury; a thing most marvellous to believe.
On the same day was to have been a pitched battle of six Frenchmen against six English, in the field close adjoining to Banier gate, at the spot where stands Turpin Dovecot; but there was no fight, which was not owing to any lack on the French side, for they presented themselves to meet their adversaries, who never arrived, not daring to sally forth.
Tuesday, the eighteenth of the said month of January, at the hour of nine at night, the English being in their tournelles, fired a cannon from the boulevards of the beautiful Cross, which struck a man named Le Gastelier, a native of Orleans, who was looking that way and bending his cross-bow, thinking to shoot at them.
The Tuesday following, arrived in Orleans, at the opening of the city gates, forty horned beasts and two hundred hogs.
On the same day, and immediately after the entrance of these beasts, the English possessed themselves at the tournelles of the road, two corner towers, and five hundred beasts, which the drovers thought to conduct for sale to Orleans; whereas the same were denounced by some traitors of a village called Sandillon, in order that they might have a
part of the booty, but who were caught at L'Argeau, where the English were then stationed.
The same day, about three in the afternoon, was a great and bold skirmish in an island before the cross of the mills of Saint Aignan, because the English broke up the passage in order to secure the cross-road which they had taken at the gate of Saint Loup; and the French, as well soldiers as citizens, crossed the stream at this island, thinking to recover the cross-road which had been invested in the morning. At this rencounter, issued a strong force of the English lying in ambush behind the Turcie, a little farther than Saint John le Blanc, uttering loud cries against the French, who returned, and hastily retreated towards their boulevards; which they could not however effect with sufficient expedition to prevent twenty-two being killed. Independent of these, two gentlemen were taken, the one named the Little Briton, belonging to the retinue of the Bastard of Orleans; and the other called Raymonet, belonging to the Marshal of Saint Severe. In this skirmish was also lost a culverin, while that belonging to Master John, being long in great danger, was captured. For when he thought to retreat into his niche, others rushed in at the same time, in such wise, that he sunk into the river, wherefore he thought to regain his culverin by means of a large boat, but he could not succeed ; he then laid fast hold of a beam whereto he cluug, and, notwithstanding all these mishaps, swam upon the same till he gained the bank, and saved himself within the city, leaving his culverin to the English, who carried the same to their Tournelles.
The following Thursday, being the twenty-seventh of the same month of January, at three in the evening, a very great skirmish took place before the boulevard of the gate Regnart; because four and five hundred English combatants proceeded thither from their bastille, uttering great and marvellous cries. Against these, sallied forth those of Orleans by the same boulevard, making so much speed that they got into disorder, and in consequence the Marshal of Saint Severe caused them to return. Having once more marshalled them, he made them again sally forth, and so ably conducted himself, showing such prowess, that he compelled the English to return into their bastille of Saint Lawrence.
The following day, being Friday, arrived in Orleans, about eleven at night, certain ambassadors who had been despatched to the king from the city, in order to procure succour.
The Saturday ensuing, being the twenty-first day of January, at eight in the morning, the English raised great cries throughout their camp and in their bastilles, taking up arms in mighty force, and still continuing their shoutings, at the same time displaying signs of grand hardihood, approaching even to a barrier which was in the square before the