30th April 1625
As the large group of riders and the two wagons approached the city Jean felt relived. Nothing had happened since they had left their wounded with the Baron in the small village, continuing they had been riding together with the Duke’s 30 English riders all dressed in French colours. The travel had been uneventful, the sun had been shining and had it not been for the fact that Jean had been nervous at every turn it would have been a nice ride. Instead it had been a trip filled with Jean being nervous, but now that he could see the city walls of Calais in front of him he was relived. They had arrived in Calais and soon the Duke and the Queen would leave to England. Although Jean liked the Duke and thought him to be a great politician and leader he would be glad to see him leave, not because of who the Duke was, but because of the danger he was to everyone. One could never know when something would happen, so Jean would be glad when this responsibly was lifted from his chest.
As they entered Calais through the main gate it was midday and the city was filled with people, but the large escort and the two large wagons soon got the people out of the way. It was not like anyone would stay in the middle of the road when they had close to 40 riders coming right against them.
“Francois, we are approaching the harbour… Have you found the harbour captain’s offices yet?”
”I am afraid I haven’t been able to find it yet monsieur Jean. But I will see to it at once!”
“Good, there is no point in delaying it. Get the harbour captain here as soon as possible while we see to Her Majesty’s luggage is transported to His Grace’s ship!”
As Francois rode off to find the harbour captain Jean watched as the riders and the wagons came to halt. The Duke immediately came out of the wagon and escorted the Queen down from the wagon, there it was already a small boat waiting and the Queen was at once taken onboard and rowed across to the large English vessel.
”Well monsieur Jean this is it. I would like to thank you very much for your wonderful work. You have protected both Her Majesty’s and my life in an excellent way and I am very thankful… Remember if there is anything you need, anything at all you are always welcome in England. Ask and I will do all I can to aid…”
“I thank you Your Grace, I am very honoured and glad that Your Grace’s think I have been able to fulfil my duty!”
”Certainly… you have done superb. Oh and that reminds me… To thank the Baron, you and the entire company for your great work I have decided to give all these horses to your company. My men will return with me to England and I have no use for the horses and transporting them across the Channel is pointless… I hope you will accept 30 horses ready for battle with full equipment?”
“I most humbly accept Your Grace. Thank you very much. I am honoured and I am sure the Baron will be…”
”Good, let us hope they will serve you well… Also you see those three large white in the front Jean. Those were used by my commanders, some of the finest horses in France I am told.”
“They are wonderful animals Your Grace, and I am sure they are worth a lot. Just the saddles must be worth a lot go gold.”
”Yes… well I hope they will serve you well Jean. I understand it if you might want to sell one, being a soldier is costly and I know for a fact that just one of those horses will get you lot of money… But I would like you to keep at least two of them for yourself. They are wonderful animals and they will serve you very well I think. They are my personal gift to you!”
“What can I say Your Grace…. I am shocked and deeply honoured. Thank you very much!”
As Jean was looking at the three white stallions standing there, his new horses, he couldn’t understand it, Francois returned with the harbour captain.
”I have found him monsieur Jean. The harbour captain is prepared to sign the Duke’s passport and allow for the ship to leave!”
“Good work Francois.
Monsieur would you be so kind as to take care of the details… The duke is already late and should get the Queen back to England as soon as possible.”
”At once monsieur!”
The man signed the passport and oversaw the last luggage as it was transported to the vessel. Then the Duke prepared to got onboard the small boat, before leaving he handed each of the French soldiers a couple of gold coins each before nodding to all, smiling and leaving France behind.
Jean stood with Francois and the six other Frenchmen watching as the small boat got closer and closer to the large English ship. They could see the Duke climb into the ship being greeted by the officers and then moments later they could see the sails of the ship fold out as the ship slowly gained speed and left Calais harbour.
”Some days I dream of serving onboard a ship…”
“I don’t think that would be very smart Francois… After all what would we do about all our horses onboard a ship? No, I think we should stay onshore… and when you think off it, the sea is the territory of the English not us… Let them do what they do best and sail while we fight on land!”
”I presume you are correct monsieur… Still it is a beautiful sight!”
“Indeed, Francois, Indeed it is!”