THE CRUSADERS CONTINUE THE WAR - DEFEAT OF MOURZUPHLES
Dire was the war between the Franks and the Greeks, for it abated not, but rather increased and waxed fiercer, so that few were the days on which there was not fighting by sea or land. Then Henry, the brother of Count Baldwin of Flanders rode forth, and took with him a great part of the good men in the host. With him went James of Avesnes, and Baldwin of Beauvoir, Odo of Champagne of Champlitte, William his brother, and the people of their country. They started at vesper time and rode all night, and on the morrow, when it was full day, they came to a good city, called Phile, and took it; and they had great gain, beasts, and prisoners, and clothing, and food, which they sent in boats down the straits to the camp, for the city lies on the sea of Russia.
So they sojoumed two days in that city, with food in great plenty, enough and to spare. The third day they departed with the beasts and the booty, and rode back towards the camp. Now the Emperor Mourzuphles heard tell how they had issued from the camp, and he left Constantinople by night, with a great part of his people, and set himself in ambush at a place by which they must needs pass. And he watched them pass with their beasts and their booty, each division, the one after the other, till it came to the rearguard. The rear-guard was under the command of Henry, the brother of Count Baldwin of Flanders, and formed of his people, and the Emperor Mourzuphles fell upon them at the entrance to a wood; whereupon they turned against him. Very fiercely did the battle rage there.
By God's help the Emperor Mourzuphles was discomfited, and came near to being taken captive; and he lost his imperial banner and an Eikon that was home before him, in which he and the other Greeks had great confidence-it was an ikon that figured our Lady-and he lost at least twenty knights of the best people that he had. Thus was discomfited the Emperor Mourzuphles, as you have just heard and fiercely did the war rage between him and the Franks; and by this time a great part of the winter had already passed, and it was near Candlemas (2nd February 1204), and Lent was approaching.