DEFEAT OF THE FRANKS NEAR RUSIUM
Thierri of Tenremonde, who was chief and constable, made a foray on the fourth day before the feast of St. Mary Candlemas (30th January 1206); and he rode all night, having six score knights with him, and left Rusium with but a small garrison. When it was dawn, he came to a village where the Comans and Wallachians were encamped, and surprised them in such sort that those who were in the village were unaware of their coming. They killed a good many of the Comans and Wallachians, and captured some forty of their horses; and when they had done this execution, they turned back towards Rusium.
And on that very night the Comans and Wallachians had ridden forth to do us hurt; and there were some seven thousand of them. They came in the morning before Rusium, and were there a lono, space; and the garrison, which was but small, closed the gates, and mounted the walls; and the Comans and Wallachians turned back. They had not gone more than a league and a half from the city, when they met the company of the French under the command of Thierri of Tenremonde. So soon as the French saw them advancing, they formed into their four battalions, with intent to draw into Rusium in slow time; for they knew that if, by God's grace, they could come thither, they would then be in safety.
The Comans, and the Wallachians, and the Greeks of the land rode towards them, for they were in very great force. And they came upon the rear-guard, and began to harass it full sorely. Now the rear-guard was formed of the men of Thierri of Loos, who was seneschal, and had returned to Constantinople, and his brother Villain was now in command. And the Comans and Wallachians and Greeks pressed them very hard, and wounded many of their horses. Loud were the cries and fierce the onslaught, so that by main force and pure distress they drove the rear-guard back on the battalion of Andrew of Urboise and John of Choisy; and in this manner the Franks retreated, suffering greatly.
The enemy renewed their onslaught so fiercely that they drove the Franks who were nearest to them back on the battalion of Thierri of Tenremonde, the constable. Nor was it long before they drove them back still further on to the battalions led by Charles of the Frêne. And now the Franks had retreated, sore harassed, till they were within half a mile of Rusium. And the others ever pressed upon them more hardily; and the battle went sore against them, and many were wounded, and of their horses. So, as God will suffer misadventures, they could endure no further, but were discomfited; for they were heavily armed, and their enemies lightly; and the latter began to slaughter them.
Alas! well might Christendom rue that day! For of all those six score knights did not more than ten escape who were not killed or taken; and those who escaped came flying into Rusiiim, and rejoined their own people. There was slain Thierri of Tenremonde, the constable, Orri of l'Isle, who was a good knight and highly esteemed, and John of Pompone, Andrew of Urboise, John of Choisy, Guy of Conflans, Charles of the Frêne, Villain the brother of Thierri the seneschal. Nor can this book tell the names of all who were then killed or taken. On that day happened one of the greatest mishaps, and the most grievous that ever befell to the Christendom of the land of Roumania, and one of the most pitiful.
he Comans and Greeks and Wallachians retired, having done according to their will in the land, and won many good horses and good hawberks. And this misadventure happened on the day before the eve of our Lady St. Mary Candlemas (31st January 1206). And the remnant who had escaped from the discomfiture, together with those who had been in Rusium. escaped from the city, so soon as it was night, and went all night flying, and came on the morrow to the city of Rodosto.