DEPARTURE FROM CORFU-CAPTURE OF ANDROS AND ABYDOS
Then did they sail from the port of Corfu on the eve of Pentecost (24th May), which was twelve hundred and three years after the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. And there were all the ships assembled, and all the transports, and all the galleys of the host, and many other ships of merchants that fared with them. And the day was fine and clear, and the wind soft and favourable, and they unfurled all their sails to the breeze.
And Geoffry, the Marshal of Champagne, who dictates this work, and has never lied therein by one word to his know- ledge, and who was moreover present at all the councils held - he bears witness that never was yet seen so fair a sight. And well might it appear that such a fleet would conquer and gain lands, for, far as the eye could reach, there was no space without sails, and ships, and vessels, so that the hearts of men rejoiced greatly.
Thus they sailed over the sea till they came to Malea, to straits that are by the sea. And there they met two ships with pilgrims, and knights and sergeants returning from Syria, and they were of the parties that had gone to Syria by Marseilles. And when these saw our fleet so rich and well appointed, they conceived such shame that they dared not show themselves. And Count Baldwin of Flanders sent a boat from Ws ship to ask what people they were; and they said who they were.
And a sergeant let himself down from his ship into the boat, and said to those in the ship, " I cry quits to you for any goods of mine that may remain in the ship, for I am going with these people, for well I deem that they will conquer lands. "Much did we make of the sergeant, and gladly was he received in the host. For well may it be said, that even after following a thousand crooked ways a man may find his way right in the end.
The host fared forward till it came to Nigra (Negropont). Nigra is a very fair island, and there is on it a very good city called Negropont. Here the barons took council. Then went forward the Marquis Boniface of Montferrat, and Count Baldwin of Flanders and Hainault, with a great part of the transports and galleys, taking with them the son of the Emperor Isaac of Constantinople; and they came to an island called Andros, and there landed. The knights took their arms, and over-rode the country; and the people of the land came to crave mercy of the son of the Emperor of Constantinople, and gave so much of their goods that they made peace with Wm.
Then they returned to the ships, and sailed over the sea; when a great mishap befell, for a great lord of the host, whose name was Guy, Castellan of Coucy, died, and was cast into the sea.
The other ships, which had not sailed thitherward, had entered the passage of Abydos, and it is there that the straits of St. George (the Dardanelles) open into the great sea. And they sailed up the straits to a city called Abydos, which lies on the straits of St. George, towards Turkey, and is very fair, and well situate. There they took port and landed, and those of the city came to meet them, and surrendered the city, as men without stomach to defend themselves. And such guard was established that those of the city lost not one stiver current.
They sojoumed there eight days to wait for the ships transports and galleys that had not yet come up. And while they thus sojourned, they took corn from the land, for it was the season of harvest, and great was their need thereof, for before they had but little. And within those eight days all the ships and barons had come up. God gave them fair weather.