I had got as far as this and was toiling with my pen about the time of lamp-lighting, when I noticed that I was dozing a bit over my writing, as the subject was losing its interest. For when it is absolutely necessary to make use of the barbarian names and to narrate various successive events, the body of my history and the continuity of my writing is like to be cut up into paragraphs; but my kind readers will bear me no grudge for this.
The warrior Bohemund now saw that his affairs were in a sorry way as he was being attacked both from the sea and the land and also that he was in utter want through the complete lack of necessaries; accordingly he detached a fair-sized army and dispatched it to plunder all the towns situated near Valona, Hierico and Canina. However Cantacuzenus was on the watch nor did ‘sweet sleep overtake the man,’ as the poet says, but with great alacrity he sent Beroltes with a large army to oppose the Franks. He met them and defeated them and on his way back set fire to Bohemund’s ships as a sequel.
Together with the Roman army
But the fierce tyrant was not at all depressed when he heard that the men he had sent had been defeated but was just as if he had not lost a single soldier. On the contrary he seemed even more courageous and again detached horse and foot soldiers who were very keen fighters numbering six thousand, and dispatched them against Cantacuzenus, thinking that at the very first shout they would capture Cantacuzenus himself together with the Roman army.
But the latter always had scouts keeping a watch on the Frankish hosts and directly they told him of their approach he armed himself and the army fully during the night as he was lusting to attack them at dawn. So when the Franks arrived. tired out, at the banks of the river Buses and lay down for a little rest, he surprised them there almost before the first smile of the morning, attacked them immediately, took many alive and killed more.
The rest were caught in the eddies of the river and drowned, for trying to escape a wolf, they fell in with a lion. He sent all the Counts to the Emperor and afterwards returned to Timorus, a marshy and inaccessible spot. Here he waited for six days and sent out a number of spies in different directions to observe Bohemund’s movements and forward information to himself, so that by knowing Bohemund’s doings he might form a more accurate judgment. These spies accidentally came upon a hundred Franks building some rafts on which they intended to cross the river and capture the small town situated on the opposite side. They fell upon them suddenly, took nearly all of them alive, one of them being Bohemund’s cousin, a man standing ten foot tall and as broad as a second Heracles.
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