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His military tutor, Theroulde, accompanied him, and he was attended likewise by the embassadors whom Alan had sent for him, and by a strong escort for his protection by the way. He arrived in safety at Alan’s head-quarters. William’s presence in Normandy had the effect which had been anticipated from it. It awakened every where a great deal of enthusiasm in his favor. The soldiers were pleased to see how handsome their young commander was in form, and how finely he could ride. He was, in fact, a very superior equestrian for one so young.

William’s father, Robert, had intrusted De Crespin with the command of the castle, and given him a garrison to defend it. Henry now began to make complaint to William in respect to this castle. The garrison, he said, were continually making incursions into his dominions. William replied that he was very sorry that there was cause for such a complaint. He would inquire into it, and if the fact were really so, he would have the evil immediately corrected. Henry replied that that was 32 William The Conqueror not sufficient.

The end was, that the detachment from the garrison had scarcely time, after making good their own entrance, to raise the draw-bridges and secure the gates, so as to keep their pursuers from entering too. They did, however, succeed in doing this, and William, establishing his troops about the castle, opened his lines and commenced a regular siege. The garrison were very naturally vexed and irritated at the bad success of their intended stratagem. To have the ambuscade not only fail of its object, but to have also the men that formed it driven thus ignominiously in, and so narrowly escaping, also, the danger of letting in the whole troop of their enemies after them, was a great disgrace.

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A History of the RAF Servicing Commandos by J.P. Kellett & J. Davies

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