Not long after this, the earl got secret intelligence of a rich caravan of merchants belonging to the Saracens, who were travelling to a certain fair which was to be held near Alexandria, with a multitude of camels, asses, and mules, and many carts, all richly laden with silks, precious jewels, spices, gold, silver, and other commodities, besides provisions and other matters of which the soldiers were then in great want. Without giving notice of this to the rest of the Christian army, the earl gathered all the English troops, and fell by night upon the caravan, killing many of the people, and making himself master of the whole carts and baggage cattle with their drivers, which he brought with him to the Christian camp, losing only one soldier in the skirmish, and eight of his servants, some of whom were only wounded and brought home to be cured. When this was known in the camp, the Frenchmen, who had loitered in their tents while the earl and his people were engaged in the expedition, came forth and forcibly took to themselves the whole of this spoil, finding great fault with the earl and the English for leaving the camp without orders from the general, contrary to the discipline of war; though the earl insisted that he had done nothing but what he would readily justify, and that his intentions were to have divided the spoil among the whole army. But this being of no avail, and very much displeased at being deprived in so cowardly a manner of what he had so adventurously gained, he made his complaint to the king; and being successfully opposed there by the pride of the Count of Artois, the kings brother, who thwarted his claims with disdainful spite, he declared that he would serve no longer in their army, and bidding farewell to the king, he and his people broke up from the army and marched for Achon. Upon their departure, the Count d’Artois said that the French army was well rid of these tailed English; which words, spoken in despite, were ill taken by many good men, even of their own army. But not long after, when the governor of Cairo, who was offended with the Soldan, offered to deliver that place to the French king, and even gave him instructions now he might best conduct himself to accomplish that enterprize, the king sent a message in all haste to the Earl of Salisbury, requesting him to return to the army, under promise of redressing all his grievances; on which he came back and rejoined the French army.
The king of France now marched towards Cairo, and came to the great river Nile, on the other side of which the Soldan had encamped with his army, on purpose to dispute the passage. At this time, there was a Saracen in the service of the Count of Artois, who had been lately converted to the Christian faith, and who offered to point out a shallow ford in the river, by which the army might easily cross over. Upon receiving this intelligence, Artois and the master of the Knights Templars, with about a third of the army, crossed to the other side, and were followed by Salisbury and the English. These being all joined, made an assault upon a part of the Saracen army which remained in the camp, and overthrew them, the Soldan being then at some distance with the greater part of his army.