This was accomplished as she wished, to the content of all, and the Duchess Blanche rejoiced greatly in the success of the Good Knight, who had begun his career in her household. The Good Knight took leave of his noble mistress, the lady of Savoy, telling her that he owed her service and obedience next to the King, his sovereign lord. Then he said farewell to the lady who had been his first love, and they parted with much regret, but their warm friendship lasted till death. We do not hear that they ever met again, but not a year passed without presents being sent from one to the other.
[Illustration: Ludovico Sforza Duke of Milan from a medallion.]
While the French army felt such absolute security of their dominion in Italy as to suffer the young captains to join in amusements, the fugitive Duke Lodovico Sforza of Milan, who had lost his duchy by treachery, was watching events and preparing to return.
When Lodovico arrived he was received with acclamation, and entered Milan in triumph.
If this sudden revolution took all Italy by surprise, we can understand the dismay of Louis XII., who found that he had all his work to do over again. For not only had Milan rebelled, but all the other towns which he had conquered.
King Louis sent the Sire de Ligny as his chief general, and as a matter of course the Good Knight went with him. I must tell you the story of an adventure he had. He was in a garrison about twenty miles from Milan with other young men-at-arms, and they were constantly making small expeditions. One day Bayard heard that in the little town of Binasco, near the Certosa di Pavia, there were about three hundred good horses, which he thought might be easily taken, and therefore he begged his companions to join him in this adventure. He was so much beloved that forty or fifty gentlemen gladly accompanied him. But the castellan of the fortress at Binasco had news of this through his spies, and laid a trap for the Frenchmen; he had a strong troop placed in ambuscade on the road, and made sure of success. But, though taken by surprise, the Good Knight fought like a lion, and with cries of “France! France!” led his little company again and again to the attack, for, as he told them, if news of this reached Milan not one would escape. In fact, so fierce was their charge that they drove back the defenders mile after mile to the very gates of Milan. Then one of the older soldiers, who saw the enemy’s plan, shouted, “Turn, men-at-arms, turn!” and the others heard in time, but the Good Knight, thinking only of pursuing his foes, entered pell-mell with them into the city, and followed them to the very palace of the lord Lodovico. As he was wearing the white cross of France, he was soon surrounded on all sides and taken prisoner. Lodovico had heard the cries, and sent for this brave foe, who was disarmed before being taken to the palace.