But the duel was not fought out, for (as I heard after) so well had the Normans fought, and so many pirates lay in heaps on the green, that a great panic at this moment fell upon the pirates, and already, like kine affrighted by a wild beast, they were rushing headlong through the northern gate, that some one had unfastened, and pouring down full-tilt to the Grand Havre, where their ships were, and the Normans were after them like hounds on the scent, slaying as they went.
Now, this Geoffroy saw, and rushing in strove manfully to stay the flight. But they were too frantic to hear him or obey. In a moment he made up his mind.
“Follow my lead, then,” I heard him cry to his own reserve; “we will not stay to be cut down here. To the sea! To the sea!”
He jumped into the saddle of his steed, that stood ready caparisoned, and was through the southern gate with the pirates on his heels, and we on theirs, before we were well aware what had happed.
Le Grand Sarrasin was making for his other fleet in Moulin Huet.
And of the Normans and of many of us the pirates had the advantage, for they wore not much armour. With the wings of desperation they fled before us seaward over mile on mile of forest and lane. And like a terrible storm we sped behind. Never again may such a storm rage in Guernsey lanes and hills.
Some that were ill runners were smitten down by us as they lagged behind; some that had been wounded before, and were weak from loss of blood, dropped heavily into the brake on this side or on that; the more part, as they neared the sea, pressed on faster, cheered now and again by the voice of their leader far ahead on his horse, as he shouted, “To the ships! to the ships!”
Of the sore slaughter in the glen of Moulin Huet and on the shore; and how Le Grand Sarrasin was slain, and of his secret.
At last we reached the head of the glen, and far down below us we saw the blue water of the bay, enclosed on either side with its great rocky bulwarks. And a great portion of the Sarrasin ships were there at anchor as near shore as they might safely lie. And there were many little boats pulling in to take the runaways aboard.
Helter-skelter they went down the rugged, winding path, jostling their fellows with knee and shoulder, hand and heel, as they slammed on their way. Le Grand Sarrasin we saw not, and guessed for the moment that he was already aboard. But when we came in sight of the bay, not long we stood in hesitation, but with a shout and a cry that rang terribly as it echoed from rock to rock, we rushed madly after, spreading our force along the side of the cliff as our fellows pressed on us behind.