There were at La Fere some gentlemen charged to find the dead body of M. de Bois-Dauphin the elder, who had been killed in the battle; they asked me to go with them to the camp, to pick him out, if we could, among the dead; but it was not possible to recognize him, the bodies being all far gone in corruption, and their faces changed. We saw more than half a league round us the earth all covered with the dead; and hardly stopped there, because of the stench of the dead men and their horses; and so many blue and green flies rose from them, bred of the moisture of the bodies and the heat of the sun, that when they were up in the air they hid the sun. It was wonderful to hear them buzzing; and where they settled, there they infected the air, and brought the plague with them. Mon petit maistre, I wish you had been there with me, to experience the smells, and make report thereof to them that were not there.
I was very weary of the place; I prayed M. le Marechal to let me leave it, and feared I should be ill there; for the wounded men stank past all bearing, and they died nearly all, in spite of everything we did. He got surgeons to finish the treatment of them, and sent me away with his good favour. He wrote to the King of the diligence I had shown toward the poor wounded. Then I returned to Paris, where I found many more gentlemen, who had been wounded and gone thither after the battle.
The King sent me to Dourlan, under conduct of Captain Gouast; with fifty men-at-arms, for fear I should be taken by the enemy; and seeing we were always in alarms on the way, I made my man let down, and made him the master; for I got on his horse, which carried my valise, and could go well if we had to make our escape, and I took his cloak and hat and gave him my mount, which was a good little mare; he being in front, you would have taken him for the master and me for the servant The garrison inside Dourlan, when they saw us, thought we were the enemy, and fired their cannon at us. Captain Gouast, my conductor, made signs to them with his hat that we were not the enemy; at last they ceased firing, and we entered Dourlan, to our great relief.