Page:A book of the Pyrenees.djvu/99
VISCOUNT OF CHÂTEAUBON
that contained the treasure, but failed; it was fast behind three oak doors, and he could nowhere find the key. But in the meanwhile the chaplain had found it upon the body of the Count, and guessing the predicament in which was Evan, he also took horse and raced off to Orthez.
By this time a vague rumour had reached the town that something had happened to the Count, and the townsmen began to assemble in the streets. The chaplain entered the castle, and now that he was provided with the key Evan de Foix was able to reach the treasure. But it was too late for him to make off with it. Before he could pack it up and form plans for its transport, the death of Gaston Phœbus was known, and crowds surrounded the castle and forbade egress. Evan was constrained to show himself at a window and speak the citizens fair. They wished him no ill, they replied, but they would neither suffer him to plunder and carry off the treasure, nor leave the castle, till the Viscount of Chateaubon, the lawful heir, had arrived—this latter was in Aragon at the time. He at once started for Orthez, and a great assembly of the Estates of Béarn was held. It was then determined that of the treasure, the Viscount should have five thousand francs, and the bastards, who had been put in chains till the will of the Estates was known, should be set at liberty and allowed each two thousand francs.
"The Viscount of Châteaubon, on his arrival at Orthez, set at liberty all prisoners confined in the castle. They were very numerous; for the Count of Foix was very cruel to any person who incurred his indignation, never sparing them, however high their rank, but ordering them to be flung headlong over the walls, or confined on bread and water during his pleasure; and such as ventured to speak for their deliverance ran the risk of being treated in like manner."
Gaston Phœbus was born in 1331, and died in 1391. He