We were taking back to England, for installation at Canterbury Cathedral, a precious and ancient robe, said by some to have been worn by saints of the early church, and called for that reason the Robe of the Saints. It was plain, without fancy embroidery of any sort. It was believed that this precious robe, wound around the body, could cure any wound. That was what made it different from the other robes, both plain and festooned with precious gems. These ornate robes had been taken as well, so that they could be better safeguarded in England, of course.
When the chest was first placed on board, it was opened by Godefroi, a villein used for heavy work (requiring muscles and no brain). We all got a glimpse of the treasures contained therein. Each robe had a paper that gave its history and dignity. Those Byzantines were certainly scholarly, I’ll give them that.
All of the robes were then replaced by Godefroi in their proper order, and stored in the one massive chest that was stowed in the ship’s hold, and watched over by Godefroi. In this case, he was supposed to frighten away any intruders who might be curious about the chest. He clearly failed in his task, and under the lash, gave the following information.