HOW THE MAID RODE TO ORLEANS
 WHEN THEN Joan's army was gathered, with plenty of good things, and powder and shot, in waggons, for the people of
Orleans, she gave orders that no loose people should follow them. The soldiers must not drink and play dice
and cards. They must pray, and must never swear. One of the generals, the brave La Hire, asked that he might
be allowed one little oath, so she said he might swear "by his baton," the short staff which he carried as a
leader. Then Joan mounted, and rode at the head of the army out of the gate of Blois. The French Commander at
Orleans, Dunois, had sent to say that they must march up the bank of the Loire opposite to that on which
Orleans stands, for the English were very strong, with many
forti-  fications, on the road on the Orleans side, and would stop them. Dunois seems to have thought that Joan's army
should go above the town, and be ferried across with the supplies for the city—for the English held the
bridge—but that they could not cut their way through the main body of the English army on the other side
of the river. But to go straight through the English where they were strongest was what Joan had intended.
Therefore she was angry when she arrived at the place where Dunois was waiting for her, and saw that the river
lay between her and the town of Orleans. You may think that her Voices should have told her that she was
marching on the wrong bank of the river: however, they did not. She asked Dunois why he had ordered them to
come by the road they took. She said,
"I bring you better help than has ever come to any town or captain, the help of the King of heaven."
Dunois himself has left this account of what Joan said, and, as she was speaking, the wind changed. It had
been blowing in such a way as to make it hard for the boats
 to carry Joan and the provisions across the river, but now it went about, and they crossed easily, some way
above the town. As for the army, Joan ordered them back to Blois, to cross by the bridge there, and march to
Orleans again, past the forts and through the midst of the English.
Once across the river, Joan mounted again, with her banner of Our Lord and the Lilies in her hand, and with
Dunois at her side, and rode to the town. They passed an English fortress, the Church of St. Loup, in safety,
and the people came out to meet them. Night had fallen, and the people who crowded round the Maid were
carrying torches. One of these set fire to the fringe of her banner and made her horse plunge; but she crushed
out the flame with her left hand in its steel glove, and reined in her horse easily, while the people cheered,
and the women wished to kiss her hand, which she did not like, thinking the honour too great. It was a
beautiful sight to see the Maid ride into Orleans town. From that hour there was no more fear among the
JOAN RIDING INTO ORLEANS UNDER TORCHLIGHT.
Dunois said, "till that day, two hundred
 English could scatter eight hundred or a thousand of our men, but now they skulked in their forts and dared
not come out against us." This is an extraordinary thing, for Talbot, who led the English, was the bravest of
men, and was thought the greatest captain living. Jeanne sent to him a letter to bid him break up his camp and
go away. The English laughed, and one day, when Joan went out to speak to them, they called her ill names, so
that she wept for shame. But, somehow, the English had certainly lost heart, or they had some reason which we
do not know, for merely defending their strong fortresses.
On the day after Joan entered Orleans she wanted Dunois to sally out of the town with his men and assail the
English. He did not think it wise to do so, and Joan went up to her own room. Suddenly she rushed down and
asked her page why he had not told her that the French were fighting, she did not know where. It was at the
fort and Church of St. Loup, which Joan had passed on her way into Orleans. On this side, namely, farther up
the river, above the town, the English were weakest,
 as they did not expect to be attacked on that side. The French were victorious: when they saw Joan ride up
they were filled with courage. Joan saw a Frenchman strike down an English prisoner: she dismounted, laid the
poor prisoner's head in her lap, and did her best to comfort him.