They took their leave of this woman when they were ready to ride away and they persuaded George Palaeologus to take sides with them and compelled him to depart with them. For before this they had not divulged their plans to him because of a natural suspicion; for the father of this George was extremely devoted to the Emperor, and therefore revealing their project of rebellion to him would have been rather dangerous. And at first indeed, Palaeologus did not show himself at all amenable, but opposed many objections and reproved them for their breach of faith to the emperor and for the fact that, as the proverb has it, they became turncoats.
Palaeologus suggested the sanctuary
But when the Mistress of the Wardrobe, Palaeologus mother-in-law, insisted firmly on his joining them under threat of dire punishment, he began to yield and his next concern was for the safety of the women, namely his wife Anna and his mother-in-law Maria, for the latter was descended from one of the first families of Bulgaria and was so attractive by reason of the beauty and grace of limbs and features that she was considered the most beautiful of all the women then living. Thus George and Alexius were not free from anxiety about her, and both felt that the women must be removed from that place, but while Alexius’ party advised their being conveyed to some fortress, Palaeologus suggested the sanctuary of our Lady in Blachernae – and George’s opinion prevailed. So they went off at once with these women and placed them under the care of the Holy Mother of the all-embracing Word.
On their return to the place whence they started, they consulted on their best course of action, and Palaeologus and, “You two must get away from here; and I will soon overtake, you, and bring my property, with me?” For as it happened he had all his movable property stored there. Without further delay therefore the Comneni started on their journey; and, after loading his property on the monies’ beasts of burden, Palaeologus rode after them. And he came up with them at Tzouroulus (a Thracian village) where by a lucky chance they all joined the army which had occupied it by command of the Domestic.
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