General Bercollin could see that virtually no progress was being made as most of his command was still spread out along the road following the ridgeline of the Dennep hills. Arriving at the point where the road turned downhill he found Colonel Anjou in some agitation.
“What seems to be the problem Colonel?”
“Those thrice cursed ditches” he expounded pointing down the road “it’s spring and they are full of water and too deep to cross. The Frundsbergers have taken up the bridges and are defending the other side of each one.”
“Well just blow them away with your artillery”
“Yes but the artillery can’t get too close because they will be picked off by their riflemen, so a full division is being held up by at most sixty men. So far we have managed to get across the first ditch, but we can’t continue until we get the artillery across as well, which means we need to build a new bridge and that needs timber.”
“Well just cut some trees down”
“Yes, but look around, all the trees here are willows and they are regularly cut and they cannot provide long enough lengths of timber. Therefore we have to go to the other side of the ridge to find anything long enough”
Turning to Twyth in despair, he asked “Well can you think of any quicker solution?”
“No Sir, and it would have been worse if we had tried to use the other roads as they cross wider areas of this flat ground. Perhaps if we had managed to view this side of the ridge we might have seen the problem and therefore have made preparations”
“Yes, Twyth if you had not chased off after some woman, you might have seen this”
By evening by when General Bercollin had expected his advance guard to be in Welle it had only just secured the far side of the second drainage ditch.