Passion for the PAST from historians of the FUTURE

Robin Hood by Jess Ingersoll

Chapter 1: The Merry
Men

As
I drew my arrow up to my bow my whole body was still and the only sound that
could be heard was the pumping beat of my heart. I let out a slow breath and
released the arrow. It made a strange whooshing noise as it soared through the
air and straight through the target. “Show off”, groaned Much as he collected
the arrows, all of which had been dead in the middle of the target. “You know I
could do that if I wanted to” said Much. We both looked at each other and
laughed, Much was a terrible bowmen.

“We
better go back to camp” I laughed, “the other will soon wonder where we are”. I
slung my bow round my shoulder and started walking. It only took us 5 minutes
to reach camp and when we got there I smelt the savoury aroma of cooked pig.
“Looks like John finally let Tuck cook, ‘bout bloody time to, I don’t think I
could handle another burnt chicken”, Much and I both let out a laugh.

Our
camp was located at a small opening right next to a water fall which meant that
any noise we made was drowned out by the crashing of the water fall. Six
hammocks were strung up between in a circle between the trees that thrived
there. In the middle of the opening was a small fire pit, there was also a
small rope that hung between two trees that resided closest to the water fall, this
was used as our close line. As Much and I entered camp I saw everyone gathered
around the camp fire.

“Robin!”
said Will, “how was archery practice, get ‘em all again?” Will Scarlet was a
young man in his 20’s whose parents were murdered by Prince Johns knights. He
joined the merry men in revenge, we were his only family. Alan-a-dale used to
work for King Richard but was thrown out by Prince John, we found him in the
forest unconscious, and when we nursed him back to health he felt indebted to
help us. Little John was the first person to join the merry men, apart from
Much, he was older than Alan and Will but his loyalty and bravery could never
be matched, and even though his name was Little John he was a big man indeed.
The last member of the Merry Men was Friar Tuck. He was the local clergyman and
joined us when his church was shut down.

“Something
smells good!” Much bellowed, “Smells like rabbit”. Everyone laughed and resumed
what they were doing. I walked over to my hammock and placed my bows under a
small shrub that rested against the tree that held my hammock. Even though our
camp was a secret I still took precautions. As I sat down next to Much the
flames of the fire dulled a little so I threw in some more wood from the pile.

“You
know she should’ve been back by now” Much said quietly, “but you already know
that don’t you”, Much’s face was solemn as he continued to watch the fire.

“I
know. I haven’t stopped thinking about her all day, if she’s not here by sun
down I shall set out to find her.” I watched the flames flicker and dance but
my mind was in another place.

“I
shall come with you”, I was just about to protest but he interrupted me, “it
could very well be another one of Prince Johns traps, so I don’t care if you
disagree, I’m coming whether you want me to or not”. I considered it for a
second but then realised that Much wouldn’t take no for an answer.

“Fine,
be ready by sun down or I leave without you”, I gave him a pat on the back as I
got up and retired to my bed.

 

 

Chapter 2: The Rescue

Much
woke me up at sundown. “Leave without me huh” he gave me a fun smirk as I leapt
from the hammock and gathered my bow, arrows and rucksack.

We
crept past the others who were sound asleep in their hammocks. I mounted my
horse and I heard Much let out a little cry as he fell onto the ground. I swung
my head round and raised my finger to my lips to tell him to be quiet. He
nodded and slowly got back onto his horse. Then as quiet as a mouse, we rode
off through the forest.

When
we arrived at the gates of Nottingham it was nightfall. We dismounted our
horses and walked through the silent and deserted town. When we reached the
‘Dragon Ale Inn’ we crept around the back and slipped silently through the back
window which had carelessly been opened.

The
room we found ourselves in was nearly pitch black, the only light was from the
full moon that could be seen from the window we had just come from. The pale
moonlight revealed only a portion of the rather large room. I drew my bow and
heard the sound of Much’s sword also being drawn. Suddenly my body’s instinct
told me to duck, so I did. An arrow had barely missed my head and it had made
Much jump. The lights in the room were suddenly alight and the full light
revealed 7 soldiers armoured with swords and shields. The arrow had come from
the soldier on the furthest left. The soldiers were in a line and behind them I
saw two people. Prince John, and his right hand man, the Sheriff of Nottingham.

Just
like that Much and I jumped into action. I drew my sword and the sound of metal
clashing rung around the room. We were majorly outnumbered and at a great
disadvantage, that was until, the rest of the Merry Men smashed through the
door.

Chapter 3: The Trap

Little
John gave me a cheeky look and yelled “didn’t think we’d let you have all the
fun did you?” He charged at the soldier who’d shot the arrow and behind him
came Alan, Will and even Friar Tuck. They all had their swords ready and within
seconds were also in the heat of battle.

After
what seemed like hours of fighting, we had finally managed to take down 4
soldiers and 2 other had fled from the battle. That left only 1 soldier
protecting Prince John and the Sheriff, he soon realised this and surrendered.
“Give her to me” I commanded pointing my sword and Prince Johns head. Prince
John waved his hand at the last remaining soldier and he disappeared out the
door, when he returned I was overjoyed to see Maid Marian. I gave her a loving
smile and she stood behind me with the other Merry Men.

“Never
thought you’d let a girl into your club” laughed the sheriff, “especially your
girlfriend” he winked at Marian.

“Let’s
go” I signalled to the merry men. One by one they climbed out the window, the
whole time I watched the two men, making sure they didn’t try anything funny.
When everyone except me had gone out the window I turned my back on the sheriff
and left. As soon as we were out I told everyone to run back to where the
horses were and not to stop. Even though we had succeeded in rescuing Marian I
knew that we weren’t out of the woods yet. When we reached the horses we all
mounted quickly and started off. Marian was on Will’s horse and they were
leading the way. We galloped through the forest until we reached camp. They
hadn’t followed us.

By
the time we got back the sun was rising so Tuck started boiling some rabbit for
breakfast. As we all slumped around the camp fire I could see that everyone was
exhausted, the fight had taken a lot out of everyone, but no one seemed to have
any major injuries. Marian went and got changed but when she returned she sat
next to me. “You shouldn’t have come you know” she sighed, her eyes fixed on
the fire, “what if they had killed one of us…what if they killed you!” her eyes
were now locked on mine and I could see that she felt guilty.

“Everyone
came by their own choice Marian, we would all die for you, especially me” I
gave her a loving smile before Friar Tuck announced that the rabbit was ready.

Chapter 4: He’s Missing

After
a wholesome breakfast we all went straight to bed. The only thing that
disturbed me was the sound of Will getting up and gathering the firewood. I
awoke at dawn to find Little John and Much already awake. I slung my cloak over
my head and headed over to where they sat. “Mornin’” smiled John. I returned his
smile.

“Thankyou”
I said putting my hand on Johns shoulder, “for helping save Marian, you didn’t
have to”.

“No
thanks necessary Robin” laughed Little John, “I needed som’ fightin’ practice
anyway’” he bellowed. We sat there eating the rabbit leftovers until everyone
in the camp had awoken.

“Alright
Merry Men” I said addressing everybody, “today we go to town, we need new
supplies. John and Tuck, you two are in charge of the rations. Marian, Alan and
Much are in charge of cloth and horse feed, and Will, you and I are getting the
weaponry. Got it?” I searched around for Will, everyone stood before me except
for him. “Where’s Will” I asked looking at his empty hammock.

“Last
time I saw him he was going out to the woods to collect firewood” said Alan. It
was then I realised that I hadn’t seen Will return from the woods. Which meant
that he was either very late or something had gone wrong. I told everyone to
continue into town without me so I could look for Will. Marian waved goodbye as
I disappeared into the forests mist.

Chapter 5:_Never Be
Forgotten

As
I my horse walked back to camp I knew I had to hold myself together for the
men, and Marian. I was their leader, I had to be strong. When I rode into the
clearing everyone was sitting at the campfire waiting for the news. I saw their
hopeful faces search for another horse, the hopeful faces changed to dread as
they saw the body pulled by my horse. As they gathered around Will’s body there
were mixed responses. Marian burst into tears, Little John just sat down with a
blank expression and Alan, who was Will’s best friend, was holding back tears.
“I found him not far from camp” I said not looking anyone in the eye, “he was
shot by one of the sheriffs soldiers, revenge from our rescue yesterday” I said
as I threw down the arrow that was in Will’s head.

“He
didn’t deserve this!” yelled Alan suddenly losing his hold on his tears, “he
didn’t deserve to die this way! He wanted have kids, a family!” he wept as he
crouched down and laid his head against Wills chest.

“Tomorrow,
we will get our revenge” I said trying lift everyone’s spirits, “tomorrow we
attack the Sheriff, his death will make sure that Will did not die in vain!” Everyone
cheered in agreement. After that the mood was solemn and sadness filled the
air, we all stood their silently, Alan’s quiet sobs filled up the camp. When
night fell we all retired to our hammocks, except for Alan, he slept next to
the grave that we had dug for Will. As I pulled the rug over me in my hammock,
I felt like some part of my heart was missing. Will would always have a place
as one of the Merry Men, he was like my little brother, he was my
responsibility and I should’ve looked after him. No, I couldn’t think like
that, it was the Sheriffs fault that Will was dead, and tomorrow, the Sheriff
would pay the price with his life. I would make sure of that, for I, am Robin
Hood.

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