Sacrifices
By Virginia Cavazos

Part 16

Will Scatlock paced up and down in his prison cell. It really was a dirty, filthy cell. He had to tell Guy about it next time he saw him. A man laughed at Will from the door to his cell. Peering in through a small barred window.

"Oh, are you feelin’ a little lonely lad? Well never fear. I ‘ear Sir Guy is goin’ to ‘ave Robin ‘ood brought ‘ear latters. Then you should ‘ave some nice company."

Will ran to the cell, hitting the door with his fists in anger. The guard jumped back. Laughing at Will with a crooked grin. He chuckled on as he walked away from the cell, his head bend down he never noticed the tall man standing in the doorway.

Hitting something hard, the man lifted his head up, to find A blond, blue eyed giant smiling down at him. Raising his quarterstaff Little John slammed one end on the guard’s head. The guard fell towards the ground. Little John caught him. Carrying him to a chair in the room, he sat him down. Tuck and Kemal ran into the dungeon. Quickly closing the door behind them.

Little John grabbed the keys from the unconscious guard. Running around the dungeon he called out Wills name.

"In here!" Will called out to Little John.

Finding the cell that held Will, Little John unlocked the cell door. Coming out of the cell, Will scolded Little John.

"What took you so long?"

"Well we had to wait for Guys men to leave." Little John apologized.

Will laughed as he heard this. "They are going to be upset when they find an empty cavern."

Tuck chuckled. "Well it won’t be totally empty."

"What did you do Friar?" Will gave Tuck an inquisitive look.

"It seems that some one placed several bees nests inside the cavern. And I really don’t know who put those jars of honey over of the entrance of the cavern." Tuck gave out a warm chuckle.

"Friar, did you not give the men a fighting chance?" Will said aghast.

"Of course my son. As long as they don’t trip the wire the honey won’t fall on them. I am a Christian man you know."

"How’s Robin and Marion?" Little John asked Will.

"Marion is fine. I did see Robin, but he’ll be unable to flee from here." Will informed the others.

"Don’t worry about that, I can carry him out if need be." Little John flexed his muscles.

"So I guess our little plan worked then." A smile curling Tucks lips.

"It worked perfectly Friar. I knew that Elsie would be listening in on our conversation with Robin. She didn’t hesitate telling Guy that Robins men were hiding in that cavern."

"So now we go find Robin and Marion." Kemal said. He had been standing near the door, listening for any sound of an approaching guard.

"Lets go." Will said, "I know exactly where they are."

Little John paused near the slumbering guard.

"Will, maybe you should wear a disguise. Incase someone sees us." Little John pointed towards the guard. Will eyed the guards clothes.

"You know Little John. That’s a good idea."

They quickly undressed the guard. Will donned the sentries clothes.

Little John stepped back nodding his head in approval. "You know Will. You look good in red."

Will glanced down at what he wore. He was now wearing a red short sleeve shirt, leather tunic, and tight fitting broadcloth pants. Placing the brilliant red cloak on, he pulled the hood over his head.

"Actually I believe the color is called Scarlet." Will corrected Little John.

"Well you’ll stick out like a sore thumb in that color." Kemal noted.

Will had a small wicked grin. "You know, I’ve always stayed in the background. Tried to remain unnoticed. I think its time for a change."

Tuck patted Will on the shoulder. "Spoken like a true outlaw."

"Well then lets get going" Will felt a rush of excitement. He was now feeling something that he had not felt in a very long time. A purpose in his life. Aiding the outlaws to rescue Robin and Marion. He could now see why Robin had chosen this life. The goodness he felt inside, going against Guy and Prince John, became intoxicating to him.

"Besides." Will added. "Those bees are not going to keep those guards busy long."

"Right." The other three outlaws agreed.

Will opened the door to the dungeon first. Sticking his hooded head out he glanced down the hallway, first one way, then the next. Not a guard to be found.

Motioning for his fellow outlaws to follow. Will lead them down the hallway. As he turned a corner Will ran into a large burly man.

"’ear now!’ Will shouted out, trying to warn his companions to stay back.

"Wots the matter with you. Can’t you sees that I’m walkin’ ‘ere!" Will shouted out to the large man.

"Sorry sir." The man apologized, noticing the clothes the man cringed. He had seen them before. The guardian in charge of the dungeon wore them.

Will reached up and slapped the man on the chest.

"It seems that I ‘ave an empty cell. Per’aps you’d like to warm it up a bits?"

Will grinned wickedly at the man.

The man gulped. "Please accept my apology." The man begged for forgiveness, he didn’t want to end up rotting in a cell.

"Well you best watch yourselves next time." Will brushed him off.

The large man scuttered away, bowing his head in thanks.

Will let out a deep sigh as the man disappeared. Little John patted Will on the back. "That was great! I didn’t know you could talk like that."

Will looked up at Little John, giving him a wink.
"Comes from ‘angin’ around pubs." John gave a knowing nod to Will.

"Well then lets not keep our friends waiting." Will Scatlocke said.

Re-assuming his role as the Dungeon guard, Will pulled the hood farther down his head. "We gots to ‘elp our friends gets out of ‘ere."

Smiling, Will lead his companions up a back staircase. He was trying to lead them up a way that was sparsely used. Hopefully, going this way, they would be able to reach where Marion and Robin were held without further incident. Will walked a little farther ahead of the others. The possibility of being confronted with more of Guys men was still there.

As they came to the floor that held Marion and Robin, Will heard some men approaching. He motioned for the others to be still. Will pressed himself against the wall. Four guards walked by, carrying something between them. He breathed a sigh of relief when they passed by without noticing the hidden outlaws.

Giving the okay sign, Will proceeded towards Marion’s room. He knocked softly at her door.

Inside Marion and Chloe were fast asleep. They were unable to hear Will at the door.

"Why don’t you try opening it?" Kemal asked.

"It’s locked!" Will returned.

"What are we going to do?" Little John lamented.

Will rummaged in his pockets. Pulling out the key ring that he had taken from the Dungeon guard. Opening the ring, Will squatted in front of the door. Jamming the ring into the lock. He started twisting it around, listening for the clicks of the tumblers.

Little John raised one eyebrow, "Learned that in a pub too?"

Will softly laughed. "Yes." He whispered back.

"I’ll have to go to that pub sometime." Little John remarked.

The tumblers clicked. Wills grin grew as he pushed the door open.

"I think you would like it there Little John." Will stood up. "Their bar maids are the most beautiful ladies in the county."

As they quietly walked into the room they found Marion and Chloe fast asleep. Kemal closed the door. Leaving it slightly ajar, keeping watch for Guys men. Will walked to where Chloe was resting, He stared down at her. She looked so beautiful to him. He had never seen anyone as lovely as her. Bending over her, he placed his hand over her mouth. Little John did the same to Marion. Gently they woke the two ladies up.

Marion woke up with a start. She clutched Little John’s hand, twisting it back. Little John moaned out in pain.

"Marion!" He cried out.

"Sorry Little John." Marion apologized. She realized she was now surrounded by her friends.

Blinking her eyes she said. "What are you doing here. I thought you were suppose to be waiting in the cavern."

Tuck smiled at Marion. "That’s what we wanted Guy to think."

Marion quickly jumped off the bed. "Let’s hurry and get Robin."

She ran towards the door. Will took Chloe’s hand, assisting her off the bed. "The sooner we get him, the sooner we can leave from here." Marion quickly took control of the small band.

Kemal carefully opened the door. Will stepped out first. Glancing both ways he gave the all clear. He then led them to Robin’s room.

The room’s door was opened when they came to it. Marion ran in ahead of Will. As they entered the room Marion spun around, her eyes watering.

"He’s gone!" She cried out.

Kemal rushed into the room. "There’s someone coming!" He warned the others. They all tried to hide in the room. Will remained in the center of the room, pulling the scarlet hood over his head.

A man ran into Robin’s room, he was frightened when he spied a red hooded man standing before him. He jumped up as the door was slammed behind him. Little John reached out for the man, lifting him. He yelped out in fear.

"Wait Little John!’ Will cried out, as he pulled his hood back. "This man works for me!"

Little John placed the trembling man back on the floor. Will grabbed the mans shoulders.
"Quickly Dirk." Will impeached his squire. "Can you tell me what has happened to Robin Hood!"

"Oh Master Scatlocke, it’s horrible." Dirk cried out. "Prince John is here. Sir Guy had poor Robin Hood dragged down to meet him."

Will thought back to when the four guards passed him by. That must have been what they were carrying, Robin Hood. Will looked to his companions. With the unfortunate news of Robin’s new dilemma, their faces grew pale.
"Prince John." Tuck gasped out.

"How will we be able to help Robin now?" Little John moaned.

Will started pacing the room. He bumped into Marion as she was pacing also. "I wish we had some of that black powder that Master Ika has." Little John wondered out loud.

Will and Marion stopped pacing. Will gave her knowing smile.

"The next best thing!" They laughed.

"What’s the next best thing?" Little John asked them.

Will and Marion called the outlaws together for a little meeting.

***************************************

Robin was brutally dragged down the stairs of Guys castle. His broken leg ached as it was pushed and kicked around. Robin was pulled into the great hall. A guard pushed him to the ground, grabbing the back of his hair. They forced his head down. Robin heard a familiar chuckle.

"Well, well, what do we have here?"

"Don’t tell me you made a special trip in the middle of the night just for me?" Robin gasped.

Prince John chuckled. He sat in a large chair placed in the middle of the room. Sir Guy stood behind him.

"Don’t flatter yourself man. Of course I didn’t. I uh was bored, couldn’t sleep. Thought I would come early."

Robin shook his head loose from the guard’s grip. Bringing his head up he gave Prince John a sly grin. "In the middle of the night? Sire?" Robin rolled the word sire in his mouth, as if it left a bad taste.

Prince John flew up out of the chair. He quickly walked up to Robin. Pulling his arm up, he backhanded Robin. Robins head jerked to the side. Bringing it back forward, he licked his bleeding lip.

"Is that the best you can do sire?" Robin mocked.

Prince John was infuriated. "It will be I laughing Robin Hood. When they stretch that neck of yours from a rope on my gallows."

Robin looked defiantly up at Prince John. There really wasn’t much more he could do. With his broken leg Robin knew he wouldn’t be able to fight his way out.

As Prince John plopped back on the chair, Guy walked up to Robin. He wanted in on the fun too.

"Poor Fitzsooth." Guy sung out. "Seems like I finally have the upper hand."

"Oh really?" Robin laughed. "How is that Guy? You don’t have Marion’s love." Robin smiled up at Guy. "You will never have it Guy, not even with my death."

"What need have I of her love!" Guy hissed back. "With your death she will remain with me for the rest of her life."

Guy reached down and grabbed Robin’s shirt. Pulling him up he spit out in anger. "And you can take that with you to the grave!"

Robin brought his head back, spitting into Guys face. Guy was furious. He grabbed the back of Robins head, pulling his knee up he jammed it into Robins face. Robin fell stunned on the floor.

"Very brave Sir Guy, very brave." Prince John clapped his hands. "Beating up on an injured man."

Guy’s eyes were wide with anger. The guards let Robin lay on the ground for a few minutes. As they heard him start moaning they reached down to lift him up from the floor. His head lolled to the side.

Guy was pacing the floor nervously. "You always find a way to make me want to kill you Robert of Locksley." He ranted. "Well tomorrow I will finally get my retribution, the day you hang."

Prince John chuckled. "Ah Robin Hood. If you had only taken that offer given to you as a young man, things would have been so much better for you. But no, you had to play the martyr. Just look where it got you."

Robin shook his head. It felt so heavy to him. Forcing himself to raise it up, he grinned up at Prince John. This action giving him pain. His swollen lips parted. "I found that I became a richer man declining the offer Prince John." Robin croaked out, he swallowed, wetting his dry throat. "After all, look what all those riches have done to you and Sir Guy. I would rather die poor with a clean soul than rich with as black heart as you have."

Prince John and Guy laughed in unison. Robin sadly shook his head. They just didn’t get it. As Guy went up to Robin to explain to him about his wretched life they were all startled by an explosion coming from the hallway.

"What the hell was that?" Prince John roared.

A red hooded man ran into the room. "Sir Guy!" The man gasped under his hood. "Master Ika ‘as returned. ‘e said you didn’t pay ‘im for the tax money ‘e stole for you."

Prince John flew up as he heard what the hooded man said.

"Whaatt!!" He roared. "You stole the tax money?!"

Guy was about to tell Prince John that there was a mistake when another explosion was heard.

Four hooded guards ran into the room. A cloud of dust floated after them.

"Oh Sir Guy!" The red hooded man lamented. "Master Ika said ‘e was going to blast this castle to the ground!"

Guy was terrified. He had seen what Ika could do with his black powder. A fifth guard ran into the room. His cloak covered in white powder. He was coughing, mumbling something about the castle was coming apart.
"Quick, lead the Prince out of here!" Guy ordered the guards. The Red hooded man ran to the men that held Robin.

"You men go to Prince John, makes sure ‘e gets out of ‘ere. I’ll ‘ave these men ‘andle Robin ‘ood."

The men at first hesitated. The Hooded man laughed "Wot kinds of trouble is ‘e going to give us? The man is ‘alf dead!"

The man agreed with the Dungeon guard. They escorted Prince John out of the castle. Two of the guards came up to Robin. The one covered in dust easily lifted Robin into his arms. Robins head lay upon the mans shoulder. The other guard’s hand stroked Robins hair.

"Quickly now!" Will hissed. He led them into the courtyard.

Little John ran after Will, holding Robin in his arms.

Meanwhile Guy ran into the hallway, to find what damage Ika incurred on his castle. He roared in anger as he found the remains of two large urn’s. They had been filled with dirt. From the damaged done they must have been thrown from the top of the staircase. Only a very strong man could have done that.
"Little John!" Guy hissed out in anger!

Marion pulled the hood off of her head. She ran alongside Little John as he carried Robin to the stables. The other guards lifted their hoods. Tuck, Kemal, and Chloe followed after Will.

The stables were in a turmoil. Prince John’s carriage tore out, heading back to his castle. Will snuck in, Bringing out six horses. Little John handed Robin to Will, he held onto Robin until Little John mounted his horse.

Will and Kemal then gently lifted Robin into Little Johns arms. Little John held Robin protectively in his arms. Robin weakly smiled up at Little John.

"This seems to becoming a habit with you." He softly laughed.

"Its all right Robin. You go to sleep now. We’ll get you back home."

The others mounted, urging their horses on. They rode right past the fuming Sir Guy.

"Marion!" Guy screamed out. "You will be my wife!" He roared.

Marion turned her head. "Not in this life time!" She returned.

The outlaws then rode on into the night. Heading back to Sherwood.

End of Part 16
 

Part Seventeen
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