Sacrifices
By Jeannie

 Part 8

Little John had been up since first light. He wanted to begin searching for Robin and Marion. If anyone could find them, he was that one. John was the best tracker in Sherwood Forest and all the surrounding areas. He would have been long gone if not for Friar Tuck. The Friar asked him to wait a short time with the hope that Robin and Marion would return. "They may have had to hole up for the night and could walk in here at any moment, Little John. Then we would have to send someone out looking for you." "Robin should have been back by now. Something is wrong, I just know it." "Little John, please" Tuck implored. "Alright Friar, I’ll wait; but only for a little while."

Kemal soon joined the group. Not having stayed in the camp the previous night, he knew nothing of Little John’s concerns. Tuck filled him in on Robin and Marion’s absence and explained his reason for wanting Little John to wait. Kemal said he agreed with Little John, which spurred Little John into action. When the two men made to leave, Friar Tuck said he would go with them and went to his tent to get his healing herbs. He wanted to be prepared if either Robin or Marion was hurt. They then set out to find Robin and Marion.

The three soon found themselves at the site of the previous day’s holdup. Little John began to search the area for a lead to Robin’s whereabouts. He came upon the site of the explosion. "Master Ika" he said looking at Tuck and Kemal. With grim faces they continued their search. "Little John" called Kemal; "here are fresh horse tracks and ruts caused by the wheels of a wagon. They head in the direction of that hill." Little John followed the tracks for a short distance. "Look", cried Little John, "someone was leading a horse up this hill and by the looks of it that horse was dragging something or someone. These tracks aren’t fresh though they could be from yesterday. I say we follow these tracks and see where they lead." "A word of caution men" said Tuck. "If Master Ika is back, we could be heading straight for trouble."

The three of them proceeded cautiously up the hill where they came upon the entrance to the cave. Kemal quickly drew his sword as they hesitantly entered. The cave was empty. There was no sign of anyone having been there, no ashes of a recently burned fire, no scraps of food, nothing. Yet the tracks led to this cave. They started to exit the cave when Tuck suddenly called for them to stop. He bent down to retrieve something that caught his eye. The others came over to examine the article. It was a scrap of material covered in soot and blood. Tuck stood staring at the material, his expression darkening. "What is it Tuck?" they each asked. "This material is the same color and texture as that of Marion’s cloak. It could only mean one thing. One of them is injured, but which one. Where are they now and who do those other tracks belong to. I don’t like this, I don’t like this at all." Little John suggested they follow the tracks and find out. With grim expressions and a strong determination to find their friends, they set off once again.

Unaware of events unfolding around him, Prince John sat on his throne as his tax collectors presented him with the results of their labors. As each man brought forth his gatherings, the prince was overcome with a feeling of elation so great he felt near to bursting. So great was his greed that Prince John was aware of the number of collectors he had hired and an approximation of what each one should collect. When the monies did not reach the sum the Prince anticipated, he jumped up from his seat and began to bellow accusations of thievery to all in the room.

"It was Robin Hood, your majesty" one man cried. "He and his outlaws attacked us on our return to the castle." "Robin Hood, Robin Hood, it is always Robin Hood. The man is the bane of my existence." The prince continued to complain as he returned to his throne. No one in the room uttered a word for fear of the Prince’s wrath. Prince John sat and stared, focusing on nothing. A vague plan that had been hovering in the back of his mind for days was now becoming clearer to him. He just might have a way to keep the money without repercussions. He could pin the blame on Robin Hood. The Prince had hired enough villagers to collect the funds that it would be easy to plant the seed of blame that would spread throughout his lands. This was turning into a good day after all.

With a fierce determination born of fear, Little John, Kemal and Friar Tuck continued to track the inhabitants of the cave. Unbeknownst to them, their every move was being observed. At one point, Little John stopped thinking he heard something but when he looked around could see nothing out of the ordinary. As they continued on their journey, the Friar realized just where this path would lead them. Calling for the other two to stop, he informed them that they were headed straight for the castle of Sir Guy of Gisbourne.

"You don’t think Sir Guy has captured Robin and Marion do you Friar?" asked Little John. "Well, if Master Ika is involved you can expect Sir Guy to be also." "We need to very careful," said Little John. "They may be expecting us and we could be walking right into a trap." Kemal spoke up, "Don’t forget I spied on Guy for Robin. I know exactly how to get us in to the castle undetected." Little John looked at Tuck then said to Kemal, "Good, lead the way."

Brian Little, cousin to Little John, nearly got himself caught, so excited did he become upon hearing these plans. This should certainly bring him a hefty sum from Sir Guy. With a broad smile and gleeful eyes he quickly headed for the castle to warn Sir Guy of his impending visitors.

Once at the castle, Brian contacted the head guard he urgent business with Sir Guy. The guard questioned him as to the nature of his business but Brian would only reply, "tell him Brian is here". The guard went off in search of his employer.

Guy quickly met with Brian. "What news spy?" "Little John, Kemal and Friar Tuck are heading this way looking for Robin and Marion. Kemal claims to know of a way to enter undetected." "Interesting, very interesting. Good work, Brian." With that said, he tossed him another bag of coins and went off to form a welcoming committee.

On the road in the northern part of Nottingham, a wagon was heading toward the castle of Prince John. It was loaded with gold with two men alternating driving the team and guarded by six outriders. The men were weary from these constant tax-collecting trips and were becoming quite lax in their watch. For this reason, they were stunned when a loud noise startled their horses causing them to rear. The team harnessed to the wagon bolted and it was taking all the power of the two drivers to bring them under control.

As they all struggled to control their horses, they were set upon by a group of men. Arrows to the chest brought down two of the guards, while the others were attacked with swords. One of guards managed to flee, fear for his safety stronger than his loyalty to Prince John. The three remaining guards and the two drivers were quickly subdued. They were tied to nearby trees and their horses were tied to the back of the wagon. One of the outlaws jumped on to the seat of the wagon and called to his fellow outlaws. "Let’s get out of here. Robin will be pleased with this day’s work." With that the outlaws left. "Prince John will be none too pleased

On the road in the northern part of Nottingham, a wagon was heading toward the castle of Prince John. It was loaded with gold with two men alternating driving the team and guarded by six outriders. The men were weary from these constant tax-collecting trips and were becoming quite lax in their watch. For this reason, they were stunned when a loud noise startled their horses causing them to rear. The team harnessed to the wagon bolted and it was taking all the power of the two drivers to bring them under control.

As they all struggled to control their horses, they were set upon by a group of men. Arrows to the chest brought down two of the guards, while the others were attacked with swords. One of guards managed to flee, fear for his safety stronger than his loyalty to Prince John. The three remaining guards and the two drivers were quickly subdued. They were tied to nearby trees and their horses were tied to the back of the wagon. One of the outlaws jumped on to the seat of the wagon and called to his fellow outlaws. "Let’s get out of here. Robin will be pleased with this day’s work." With that the outlaws left. "Prince John will be none too pleased

End of Part Eight

Part Nine
Home  / Story Page Sacrifices Page