Robin and Marion had been a couple for several months now. When their feelings were finally out, suddenly everything seemed easy for them. But they had to go through a lot, before they were finally happy together.
It began in the spring almost one year ago from today. In the early times Marion and Robin were constantly arguing. And as usual it seemed to be about nothing. Robin wanted to go out into the forest for a hunt, but it was washing day and Marion wanted Robin to stay in the compound and wash his clothes. Robin insisted on going and the argument began. Marion asked him if he thought that only woman should wash and do the housework. But Robin never gave her an answer, he just silently left. This made her so enraged that she didn't want to speak another word to Robin. Later in the evening when Robin had returned he wanted to apologize for his behavior but Marion wasn't in the compound. So he searched for Little John and Friar Tuck to ask them where she had gone.
"Hey Tuck, John! Where is Marion? I can't find her anywhere."
"She was very angry about that argument you had this morning. Some time later she came to me and informed me that she was going to visit someone." Tuck answered.
"And did she tell you anything about her destination?"
"No, not anything. She also told us not to follow her."
"Hmm.... Well, if that is her wish I will have to respect it. But I'm worried....!" Robin mumbled to himself, now wanting the others to see his concern he knew he needed to get to his tent-like hut. He really felt very sorry about being such a fool that morning. Sometimes he just wondered how stupid one human being could be. Marion was absent from camp for the whole night. It was as the sun was already high up in the sky that she finally came back to the compound. Robin was the first to see her, he had waited for her the whole night, sitting in front of his tent. He even had washed his clothes to kill time he told his friends when they asked.
"Marion. So glad that you are safely back. Where have you been?" She was still angry with Robin and so she only answered in a curt voice.
"I've been to a friend of your’s."
"....to a friend of mine?" Robin repeated. Marion just ignored Robin as she headed towards her tent.
"Marion, wait. Who is this friend? Hey.....hey, stop walking for a moment, please."
"What?" Marion shouted out in anger. "Why are you suddenly interested in the things that I do? You are not my father. Remember that!" Her face had turned a beet red.
"I know that. But should this really be a reason for me not to worry about you? I know that I was wrong yesterday but you don't have to treat like this for a little mistake!" Robin was now becoming enraged.
"Well, if this was the first time it would be something different. But you've done it more than twice now. I have had enough." Robin tried to calm her down.
"I just wonder what is going wrong with us." Robin gently said. "We are as far apart as yesterday morning."
"We are still there Robin Hood, things have not changed. Now, get out of my sight!"
She turned around on her heels and stormed off. Robin just stood there with his mouth hung open. He had never seen Marion like this. They had arguments before that but Marion used to calm down quickly. But this time everything was different. All he wanted to know was where she had been for so long. Maybe this was the reason enraging her. He decided to let her sleep on it. Surely she would be better the next day.
But in a weeks time Marion's behavior hadn't changed. Robin just didn't know how to deal with it. But the day he would finally have answers arrived now. Everybody in the compound just had lunch and now it was very quiet. Most of the inhabitants were resting for a while before they went on with their work. Even Robin was lying on his bed in his hut when he heard the main entrances' sentinel sounding the signal from outside. Somebody was coming! He was up at once and ran outside.
"Who is coming towards us?" he shouted up to the sentinel.
"I don't know." he answered. "He has a white flag with him, no weapons and he seems to know his way. Shall I let him enter?"
"Yes. If he has no weapons I'm sure he is a messenger of Olwyn. Is there something else special?"
"No, I can't see anything."
A few minutes later the stranger had arrived in the camp. Robin went towards the man. "Hello my friend. Who are you and where are you coming from?"
"My name is Bret Davis. Olwyn sent me to bring you a message from his Royal Highness King Richard. He needs your help in the Holy Land of Israel.
Robin didn't know what to think of this first. "Very well, Bret. But you seem to be exhausted from your trip. I think you should eat something and take a little time to rest and then we can talk about why you are here."
Someone of the camp hapily volunterred to care for Bret's stallion, taking the reins he walked it towards their stables. Robin brought the messenger to Friar Tuck's tent where he was assured he could find something to eat.
"Robin, we have a guest?" Tuck asked.
"Yes. This is Bret Davis. He needs one of you excellent meals."
"Bret, take a seat and make yourself at home. Where are you from?"
"He is a messenger of King Richard and he has got something for us." Robin answered for Bret who had just taken a big spoon of soup into his mouth.
Robin wasn't wrong with his supposition that Olwyn sent Bret to them. When he had finished his meal he started to tell his message.
"King Richard sent a message to Olwyn by powers I don't know. Her majesty Queen Eleanor is in dire trouble. She is in the enemy’s hands. King Richard now needs a man with your skills both fighting and intellectual."
"But how can I get to Israel so fast? The queen will need my help at once and the journey would take me almost half a year!"
" Olwyn said he has the answer to that question. He said he has his own way to send you there using magic. You will be allowed to take to others with you for support. But I have to warn you. This will be the most dangerous and hardest fight you have ever been fighting your entire life. Now, do you agree to help our beloved King and Queen?"
"I sure will. Tuck, show Bret a place where he can sleep. Then find Little John and come to my tent."
Tuck nodded. Robin went outside of Tuck's hut and headed towards Marion’s tent. She had to know it, too. He had decided not to take her with them, though. And this would be a problem to explain. Especially when he thought of the argument they the week before.
"No one is to enter without knocking on my door!" It sounded from inside.
So Robin lifted his right eyebrow and did just that.
"Am I allowed to enter now?"
"If you want to....."
Marion was sitting on her bed, her face turned away from Robin, cleaning her sword.
"I've have something to tell you." Robin started.
"Well, I know that." Marion said displeased.
"King Richard has sent a message to me. He needs me to help Queen Eleanor."
"I know that Robin. I know everything about it." Marion's voice had calmed down suddenly.
"Who told you.....?" Robin asked unbelieving her.
"Olwyn. Remember? I was out last week. Well, it was him I visited."
"You....., you visited .......Olwyn?? Why was that?" Robin was confused completely now.
"I needed to know more. More about you. And Olwyn is the only one still alive who knows you better than anyone else. I had no other choice. It seems as of late I don't know how to live with you or without you. He told me that you will soon get a message from King Richard. He told me everything about it. Robin, please don't go. It's just too dangerously. I know that you won't take me with you. And for me I would feel like I’m dying when I know that you are in danger and maybe never returning ...... returning to me. Don't leave me." Marion cried out in despair.
"I'll have to go. I'll just have to go. I promised my life to the people of
England and its king. And I keep my promises Marion," he went a bit closer to her and took her in his arms,
"Don’t think that I will ever leave you. I love you more than my life and I couldn't live without you. Don't worry, I'll be back to you and will never leave you again." Robin kissed her on her hot forehead.
It was hard for him, too, to leave his one and only love. But it didn't seem that there was a choice for him. He had to go. Then he released her again and went out of her tent. Marion was just standing there not able to move or to speak or to cry out in her pain. This was the very first time she felt absolutely helpless and despaired. Robin went over to his hut. Friar Tuck and Little John were already waiting for him.
"Now Robin, what are we going to do?" Tuck asked.
"What our king wants us to do. We are going down to Israel. Prepare yourselves to leave tomorrow before sunrise. Only take with you what you will really need."
"Why can't Marion come with us?" Little John queried.
"First the people here in the compound will need a leader. They accept Marion. And I'm afraid that this will be one of the most dangerous battles we have ever fought. I want her to be secured in the compound. And second King Richard said that only three men can go. Now go, we all need rest."
After an uneasy night for Little John, Friar Tuck and especially Robin and Marion A cold hazy morning came upon them. Four figures busied through the fog and another was standing aloof. Horses were saddled someone was cooking over an open fire and none of them said anything. Marion's tried to keep her face devoid of emotion and she was near crying.
Robin noticed but their was nothing he could do to help her with her fears. For she knew that she was unable to stop him. Nevertheless she tried it. So she went towards him and tried to convince him.
"Robin, you don't really want to go, do you? King Richard has enough men for such matters, I'm sure. He doesn't need you. But I do...."
"Marion, please try to understand. I can't stay if there is a member of the royal family in danger. And there is another reason for me to go. If King Richard should be killed and his mother died too, then Prince John will stay on the throne for the rest of his life. This would mean that we will always have to live as outlaws. Do you really want that? Don't you wish sometimes to live in a house with your family? I do, so I'll do everything to achieve that one-day. I don't want to be Robin of the Hood forever."
He kissed her shyly on her pale lips. "I promise that we all will return to you alive. I'm gonna miss you........ Goodbye!"
Robin turned on his heels and left Marion without one more look back. He didn't want her to see the tear rolling down his cheek.
"Come on guys, let's ride our of here. We must hurry up time is running out."
Moments later they were on their way to Olwyn. Robin mind was full of thoughts of what was to come. He was afraid of the fight that was coming up to them because he didn't know what was expected of them in the foreign country. Tuck's feelings were different. Of course he was afraid too but he was looking forward standing on the same earth as his Savior Jesus Christ did. What a big honor for him. And Little John seemed to be as easy as always. He didn't show any sign of fear. But maybe he was just a good actor.
Two hours later they arrived at Olwyn's cave. When the magic dragon welcomed them the friar and John prepared to fight. Robin had to laugh out loud when he saw this. He just made his way through the dragon's body. Now Little John and Friar Tuck were standing there with open mouths. They couldn't believe what they had just seen.
"Hey come on. It won't harm you!" Robin shouted over his shoulder. They made their steps very carefully. The swords were ready in their hands for the emergency. Nothing did happen after all when they went through. And Robin was just amused.
"Olwyn? Are you home?" Robin asked into the empty room.
"Of course young one, I've been expecting you. You must prepare yourselves for an usual trip. I'll send you to Israel by magic. If you traveled by water and land the journey would take over six months, but my way its just a few minutes. Robin I must warn you. This will be one of the most dangerous things you have ever done. You will be in a major war."
"We know that Olwyn. But we must go. Now, please do your job." Robin said.
"Stand over there in the middle of the room." He ordered.
Olwyn took a piece of chalk and drew a circle around them on the floor. Then he murmured a strange spell and Robin, Tuck and John were sent on their way. They were flying in a blue suction through time.
End of Chapter One