Even before the light of day had broken Robin and his men rode to Prince John's castle. The ride was silent and every face seemed to be turned into stone. Nobody knew what was expecting them and fear was with them. About one mile away from the castle Robin told them to stop. They jumped off the horses and everybody watched him now.
"Marion, Friar Tuck, and I will enter the castle through a secret entrance. Little John stays here with you to lead you instead of me. He knows what to do. We'll now go further to the edge of the forest. The horses we leave here. You'll wait there for the signal."
Shortly before they reached the edge of the forest they separated from the rest of the group. Still inside the woods they walked around the castle until they discovered the secret entrance. He took a case knife and crouched near the small door. Breaking it open he signed Marion and Tuck to follow him. They had to go through the blackest darkness until they reached the exit on the other site of the tunnel. The small iron door opened easily and Robin, in front of them all, saw the castle-yard. He looked around and didn't see any guards who could try to stop them. They went outside and crawled along the walls towards the main entrance.
Robin went up the wooden stairs to the wall weir he waved his friends outside to come in. That was the signal. The next thing for them to do now was to go unseen to Prince John. Nobody had noticed them yet. It was very early in the morning and the soldiers who should have guarded the castle, snored at their places. Marion and Tuck followed Robin to the weir. Through a door in the tower they went inside the castle. The fires of the torches didn't really give a bright light to the corridor but it was enough to find the right way. The three outlaws had been walking a long way until they reached a heavy cast-iron door beside them.
"It would be helpful if Little John was here now." Robin said.
"But we'll get that door open without him."
Of course they did for it wasn't locked. Now they were standing in Prince John's sleeping room. Robin put his forefinger in his lips because the prince was still asleep and it wouldn't have been very good if they had woken him up. Quiet as mice they crawled to the sleeping monarch. A large grin parted Robins lips, he found it hard to fight it back because the prince with his white nightcap and pillow in his mouth didn't look like the most powerful man in England at all. Bold Robin sat down on his bed. This woke Prince John. But it wouldn't have been very clever for him to sit up because he had Robin Hood's sword on his throat Spitting the pillow out he roared.
"What,......, what is going on here?" he became angry. "Guaaaaaards!"
"They won't hear you. But, tell me beloved Prince, why did you have to do that to the village you raided two days ago? Was all that damage nessasary?"
"What village do you mean?"
"Oh, I heard from some friends. Our dearest prince can't remember the murderers a few days ago. What shall the nobles think about this?"
He watched Marion and Tuck promising. "Shall we bring it back to Milord’s mind?"
"I think there will be nothing else to do, dear Robin!"
"I'm with you, Lady Fitzwalter. So, you don't remember how you sent men to kill their own children or how you ravished their wives? Does the memory come back now?"
"They didn't pay their taxes those country fools. But why do I tell you that? I won't rander you an account of that. Guaaaards!"
"Yes, you are. And this time we call you to account. Make yourself ready!"
"What do you plan you tricksters? Guards, guaaaards...."
"Would you finally stop crying for your guards? They don't hear you anyway. They are busy playing with my men. And what we plan with you, you will know this time."
Through the open windows you could hear the hearty sounds of a great struggle. Suddenly when they left the prince's rooms they heard soldiers coming up to them.
"Hurry up! Try to find a door somewhere" Robin ordered. For Prince John there was nothing better to do than to scream his well-known "Guaaaaards". It was best for him because so it was easy for the guards to find what they were looking for. The three outlaws together with their captive and his soldiers got to the throne hall. And there started another fight just like in castle-yard. It was hard work for Robin, Marion, and Tuck to fight the thirty soldiers themselves.
They slashed around with their swords and even where able to hit a few with their bare fists. The fight went on for a long time and it seemed as if there were always more soldiers coming at them. For the numbers did not diminesh. But Robin's, Marion's, and Tuck's forces did weaken. It was almost a miracle that the three hadn't been defeated yet. And now Prince John was able to free himself and so his soldiers were fighting even more harder. They didn't have to watch for him anymore. Waiting for him to be out of danger. Not the fighting took on a different vein. Another pretty long time went by until Robin, Marion, and Friar Tuck had to give up. They realized that they didn't have even the smallest chance to win. So Robin, Marion, and Tuck found themselves soon in front of Prince John kneeing on the floor, their hand s bound on their backs. And he sat as usual on his throne in his high-handed way watching his prisoners.
"Aha, you wanted to punish the great Prince John because he just did what is his right. HA! Excuse me, but I can't stop laughing at this funny thing. How were you ever to get this working? It was absolutely clear that my faithful inferiors wouldn't ever admit this. Oh, you fools." Prince John was more happy than he ever was before.
"It'll be a pleasure to me to put you all, but especially you Robin Hood, to death. Look at my hands," he lifted them up," This beautiful hands will kill you in front of everyone's eyes. What a great pleasure."
"If I were you, I wouldn't be so sure about that so early." Mortiana appeared suddenly out of nothing.
"Mortiana, you've scared me! How do you manage to get this silly idea that anyone could come between me and my plans with this guys?"
"You have powerful lords, Milord. More powerful as I am. You should take care of yourself."
"Pah, who should be more powerful than me, Prince John, the emperor of England?"
"Well, Prince John, you'll see how far you get with your haughtiness. Stay well!"
And so Mortiana disappeared as quick as she had arrived.
"This woman really thinks to know everything better than me. But now to you my dearest outlaw friends. How does it feel, surrendering and to be mine?"
"We have never surrendered. And we never will. Not even on the scaffold. Robin of the Hood and his men only bow their heads before the true king of England - King Richard. Be assured of that."
"I should punish you for this insolence. But this will happen early enough...."
"What, doesn't the great Prince John have the courage to punish the small Robin Hood? Just empty words. You're afraid of your own actions."
"Shut up or you will learn what real pain is. Guards, take them away."
Sixteen soldiers took them to the dungeon. Four for everyone. Prince John must have been really afraid of losing his big booty. Then Robin, Marion, Friar Tuck, and Little John were alone in the dungeon. None knew what to say now. Marion was the first who dared to say something.
"What shall we do now? This time it seems as if Prince John got it worked out at last."
"Hey hey, little lady. Don't give up so quickly. The day isn't over before midnight. Olwyn knows that we are here and I am sure that he is still on his way to help us."
"I only wish, I had the same trust in him as you."
The afternoon and the evening went by without anything happened and Little John and Friar Tuck fell to sleep.
"Marion....?" Robin whispered.
"Hey, come to me. Can't you find any sleep, too?"
"How could I?"
"I understand. It's not different with me. Marion, I always thought of a nicer place for this, than this dark, with rats covered dungeon. But sometimes you must take what you get. Marion, you know that I love you. I only wanted to say that I will always do so, no matter what will happen."
"Robin, have you given up?"
"No, well not yet. But I'm not so sure anymore if we get out of here safe. I only wanted you to know that."
Marion nodded and kissed Robin shyly on his lips. Then she turned around because she didn't want him to see her cry. She only knew too well what was going on inside of him. And she didn't like this as less as him. Somewhere, when the moon was already high up in the sky Marion finally got to sleep. But Robin couldn't.
His heart was too heavy with all its big and much sorrows. They were taken when asleep very early the next morning. Even though the people of Sherwood had some sympathy among the Prince's men the ones who woke them up were not they.
"Hey, get up! His majesty wants to talk to you." The soldier laughed.
"You should watch the sunlight as long as you are able to. When you will be two meters beyond our feats this will be uneasy." His silly grin remained on his face. Robin, Marion, Friar Tuck, and Little John didn't dare say anything about that.
They made their own thoughts about that. Again they were taken by sixteen soldiers up into the throne hall. Robin didn't receive any sign of Olwyn and the situation was becoming urgent now.
"A very good morning today my friends. Well, it's raining cats and dogs but you make the sunlight shine for me so bright. Today will be the most beautiful one in my whole life. It will be a great pleasure for me to see you in the worst pain."
"Prince John! Don't you think that those words come too early over your scandalous lips?"
The hall was completely silent now. A strange woman came out of nothing. But Prince John seemed to know her very well.
"Lady Gwen of Avalon. What takes you to this place?"
"Shut up, unabashed fool. You actually dare to ask me this? Can't you think of why I am here? Oh, devilish beautiful rashness! How can you dare to capture those four people although you know that they have the special security of the white powers of Avalon? I can only say it once more. You are a foolish one, not a prince. Let them go at once or you'll feel the powers of Avalon. You know that you are not allowed to capture Robin Hood or one of his men yourself. For this you will always need someone else. Think well of this words. This is the last time you have heard them. Then you will pay for every further offence."
"Yes, Milady. I will let those four.....outlaws go at once. Hopefully you are satisfied now."
"Ok. But I will wait until they reached their compound in safety. And let this be a lesson for you. You can't reign with giving the people fear. Avalon will punish you if something like that in the village will happen again. You will never be able to fight the powers of Avalon. And never forget that."
Prince John stood up and looked down on the ground. Then he lifted his face again and watched the four outlaws, Lady Gwen, and his soldiers directly into their eyes.
"Guards, lose their bondage’s and let them go with all their men. But Robin Hood, think of my words. One day I will get you. You can't hide for eternity."
"I don't think so. This time was only the unusual. So don't expect to be back again to your dungeon so soon." He bowled.
"Have a nice day!"
Prince John's face turned into a dark red when he heard this. He was short before exploding. But he had to cool down because any other word to the outlaw could kill him. The magician was still there.
Robin, Marion, Little John, and Friar Tuck left the castle together with their men. One mile away they also found their horses.
"Well, we didn't get everything we wanted but Prince John has good memory about that now at least." Robin laughed.
"Yes. But this could have gone the wrong way. We really can count our blessings that nobody was killed. But I think that we can be proud of ourselves. And especially you!" Marion watched secretly.
"Why can I be proud of myself?" Marion took Robin aside.
"Well, you finally got him to jump over your own shadow. You know what I mean, last night in the dungeon..."
Robin turned red and said nothing. He knew very well what Marion was talking of.
About one hour later they were back in the compound. Robin went to Peter Chapman at first. He found him in Tuck's hut. He seemed to be better again.
"Hello Peter! I don't want to break up any wound but you don't have a home anymore. If you don't mind being an outlaw, you can stay here with us in the compound."
"This would mean a big honor to me. I'd love to stay!" Robin smiled at him.
"You are welcome!"
Robin left the newest member of the compound and went his way to Marion.
"Robin, what takes you here?"
"Well, I wanted my words of the last night to be followed by actions."
So he went up to her and kissed her long and passionately.