The sight of Tyne Manor so quiet, made Robin's hair stand on end. What was even more confusing was the fact that the doors to the manor were wide open.
" I don't like this." said Marion, looking around nervously.
" Neither do I." he said.
He had been waiting for Little John and Jacobi to come back and was surprised when he saw them inside the courtyard, motioning for them to come in.
" Well? " he asked Little John as he ran up to him.
" Nothing Robin. There is no one here. " He said.
Robin looked over at Elizabeth and Jacobi, " Are you sure my friend? "
" As far as I can tell, no is on the grounds. I look all over and didn't see anyone." he explained. " There are some tracks, lots of them, leading out from the manor. All I can say is that they left. " And gave Elizabeth and Jacobi a apology shrug.
Elizabeth forced a smile and looked at the house." Did you check the manor yet? "
" No. We were waiting for you. " Jacobi said to his wife, trying to give her some comfort.
" Lets get at it then." she said and entered the manor.
The hall wasn't impressive or large. Stairs were to the front of the doors and there was halls to the left and right of them. To the left and right of the stairs, there were two large double doors and next to them, two nights in armor, each with a different coat of arms. Robin recognized one but couldn't place it and decided to forget about it.
" Little John, Kemal. You two go down that hall, Jacobi, and Elizabeth the other. Marion and I will look upstairs." he said. " If you find anything, give a yell."
They went their separate ways. Little John and Kemal went down their hall to a large room and what looked like a glass room. The room was as long and as high as the manor itself, and had windows, instead of walls, which let in lots of sun and light. The rooms plant life was abundant and well cared for.
" How lovely." said Kemal, looking around enjoying the fragrant flowers.
" Diana would love it in here. " said Little John.
" I’m sure she would and so will the other women " Kemal said with a laugh, then gestured towards a door on the other side of the room. " Let’s go have a look shall we? "
Little John smiled and extended his arm, gesturing for Kemal to go first." You first my good man."
" Oh no, no. After you."
" I would think nothing of it. After you."
Kemal laughed and went to the door and opened it. Inside was what looked like a study or an office. The desk had papers on it and the shelves were lined with books. Two chairs sat on the opposite of the desk and a couch to the left of those. On the right were two more doors and Kemal checked them out.
He turned the handle to find it was locked. " Can you help me out my friend?" he asked Little John.
Little John handed Kemal his staff and took hold of the knobs and pushing.
Robin and Marion went up the stairs, one on each side. At the top of Robins side was another knight of armor. On it was the same familiar coat of arms as the one downstairs. He kept trying to remember where he saw it and just couldn't.
" Robin." said Marion.
Robin went over to her side of the stairs to see what she wanted. At the top was a painting of a handsome young man and a beautiful woman in their wedding cloths. On the bottom read, Andrew and Agnes Tyne. The sight of Andrew was shocking, if not disturbing.
" Come on. Lets get back down stairs. I have a feeling that this was no ordinary kidnapping." and started back down stairs.
Marion was right behind him. " I think your right. "
Robin was waiting for her at the bottom of the stairs." I wonder what’s behind door number one? " And went to check out the doors. They were unlocked to reveal a small but elegant ballroom. One huge candle lit chandelier was in the middle of the room, unlighted and slightly dusty. Most of the room was that way and showed the two that it was little used and cleaned.
Robin shut the door and went to the other two. He had just put his hand on the doorknob when he heard the resounding crack of wood. He tried the handle, finding it locked. Taking a small knife from his boot, he set out to see if he could pick the lock.
It only took him a couple of minutes of picking when the locks gave way and the door opened.
Jacobi and Elizabeth went down their hall to a series of rooms. All the doors were opened wide and they decided to check them out anyway.
" I'll take this one, you get that one." Jacobi said motioning to the door on the left. He had done so because he had seen that the room had a guardian on the other side.
She gave him a smile and went to check it out. The room was sparse, having only a bed, chair and writing desk and a small couch to the left of the room. To the right were glass doors leading to a secluded garden outside.
She went outside, took a deep breath, and closed her eyes. It had been a month since she had seen her children. One month. She felt tears come to her eyes and the thought of them and tried to hold them back.
She was lost in thought when she felt Jacobi's arms wrap around her. " They're not here, are they? " she asked, tears falling from her eyes.
" I think they are." he said as she turned in his arms to look at him. " Come with me." he said, taking her hand.
She followed him in to the other room, to see that it was the nursery. Toys could be seen as well as two beds. On each bed was a pack, filled with clothing for the twins and on each pack a sealed note.
Elizabeth looked at the notes. One was for her, the other, for Jacobi. She looked at him, confused. She pulled them off and handed Jacobi his. Before they could open them, they herd footsteps coming down the hall and turned.
Kathryn looked at the door. She could have sworn she heard the door handle being giggled and went to press her ear upon the door. Sure enough, someone was on the other side of the door. She herd a man grunting and the door moved.
She was backing away from it when she herd a voice say sarcastically, " What's the matter big guy? Can't open a simple door? ".
The door once again started to move and at the sound of splitting wood, she ran and picked up Ellie while Rupert picked up Jacob. With a great groan, the door burst open. Kathryn turned to protect Ellie and when she turned back, in the doorway was the biggest man she had ever seen.
He stood almost as tall as the doorframe itself. He turned to his companion and beckoned him in. His companion was smaller then the giant and dark.
" See. I knew if you had a little motivation you could do it." he said with a grin.
The giant just looked at him, then turned to the people in the room. He spied Kathryn and walked over to her. He bent down and looked Ellie straight in the face and said, " So, Ellie my love, there you are." and took her from Kathryn.
She wasn't about to fight him and the little girl went to him gleefully. Ellie wrapped her cubby arms around his neck and gave him a sound kiss on the lips, causing him to blush to the roots of his blond hair.
The little girl turned to Kathryn and made the introductions. " Unca Johnny." she said pointing to the giant. " Auntie Kat." she said pointing to Kathryn.
" Unca Johnny " stuck out his hand. " I’m Little John. That gentleman, though I hesitate to call him that right at the moment, is Kemal." he said indicating his partner who was at the moment taking Jacob from Rupert. The man tilted his head towards Kathryn as the little boy kissed him right on the cheek
" And you are...." Leaving it open for her.
She took his hand and was about to respond when the other door opened and a woman entered. Behind her another man. The twins squealed and yelled at the same time " Unca Robin...Auntie Mar-i-on!! ". Little John and Kemal had to let them down or drop them and as soon as their little feet hit the floor, they were off in to Robin's and Marion's arms, giving each a kiss and settling their heads on the two's shoulders.
Robin stuck out his hand, " I’m Robin Hood and this, is Marion. You would be? "
It took her a moment to regain her composer and when she finally did, introduced everyone. " I’m Kathryn. These two are my brothers Rupert and Nicholas and that is my father. Andrew Tyne."
Andrew Tyne was sitting at the table with his head in his hands. It was like he was trying to block out everything that was happening. Robin felt for him, but was more concerned about Elizabeth and Jacobi.
" Nice to meet you." he said courteously. " Now you two," he said looking at the twins, " Are we missing someone? "
Ellie sat there with a very thoughtful look then said shyly, " Mommy and daddy? "
" Yes mommy and daddy! " said Marion. " What say we go and find them? "
The resounding " Yes, yes, yes " from the twins, set them off looking for Jacobi and Elizabeth.
Robin and Marion went down the way Jacobi and Elizabeth went. When the twins herd voices, Robin and Marion set the twins on the ground. They, in hearing their parents voices started running down the hall.
Elizabeth grabbed Jacobi's arm. The footsteps kept coming closer and closer making her heart race. She sank to the floor just as Ellie, who was always in the lead, came around the corner, followed by her brother.
" Ellie! Jacob!" Elizabeth said as tears ran down her face.
" Mommy! Daddy!" The two said at the same time and ran in to their parents arms. Elizabeth held Ellie and Jacobi, Jacob. Their tears flowed down their faces as they held the twins.
Robin and Marion watched the four for a few minutes. The sight of the little family was more then a relief to him. He looked at Marion and saw that her blue eyes were full of tears. He put his arm around her and led her back to the dining room.
Elizabeth hadn't realized how hard she was holding Ellie until the little girl said " Mommy, too tight. "
She loosed her grip on her and looked at her. " Why are you crying mommy?" Ellie asked.
" Because I missed you so much." she said giving the little girl a kiss.
" Did you miss me too? " asked Jacob, looking at his father.
" Oh yes. Daddy missed you both so much. " Jacobi said through his tears.
The twins decided to switch places, Ellie to her father, Jacob to his mother. Gave each parent a kiss and a pat on the cheek, then settled down in their laps to play with the toys they still had in their hands.
" What’s this?" she asked her son. He in turn gave her one of the toys and looking at her with approval. " Where did you get these? "
" Papa." he said, looking for someone.
" Papa? Who is papa?" she asked him.
" Grandpa." Ellie said, shocking her parents.
" Can you show us papa?" asked Jacobi.
" Yes! " the two said at the same time. Jacob grabbed Elizabeth's hand and Ellie, Jacobi's and led them down the hall to the dining room.
" But Father! " Kathryn said to his retreating back. Andrew would hear nothing of it. He simply could not believe that his oldest child was alive. Kathryn watched him as he retreated in to the solarium.
She turned and came face to face with Robin. He must have come up on her when her back was turned. Out of desperation and panic, she turned on him.
" Just who are you! " her voice near shrieking.
Rupert and Nicholas came over to her, putting their arms around her shoulders. Robin gave her a sympathetic smile.
" I’m Robert of Loxley, Earl of Huntington." he said, holding out his hand. " This, " he said, taking Marion’s hand, " Is Lady Marion Fitzwalter, daughter of lady and lord Fitzwalter, and cousin to King Richard."
She looked at Marion and gave her a curt nod. " You’re from Huntington? " she asked and visibly relaxed a bit. " No wonder you look like him."
" What do you mean? " asked Little John and Kemal at the same time.
Nicholas pointed to the painting above the fireplace. They all looked and gasped. It was a portrait of a young man. The resemblance to Robin was striking.
" That’s our great great grandfather, Edward." Rupert said pridefully. " And that, " he pointed to the painting on the other side." is our great, great, Grandmother, Katrina. "
Katrina was beautiful. Blond hair, reaching far down her waist. Creamy complexion and brilliant blue eyes. Robin looked at the three children. Out of all of them, Kathryn was the only one with those blue eyes. Nicholas' were a darker blue and Rupert's were brown, like his own.
" Edward came up to the Tyne on holiday and fell in love with Katrina." He explained. " It was a huge scandal. Edward was suppose to marry a prominent Earl's daughter, and in his fathers rage, he disowned him and from what the stories we have heard, had the family crest redesigned. "
" Katrina's father had no male heirs, so it was passed to him on his death. " said Kathryn. " We now keep the coat of arms from each family for remembrance. " looking at Robin, " I'm surprised you didn't notice them on the Knights."
Robin looked at her, shaking his head. " I thought I recognized it. Its a older style, something, my father said, they got rid of because of a family feud. "
Kathryn was about to go on, when she stopped. Her jaw dropped and her eyes darted from Robin to someone behind her. Rupert and Nicholas also did the same. Robin knew what was wrong and turned to see Jacobi and Elizabeth came in, with each child holding on to a hand. Jacobi smiled at Kathryn and went to stand next to Robin.
" Where’s Papa? " Ellie asked Kathryn.
Bending over, Kathryn pointed to the solarium." He's in there".
Ellie grabbed her brothers hand and started running in the direction shouting " Papa, papa!!"
Kathryn, eyes still wide, turned back to Robin and Jacobi. " Twins?" she asked.
"If we were, he'd never admit it." Jacobi joked, poking Robin in the ribs.
" And you would? " He asked Jacobi.
" Probably not." Jacobi laughed.
Elizabeth watched as Jacobi and Robin went back and forth with the banter, making everyone laugh. The two had a way, when together, of making everyone feel at ease. Seeing everyone laugh put her at ease, and she went through the double doors to look for her children.
The office, beyond was ornate, but very immaculate. The desk was clean, except for a pen and the chair, pushed in to the desk. In front of the desk were two chairs and beyond that, a small couch with a small table in front of it. To the right of her, double doors like the ones to the dining room. She could hear the children voices and went to the door.
The room beyond was one of the most beautiful and fragrant room that Elizabeth had ever seen. The room was full of flowers, green plants, hanging plants and even herbs. The room was bright, as the glass walls and ceiling let in all light possible. The solarium was almost as long, and as tall, as the castle it's self.
As she walked through the solarium, she admired the array of flowers, some, out of season, were just blooming. The long bed of herbs made her stop as she bent over and smelled the more fragrant.
" What's wrong, Papa? " Ellie asked. Elizabeth hadn’t noticed that she had come upon the trio.
" Nothing is wrong." The sound of the voice was familiar.
" Is Papa mad?" Jacob asked, in a tiny voice, his arms wrapped around the man's neck.
" No, papa isn't mad."
" Is Papa sad?" asked Ellie.
" Yes he is. " The crack in his voice make Elizabeth’s heart wrench.
" Why? "
" Because you will be going away soon and I will miss you terribly."
Elizabeth felt Jacobi's hand on her shoulder, and she turned to look at him. He looked at the man, whose back was turned to them, and then to Elizabeth. Elizabeth gave his hand a squeeze, then looked back to the children. The children, in seeing their parents, giggled.
" See Papa, Mommy and Daddy." The two said, pointing at their parents.
" Papa " slowly stood up and turned around. Andrew heard the gasp's and saw the shocked look on the faces of the new comers. All eyes kept darting back and forth from Robin, Jacobi, and Andrew. The three, though Andrew's hair being shorter and gray, were identical.
"Who are you? " Jacobi asked quietly, his eyes wide.
Andrew, whose eyes kept darting back and forth from Jacobi to Robin, just mumbled.
" No. You can't be him. We never had twins...."
" I am Robert of Loxley, Earl of Huntington. " Robin said, catching Andrew's arm and escorted him to a nearby chair. " Please, sit down and I'll try to explain."
Robin proceed to explain who he was, along with who Little John, Kemal, Marion and the absent Tuck and Diana were. Through the whole story, the children, having climbed on Andrew's lap, played silently.
After Robin was through, Andrew looked at Jacobi. His eyes filled with tears as he stared at the child he thought was lost to him forever. " I thought I would never see you again."
Elizabeth looked at her husband, tears in her own eyes, to see Jacobi with tears of his own, streaming down his face. She gave him a kiss and a hug, then tried to wipe the falling tears off his cheeks. She turned to Andrew.
" How is it, that Jacobi was taken from you?"
Andrew wiped his own tears and with his younger children, holding his hands explained what had happened.
End of Chapter Seven
Chapter One / Chapter Two / Chapter
Three / Chapter Four
Chapter Five / Chapter Six / Chapter Seven / Chapter Eight
Home /Story Page / 4th Edition