The Purple Rose

By Verenize Bernal Curiel

CHAPTER III "The Mistake"

"How is he?" Robin asked Tuck, when he left Sir Frederick’s hut after he revised him.

"He will have a headache for a pair of days, but nothing that needs looking after. Marion already told me that your injury is not grave" Saying this Tuck lifted Robin’s tunic for a rapid inspection. He permitted gently.

"If each time someone hurts me, and Marion attends me, I’m sure that it would not be so unpleasant. You torture me" Robin added smiling." Could I see Sir Frederick?

"Of course. You should take care of changing your bandages to avoid infections" Tuck warned.
 
 

Frederick was rested. Robin looked at him with affection. Although it was sure that it was his outburst, that had ruined the plan, he did recognize what Sir Frederick’s intent had been.

"Tuck says that you have a very hard head Sir" Robin smiled.

"I’m so sorry son; I didn't want to ruin your plans. It was safeness that could detain the Sheriff." Lowering his head, he whispered, "I had dreamed of this all the time."

"I don't know if it is good or bad is to keep bitterness for many years. And I don't know if because I have also felt this way. A long time ago a good friend told me that I could not lead the people, that I could not fight for goodness if I kept hate and bitterness in my heart, it has not been easy to forgive. It has taken me much time, but I have been rewarded." Robin meditated.

"There are feelings that one could not avoid. As the hate as the love. It is not something that one could control easily. My hate by Nottingham, your love of Marion, different but equals of strong" Robin listened to him with attention, the hermit was right. Sometimes he had felt hate for a man in a moment and one-second later the most profound love for a woman." When my daughter died" Frederick continued" I desired to die with her, but I felt so guilty that I could not defend her, then I promised to kill her aggressor before I would cowardly remove my life. I waited so much for this moment. The weapon which once I would use to kill me, would be the same with I would assassinate that bastard." Frederick’s words sounded bitter, his eyes were filled with water and he avoided the penetrating look of Robin’s dark eyes.

"What weapon do you talk about?" Robin asked bestirred.

"The knife with I pretended kill the Sheriff, it was poisoned" Robin’s face was darkened by this blow.

"Poisoned?"

"Yes. I got a special potion years ago and I waited to pour it on a recipient that deserves it. It is from The Purple Rose, that is certain." Robin kept silent, he moved his hand to the injury." It is a poison of slow effect it finishes the person slowly and with pain...

Enough..." Robin detained him, "Don't speak of unpleasant things. The important thing is that you are right" He said with a forced smile.

"I promise you son, the next time I will follow your orders, and I won't hide from you again."

"Sure" Robin answered, although not very sure" Now rest...
 
 

Marion found Robin leaving from the hut. She noted his misplaced and confused expression.

"Come on, Robin" She said taking his arm "He made a mistake, it is true, but we will have another opportunity. I know that you will be able to do something."

"Yes, but will it come to me quickly." Marion looked at and stopped opposite him. She noted something strange in the young man, she knew him very well." The winter will be rough Marion, we will have fewer opportunities if it advance more" He explained trying to convince her.

"You are right. Did you want to come and eat something?

"I will go with you in a moment" He smiled to her. Marion gave up trying and went away. Robin placed his hand on his head. He began to feel feverish, but he avoided thinking of that. He didn’t know what he had to do yet. Explaining it with Tuck would force them to stop the supply plans and that would be terrible for the people of the camp. He stopped, observing the children running and playing.
 
 

In Nottingham castle Prince John was still shouting at the Sheriff. Sir Guy of Gisborn resulted as a beneficiary by the accident. Prince John applauded the manner that he pulled him out of the outlaw’s claws.

"How could you be so inapt?" He asked, spitting in the Sheriff’s face "That is why Nottingham is a disaster, because this leader is the biggest idiot of my subjects" As the Prince humiliated the Sheriff, Guy didn't quit feeling happy and avenged of whenever he had been humiliated. He smiled as he stood beside the Prince, as if he was now his better and only patron.

"Until my silk tunic was ripped for your blame… BARKLEYYY !!! Bring the doctor" He howled looking at his arm, "It is not possible! I was hurt..." He was shouting when the doctor ran toward him "They almost cut my arm because of your stupidity. I will take this out of the gold for this years payment. For my suit and damage to my person, Sheriff."

"It only was a scratch my Lord" Guy commented, "I am sure, you will be fine in a pair of days."

"Be quiet Gisborn…Now go away from here both of you, I need to rest..."

"Well, Prince John has been obnoxious a lot lately," Guy ridiculed him, once he and the Sheriff left the room."I attempted to plead for you my Lord, but you already see that it was not enough."

"I don't need your help Gisborn. Everything is your fault. Robin Hood should have been dead long time ago, but you have not been capable of full filling this. Perhaps I should take this matter in my own hands?"

"So, Sir Frederick has not forgotten the matter of Lady Sophia" Guy added to open an old wound of the Sheriff.

The Sheriff didn't respond. He threw a hateful look at Gisborn and abandoned the place. He was as surprised as the others. He had thought Frederick was dead and now that he found him again, the old pain of a youth’s suicide rarely returned to his mind. He had not told it to anybody, but he didn't desire the girl’s death, but he never believed that she had much dignity. Now he would have to try and reconcile with Prince John again.

The night lapsed slowly. Robin could not sleep. He had to come up with a plan to procure provisions, for at least the women and children of the camp. If he succeeded in getting it then he would tell Tuck of his injury, he surely would know what to do. Meanwhile, if the poison operated like Frederick had mentioned it, he had at least a pair of days before losing his strength. "God, help me" he prayed.

The following morning, a horseman arrived exhausted to the camp. He had traveled the entire night with news of great importance. A shipment of foods gathered in distant villages to Nottingham was for enough for Sherwood Forest. Robin felt that his pleas had been listened to.

"Get ready, we have to intercept that load." He ordered Marion and Little John "Tuck, you stay with Sir Frederick and wait for our return." They then galloped to meet with their salvation.

Indeed the load was generous. Robin examined it from a tree. He made signs to Little John and Marion.

"Why do you always have to be the quarry?" Marion had asked him before going to their respective position.

"I’m sorry to say this Marion, but I am more attractive than you are" He said. He brought her near to him and he gave a light kiss in her cheek.

"Are you all right?" She told him when she perceived that strange shine in his eyes.

"Of course, it is the adventure’s excitement" He winked his eye. Marion only looked at him to go away.

"I assure you, that you will get more money for my head than for that shipment" Robin said when he went to meet the carriage, challenging its guardians. Four of men ran behind him, aware that he was Robin Hood, abandoning the shipment. Marion and John were entrusted with the rest of the men who remained outside combat most of the time. John and Marion took the carriage, dragging the other two guards, they made a rapid return to the camp.

Robin didn't stop running, but the race was shaking him and he suddenly felt weak and feverish. He took the stream road, he knew, it would be difficult to follow his prints on the water. He ran several kilometers until he fell from the horse out. He had luck; he had succeeded in losing to his followers. He approached to the water, it was freezing, but his feverish body hurt him so much he resisted refreshing his face. His strength was renewed near a tree and he waited to recover his energy. He found his injury began to bleed again.

"He should already be here" Marion said concerned, it had been two hours since they left Robin. Each delay of Robin represented bad news. She had learned this through many battles. She had hardly finished the sentence when Robin appeared in the entrance of the camp.

The people were happy because although a little reduced in rations, they would have enough to pass the winter. Robin, in spite of his grief; felt happy and with enough strength to feign this in front of his friends.

"So sorry for the delay, but we became friends and we stayed to talk a while" He said with his always wit. He gave out two breaths and he continued walking. Marion noted he looked a little pale and approached him. She hardly had reached him when Robin’s knees yielded. Marion reached out, to hold him in the air.

"Sshh...Please" Robin begged her." Carry me to my hut, but don't say anything, I don't want to alarm the children." Marion insisted on telling the others, Robin noted it." Please, help me go to my hut and I will explain everything.

Marion, upon seeing the appearance of Robin’s injury; and after listening to the poison’s story, became greatly alarmed. So much so, that she immediately left in search of Tuck.

"For all heavens!! The Purple Rose..." Tuck prayed upon seeing the injury. The wound appeared to be purple in its contour, giving the impression of a lengthened flower, it was enough, and Tuck realized the graveness of the matter." Why didn't you say anything before? When did it happen? Who did this to you?"

"It was in Prince John’s ambush, and it was an accident. Tell me the truth Tuck, is it true about this poison?" Robin asked with a tired voice.

"I have seen it before my friend, and it is not anything good" In that moment John entered into the place.

"Jesus Christ!! The black death!!" He said with his eyes full of fear. "Those villains, did they hurt you in the battle?" John inquired much burdened.

"Please, don't give me so much encouragement friends," Robin joked but he didn't find an answer in them" Oh...then it is the truth." He beginning to get scared.

"Who did this to you Robin?" Tuck asked. Robin kept silent and lowered the head. Marion approached Tuck

"It was Frederick" She told him.

"It was an accident" Robin insisted "The poison was directed to the Sheriff of Nottingham, but there was a accident..." Tuck approached Robin and touched his forehead. Although he didn’t have much fever yet as Tuck waited for, he knew that in any moment it would take possession of him.

"There something you can do, isn’t there Tuck?" Marion asked suppliant. John was stopped petrified and his face told everything.

"Of course" Tuck affirmed wanting to be convincing "Now try to rest, I will think of something."

Robin stayed with Marion in the hut; she was caressing his hair while he was getting sleepy. John was afraid and annoying, so that he went to Frederick’s hut to inform him the result of his actions when the man was finding out what occurred he wanted to go find Robin, but Tuck detained him.

"Don’t alarm Robin anymore Frederick" Tuck ordered.

"My Son, for heaven sake, what did I do?" The man lamented." Why didn't he tell me it?

End of Chapter Three

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