The Purple Rose

By Verenize Bernal Curiel

CHAPTER VIII "Robert of Locksley"

Phillip was surprised when he heard that Tuck had found the formula to the poison. Now the more dangerous part of the cure approached, it was to introduce the black liquid in the blood of the wounded and wait for the reaction. Barkley as per Prince John instructions, ordered Tuck that the same friar who gives Prince the poison and entrusted of his care, would give the same to Robin Hood.

"I will begin with Robin" Tuck said nervous." Marion, if you tell me at this time that I don't shouldn’t do this, then I won’t." Friar told her with trembling voice.

"We believe in you Tuck" She said, embracing him as if a sign of excuse for her previous behavior. The friar caressed her face and smiled.

Then Tuck took Robin’s arm and with a sharp point he made a cut along Robin’s wrist. Blood was drained, when the Friar poured a portion of the poison in the injury. He bandaged Robin’s arm strongly and he went to the others.

"It is done... it should save Robin, first there will be a strong fever, that will unchain the poison. If we succeed in controlling it and he pass the night...then he will be saved."

"We will be prepared" John said sure.

The same procedure was carried out for Prince John, who was not in so bad a condition, only because he had received a minor quantity of poison from Frederick’s knife. The instructions to Phillip were the same; they had to control the fever of the Prince if they wanted to keep him alive.

An hour later Robin was shaking from the elevated fever that had invaded him. They could hardly make him swallow a little tea to control the perspiration of his skin.

"Maybe you should make something more drastic" Phillip suggested when he visited Robin.

"What do you suggest?" Tuck asked him.

"The water of the well should be frozen... maybe a cold bath would be beneficial to him?"The man was timid and with the same bashfulness gave his advice. Tuck meditated on this, and agreed with a nod of his head.

"And how is Prince John doing?" He asked.

"He will be fine... You deal with Robin Hood."

"Get you hands to work" John said resolved.

They wrapped Robin in a sheet and they laid him in a bathtub. John poured the icy water slowly, while Marion was assured all of the body of the youth become moist. The Outlaw’s lips trembled, some groans escaping from his throat. After a while they carried him to the bed again, covering him with wet blankets.

"We are going to help him fight this" Marion resolved stability." Tuck, you bring more of that marvelous tea that you prepared, we will make sure he keeps taking it, even if we have to submerge him in it" Tuck smiled and brought the vessel closer. Marion attempted to lift Robin but she couldn’t, without Little John’s help, he approached and passed his arm behind Robin’s shoulders and gently lifted him.

"What would Robin do without you, what would we do without you Little John? Marion told him convinced. John looked at her and smiled frankly.

Robin perspired a lot, perspiration drops mixed with the wet cloths, all considered this as conquering the fever.

Fight it Robin... you are strong... help us too..." Marion begged him.

They spent many hours before the fever yielded, however, the dawn threatened to appear when the heat of Robin’s body began to descend little by little. As they noticed that, they felt as tired as Robin. They gave him a last drink of tea and they allowed him to rest.

Little John remained sleeping in a corner of the room near the window, Tuck in a seat and Marion dozed in a bunk near Robins bed. Thinking she was dreaming, she felt something scrap her arm. She lifted her head slowly up and upon realizing that it was Robin’s hand what had touched her, she quickly hurried to him. She approached his face and touched his forehead.

"Thank you God" She prayed. Marion caressed the lukewarm face and the wet hair of Robin. Tuck and John upon listening to the movement got up, and they were delighted by the expectation of the return to the consciousness of their friend.

With great effort Robin opened his brown eyes. There was not a better reward to the fatigue, than the bright look of their friend. He wanted to speak but he hardly had the strength to half open his mouth and allow a faint moan. He was very weak but alive.

"Do not attempt it friend" Tuck told him slowly "There will be plenty of time to speak. You have to rest..."

"I told you it... Everything would be fine..." John commented him.

Marion gave a kiss on his forehead. Robin smiled weakly and closed his eyes again.

That day there was no more fever and as a miracle the injury had lost it’s purple tone. Little John and Tuck left to eat something, as per Marion’s order, who took advantage, and requested a pair of maids to help her put clean sheets and blankets on Robin’s bed. Once dry and comfortable, Robin fell into a profound dream.

"My Lady Marion" A woman said upon entering the room.

"Yes... Margaret?" Marion called the mature woman by her name. She had recognized her. Margaret had been the one in charge of looking after Guy, Robin and Marion in their childhood."

"You even follow him here?"

"Too many years of not seeing you my Lady. Since, you were a girl." The woman emotionally added." It seems Days ago that you and the young Robert were here, but with Prince John presence, we are all so busy. How is my Lord Robert?" Margaret asked her approaching the bed.

"Better... I think so..." Marion answered - tired.

"Robin Hood... Who would have believed it, the nearest friend of my Lord Guy, now an outlaw" Marion lowered her look. The woman sat down on the bed." Sometimes I asked myself, who would be the most harmed and was continually the victim of my boy - Guy. When I knew the truth about the identity of Robin Hood, I was aware of who in reality was the victim... who had been robbed of his lands, his name, and his family..."

"You are right...it was not easy for Robin. He did not have many options."

"It’s the same with you girl. I remember the time that you were going to be married by force. Or whenever Guy has made trouble for you..."

"I try not to recall it, it only gives me a headache" Marion smiled. Margaret caressed fondly the hair of the outlaw and looked at him conscientiously.

"My mother said that no person could deny its origin. Look at him" She told Marion" In this elegant bed and with fine sheets, he seems like the Count of Locksley, not the outlaw of Sherwood. Of this one wrongdoing, we are the owners... we are the owners... and nobody could remove this from us." The woman was right, Marion never had thought that with like thoroughly..." And you will be always a lady, my Lady... always beautiful and kind... and you should now be going to rest."

"I am fine, for the moment I don't want to leave him alone... he could need me..."

"And who said that you would leave him alone?" The matron took Marion’s hand and carried her to the other side of the bed" You will sleep with him. If something occurs to him... You will be more than close" She ordered.

"Bu.... But.." Marion stuttered.

"Please my Lady... in this century these things do not scare anyone." She commented laughing." I will be cooking something nutritious for when Robin wakes up, if the Friar permits me it."

"Margaret... Thank you..." Marion stayed alone with Robin. She laid on the bed and hesitantly approached close enough to feel his breath; she put a hand on his chest to make sure that his heart beat strong. She was still afraid. Everything would pass until Robin finally woke up and they could return home.

End of Chapter Eight

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