The Purple Rose

By Verenize Bernal Curiel

CHAPTER IX "The Truce"

Prince John also had passed the crisis and had given precise orders that it was only the Friar who was to give him food and look after his injuries. He felt better so quickly that he didn't hesitate in making an offer to Tuck.

"Friar Tuck, it is evident that your knowledge is enormous. Your ability in medicine surprises me..." He told Tuck that afternoon as Tuck checked on his injuries" I will pardon your life and I will give you holding and wealth if you are converted as my head doctor" The Prince added in an outburst of kindness.

"It is a tempting offer your Highness, but I already have enough work in Sherwood" Friar responded him.

"Hum... I waited for that answer... you don't have fall to rise in the social scale." Prince John added accommodating his blonde curls.

It began to darken when Robin woke up. The first thing that he sensed was Marion’s heat by his side. He laid there quietly, observing her for long time. The hand of the young woman was slipped slowly off him, so as not to wake up her as he tried to stand. He noticed that he was only dressed in a soft shirt of fine threads. His pants were on a seat. He walked toward them bracing himself on any thing that he met as he walked towards the chair. He felt very cold. He got dressed with a little difficulty, breathing heavily a couple of times, and walked towards the door. He decended the stairway, taking several rests using the wall for support, until he arrived at the dining room of Guy’s castle.

"Good night Sir" Robin greeted the man seated opposite of the fire, taking him by surprise.

"You look better Locksley" Guy answered getting up, he was very surprised at seeing his opponent standing. Robin slowly approached him. Concentrating on his steps, insisting he didn’t feel dizzy, and not wanting to demonstrate his weakness, but his legs betrayed him. They loosened, but before falling to the floor, Sir Guy’s arm sustained him. Both men looked deeply into each others eyes. It was instinctive, Guy never imagined helping his worst competitor and Robin never imagined needing or accepting his enemies arm." It will be better that you sit" Guy said releasing him.

"Both men sat in armchairs opposite of the fire without looking at each other. There was a great silence. Robin looked at the chimney square. Above it hung a sword, he suddenly recalled old competitions in their youth. That sword, in particular; had been a prize that both had won together.

"You even conserved it." Robin commented looking at it. Guy smiled.

"It is a beautiful piece. Also, it has been one of the better competitions that I have lived through." Both men returned to their memories.

"Yes... We fought intensely and we succeeded in conquering all others... our parents were very proud of us."

"We were a good team Robert..." It was a long time that Guy called Robin by his name. The silence returned again.

It was dawning when Marion woke up and upon not finding Robin; her concern grew, as she searched for Little John and Tuck. The three searched the castle, finding both men conversing peacefully. With an impulse of going with his friend, Marion made a sign to detain John and not to interrupt them.

"What does this mean?" Little John asked confused.

"A truce..." Marion responded.

Robin finally looked at his companion, saying with pain. "Things did not have to have been the way they were."

"Also there were things that one could not change. Acts... circumstances... feelings...- Guy added seriously.

"No one have won completely in this war Guy. All of us have lost something in one form or another, each one is the champion of who he is, the one that he has, and whom he is with... including her." Robin made reference to Marion without mentioning her name. It was clear that the greater bitterness of Guy toward him was the election of this woman.

"That is a fight that is not yet finished Robert" Guy challenged.

"I know this... And do you know? It is well worth it..." Robin got up and turned "I Thank your hospitality Sir Guy, if any day you go to Sherwood..." Robin walked toward the exit when Guy said suddenly.

"Prince John will send one of my soldiers to Nottingham for reinforcements. He changed his mind about the truce, he wants your head before leaving from here."

"You are right" Robin smiled" There are some things that never will change."

"I will find you Robin Hood. "

"I will be waiting for you Sir Guy of Gisborn" Robin concluded.

Robin stopped in front of the surprised look of his friends. Nobody asked him anything, they knew the one decision that they had to make.

"I will prepare the horses" John said leaving immediately.

"I believe that... I am...going to faint..." The outlaw weakly declared. Marion and Tuck took an arm on each side of him, and helped him out of there.

Robin was laid in the carriage straw, that would be driven by John and Tuck. Marion had not yet ascended when Margaret and Phillip reached them.

"Friar Tuck: The alchemist said "I have learned so much from you, if any day you need me, you already know where to find me, I know it is dangerous, I also know you will find the mediums to let me know."

"I will do this Phillip; you also know where to find me... And Prince John?" Tuck asked anguished for Robin’s safety.

"Don’t worry. I gave him a tea. It will make him sleep until tomorrow." Tuck only smiled in front of the man’s confession.

Margaret delivered Marion a package with foods and a beautiful white shirt embroidered with gold threads that she had made her self.

"I prepared this for the Count" the woman softly said "The foods will make him well and the shirt... because it is worthy of a man such as him, and I know that some day he will need it." Marion embraced her excited" Be happy my girl…" She whispered in Marion’s ear.

Marion was going to ascend to the carriage when she discovered Guy’s silhouette in the darkness. She looked at her friends who gave her a look of approval. Then she approached Guy.

"Thank you..." She simply said to him.

"Don’t wrongly interpret things Marion" Guy told her without looking at her eyes and sense of gratefulness. Guy never would recognize that he had helped the most hated of his enemies.

"Thank you anyway" Marion approached and kissed him on the cheek. The man stared petrified. Marion returned to the carriage and left bound for Sherwood.

A soldier upon listening to the noise of the horses, entered running to the castle where he found Guy again seated in front of the fire.

"My Lord, Robin Hood and his men are escaping. Do we follow them?" The man requested instructions. Guy remained in silent for some time, immobile. The man waited impatiently, until Guy responded.

"No. There are not enough guards for Prince Johns protection and those outlaws could have us trapped and attack us" He made a pause "Go to Nottingham and request the Sheriff send us some support. Then we will go after them."

"But it will be too late my Lord..." The soldier argued.

"Do you expect me to leave Prince John under guarded?" Guy shouted angered.

"No, my Lord" the man responded" I will go immediately to Nottingham."

Sir Guy of Gisborn knew that sooner or later, he would be sorry of that decision. But that night, which had been a long time ago, he slept in peace.

End of Chapter Nine

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