By Virginia Cavazos
"Well now that’s bloody marvelous," Will griped, "It was nice of us to give ‘er a workout. I’m sure she’ll be sleepin’ the whole night. Now we’ll never know where she got that bracelet."
"I’ll keep an eye on her for the night," Robin whispered, "The two of you can get some rest."
"You’ll get no arguments from me," Will called out, as he headed to his tent. Little John lingered by Robin, squatting down, his large hand stroked the little dogs back.
"I think Will is right," Little John chuckled, as Mo moved her head to rest on Little Johns’ hand. "She does have us wrapped around her paw."
Robin softly chuckled, "Yep, hook, line, and sinker."
Gently pulling his hand out, Little John gave his goodnights to Robin, as he walked away. Robin placed his hands under Mo, gently lifting her, he rose from the ground. He carefully walked into his tent. Holding back a sigh of frustration, his bed was still a mess!
He gently laid Mo at the foot of the bed. He then began to pick up the stolen items. Wrapping them in a cloth sack, he quietly carried them out of the tent. He would take them to a place where they hid any booty taken from the Princes guards. Tomorrow he would try to find the owners. He walked at the edge of camp, not wanting to wake anyone up. He tripped over an unseen branch of a large tree, dropping the bag of stolen articles. The darkness was very intense now. Stumbling, Robin groped around trying to find the fallen objects.
"Let me help you Robin," A familiar voice offered him. Robin looked up, to see Jeremiah Bard’s grinning face looking down at him.
"Thanks, Jeremiah, I need all the help I can get." He began to pick up the pieces, laying them in the cloth sack. Jeremiah and Robin reached for the same item, it was then, that Robin saw a bracelet that he wore on his wrist. The letter J hung from it. Robin’s face flushed red, his gaze turned to the ground. He could not believe that his childhood friend was the thief. Perhaps he brought the bracelet from the imposter? That had to be it. Robin let out a sigh of relief, at his reasoning.
As he stood up, he asked Jeremiah, "That bracelet you’re wearing. I’ve never seen it before, where did you get it?"
Jeremiah stared at it, his eye caught a white object behind him. Robin’s head turned, to see Mo sitting before them, the bracelet with the G hung from her mouth. That was the last thing Robin saw. Pain shot from the back of his head, he fell to the ground. Jeremiah held a branch in his hands.
"God I wish you hadn’t found that Robin," Jeremiah hissed, "I really didn’t want to show my hand, not just yet."
Grabbing Robin by the shoulders, he began to drag him towards the stables. Mo began to bark at Jeremiah. Dropping Robin, Jeremiah pulled out a small ridding crop he used on the horses. He lashed out with the crop, whipping the small dog.
Mo was terrified, her prior master had used a whip on her many times. She was positively frightened of a whip, she ran away, her tail tucked between her legs. Jeremiah stooped down, he lifted Robin up, so that he lay on his shoulder. He then quickly walked to his tent. Mo was hiding behind a large tree. She saw her master being taken away, by the man that whipped her. She had to find someone that could help her. She quickly ran to her best friends’ tent, Little John.
Little John felt a cold, wetness on his face. Opening his eyes, he saw Mo sitting on his chest. Letting out a deep chuckled, he asked her. "What are you doing here, Little one?"
Mo began to run circles on Little John’s chest, she barked, and moaned. Jumping down, she ran to the tents exit. She barked again, her best friend was just not getting the message.
"What do you want Mo?" Little John yawned, he needed a nights rest, he was so tired from today’s little excursion. Falling back in bed, he sighed, "Go find someone else to play with."
Sneezing in disgust, Mo ran out of Little John’s tent. If her best friend wouldn’t help her master, she would go to the man she felt was like a brother. She hurried off to Will Scarlet’s tent.
Will was doing something that he had not done in a long time. He was actually sleeping early! Usually he was up half of the night with the ladies. This night, he was just to tired to even give them a kiss. He wearily sat on his bed, trying to pull his boot off. As he struggled with it, he saw a white demon running into his tent.
"Get out o’ ‘ere, you four legged outlaw!"
Mo began to dance in front of him. "No you don’t," Will protested. "You ain’t gettin' to me with that dancing, I’m up to your tricks."
Will crossed his arms, he turned his head away from the small dog, ignoring her attempts for his attention.
Mo jumped up on the bed. Lying next to Will she rolled on her back, she exposed her stomach to Will. Letting out a small moan, Will glanced down, he saw the deep scars on her soft belly. He had seen then on her back, but he was never close enough to see the ones on her stomach.
His fingers traced a deep one that led from her front paw to her back. "Now I know why Robin and Little John are so protective of you."
His hands found numerous scars all along her small body. "Ere now luv, wot did that animal that owned you before do to you?" He whispered. Will’s hand moved down her back, he slowly began to scratch her. Her hind leg kicked, as he scratched faster, her lips stretched out to a smile of contentment. Letting out a chuckle, he said. "Now don’t be lettin’ on to Robin and Little John that I like you," He whispered. "I ‘ave a reputation to think of."
Now that Mo had formed a connection with her brother, she leaped off the bed. She needed to help her master. She ran towards the tent, spinning in a circle. Her eyes pleaded with Will to follow her.
"Wot’s wrong luv?" Will asked her. He could feel something was wrong. It then struck him. Where was Robin? He said he was going to look after her. As he leaped from his bed, Little John ran into the tent, clutching his staff, he asked Will. "Where’s Robin?"
Little John told Will, that after Mo left his tent, it struck him that Robin was not with her. He immediately ran to Robin’s tent, to find he was not in it. He noticed that all of the stolen items was missing from his bed. He rushed over to Will’s tent, hoping to find him there. All he found was Mo.
"Think she can find ‘im?" Will asked Little John.
"I don’t know Will, we spent the whole day looking for the owner of the bracelet. How will she know, we need to look for Robi…!" Little John jumped back, as Mo flew past him. Both men ran after her, her white fur was easy to follow in the night. Mo ran towards the tent that her master was taken to. She hoped that the man that took him, did not hurt him.
*** *** ***
As Mo ran to fetch Little John, Jeremiah dragged Robin into his tent. Pulling the skin back, he threw him in his tent. He searched around for something to bound Robin with. Robin was just waking up, as a gag was being stuffed into his mouth.
"Sorry about this Robin," Jeremiah said, as he tied a leather tie behind his head. "I really didn’t mean for it to end like this. I was just going to take a few things from the villagers, sell them later, and pay off my debts."
Robin struggled to free himself from the leather ties that bound his hands. His dark eyes glared angrily up at Jeremiah.
"Don’t look at me that way!" Jeremiah snarled, "You chose to be an outlaw, I didn’t. I liked living in the richness of your home." Pulling Robin up, he dragged him to the back of his tent. "I’m sorry Robin, but the way I’m going with the Villagers offerings. It’s going to take me forever to save up enough. I’m afraid that I’m going to have to turn you in for the reward."
Robins struggles grew in intensity, as he heard his friend declare his intentions. Jeremiah opened a large chest, he pulled out several bags of his previous loot. "Why waste the hard work," He said, as he tucked the bags in his belt. Closing the chest, he shoved it to the side, to expose a huge hole in the back of his tent. This was how he stole out into the night, unseen.
He began to shove Robin through the hole. Robin dragged his long legs on the ground. Jeremiah struggled to pull the protesting Robin through. As he exited the tent, Robin’s foot lashed out at Jeremiah’s arms. Jeremiah softly cursed, he landed a blow to Robin’s temple, stunning him.
As he half carried, half dragged Robin to a waiting wagon. Robin saw something sparkling on the ground. He managed to hook the bracelet that Jeremiah wore, he hoped that Little John or Will would be able to find it. Jeremiah’s thoughts were of the trip ahead. Soon he would be making his way to Prince John’s castle. Once he collected the reward for the capture of the great Robin Hood. He would be living as rich as he always dreamed of.
*** *** ***
Will and Little John followed Mo to a small tent, that sat next to the stables.
"Why is he bringing us to Jeremiah’s tent?" Little John asked, as they entered it. They found it empty. Will immediately spotted the hole in the back.
"Now why would ‘e need a ‘ole, in the back of ‘is tent?" Will asked. Mo ran through the hole, Will searched the room. He found nothing suspicious.
"Nothin’ ‘ere Little John." Will said, with a shrug of his shoulders. "I guess she was wrong."
"No she wasn’t Will," Little John said, "Look at that!" Little John pointed to Mo. She was sitting up, a golden bracelet hung from her mouth. Hanging from the bracelet was the letter J.
"Robin’s in trouble." Little John yelled, as he ran out of the tent. He headed towards the stables, he skidded to a stop, as he heard Mo barking from the other direction.
"This way, Little John." Will called out. He trusted his instincts, and let Mo lead the way.
Mo ran behind the tent, she followed her master’s trail. She saw Jeremiah sitting in a wagon. He was ready to urge his horses on.
"Get away you cur!" He yelled out, with a snap of his whip, as Mo leaped on the wagon. With Little John and Will behind her, it gave her the courage to stand up to the whip.
She snarled and snapped at him. He raised his whip, it lashed out at her.
She let out a small yipe, as the whip scored on her flank. Jeremiah drew the whip back, only to drop it, as a large knife flew out of the darkness, knocking the whip out of his hand.
He saw another flash, as a blade flew past him, to cut the reins he held in his other hand.
"You ain’t goin’ no where," Will called out, he held two more blades in his hands. Jeremiah leaped off the wagon, only to find a six foot seven, enraged outlaw waiting for him.
"You hurt Mo!" Little John spat out, as his large hand grabbed Jeremiah by the waist. Lifting him up, he yelled out. "No one hurts her!" As he threw him over the wagon. Will had to leap out of the way, as Jeremiah flew past him. Little John was not far behind. Using his quarterstaff, he felled Jeremiah with a blow to the head. Will jumped in the wagon, pulling a cover back, he found Robin bound and gagged.
"Well, well, wot do we ‘ave ‘ere?" He chuckled. "Come ‘ere and look Little John, Robin’s wrapped up like a little babe."
Little John ran to the wagon. Relieved that Robin wasn’t injured
"Melp me," Robin mumbled.
"Wot was that? Can’t quite make out wot you said," Will cupped his ear.
"Wet me wout of ere." Robin screamed through the gag. His brows knit in anger.
"Ohh, I think Robin is angry. I know just the thin’ to cheer you up." Reaching down, Will placed a happy Mo, on Robin’s chest. She began to rain dog kisses all over his face. With his hands bound, he was unable to force her back.
"Let’s leave the lovers alone Little John." Will chuckled.
"They do make a cute couple." Little John snickered, as he began to walk away from Robin and the overjoyed Mo.
Mo managed to loosen Robin’s gag. As he spit it out, he cried out. "If you don’t get back here and untie me? I’ll make sure you pull night duty for the next year!"
Will and Little John ran back to Robin, Little John took Mo, while Will used a knife to cut Robin’s bonds. Robin jumped out of the wagon, he sadly walked up to his childhood friend.
"Why did he do it?" He wondered, aloud.
"Money does strange things to a man, Robin," Little John said, "I guess he felt it was a better friend than you were."
"I think you’re right Little John." Letting out a sad sigh, he began the task of turning in an old friend. He would take him to one of the villages he robbed. Let them serve their justice on him.
*** *** ***
The next Morning, Marion rose from her bed, stretching her arms out. As she reached for her comb. She let out a snarl of frustration, as she found it missing. "If I get my hands on that little mutt!" She cursed, as she quickly dressed. Storming to Robin’s tent, she met him half way. She saw a large dimpled grin on his handsome face. In his hands were three of her combs.
"I found them in my bed this morning," Robin informed her, as he handed them to her.
"Robin, I’m telling you, that dog is nothing but trouble."
Robin spied Mo playing with Will, they were running around the camp, he had a bone in his hand, that Mo had been eating. His long legs quickly ran away from the pursuing dog. Will threw the bone to Little John, she let out a happy bark, as she continued the chase with him.
"What the?" Marion scratched her head in confusion. Robin stepped closer to Marion, his arm pulled her in a tight embrace.
"I guess we need that talk I mentioned to you yesterday." He gently said.
Placing her arm around his waist, she said, "This is going to be some interesting talk."
"Let’s just say, I think Mo’s become a permanent part of camp now."
Taking a bracelet out, he threw it in the air, catching it he sighed, "Yep, I can’t imagine how we survived without her."
As Mo played with her brother, and best friend, she spied her master with that female again. She had her arm wrapped around him, claming him for her own.
Now that she had her master convinced she was necessary, she needed to work on getting rid of that female human.
But that was the easy part!
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