Jenny sat up front with Diana between her and Robin. His arms were straight as he held onto the reigns, so Jenny and Diana would not fall. Something told him they had never ridden a horse before.
"What are those objects you and Jenny are wearing on your face?", Robin wondered aloud.
"They're glasses. They make things look bigger to help us see," Diana answered. Her eyes were focused on Robin's head.
Puzzled, he asked, "Is everything all right?"
"It's just that I've never seen a boy wear his hair the way you are," Diana remarked.
"There are no pages where you're from," Robin seemed surprised.
"Only pages in books," Diana giggled.
"Well," Robin explained, "I'm a page. On my seventeenth birthday I will become a knight. All pages wear their hair like this."
Tuck raised his arm to signal everyone to stop the horses. Robin pulled on the reigns, dismounted, and then helped Diana down. Diana hoped no one saw her blush. Jenny was still sitting on the horse. Diana could tell she was staring at Will.
"Jenny, Jenny, Earth to Jenny, are you there?"
"Wh-what?", Jenny stammered.
"Do yer need an ‘and yung laydee?", Will said as he gently lifted Jenny from the horse.
They all followed Tuck as he called for Olwyn. Diana was near Robin, and Jenny stayed close to Will. Little John walked behind the group. A mist appeared and they all went towards it.
"Aaaaahh", Jenny and Diana both screamed at the sight of a dragon.
"It's just an illusion," a deep voice called. "Come in."
"Olwyn, we need your help," Little John started to say.
"I know why you're here," Olwyn interrupted. "Robin has been turned into a boy by magic. However, before I can help him, I need to know what type of spell he is under so I can try to reverse it."
Just then, Marion walked in with Andrew MacGregor. "Master MacGregor," Robin yelled as he ran toward his teacher. "These strangers are telling me that father has been killed."
"Robert, listen to them," MacGregor started to explain.
"Robin?" Marion smiled.
"Do I know you my lady?" Robin seemed confused. "Only my friends call me Robin."
"Why that's the Laydee Marion," Will told him.
"That's not Lady Marion," Robin insisted. "First, she is six months younger than me. Second, she's in London with Lord and Lady Fitzwalter and won't be back until her sixteenth birthday."
Putting his hands on Robin's shoulders, MacGregor looked him in the eyes.
"That's what we're trying to tell you lad, There is something wrong here. You should be older. It's a spell that turned you back into a child."
"Was Robin alone at any time in the last 24 hours?", Olwyn asked.
"He made a distribution run yesterday. I didn't want him to go by himself." Marion sounded worried.
"I'm thirsty," Diana said impatiently. Will ran outside. He remembered Robin's flask was still with his horse.
As he returned to the cave Olwyn shouted, "Don't touch that!"
Will was baffled. "Wot?"
"You cannot see it, but there is a magical aura surrounding the flask. It is enchanted. If I study this, I may be able to tell what type of spell Robin is under, and who cast it. Leave it here for me to study, and return tomorrow."
They agreed with Olwyn that it was the best plan. As they left the cave, Robin looked around and commented, "This place could use a good scrub."
Olwyn smiled to himself and said, "I've heard that before."
By Virginia Cavazos
The ride back to the camp was very quiet. A wicked storm seemed to be brewing, the wind whipped at their clothes. Diana rode with Robin, while Jenny rode with Will. Jenny was asking Will all types of questions. How he became an outlaw, where did he learn to throw his knives so well?
As for Diana’s ride, it was very silent; Robin was deep in thought. His eyes darted to the side as he spied something familiar. Diana noticed that they were slowing down, soon they began to fall back in the pack. Until with a kick of his heels, Robin urged his horse down a little used trail. He recognized the path as one that led to where his castle lay. Whipping his horse on he yelled out, "Hold on Diana, this won’t take long!"
Diana’s eyes flew wide open, not in fright, but in excitement. The wind whipped at her face, rain began to fall on them. She felt Robins arms protectively holding onto her. She knew he would never allow anything to happen to her. She glanced back, to see the others in hot pursuit. It excited her more to see how Robin was able to keep them well ahead of the others. It didn’t take him long to reach Locksley castle. Leading the horse over the dilapidated drawbridge, he called out as he entered the courtyard.
"Father! I’m home father. Where are you?"
Robin stopped his mount at the castles great doors. One was missing, while the other was just hanging by it’s hinges. The rain was pouring down hard now, both of them were thoroughly soaked, jumping down, Robin helped Diana off. Grabbing her wrist, he ran into the castle, just as the others were crossing the drawbridge. Diana was shocked to see the deplorable condition the castle was in. With the Earl of Locksley killed, and his only heir branded an outlaw. The prince no longer had a desire for the castle. So Locksley castle was abandoned to fall into disrepair.
Robin ran up the dusty stairs, dragging the panting, dripping wet; Diana behind him. Glancing back to her, he saw the frightened look upon her face.
"Don’t worry Diana, once we find my father, everything will be alright." He tried to assure her with a dimpled grin. Diana just wanted to melt on the spot! Robin reached the second floor, his head jerked around, it was then that he noticed the disarray the castle was in.
"Father!" He cried out in alarm, his heart pounding in his chest. He pulled Diana with him to his fathers bedroom. Flinging the door open, they entered the room. He immediately released Diana’s hand as he saw the horrendous condition the room was in. Dust layered everything, the room was in a shambles. He let out a cry of anguish, as he spied the family crest, slashed to ribbons.
"You see Robin," Diana tried to explain to him. "The grown-ups wasn’t wrong. Your father was killed, when the Princes men stormed the castle."
Robin turned around, Diana’s heart sunk as she saw the tears welling up in his eyes. "Why did he do this?" He asked in a deadly whisper.
"Because he wanted to get rid of your father, he was one of the last of their lords that stood against him," Was Diana’s quick reply.
Robin walked to a dresser, stooping down; he picked up a broken part of a bracelet. It was his mothers; his father never let it leave his side. He rolled the broken bracelet in his hand; his tears fell on the bracelet. His eyes grew wide in fright, as he realized that what they had been telling them might be true!
"Robin, my lad, you see now that something dreadful has happened to you." Robin turned to see Andrew MacGregor standing in the doorway. As he stared at his former teacher, it was then he noticed; the lines of age that ravaged his face. "Then it is true Master MacGregor?" Robin’s voice broke, hearing it, he tried to control it. A Knight does not show his emotions to others.
"Yes my boy, your father was killed, your castle, and title taken from you over ten years ago." MacGregor stepped closer to Robin, as he hoped that he would remember that which was taken from him.
Robin fought to hold back his tears, "I wish I could remember what happened." Slowly shaking his head, he sighed out. "But I can not."
MacGregor stood in front of his former protégé. "Do not worry my son, I pledge to stay by your side, until we resolve this."
Robin looked up at his teacher, putting on a brave face he said in a strong voice. "A true knight faces battle with a brave heart."
MacGregor stroked Robin’s damp hair, "Yes my lad, and I do not think I have ever seen a knight with a braver heart than you."
"Oh, if this gets any mushier I think I’m goin’ to throw up," Will moaned.
"Shut up Will!" Little John snapped at him, poking him with his staff. "Little John, you needs a new weapon." He chuckled out. "’Ow about a feather duster?"
"I’m sorry for my behavior," Robin apologized to everyone, they all now were standing in his fathers room.
"It’s okay Robin," Marion gently said, "We understand."
"Well now, with the storm waging outside, and darkness coming. I think we should stay in the castle for the night." Tuck suggested.
"Excellent idea." MacGregor agreed with them, and so they began to search the castle for a dry place to stay. As they left the room, a woman’s laughter permeated the room. "Soon I shall have you for my own Young Robin." Zoe’s voice echoed in the empty room
End of Chapter Two
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