Past Ghosts
By Virginia Cavazos

Chapter Two

Nick examined him more closely, "Are you sure?"

"Of course I am. I saw him when we went to the tournament. You were busy playing Robin Hood, besides look at this." Eric pointed out Robins Bow and quiver of arrows on his back. He also had a sword strapped on.

Nick gave the man a closer look. He was busy, but he did have a good look at him.

"I think his hair was shorter then. But you’re right, this is him."

"Nick, if this is Robin Hood we have to get him to a place of safety." Eric tried to stress, "The dukes men are all around the forest."

Eric ran to fetch his cart. He tugged at it bringing it to where Robin lay. He stopped it next to Robin’s body. Moving the branches aside in the back of the cart, he went back to Robin. Stooping down, he grabbed his shoulders. Robin moaned a little as Eric started dragging him towards the cart. Trying to help, Nick pulled on a limp arm. They managed to drag Robin to the back of the cart. Eric groaned as he pulled Robins dead weight into the cart. Being so young, Nick was unable to help lift Robin into the cart. Eric panted as he finally managed to get Robins unconscious form into the cart. Using the branches in the cart, he tried to cover him as best he could. He then handed some of the branches to Nick.

"We've got to hide the tracks of the cart, so that the soldiers can't follow us." Nick smiled proudly at his big brother. "That’s a trick worthy of Robin Hood."

"No, just common sense," Eric humbly replied. Both boys dragged the branches behind, as they walked on. The two brothers made their way back to the castle. He made sure to keep a watchful eye out for the Dukes men.

It was nightfall by the time they reached the castle. Eric looked up at his home. It was in such a shambles. He tried to keep it up, but it was hard to manage with just him and Nick able to do the work. They pulled the cart over a rickety drawbridge. The water from the moat was long gone. Only thick mud rested at the bottom. They pulled the cart holding Robins body, into the courtyard.

Eric told Nick to wait by the cart and watch after Robin Hood, while he went in first to see what mood his father was in. Nick was more than happy to watch after Robin. He started pulling the branches away. He inspected Robin more carefully. He seemed to be resting peacefully. Nick stared at the handsome young man. His hair was now down to his shoulders. He seemed bigger than when he last saw him. Taking his small bow out, Nick tested its strength. On Robins back was his bow. He leaned over and stroked it in wonder. Giggling in joy, as he actually touched Robin Hoods Bow.

As Nick waited outside, Eric quietly made his way into the castle. He headed to a room that they used as a home. The castle was just to big for them to maintain. The other rooms were sorely neglected. They used the large room as sleeping and living quarters. Coming upon a large door, he steeled himself. Hopefully, his father was in a good mood. Cautiously opening the door, he listened. No muttering, a good sign. Opening the door wider, he saw his father sitting by the fire, staring at the flickering flames.

"What took you so long," the man mumbled.

"Father," he said striding across the room.

He stopped in front of the man. The elder man looked up into his son’s eyes. Yes there was clarity there. Hopefully it would last long enough to help them. "Father, we've found an injured man. We need your help to bring him in here. He needs a safe place to stay."

"An injured man?" Standing up he asked, "From the last campaign?" Tiredly sighing the boy said, "Yes Sir, from the last campaign. The King said he's a very important man. We must help him."

"Then lets go soldier!" The tall man quickly walked out of the dark room.

Eric hated to fool his father, but in the state he was in; it was the only way. Walking out into the courtyard, Eric could see that his father had already had a hold of Robins Shoulders.

"You grab his feet. We'll have to take him in quickly. So the enemy doesn't find him."

"Yes father," Eric agreed. "We must act quickly."

Gently the two were able to carry the injured Robin into the castle. Nicholas ran ahead to prepare his bed. He could hardly contain his excitement. Imagine having Robin Hood in his bed! The other boys he played with would be very jealous if they knew. Eric and his father carried Robin into the large room. Coming up to Nicks bed they gently laid Robin down. Eric fetched a lamp, while his father began to examine Robin’s body.

"I can feel some cracked ribs. He’s lucky they didn't break. I think he'll be all right, if we bandage the chest tight. I saw a surgeon do it in the battle of Marclade. Or was it Bringham?" The man wondered.

Eric tiredly rubbed his eyes, he was loosing him again. "Stay with us father, we need you. Please show me how."

The man had a faraway look to his eyes. "Father, I'm sorry young man, I'm not your father. My sons are back in England." Eric knew he had to be careful now, with what he said. He had to think of a way of helping Robin Hood.

He had no idea how to bandage him, only his father did.

"Captain Richard’s." he said in a crisp salute. "Could you please help us bandage this injured man" Ian Richard’s looked down at Robin.

"Is this man important?" he asked.

"Oh yes sir. He is Robert of Locksley. Remember King Richard informing you about him?" Ian thought he did seem to recall.

"But King Richard said he was back in England. What’s he doing here at the crusades?" Eric had to think fast.

"He’s here on a secret mission for King Richard. He’s informing him of what Prince John is doing in England. Some enemies of the King sent assassins here to stop him. We must help him."

"Of course," Ian said.

Slowly he started to dress Robins wounds.

End of Chapter Two

Chapter One / Chapter Two / Chapter Three / Chapter Four / Chapter Five
Chapter Six / Chapter Seven / Chapter Eight / Chapter Nine / Chapter Ten

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