By Virginia Cavazos
Stumbling into the room, he saw five of the Princes guards. Will had to swallow his anger, as he saw Little John held in the center of them. His head hung low; his long blonde hair was clumped in sweat and blood. Next to Little John was a tall, dark haired man. In his mid thirties, he was a handsome man.
Will noticed something different in this man’s dark eyes, than in what he saw in most of the Princes men. He saw something frightening…intelligence. Will quickly knew, that this was a man not to be trifled with. From the way he held himself, he could tell the man was a nobleman. From the way he was dressed, the words best to describe him was ‘Aristocracy’.
The tall man was screaming at Little John, grabbing a clump of his hair, he jerked hard on it. He was yelling at him to tell him where Will Scarlet was.
Will let out a high pitched whistle. The men in the room turned around, to see a drunk man standing in the doorway. They barely saw his half-lidded eyes from under the hood he wore. He wavered in the doorway.
"Reporting for duty, SIR!" he giggled, bringing his hand up, he tried to salute, but kept missing his head.
The tall man ordered one of the guards to see to the drunken soldier. "You know that Sir Henry warned you not to drink until the job was done!" The man scolded Will, a look of disgust painted on his face. "You were suppose to wait until we caught both men."
"I ain’t drunk, just feeling good," a round of giggles emitted from his cloak, "REEAAALL GOOD!" he chuckled.
"Get him in here, before he lets on that we’re here!" Sir Henry shouted. "I ain’t drunk I tells you," Will stammered, as he stumbled out the door. The guard followed close behind. Will staggered in the alley, towards some large, barrels. Wavering where he stood, he waited for the guard to come closer.
"Don’t give me any problems." The guard warned him, as he walked up to Will. He reached out to grab Will, but was startled as the drunken man fell on him. He tried to push him back, but with a lightening like quickness. Will brought his knife out, plunging it into the mans throat. The man made a soft gurgle before falling to the floor.
"One down," Will whispered. Patting the dead man on the back, he opened the barrel, and dropped the man in. Tucking the knife away, he headed back to the Black Cat.
"Oh Sir Henry, I ain’t drunk, but I think the other guy is," he slurred, as he struggled to remain upright, in the doorframe. Sir Henry was becoming impatient. "Albert, Phil! Go find out what happened!" "Sure thing Sir Henry." The two men slowly walked towards Will, he nodded his head. "Well come on guys," he giggled. "Your friend really looks terbible…terdible. Oh blast, he looks like I feel."
Sir Henry was left with one guard to watch after Little John. "He’s not going tell us where his friend is," he told his man, "Let’s put him back in his cell." The two men concentrated on helping Little John into a small cell in the room. Throwing the ill Little John in the cell, he fell with a crash on his face. Sir Henry cruelly booted him in the side. "You’ll soon learn, not to go against me again!"
"On a warm night in spring, me heart had a fling…" Will sung out, off key.
Sir Henry spun around to see the intoxicated soldier, again. He tripped over the doorstop, righting himself, he strongly shook his head. "I tell you, I ain’t getting blamed for what they did." The hooded man protested, as he attempted to cross his arms. They kept sliding out, he finally let them hang loosely at his side.
"Find out what’s wrong with them, and shut that man up!" Sir Henry hissed.
The fourth man pushed the drunken man out into the alley. Sir Henry locked the door to Little John’s cell, throwing the key in a mug - that sat on a small table in the room. He was startled as he heard the drunken man singing again. He staggered into the room, his head still hidden under the cloak.
"Where are the other men?" he asked. The hooded man shrugged his shoulders. "They had a disagreement with me friend."
"What friend?" Sir Henry mumbled as he stepped into the doorway. As he was about to exit the room, he was startled to see the alley empty. None of his men were in sight. He was about to call out to them, when he let out a gasp, as he felt the sharp tip of a knife pushed into his back. "Meet me friend," Will snarled.
"You see, ‘e’s always ‘ungry fo’ blood, and I don’t think ‘e’s ‘ad ‘is fill for the night." Will said in a deadly whisper. "Now, just do as I say, and I’ll try to keep me friend from givin’ you ‘is special kiss."
Sir Henry stiffened, as the blade was pushed into his back. "There’s a good man, all you ‘ave to do is release me large friend, and we’ll be on our way. Then you’ll ‘ave a nice tale to tell your little ones. ‘Aving met the great Will Scarlet and Little John."
Will grabbed Sir Henrys right wrist, pulling it back, and up into the small of his back. He heard Sir Henry hiss in pain, "If I get my hands on you!"
"Oh, Sir Henry," Will tsked, "Not a very original threat. ‘ Ow about – I’ll cut your ‘eart out and feed it to me ‘ounds."
"I’d be delighted to fulfill on that threat," Sir Henry snarled.
He gasped, as Will pulled his arm higher up his back, "Nice an easy Sir Henry, I’m feelin’ generous tonight."
Will pushed Sir Henry to the small cell where Little John was held. "Little John, you all right?" Will whispered, he heard his large friend moan in pain.
"If you can moan, you’re all right," Will said, with a sigh of relief. He kicked at the door, finding it locked, he jerked Sir Henry’s hand higher up his back. "Where is the bloody key?" he hissed.
"You can go to hell!" Sir Henry snarled, he tried, in vain, to pull himself out of Wills grip.
"To late, thanks to Prince John, I’ve been there. Now TELL ME WHERE THAT KEY IS!" Will pulled the struggling man’s hand higher.
"You’ll have to kill me first!" Sir Henry snarled back.
Will shoved his knife against his back, "You know, I really don’t ‘ave a problem with that."
"Then your man will be stuck in that cell, until the Prince comes in the morning!"
"Damn you!" Will cursed out, "Tell me where that bloody key is!"
Will shoved his knife in, knowing he was drawing blood, yet Sir Henry refused to tell him where the key to the cell was hidden. Will began to respect this nobleman. He managed to take a lot of pain, most of Prince John’s men would be telling him their life stories by now. After a few choice curses, Will realized that he wasn’t going to get any information to the location of the key from this Sir Henry. He needed to find another way to free Little John. First thing he needed to do, was to find out if Little John was well enough to travel.
"Little John, can you get up?" Will gently whispered.
"I don’t know Will," he heard him say in a raspy voice. Slowly he rolled onto his back, Will grimaced, as he saw one of Little Johns eyes swollen, due to the special attention of Sir Henry. As he tried to sit up, he began to cough uncontrollably.
"’Old on Little John, I’ll get you some water."
"NO!" Sir Henry shouted, as Will reached for the cup that sat on the table. Feeling Will stiffen in his hold, Sir Henry tried to cover up his mistake, "If you want water? There is a water cup sitting on the barrel over there." His head pointed towards a large barrel that sat in a dark corner.
"Wot’s wrong with me usin’ that mug?" Will asked, as he took a step closer to it.
"It has a crack in it," Sir Henry quickly replied.
Will glanced at the cup, it did indeed have a large crack in it. "Well, well, ain’t that considerate of you. You were tellin’ the truth."
"Of course I did, I do not lie. You can use the mug on the barrel." Will could almost hear the relief in the mans voice.
"First time I laid eyes on you, I thought you were a smart man," Will chuckled.
He felt Sir Henry stiffen in his hold, "I consider myself a very smart man." he snapped back.
"Not as smart as you think," Will countered, as he slammed Sir Henry up against the bars.
"The first thin’ I learned about the Princes men is, ‘is men don’t give a damn about the ‘ealth of ‘is prisoners. Nevertheless, offering them water!" He snarled, as he hit him on the back of the head with the hilt of his knife. Sir Henry fell to the ground, unconscious.
"Will, what did you do that for?" Little John moaned, "Now we’ll never find the key."
"Sure we will Little John," Will grabbed the cracked mug, tilting it over, the key fell into his waiting hand. A large pleased grin blossomed on his face, as he unlocked the cell door. "Now let’s get out of ‘ere."
Will flung the door open. Running in, he groaned, as he helped Little John to stand. "You needs to let up on Miranda’s cookin’" Will chuckled, he half dragged, half carried Little John out of the cell. "I would love to see the look on the Princes face…" Will grunted, as Little John leaned heavily on him for support. They slowly made their way towards the exit door, "…When ‘e finds out we got away." Will shifted Little John on his shoulder. As he neared the exit door, he looked up, to see Chauncy standing before him.
"Good night, little man," Chauncy laughed, as his fist shot out, catching
Will across the chin. He immediately fell to the ground, the last thing
he heard, before the darkness engulfed him was, "We don’t like to disappoint
*** *** ***
Will distantly felt someone nudging him on the shoulder, rolling on his side, he moaned, "Not now luv, your ‘usband ain’t due ‘ome fo’ a while."
"Will," Little John hissed, as he shoved him with his foot. Will opened his eyes, he was staring at steel bars. Feeling damp, coldness on his side, he realized that he was lying on the dirt floor. Looking up, he saw he was on the inside of the cell. "Little John," he groaned. "Why’d you wake me up?"
"Get up!" Will heard Sir Henry shout. Will rolled to his other side, using his arm for a pillow he sighed. "Wake me up when the Prince gets ‘ere."
"You’ll get up NOW!" Sir Henry snarled, as he shoved a quarterstaff in the bars, poking Will in the back. His back arched, as he cried out, "Am I forever goin’ to be poked with a staff!?"
He flew up off the floor, spinning around. Sir Henry was surprised at his quickness, he deftly jumped back, as Will shoved his arms through the bars.
"Come’re Sir Henry, let’s see ‘ow brave you are without that staff!"
Will let out a snarl of rage, as his hands were gripped tightly. "I’ll give it a go," Chauncy chuckled.
Little John tried to help Will, but he was still feeling ill. He fell back on the floor with a plop.
"Don’t worry about me Little John," Will snickered, pulling Chauncy’s hands closer to the bars, he opened his mouth, and clamped down on his arm. The large man pulled back with a yipe, Will pulled his hands back through the bars. Chomping down he laughed, "Me mother’s best gift to me were me choppers." He jumped back, giggling. The enraged soldier tried to grab Will, he slapped Chauncy’s hand. "Uh, uh musn’t touch." Standing next to Little John, both men were just out of reach.
"Damn you!" Chauncy roared, he ran to fetch the keys to the door. "I’ll tear that blasted smile right off of his face!"
"No Sergeant," Sir Henry jumped in his way. "Stand your ground!"
"I don’t take that from any man!" Chauncy snarled, as he pushed Sir Henry out of the way. The other men stayed back, they knew better than to get in the way of Chauncy. As he headed towards the cell, that held Will and Little John, a foot shot out, tripping him. He landed on his face, he felt a hand grabbing him, rolling him around. Letting out a gasp, as a dusty boot was placed on his neck.
"The Capt’n said to stand your ground!" The soldier snarled, as he ground his foot on Chauncy’s neck. Chauncy’s hand gripped the soldiers ankle, he was about to pull the man off, until he felt the bite of a blade in the middle of his forehead.
His eyes crossed, as he was looking at a very long, very sharp, knife held between his eyes.
"You want me to reprimand this man Sir Henry?" The soldier pulled his hood back, to reveal an eye patch.
Sir Henry slowly walked to Chauncy’s side, "Let him up," he said in a deadly whisper.
Chauncy took in a deep breath, as the blade was pulled away, to disappear within the confines of the large, cape. The soldier pulled his foot off Chauncy’s neck, stepping back, he crossed his arms, as he waited for Chauncy to get up.
His head stayed down, as Sir Henry stood before him. Grabbing him by
the back of the head, Sir Henry shoved it down, as he rammed his knee in
Chauncy’s face. He fell back, the other men turned away. They all knew
of Sir Henry’s temper.
Grabbing Chauncy’s hair, he pulled him up. Blood dripped out of Chauncy’s nose. He knew Sir Henry had broken it. Will saw a dangerous look in Sir Henry’s eye, "Never disobey me again," he said in a deadly whisper. "Do I make myself clear?"
"Yes Sir Henry," Chauncy whimpered. Sir Henry released him from his grip. A clapping was heard in the room, all turned to see a joyful grin on Will Scarlet. "That was a great show," Sitting down next to Little John, Will took a penny out of his pocket, and handed it to him.
"That’s the last time I’ll bet on you Dover," Will scolded him.
"I’m going to enjoy seeing that neck of yours being stretched," Chauncy taunted Will. As he picked on someone, that was unable to defend himself. "Not as much as I enjoyed seeing someone step on yours!" Will laughed so hard, he fell in Little Johns lap.
Chauncy had chosen the wrong man to pick on, Will’s mouth was as sharp as any blade. Chastised, Chauncy stormed away to stand alone, in a dark corner.
End of Chapter Three
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