By Diana Siciliano
"Robin, Robin ‘ood, you in ‘ere?" Will Scarlet was calling his friend from outside Robin's tent. When he received no answer, Will lifted the flap and walked in. He stood still for a while, alone in the tent, just looking around. It always amazed him that their leader, the rightful Earl of Locksley who grew up with all the comforts of a castle, lived in the simplest hut in camp.
"Guess ‘es not ‘ere", Will said quietly. Just as he turned to leave, something caught his eye. The corner of a piece of parchment was lying on Robin's bed. Will picked it up and started to read...
All other love is like the Moon?
Now Wot is that suppose to mean? Oh I gets it, you needs the moon to runs' from a jealous 'usband. Okay. Lets see wot else is 'ere.
Which comes and goes, like flowers on a plain.
There you go, give a girl flowers, that’s a romantic thin' to do.
The bud that blooms, and withers soon, the passing day that ends in rain. Wots so romantic about dead flowers, and getting soaked?
All other love I flee for this
I knew 'e were runnin' away from a jealous 'usband.
To find myself within your heart.
Yeah, in 'er heart, then in your tent. Next thin' she's got 'er mother in your tent, and 'er whole bleedin' family!
To you I promise my first kiss
Hmm, I new Robin were good, but not that good!
And with it swear, we'll never part
That’s it, I'll be parting with me lunch now!
After reading that silly, flowery,...(A throat is cleared from behind
Will. Stiffening, Will continues...) Most wonderful, beautiful poem I ever read.
Spinning around, Will finds Robin standing in front of him. Glancing at the poem, a sheepish grin crosses his face. He shoves it out, nervously laughing, "I founds it,"
"Really?" Robin asked. "Oh, I see, you found it, hidden under my pillow."
Will swallowed hard, his Adam’s apple bobbed up and down. "Can I just say one thin?" He squeaked. Robin's dark eyes were smoking, he folded the poem, and slipped it in his tunic.
"What is it?"
Will was slowly moving towards the tent's opening, "Well you see Rob," he took a step closer, "After readin' that poem, all I 'ave to say is..."
"Yes?" Robin asked.
"Wot were you drinking when you wrote that, because I'll be swearing it off fo' the rest of me life!" He shouted as he ran from the tent. Running out, Robin called out to the fleeing Will.
"Marion wrote it."
"Great! I never liked water anyways!"
Marion Fitzwalter was walking through camp when she saw Will run from Robin's tent, and Robin yelling after him. "Boys will be boys," she thought. When
Robin glanced over his shoulder and saw her, he waved to her, motioning her to come over.
As she neared the tent, she called "What was that all about?"
"Oh, Will was just being Will", Robin laughed.
"So what are our plans for the day?", Marion asked, addressing Robin.
"Nothing" was his quick response. When he noticed Marion's bewildered stare, he continued. "We have enough gold in camp for a while, and I haven't heard of any rich Normans traveling in the area, so I thought we all deserved a day off. How about you and me going on a picnic?"
"Just the two of us!", Marion squealed with excitement in her voice.
"I can put a blanket in my saddlebag," Robin began to mention as Marion interjected "And I'll run over to the cook's tent to see what I can pack? Do you want anything special?"
"Water", Robin said with a grin. "I'll meet you by the horses in a little while"
"Water...Okay" Marion repeated to herself as she sauntered away.
As Robin noticed Marion shaking her head, he thought, "That's what you get for confusing me all the time."
"Robin, where are we going? We've passed plenty of good places for a picnic." Marion was hungry and getting annoyed.
"Not much further, on your right. Look familiar?" Robin was trying not to laugh.
"Hey, you would remember that!" Her voice was filled with disbelief.
"Well, who told you to try to climb that tree after Guy and me while wearing a dress. It's not my fault you fell and the dress was ruined..." He tried to sound serious.
Robin dismounted his horse, and helped Marion from hers. They walked to the tree, Robin holding the blanket and Marion carrying the basket of food.
Robin lay the blanket down, took the basket from Marion and the two sat down. Unpacking, they found a piece of venison for each, some apples, one of Tuck's pigeon pies, and 2 flasks of water.
Robin glanced over at Marion, raising an eyebrow. "Do you ever miss what we had as children?"
"What?" Marion wasn't sure what Robin was asking her.
"We never had anything to worry about. Our families were wealthy. We could have fun and let the servants do all the work. If you didn't join me, you would still be living in a castle, like you should."
Marion reached over, placing her finger on Robin's lips. "I want to be where you are, castle or forest. Prince John doesn't care for the people of England. Someone has to make sure Richard doesn't lose the throne, and I wish to help."
"I was forced into this life, you weren't. I only wish I could give you something to show you how much I appreciate all you do, for me and the cause.
When Prince John's soldiers seized Locksley, I wasn't able to bring anything with me when I fled. There was a jewel case in my father's room. It was to belong to the next Countess. It should be yours. If only I had one of those pieces for you." Robin was starting to sound sad.
"I don't want any of that. I just want to fight by your side and know you're safe everyday. We'll have plenty of time for that when Richard returns." Marion wanted to lift Robin's spirits. "Let's eat and then you and I can take a ride"
Throughout the meal, they reminisced about their childhood together. When the last of Tuck's pie was finished, the two outlaws stood up and started to fold the blanket. Marion noticed something and pointed it out to Robin. Her name was carved in the tree, and under it were several scratch markings. "I was counting the days until you returned from London, but had to flee Locksley before you got back." Marion's eyes started to tear. "Oh I did grab something before I left the castle." Robin reached into his tunic and removed a piece of parchment. Marion immediately recognized it, and began to cry. "I would read it every night," he gently told her.
"Robin, Robin" a voice called
"Olwyn, is that you?" Robin cried out.
"I don't hear him, Robin" Marion was now worried
"Robin, on your way back to camp, go through Weston. Do not ask why. You will know when you get there," Olwyn said.
"Marion, Olwyn told me we have to detour through Weston on the way home and we'll know why when we get there." Robin let her know what happened.
"It's not too far out of the way," Marion said, getting on her horse.
Robin got on his horse, and within the hour they rode into Weston. They were surprised to see Andrew MacGregor conducting a practice session.
"Andrew, is this where you're hiding now?" Robin shouted.
MacGregor told his students to take a break .
"Robert, Marion, good to see you. What brings you to this town?"
Robin and Marion rode their horses to the town's stable, and joined MacGregor. "Olwyn sent me a message to come here, but didn't say why," Robin explained.
"Let's go to the tavern and have a drink, on me of course," MacGregor offered, "There you can catch me up on what's been going on"
When the drinks were finished, MacGregor told Robin and Marion to go with him to his room. "I do quite a bit of traveling, and I don't need as many clothes as I have. Let me give you some to bring back with you to distribute to any man that may need them."
"Why, thank you Andrew," Robin replied, sounding pleased.
"Yes, that's very generous of you," Marion added.
They walked upstairs and entered the room MacGregor was staying in.
Clothes were spread out all over the bed. "I haven't finished unpacking yet," MacGregor said, "Let me see which are the ones I want to give to you."
MacGregor made two piles of clothing. One was for him to put away for his stay, the other for Robin and Marion to bring back to camp. Robin offered to help MacGregor put his clothes in the dresser drawers. As he reached for the handle to open the door, MacGregor yelled, "No". It was too late. Robin had the drawer opened, and was staring at what was inside. He looked at MacGregor with disappointment.
"You never told me you had this?" Robin picked up a wooden box. The crest of Locksley was carved into the lid. Marion couldn't remember where she saw the box before.
"Robert, your father knew there might be trouble. He told me to hold it for you. I've never let it leave my side, even going from town to town the way I do. I was going to give it to you as soon as King Richard returned. I know that Marion will be your Countess, I wanted it to be a surprise for you and her when you returned to Locksley," MacGregor said, hoping Robin would understand.
"Is that your mother's case, Robin?," Marion softly asked him. I was in your father's room once. He kept it on top of his dresser, didn't he?"
"Yes, as if she was still with him. I thought it was lost, that Prince
John's soldiers took it when they seized the castle. It's really yours, Marion. Do you want to see it?"
Robin opened the case. Marion's eyes went wide with amazement. "I could never take such a beautiful gift from you. At least not now." She turned around. "Andrew, will you continue to hold it? I'm not the Countess yet. I shouldn't have her jewelry."
"Is that what the two of you want?," MacGregor asked, addressing them.
"If it is what Marion wants, and you don't mind, it's alright with me.
But I want to do one thing first." Robin put the box down, reached in and removed a gold bracelet; one that had been passed down for several generations. "I want you to have this now." He wrapped the bracelet around Marion's wrist. He then closed the box and looked at MacGregor "You keep it safe."
"You know I will. I'm looking forward to the day I give it back to you."
MacGregor smiled at his one time pupil, now friend.
"It's going to be getting dark soon, I think we should start back to camp," Marion said.
"Until the next time, Andrew. Stay well," Robin told him as they left the room.
MacGregor bowed to Marion "And you keep your eye on him, young lady".
Marion was staring at her bracelet. "Most definitely. It was good to see you again"
MacGregor watched from his window as Robin and Marion walked to the stable to get their horses. Marion folded the clothes MacGregor gave them and put them into the empty food basket.
Robin and Marion rode quickly through the forest, arriving in camp just as dinner was being served.
When asked by several people in camp where she got her bracelet, Marion just answered it was something Robin picked up on the way home. It was another secret she and Robin would share.
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