My Lady’s Musings ~ Chapter VI

My dear friends, we have come to the final chapter of A California Girl in Nottingham’s Court. Will Aylaina be able to save Guy and Robin from their fate? And what will happen to her if she does?

I hope you have enjoyed, My Lady’s Musings and will come back to find out if Aylaina has more stories to tell.
“I won’t cry for yesterday.  There’s an Ordinary World,
Somehow I have to find.  And if I find my way to
the Ordinary World  I will learn to survive.      From the song by Duran Duran 

Chapter Six

I could hear the sound of men’s voices.  Once again I became conscious of the ground beneath me.  It was cold and hard.  The air smelled dank and musty.  I thought I must be dreaming.
The sound of a woman’s voice, Marian’s voice, was echoing far off in my dream.

She said,  “Tell Robin I will always love him and the others.
I asked, “Guy too?”
I could see Marian’s smiling face, lovely and sweet.  ”Yes, Guy too.” she said, I merely smiled.
A man’s voice, much closer, was saying, “She’s smiling.”

It must have all been a dream.  When I wake up, I will have to tell my dad and brothers about my strange dream.  Perhaps I had this dream because I knew I was going to travel in time. But why am I sleeping on the floor?
I was afraid to open my eyes.  Maybe this wasn’t a dream, and I could never go home, ever!  My family wouldn’t even know who I was.  The realisation of the truth was finally setting in. I don’t exist in the 21st century. This is my time and place now.

Upon opening my eyes, I saw three men kneeling beside me; one on my right and two on my left.  I thought they were my brothers, but, no, they were not.  Two were sandy haired, and one had a head of full, dark hair .  The dark haired one was holding my hand and stroking my hair.

The tracker had brought me back to the tunnel and to the time immediately following my killing the sheriff.

I was desperately trying to collect my thoughts now.  I couldn’t outwardly mourn for my family just yet. These men would not understand the true reason for my distress. They would probably attribute it to the battle where I killed a man with my….

My slingshot was sitting on top of my stomach.  I discreetly felt my pouch.  The gun was in there. Whew!  Okay, Aylaina, think fast, I thought to myself.

“Where am I?”  I asked, stalling for time to think.
“Dost thou not know?” Guy asked, grinning widely.  “Thou must be addle-brained.”  he said in old English.

“Aye,” I replied, grinning back at him. “My head be quite rattled.”

“What did you do?’  Robin asked, as Guy helped me to my feet.

“What do you mean?”  I replied, still trying to stall.

“To the sheriff?  And what was that noise?”  Robin was utterly mystified.

Picking up my slingshot, I said, “I shot him with this.  That noise you heard must have been someone blasting Byzantine fire.”

Quickly changing the subject, I asked, “Where is everyone?”

We began walking through the passage, back to the door that led to the Great Hall.

After a short while, Robin answered,  “John and Tuck took all the villagers out to the forest, and some of the men from Locksley are taking Isabella back to France.”

Then Guy inquired, “How could you kill him with a just a stone?”

“I thought you remembered the story of King David.”  I said to Guy.

Turning to face Robin, I said. “You already know the principals of your bow and arrow, right?  You have to know just how far back to pull the bow string to get the arrow where you want it.  Where I used to live, they had a word for this.  It’s called velocity…..”

“Wait….what?  Robin queried.  “Where is this place you used to live?  You never did tell us.”

Trying to quickly brush his question aside, I said , “You wouldn’t know it.  It’s across the sea.  Now, as I was saying….”

“What is it called?” Guy was watching me intently and waiting for my answer.  I could tell that they were not going to let this go.

I should have kept my big mouth shut!  Now I had to tell them something.  What if I told them the truth?

“It’s called California.” I said, then held my breath.

“Cali what?” asked Robin.

“It sounds Spanish to me”  said Archer, entering the conversation.

Thank you, Archer!

“Yes,” I said.  “It was settled by the Spaniards a long time ago.  Many Celtic and English people live there because of the favorable climate.  Over many years their dialects changed.  May I finish?”

“I’ve been many places where people speak a different sort of English.”  said Archer, shrugging.

“Please continue, Aylaina.” Robin finally replied.

“You need to figure out the distance you want your object to go, and that is determined by the size and weight of the object.”

“And you did that with a stone?” Guy questioned, peering at me.

“Well, I didn’t think it would kill him.  I just thought it would stop him from running you through, Guy!” I exclaimed.  “Which, from my vantage point, is exactly what he was going to do, as was Isabella behind you.”

Robin patted Guy on the back.  “Well old man,” he said, with a chuckle .  “You cheated death this time.”

As did you, my friend, I was thinking.

Archer stopped at the door and  turned to me.  “You are a handy little lady to have around.”  He said with a wink.

“Who are you?” he asked, taking my hand to his lips.

Guy gave him a shove, and he instantly dropped my hand.  What do ya know, Archer was flirting with me!  I had to smile.

Guy took my hand and said, looking into my eyes,“This is Aylaina MacLeod.”

Robin smiled and said, “Of the Clan MacLeod.”

I liked the sound of that.  It reminded me of the old TV series, Highlander.

“What are we going to do with all this Byzantine fire?”   Archer asked, holding his arms out and gesturing to all the barrels Tuck had made.

Guy said with an intake of breath, “I say we blow up the castle with it.”

“No,”  Robin replied,  “Prince John would only rebuild it, using the villagers as slaves.”

We climbed up the stairs that led outside.  All of Prince John’s soldiers were gone, back to London most likely.

“I think we should keep a barrel for ourselves.”  I said.  “It may come in handy.  We could hide the rest in a cave.  Is there a cave around here?”

Robin gave Guy a mischievous look. “Not anymore,” he said, smiling. I wondered just what that was all about.

Guy rolled his eyes, and turning to look around he said, “I still think we should blow up the castle.”

~~~~~~

Back at the camp, we celebrated the victory, but soon the sobering reality of what had just occurred reminded us that we still had the task of helping the villagers bury their dead.  Prince John would send another sheriff to terrorise the people, and we had to be ready for anything.

This was my world now, and somehow, I knew I would find a way to survive.  I would not only survive, though.  I would conquer, because I am Aylaina Macleod of the Clan Macleod!

After all, there can be only one! 

End of Book I

My Lady’s Musings ~ Chapter V

This is the fifth chapter of A California Girl in Nottingham’s Court. Lady Jeannie’s story of a time traveling woman from the 21st century. Seems like things are heating up for Guy, Robin and the gang as the sheriff has returned and is hitting them with all he’s got.

Just a reminder. Jeannie’s stories can be found at http://www.wattpad.com/user/JeannieGisborne

“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile
This day shall gentle his condition
And gentlemen in England now a-bed 
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.”          Speech made by King Henry V at
Agincour Courtesy of Shakespeare

Chapter Five

At the castle gates I could see that many soldiers had pulled back or were dead.  Robin was standing on a barrel, facing the men of the villiage.  He called out,

“In the name of King Richard, I charge Isabella of Gisborne with high treason and crimes against the people of Nottingham!” 

Everyone‘s eyes were on him.  He went on to say,

“The castle, and everything in it, belongs to the people!”

There were resounding cheers from the crowd.  I was so caught up in the moment that I raised my sword and let out a Marine Corp “Whoha!”  No one seemed to notice, so I kept it up as long as everyone continued cheering.

Guy took Isabella to the dungeon, and when he returned, Robin gathered us all around.

Robin began to speak. “We must be on our guard.  Prince John will surely hear about this and will send soldiers to try to take back the castle.”

We all agreed and took his warning very seriously.

“We must have around the clock guards posted along the castle walls.” He turned to Much.

“Find out how many able archers we have.” 

He directed John, “Get some men to stand guard up on the ramparts.  The rest of you, gather all the weapons you can find.”
To me he said, “Aylaina, get some men to help you move the supply train back to the kitchen and get some food together. I think everyone could use a meal.”

“No problemo,”  I replied. 

“What did you say?”  Robin asked with a quizzical glance.

“I said that will not be a problem.” and smiled at him.  Shaking his head, he walked off toward Nottingham village.

I recruited some men to help with the food until everybody had been fed.

That night Guy was standing watch along the top of the castle wall.  I brought him a tankard of ale, which he seemed very grateful for.  Then I sat down on the wall, leaning against a pillar.

“Guy, hast thou gazed at the many stars in the sky?”

“There was a time when I didst quite often.  After thou hadst been taken back to Scotland, I couldst not bear bear to gaze upon them without thee.”

Once again, my ‘cousin and I shared a similar trait.

“Didst thou know that God hath hung the stars and knows the count of every one?”

“Yea, for thou hast told me many times.”  He was beginning to sound annoyed.

“And He knoweth the count of every hair on our heads!” I continued.

“Aylaina,”  Guy said, turning his gaze at me, “Where art thou going with this?”

“Thou shouldst know.” I replied.  “Because I’ve spoken  with thee about this many times.”

He sat on the wall with me, and putting my legs across his, he leaned against the opposite pillar.

“Please continue with thy soliloquy, Aylaina, for I knowest I canst not stop thee.” 

He had a look of amusement on his face now, which gave me the feeling he was not taking me seriously.  However, I remained diligent.

“Didst I tell thee the story of King David?”

“Yes, Aylaina.”  Guy spoke in a deep quiet voice.

“He didst send one of his soldiers to the front line of battle that he may be killed, for David wanted the man’s wife.”

Uhum.” Guy assented, still amused.

I continued, “And yet, God said he was a man after His own heart.”

“Dost thee compare me with a king sent by God?” 

“Nay, I returned, “just that David had committed evil and still God loved him.”

Guy was silent for a few moments. “So thou sayest God still loves me?” he quietly asked in a most serious manner.

”Aye,” I said, taking his face into my hands.  He was looking down but soon raised his head to look me in the eye.

Letting out a heavy breath, Guy said, “Someday I mayst believe what thee dost say is truth.”

“That is my greatest wish.”  I breathed a sigh of relief, for his peace was all I could ask for.

“Now,” he said in a teacher-like fashion.  “What is the name of that constellation?”  He pointed to the stars so clearly visible in the night sky. 

“Orion!”  I quickly replied.  “The warrior!”

Laughing softly, Guy said, “Thou still hast mind of the stars!”

“Most assuredly.”  I replied with confidence.

A man from Locksley came up behind me and said, “You should get some rest m’Lady.  Your watch is just a few hours away.”

We were changing watchmen about every four hours and mine was just before dawn.

“Aye,” I replied, “I shall lay my head down for a while.”

As I made my way down the stairs and into the castle, I heard a man speaking to Guy but couldn’t hear what he said.

Isabella’s former bed chamber had a nice, big, soft bed.  I hadn’t slept in a bed for months.  The bunks we slept in were better than the ground, but not much.  Removing my armor and dress, I put on a nightgown I had found in a chest.   I pulled the velvet cover back and lay down.  Very soon I was asleep. 
Soon I was dreaming that Guy and I were married and on our honeymoon, but it was taking place in the 21st century.  From the window of our hotel room, I  could see the gently rolling ocean,  a sea of the bluest-green, rushing over white sand. I felt Guy’s strong, masculine arms around me, but as I turned to put my arms around him I woke up with a start.

Guy was in my bed!

I motioned to him to get out of the bed, but he held me closer saying, “No, Aylaina, I want to stay with you.” 

His voice was so silky and soft, that I melted in his arms. I shouldn’t do this, I thought.  I will be leaving soon.  I should not have let him fall in love with me or I with him.

“I want to be with thee.” he whispered. “Thou art my wife. Twas so all those years ago when first we were together.”

His body covered mine,and I couldn’t stop,even if I wanted to.  We kissed, long and deep, our bodies moving as one.  There was no going back,and I didn’t wish to.  I had never been loved like this before.  He kissed every inch of my face, down the curve of my neck.  I adored every touch of his strong, but gentle hands and I, in turn, felt pure joy in touching him. 
We peaked with such pleasure that it was like those waves I had seen in my dream, caressing the sand with each ebb and flow.

Now Guy lay next to me, his arms encircling me in his safe harbor.  As our breathing returned to normal, Guy caressed my cheek. “Thou art most lovely.”  he proclaimed.

“Surely, not ‘most’ lovely,” I returned. 
“Yea, Thou art.”  Guy said with great affection. “I love thee to distraction!”

I never thought of myself as unattractive.  I had long, soft hair, with tresses of gold, brown and red running through it, that most people thought pretty. My eyes were a deep green and my nose was a bit big but suited my face, which was not quite oval and not quite square., ‘Most lovely’ had never been applied to me, even by my most ardent admirers, Though I had many suiters, none kept my attention for very long.  That is why at 35, I was still single.  

“Thou art most handsome!”  I replied with enthusiasm, thinking, in this time period and in mine. 

Guy laughed, softly. Snuggling close, we fell asleep.

What seemed like much too soon, a knock at the door woke me.

“Time for your watch, m’Lady.”  came a voice from the other side.  I began to think last night had been a dream, but I saw Guy still sleeping next to me.  He looked so peaceful, sleeping there, that I didn’t have the heart to wake him.

I got out of bed carefully, put on a shawl and went to the door saying softly,
“Thank you. I will be right out.”
Getting dressed and putting on my armor, I went to the bed and gently kissed Guy’s cheek.  He moved toward me and pulled me to him.

“Come thee back to bed,”  he said sleepily.

“Nay, alas I canst not, as it is my turn to be on watch, but please be careful when thou dost leave.”

“Of course, my love.  I shall be most careful of thy reputation.”  he said with that  now familiar half smile of his

I opened the door, stepped out, closed it and ran down the hall to the stairs.

The sun had not yet come over the horizon, but the sky was brightening with red, orange and pink hues.  I could see something to the west.  Just as I was about to get a better look, Much ran past me, shouting.

“It’s Allan!”  He took the stairs that led to the castle gates.”

I told the men who were standing guard to stay where they were, and I went after him.

Guy was coming down the steps from the castle keep, and Much continued shouting,
“Open the gates!”

Robin was there in an instant, as Tuck and John were opening the gates.   Allan ran through but fell as he made it just inside.  There were three or four arrows in his back.  Tuck pulled them out, and then Robin turned Allan over.

“Th..the…Sheriff…he has..”  his breathing was labored   “…returned!  He’s…not dead.”

Guy and Robin looked past the castle gates.  Guy yelled, “Man the battlements!

Then he shouted to the villagers, “Move!!”

Robin stood outside the gate as if he could not believe his eyes.  He stared out past the courtyard.

“Robin!”  Guy called, “Come on!”

John picked up Allan and carried him further inside the castle walls, just as Allan was breathing his last breath.

Allan looked at his friends and smiled, then he was gone.

I could not contain my tears.  A real friend of mine had just died.

In my thoughts I was shouting,’ NO! NO! NO!  I was able to keep Allan from being thought a traitor but could not prevent his death.  How was I going to stop the next chain of events from occurring?

“The soldiers are at every wall!  There are hundreds of them!”  The whole place is surrounded!” 
Kate shouted, looking over the wall.

Guy told Robin, “I put a dagger in him.  I watched him die.”

Robin replied, “Well, that ghost has raised an army.” 

By now, Robin and Guy had mounted their horses and rode out the gated.  I took hold of a horse and, clumsily, climbed on it’s back.  Since I’ve been here I learned to ride a horse.  Though I hadn’t become an expert, I could still maneuver the steed.  I gave its flanks a gentle kick, and I was off following Robin and Guy, unbeknownst to them, out the gates.  Riding toward the gathering army, we could see a raised flag indicating a truce.  In front of the army, sitting on a dark brown horse, was a funny looking, bald man.  Next to him was Blamire, Isabella’s former right hand man.

“Surprise!”  the bald man said.  “You thought I was dead, but you didn’t check, did you?”

He touched his chest and said, “Very nasty wound.  Gisborne, we will have our reckoning.”

Then he gestured, opening his arms wide.  “Right now, I want my town back!”  He said with a sadistic grin.  As he looked in my direction, he said,

“Who is this little fairy on your shoulder, Gisborne?” 
Turning around, Guy saw me.

‘Aylaina,” Guy said angrily, “Go back!”

“No!”  I said vehemently.  “I want to hear what this man has to say!”  Apparently, he didn’t want to argue with me, so he let it go.

“Another leper, Gisborne?”  ‘What did he just call me?’ I thought.

“What have I told you about women, hm, Gisborne?  Ah, but maybe you will kill this one like you did the last.” 

I didn’t think he could sound any more sadistic, but I underestimated him. Surely, this was Sheriff Vasy.

Both Robin and Guy bristled at this, but kept their cool.

“As I was saying..” Vasy started.

Robin cut him off and said with conviction, “Never, Vasy.  Your weapons are no match for the hatred these men have for you.”

”You tell your peasant army that anyone who resists me, will die.  Poor Allan, he must be dead by now.”

“You murdering swine!” Robin hissed.

Guy tried to calm Robin.

“Sticks and stones, Hood.”  the sheriff mocked.  “Blamire, give them a demonstration.”

Blamire had one of the soldiers set fire to a small barrel, chained to a piece of machinery, that looked something like a catapult.

“Loose.”he ordered. 

The machine sent the firey barrel over our heads and inside the castle wall, where it exploded like a bomb.

Vasy went on to say that we had until dawn for Robin to hand over Guy, release Isabella, and return Nottingham to him and Prince John.

“Otherwise, you and your friends will be wiped off the face of the earth.”

Robin gave him a sneer and turned his horse around.  Guy and I followed suit.

As we rode through the village to the castle, Robin called out to the gang,
“Put lookouts on every wall!”

He ordered Tuck,”I want every able-bodied man armed and ready.  We hold Nottingham for the King!”

Robin was circling around the road on his horse and began speaking as the people gathered around.

“We know the King is coming.  He has troops waiting for him at Loughborough.  If we can get word to them….”

Guy spoke up.  “Robin, you could put an end to this by giving me up to the sheriff.  You could have done it back there.  Why didn’t you?”

I put my hand to my mouth.  I wasn’t sure my actions to try and change history would cause Robin to give Guy over to Vasy.  It frightened me to think that something, other than the original history, might take place, and I could not stop it.

“This is bigger than you, Gisborne.”  Robin said. “It always has been.  We are fighting for the future of England. You have Isabella behind bars.  That is what you wanted.” 

I was watching Guy’s face.  He was listening intently to Robin.

Robin continued,  “This isn’t your fight, unless you choose it to be.”

“While the sheriff lives, this is all our fight!”  Guy exclaimed. “I’m with you!”  He looked over at me, and I nodded  my head in agreement.  Things were now progressing the way Much had said in the document.

Robin shouted to the gang,  “Get it done!!”

Much spoke up, “There’s something we have to do first.”  He said solemnly.
John added, “Honor the dead.”

We held a memorial for Allan.  Tuck said some prayers and Much set the funeral pyre.
“To Alan, our loyal friend,” Much said, solemnly.

I stood there, crying.  Guy was standing off away from the group, but when he saw me, he came over and wrapped his arms around me.

Much’s document relayed that Guy had given Isabella some poison.  I assumed it was given to her so  she could avoid the suffering he thought might be her fate, at the hands of the outlaws.  I saw Guy heading for the castle and began to follow him, but Robin intercepted and said he had an errand for me.  By the time I got back, Guy was nowhere to be found.  I went to the dungeon, thinking that was where he had gone.

When I arrived at her cell, Isabella had a smile on her face.

“Was Guy just here?” I asked.

She laughed. “So what if he was?”

I motioned to the man who stood guard to open the cell.

“Hold her.”  I said.  The guard held Isabella’s arms.

“Give it to me,Isabella!”  I demanded.

“What?”  she asked innocently.

“You know what I’m talking about, Isabella.  Hand it over.”

“No!” she shouted.

“Do not let her move!”  I ordered the guard.  He gripped her tightly so she could not move. I searched her and and found nothing.

Then it occurred to me where a woman might hide something.  I put my hand down the front of her bodice and pulled out a little pink bottle.  Without a word, I turned and walked out of the cell.

“Let her go.” I told the guard. He pushed her away and locked the cell door.

I was shaking so hard, I thought the guard could surely sense it as I left the dungeon.  As I went down into the kitchen, I looked for a place to dump the poison.  There was a garbage shoot nearby, so I emptied the bottle and dropped it down the shoot.  Breathing more steadily now, I went to find the others.  Having been told they were in the Great Hall, I came in just behind Guy.

“What’s happened?”  Guy asked.

“Kate’s taken it upon herself to go into Loughborough for the troops.”  Robin replied.

John said confidently, “She knows what she’s doing.  You’ve taught her well.”

Robin was clearly upset.  He exclaimed, “The sheriff is playing with us!  He knows he’s got the advantage.”

He went on to say that we had to hold the castle until the troops arrived.

Much, looking quite hopeless, said,  “How long can we hold out from bombardment from Byzantine Fire?”

Then Archer, rather casually, said, ”The sheriff has plenty of Byzantine fire.  I sold it to him.” 

I knew this was true, but I had to pretend to be surprised, though my anger was genuine. Much ran to Archer, grabbing him by the shirt with both hands and shouted,

“You sold it for a profit to the man who killed my friend?!”

Robin told Archer that now he was going to die by the very weapon he had sold.  Archer said that he had done us all a great favor by staying and that he saved Much, Robin and Guy’s lives.

“Ungrateful lives.” was how he put it.

His arms across his chest, Guy pointed out that they wouldn’t have needed saving, if Archer had not trapped them in the tunnel to begin with.

Much wanted to lock up Archer  because he couldn’t be trusted.

Archer started to leave, but Robin stopped him, saying that many people would die as a result of his greed.

Archer turned, in righteous indignation, and said,  “What about the people who have died because they listened to the ‘great Robin Hood’!”  He tried to make Robin feel guilty by pointing out that they were a small army against a huge war machine.  That phrase reminded me of my county’s history of the Revolutionary War.

“You think about that before you go judging me!”  Archer stated and stormed out.

It was clear that Archer had gotten to Robin, but he was resolute.

“We have to sabotage the trebuchets.  Are you with me?” asked Robin.

A trebuchete was that machine the sheriff used to send the firey barrel into Nottingham village.

Everyone nodded in agreement.  Robin then added, “We meet at the battlements.”

~~~~~~

Reaching the battlements, Robin gave the group their instructions.  Much wanted to go too, but Robin needed him to stay behind in case they didn’t make it back. He wanted Much to take charge and fight to the finish. I said that I also wanted to go along with Robin.

Robin responded, “Aylaina, I need you to look after Much.  He’s really upset over Allan’s death, and you can help him organise the people, get them ready for battle in the event that we do not return.”

Reluctantly, I agreed.  I really wanted to see some action, but I knew there would be plenty of that soon enough.

Much and I waited, what seemed like forever, to see if Robin and the others would make it back.  We paced the Great Hall until we heard the sound of yelling in the distance. It was Robin.  We ran out to the castle gates.

“Open the gates!”  he cried.

They all came running through the gates, with Archer on a horse, bringing up the rear .  The trebuchets had been destroyed. Robin held Much by the back of his neck and said that that was for Allan!

Striding over to Archer, Robin said, “I thought you ran out on us!”

Archer said he had decided to give them a hand and that he brought them a present.  It was a 
A wineskin filled with of Byzantine fire.

Tuck, sniffing the contents, said if he could figure out the base components, he could make more. Robin was quite excited to hear this.

He bellowed, “So we can fight the sheriff!”

Outside, there was a great noise of marching men.  They were getting ready to storm the castle.

A huge thud hit the gates.  The soldiers were pounding them with a battering ram!

Guy yelled, “The gates won’t hold the battering ram and we don’t have the men to take them on!”
Robin called out for those on the ground to take cover.  He and Much were shooting at the soldiers from the ramparts.  He sent us to the castle courtyard until the King’s troops could arrive.
We all ran to the courtyard.  I had a bow and a quiver of arrows, along with my slingshot.

John, Guy and some village men were turning over wagons to use as shields from which to shoot.
Much had a team of archers ready, if the gates were breached.  I stood where I could get a clean shot to distract the soldiers, pelting them with stones from my slingshot.  Tuck had another team of archers ready when Much’s team fell back.

When the gates were breached, I shot my stones and Much ordered his archers to shoot.  When they had killed several soldiers, Much called out to run, and we all retreated further inside the castle walls.

Tuck readied his team to draw, then shoot. After firing, they fell back, and Much’s team was again ordered to draw, then shoot.  I continued with a barrage of stones, and many of the soldiers were so distracted that they were taken unaware and cut down by our archers.  We had made some headway, long enough for us to retreat to the inner walls.

Just before entering the castle, Much gave a triumphant leap, and Tuck and John had to pull him inside the doors.  Once inside, the portcullis gate was lowered and more wagons were turned over  on their sides for shields.  As the doors were being rammed through, the archers made ready to shoot but were told to hold their fire.

Sheriff Vasy held Kate by the arm.  He intercepted Kate’s letter to the King and took her prisoner.  He said the King wouldn’t be coming.  Meanwhile, I saw Robin, very subtly, motion to Much by glancing upwards.  Then he whispered something to Much, and Much shook his head in compliance.

With one eye peering through the gate, Vasy said the King had been captured by Leopold of Austria.

Robin responded, “You are lying.”  But Kate said it was true.  He was being held for a ransom of 250,000 crowns.
Robin was stalling the Sheriff so Much could climb up the rampart above the portcullis.

“What are you going to do, Hood?”  The sheriff asked.  “Humiliate me by rescuing the girl?  You are so predictable.” He scoffed. 

Robin called out to Kate to look above her.   He told Guy, Tuck and John to pull on the rope.

I saw Isabella out of the corner of my eye.  Somehow, she escaped the jail, and was running up the stairs back into the castle. I couldn’t do anything about it though , because I had to stay and defend Kate while she was being pulled up.

Vasy told Blamire to go to the tunnel, and Much called down to Robin that the soldiers were falling back.

Robin shouted, “They’re regrouping!  Barricade the portcullis!”
Kate was safely on the rampart.

Robin and Kate embraced as they ran down from the rampart. Tuck recruited me as medic for those whose wounds could be bandaged. I watched as Robin, a heavy load of responsibility on his shoulders, rested his chin on his crossed arms. Tuck began speaking to him, then  Robin turned to walk up the steps of the castle.  He stood in front of the doors, and we all gathered round.

“Loyal comrads,” he began.  “You know the situation, and you know that we are on our own.  We have already lost friends and loved ones.  But England will loose far more, if we do not make a stand this day.  And yes, some of us may fall, but our fight will live on in the minds of those who despise injustice and in the hearts of those who cherish freedom.” His voice gaining strength, Robin continued,

“You are the soul of England, standing firm against tyranny and fighting for a just and righteous future.  Now, ask yourself, ‘Is that not something worth fighting for?’!”  Pulling his sword from it’s sheath and raising it into the air, he cried, “Together, for ENGLAND!”

We all cheered, some of us with tears in our eyes.  I was so caught up in the moment that I yelled out another “WHOHA”.  Some people looked at me, but they were smiling and loudly yelling,  “For England!”’

Archer interrupted by calling out, “They’re coming!” He then raised his bow, and the battle recommenced.  Swords were slashing, arrows were flying, and there was blood everywhere.  I tried not to slip as I made my way to a higher position.  I shot arrows, one after the other, targeting and hitting soldiers.  An arrow whizzed by my ear,so I shifted my position and started shooting again.

The portcullis had been breached!   Robin ordered John to abandon the battlements and for Much to get everyone into the Great Hall.
I was helping people into the hall when I saw Isabella.  She was headed into the secret passage.  Guy saw her, too.  Archer started to go after her, but Guy stopped him.  He unsheathed his sword and went into the passage.

There was nothing I could do.  I was too far away and there were too many people.  I couldn’t get past them but was able to watch Archer go into the passage.  Everything was happening so fast, and I wasn’t sure if I could get to the tunnel at just the right moment.

Robin was yelling to the men to barricade the doors.  Tuck was saying that all this Byzantine fire would destroy everything, including the castle.  Kate remarked that it would also destroy the Sheriff’s power.

Tuck quickly added, “And every man, woman and child in here.”

Suddenly, John yelled, “Robin, they’re coming!”

The sound of a bomb going off rocked the Great Hall and soon Archer came running back into the hall.

“Isabella’s just cleared the tunnel.” He said, trying to catch his breath.

I was finally able to make it down the stairs into the hall, but I still couldn’t get near the passage. 
Robin put Tuck in charge of holding off the soldiers and then followed Archer down the passage.

Finally, I was able to get to the passage, and I made my way down.  I could hear the battle, and I could see Isabella readying her dagger. Just as she attempted to stab Guy, Robin pushed her away.  Guy and the Sheriff were duelling it out, and Archer was holding off Blamire. Then Guy was fighting Blamire, and Archer and Vasy were at it each other with a vengeance.  A soldier made his way into the fray.  Everything was moving so fast that I couldn’t tell one person from another.   At least I knew Isabella could not poison Robin with her dagger.

Suddenly, without even knowing how it got there, I felt the cold steel of my 9mm in my hands.  It was raised at eye level, and Vasy was in my sights.

Everything stopped.  Robin, Guy and Archer moved to one side of the tunnel and Vasy, Isabella and Blamire to the other.  I hid behind a pillar, peaking around, so I could see without being seen. 

“How appropriate that it should come down to the important few.”  said Vasy.

He pointed at Archer and asked, “Who is this one?”

“He’s my mother’s foolish mistake!” siad Isabella through clenched teeth.  With a venomous hiss, she continued, “Look at us, the whole sorry family!”

Robin looked to Guy and Archer.  “Together,” he said.  “Brothers in arms.” No sooner did they all nod in agreement, than the fighting resumed.

I came out of hiding just as Robin had Vasy on the floor.  Isabella came up behind Robin, and Guy shouted, “Robin!” and pushed him out of the way. Guy was standing over Vasy, and Isabella was poised with her dagger behind Guy.

Everything became so clear to me, as if time had stopped.  In slow motion, it seemed, I raised the gun and…..

BANG!  The whole room reverberated with the sound.  Vasy’s head jerked, and his sword fell from his hand.  I shot the sheriff!  Isabella jumped back, and everyone stopped.  They all stared at me, as I lowered the gun.  Archer was the first to recover.  He finished off Blamire as Robin took hold of Isabella.

I didn’t need to see anymore.  I had accomplished what I set out to to do.  With tears streaming down my face, I ran back to the passage.  I heard Guy calling my name.

“Aylaina!”  He cried, frantically, but I kept on running.

I went out through the service entrance of the kitchen and kept on running towards the forest.  Guy was still calling my name, though it became fainter and fainter.  Crossing the river at the narrow, I headed for the camp, but that was not my destination.

Up the hill, I ran to the tree.  I had the strangest sensation this was the tree Much had said Robin was sitting under, when he died in the original history.

Pulling the rocks away, I grabbed my backpack and took out the Mepad and the tracker.  First I turned on the Mepad.  It still had a charge, even after all this time.   I typed the Much document into the search bar, scrolled down to the end, and read the last few paragraphs.

Robin had told Much what went on in the tunnel and that I had done something that killed the sheriff.

I lay my head back against the tree, crying. I did it! I saved Robin and Guy!

The sun was shining through the trees, dappling the forest floor with light, like something from a Monet painting.   Soon, everything was shrouded in a misty fog.  I thought it was strange, but then again, this was England.

A beautiful, young woman was approaching me through the fog.  She wore a gown of the most lovely pale gray with a cape that matched.  Her hair was chestnut brown, falling in cascades around her shoulders.

She spoke to me.   “Aylaina,” she said.   She knew my name!  “You have changed history.”  She was smiling.  Her manner of dress was characteristic of the12th century, but she spoke to me in modern English.

“How do you know me?”  I was puzzled.

“You are the Time Traveller, are you not?”

“Who are you?”  I asked, knowing it was Marian.  She smiled, sensing my recognition.

“You can not go back, Aylaina”  she said calmly.

“But I must.   My life is there.  I can’t stay here.” I was both agitated and scared.

“Guy loves you, and Robin needs you.” she replied. I got to my feet.

“No, this can’t happen.  My family needs me, too.” I cried.

“They are no longer your family,” she said, once again, in her calm, soothing voice. 
“Look at your device.  See what it says about your family.”

I typed my father’s name into the search bar.  ‘Ian MacLeod- wife, Elisabeth Hilton, sons, Aiden, William and Brandon.  Where was my name?  Then I entered ‘daughter Aylaina’ and up came ‘No match found’. 

“What is this?” I cried. “Why is my name not here?”

“You wanted to change history, so God allowed it.”

“And this is my punishment?”  I was crying sorrowfully. “ Staying in a time where I don’t belong?”

“You have a man who loves you, another who is like a brother to you, and friends that are now your family.  You think that is punishment?”  she asked, still smiling.

“But what about the Aylaina of this time?”

“You are she.”  she stated.

I was overwhelmed.  “How is it that I am now she? “

“It is because you changed history; the course of events have changed.  You no longer exist in the 21st century, so you had to become the Aylaina of this century.

“My life has comforts that I am used to.  I can’t live this way.”  I argued.

She  laughed a soft and gentle laugh.  “You’ve been living here for almost a year and adapting very nicely.”

Had it really been that long?  I could not believe it!

“This is your home now, Aylaina.  Take care of Robin for me, and hold on to the love you have for Guy.  Continue the work that you saved Robin for, and be a part of something noble.” 

Taking up my tracker, I said,  “No, Marian, I’m not staying here.”  But when I looked up, she was gone.

The tracker was already programmed to bring me home.  I turned it on.  It was working!

Ha!, I can go home!

I touched the Icon that read “Home” and disappeared.

My Lady’s Musings ~ Chapter IV

Good morrow, my friends. Once again, I bring you a new chapter of A California Girl in Nottingham’s Court.  Thank you for all the positive feed back. My Lady, Jeannie is quite pleased with all of your comments and is happy you are enjoying her story. Don’t forget, you can read all of her stories at http://www.wattpad.com/user/JeannieGisborne

 

“Fools Rush in Where 
Only Angels Fear to Tread”    -From poem ‘An Essay on Criticism’ by Alexander Pope

Chapter Four

Even after all that scolding I gave myself back in the dungeon, I was still going through with my plan to tell Robin and Guy something that might change the events that were about to take place.

The following morning dawned with grey clouds, threatening to rain.  Remembering that my armor was waiting for me in Locksley, and knowing Robin would not let me go get it myself,  I asked Much,

“Would you please go into Locksley for me?  I had some armor made by William, the leather man,and it should be finished by now.”

“Of course, Aylaina.”  He said, happily.  “I will let Robin know what I am doing.”

With that out of the way, I sat down to chat with Tuck and John.  The ground was littered with fallen leaves as autumn was slowly approaching winter.  The air was cooler and I snuggled into my cloak as Tuck and I talked about the Bible.  He was surprised I knew so much.  I told him that my ‘father’ had acquired a Latin Bible from a bishop when his abbey burned down.  The bishop managed to save the Bible and gave it to my ‘father’ as a gift, knowing he would receive a new one from Rome. This story was true,as I had read it  in our family history.  My ancestor knew Latin and taught it to his daughter so that she could read the Bible for herself.  During the Dark Ages,it was highly unusual for a lay person, let alone a girl, to have read it.

John said, “I know the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments and that is good enough for me.”

Turning back to Tuck, I asked,  “Doesn’t God want us to forgive our enemies?”

“Yes.” replied Tuck.

“Then why hasn’t anyone forgiven Guy?  Have you not told them what God’s word says?

“These people need time to heal.” Tuck responded.  “Gisborne has done much harm to them when he worked for the old sheriff.”

Well, I couldn’t argue with that, but I continued,
“What about Guy?  Have you not tried to give him comfort from God’s Word?”

“Indeed, I have, but the guilt he feels is too great for him to hear anything that would ease his suffering.”

From my own conversations with Guy, I knew this was true.  It would have to wait for another time.

John said, “I used to think Gisborne was pure evil.  I don’t know.  Maybe a man can change.” Rising to his feet, he announced,   “I must be off to Clun.  Good day to you, Aylaina.”

“Good day, John.” I replied.

Much returned with my armor.  I thanked him, and he said he was off to Nettlestone.

Shortly after I had arrived in thi time period, John built a bunk for me under Kate’s.  I went there to put on my armor coat and britches.  I laced up the front and tied the sleeves to the shoulders and elbows.  It fit to a tee, as did the britches.  Heading toward the road, I watched from behind a tree as the others hid.
Robin laid his ear to the ground.  Smiling, he stood up and put two arrows on his bow.  Saying something to him, Kate handed him another arrow. A rider was approaching.  Robin shot the arrows, and they landed directly in front of the rider, which made him fall from the horse.  Guy took a rolled up parchment from him and gave it to Tuck.

As I moved closer, Robin said, “Tie him up then.”

Tuck read the message.  It was from Isabella to Prince John.  It said troops loyal to the king would be waiting for him when he landed in some port.  I didn’t catch the name. She would send about three hundred troops and supplies to meet with Prince John’s forces in Doncaster.

“So where does Isabella get three hundred men from?” Robin asked, bewildered.

Tuck finished reading.  “England will soon be yours.”

Robin sent the messenger back with a message of his own.

“You tell the sheriff, England will never be a slave to Prince John, not while Robin Hood fights for King Richard!”

Alan sent the rider off sitting backward on the horse.  He looked so funny that I had to stifle a laugh.

“Robin!” John yelled from the valley,  “I  was in Clun, and they’ve taken them!  The Sheriff’s men have taken all the men.”

“How many?”  Guy shouted.

“Must have been at least a hundred!” John replied.

Much ran up the other side of the bluff. “Same in Nettlestone!  The sheriff’s men carted them off, along with crops and livestock, too!”

“They’ll go to Locksley next.”  Turning to the others, Robin shouted, “ Get to Locksley!”

We all took up weapons.  I gathered  as many stones as I could hold in my pouch, picked up a bow and some arrows and ran as fast as I could to catch up with Robin and the gang.  When we got to Locksley, Robin jumped onto a thatched roof and started shooting arrows, hitting several soldiers.

Isabella’s right new hand man given to her by the Prince, a man by the name of Blamire, shouted, “Pull back!  Get the supplies to the castle!”

Robin slid down the roof and continued shooting.   Pelting soldiers with stones from my slingshot drove them off a bit.  The other men and Kate were engaging the soldiers with swords.  John was striking with his quarterstaff.  I began gathering the town’s people, heading them away from the battle. Soon Kate joined me.

The village men were chained together so they could not run.
“Get the prisoners out of there!”  the sheriff’s man called.

Robin yelled to John, “Break the chain!”
After John had broken the chain, the sheriff’s men fell back, taking the supplies with them.

Breathing heavily, Robin said, “Let’s get these men to Sherwood.”

As we walked back to the forest, Robin said we needed to give our stores to the women and children of Locksley to keep them alive until we could get theirs back.Then he and Tuck began discussing the men of the village and whether or not they would be up to the fight.  Robin felt the men had lost hope, and Tuck said it was time to light a fire in them once again.

I slowed my pace until Guy caught up to me.

Taking his arm, I said, “Guy, I need to tell you something.”
“Can it not wait?  We need to get our stores to Locksley.”
“I suppose it must”,  was all I could say.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to tell him  about the trap anyway.

Guy went into the camp to help get things ready to take to Locksley.  I was concentrating on finding
a way to sneak off and get another peak at my Mepad.   There was much hurrying about the camp.  Taking my cue from the bustle, I ran to the pile of rocks next to the tree.  Pulling out my pack,I reached inside and found my flashlight.  That and my pocket knife just might come in handy. Digging through my clothes, I felt something cold and smooth.   When I pulled the object out, I looked down at it and sighed.   It was my 9mm automatic handgun with a 16 round full clip.  Looking around to make sure no one saw me, I slipped it into my pouch.  Because it was heavy, I cinched my belt a little tighter.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it,  but I felt a sense of comfort knowing it was there.

Taking out my Mepad, I began browsing my family history for any information that might be useful. The MacLeods kept very careful and precise records that were handed down from generation to generation.  Aylaina was still in Scotland at this moment in time. That was good, as I didn’t need her to show up with me here, too.  And yes, her son was fighting in the clan wars.

Now here was something I had never read before.  It seems that Guy’s mother, the Lady Ghislaine, had taken an interest in Aylaina.  Since her mother had died when she was quite young, Ghislaine took Aylaina under her wing and would teach her the things a lady should know, like proper etiquette.  A note sent to Ian from Ghislaine had told him how much she enjoyed the time they spent together and how Isabella really loved her ‘new’, big sister. In the note, she told Ian of an incident that had occurred with the neighbor boys.  They ambushed Aylaina on her way home and pushed her around until one of them struck her.  Guy stopped them and gave each one a godd beating but Aylaina did not want Guy to tell Ian.  She didn’t want them to get punished.  Guy only told Ghislaine about the incident long after it happened because Aylaina made him promise not to tell anyone.  Hm, I was going to have to ask Guy about that one.  I continued reading because something else caught my attention.  One of my ancestors told of a scandal involving Aylaina.  After Conor MacLaren was killed, his family sent her back to her father.  The MacLarens claimed that Aylaina’s son was not Conor’s, even though he raised him as such. Elliot was born early, and his hair was very dark,but not like the dark red that Conor had.  They only let her stay with them because Conor insisted, but when he died, all ties were broken.  Aylaina was sent back to her father.

Wow!  That could only mean one thing.  Elliot MacLaren was Guy’s son!

Robin approached me as I was returning.

“We are are off to bring stores to the people of Locksley.  Are you coming?”  he asked.  I was still in shock over what I had just read.
“Uh, yeah, uh, I’m coming.”

It was raining lightly, and it felt good on my face.  I liked rain.  As we walked, I let some of the drops fall on my tongue.  Guy was watching me, and he smiled that funny smile of his.  As we walked side by side, I was still thinking about Elliot.

Much and Alan were walking just ahead of us, and I heard Much say that the only time Gisborne looked human was when Aylaina was around. Alan chuckled.

Robin heard this exchange and had to put his two cents in. As he turned around to look at me, he said, “That is because she was the only person Guy could tolerate.”He was always brooding, but she could always make him laugh.  Is that not true, Guy?”

“Yes, and you were lucky that she stopped me from giving you a sound thrashing when you would sneak about to see what we were doing.”

We all laughed.  Guy kept a straight face, but I knew he was amused.  I was beginning to feel as though I was the Aylaina from this time period.

When we arrived in Locksley we all split up, going to each home with a bag full of vegetables, some meat, and bread.  The town was eerily quiet.  Kate went to her mother, giving her a bag of food.  Rebecca handed something to her. Robin went over to Rebecca and she hugged him as Kate strolled over to the rest of us.
Finishing with the deliveries, Robin said he thought we should go, so we all returned to the camp.

My feet were killing me.  I wasn’t used to walking on this kind of terrain. I usually walked on a trail at a park back home.  Sitting on my bunk, I took off my shoes.  An altercation was taking place between Robin, Guy and Tuck.

“What’s this?” Tuck asked, his brow furrowed as he gazed at an object in his hand.

Furrowing his own brow, Guy took the object and said, “It’s Isabella’s.  My mother gave it to her when she was a child.   Isabella worshipped our mother, and she cherished this “

Robin was questioning Guy as to why it was here, and Guy got defensive.
“You think this is mine?” he asked.

“Well, she’s your sister, Guy.”  Robin replied.

“Yes, a sister who betrayed me,” he said angrily “and tried to kill me!”

“If there is any doubt about your loyalty…”Tuck’s words  trailed off.

“There isn’t.”  retorted Guy, emphatically.  “Would I have told you it was Isabella’s if there was?”

“Well, if it’s not yours,whose is it?” asked Robin.

Guy walked away, tossing the object on a bunk.
He was sharpening his sword when I went over to him.

“Don’t be upset with them,” I consoled Guy.   “Surely you can understand why they questioned you?”
“Yes, I know.”  was all he said.  He was still angry.

I went about my own business of collecting stones and stringing a bow.  Picking up a sword that I could handle with both hands, I practiced parries on a tree.  Guy and Robin were teaching me how to deflect blows.

Robin gathered us all together to plot out a plan.  Here it comes, I thought to myself.  He began by saying that we had to take the castle and claim it for King Richard, arrest Isabella, take the supplies, and release the men.

“We hold the castle until King Richard returns.”  Robin finished.

Much didn’t think we could take the castle.
Then Guy said, “We can, if we go down the tunnel.”

He went on to explain how the former sheriff had him build the tunnel in case there were repercussions after their failed mission in the Holy Land. He said he had silenced the diggers and proceeded to draw a map, of sorts, with his sword.  Claiming that no one knew about the tunnel, he went on to say that the opening was in a grave outside an old church and lead directly into the center of the castle.
While Guy was speaking, I felt all nervous inside, waiting for a chance to tell Robin and Guy what I knew about the tunnel, hoping my story about how I found out would be accepted.

Guy said they could seize Isabella, force her to dismiss her guards, and take the castle.
Robin added that if we coordinated the plan with the supply train leaving, most of the guards would be too busy to notice.

Kate said she wanted nothing to do with it because she didn’t trust Guy.

John said, “How do we know this isn’t a trap?”

Guy replied, “Because we want the same thing.”

Kate accused him of not caring about the people.  Guy’s pride got the better of him.  He said he didn’t care about them, but just wanted revenge on Isabella for what she had done to him.

Kate yelled, “That is more like the Gisborne we all know and loath!”

Robin put a halt to all the bickering by saying that they would go down the tunnel, and that would be the end of the discussion.

“Gisborne is one of us now.  Our fate is his!” Robin exclaimed. He then sent Tuck and John to get whatever forging tools they could find to make weapons and sent the rest of us to melt down coins to make arrowheads.

Robin made his way to Kate.  They were deep in a conversation, but I had other things to worry about.

Sitting next to Allan, I felt I had to say something, because I knew what his fate would be. I just couldn’t tell him.

I spoke softly to him.  “No matter what happens, Allan, remember that your friends love you.”

“I know.” he answered.  “What’s this all about?”

“Nothing.” I said.  “Just remember that.”

“I’m not being funny, but you are strange.” he replied. Actually, he said, “I do not say this in jest, but thou art strange.”

I agreed and then took my leave.

On previous occasions, Guy and I talked about the old days.  I talked about what I did know and faked the rest,  though I carefully steered clear of that subject.  We talked about how we would move about the forest unseen.  My ‘father’ taught ‘me’ how to hunt.  Since he had no son, Ian taught Aylaina all the things he would have taught a son and hunting was one of them.  My own father taught me hunting skills and I had military training in the Marines. It seems that Aylaina and I had a lot in common.  Telling Guy the story I had made up should have been convincing enough, so I thought I’d let the chips fall where they may.

“Guy,” I said moving toward him. “I have something to tell you. Let us go to the tree.”

Setting out for the old oak, Guy asked, with a look of concern, “What is it?”

Apparently my nervousness showed.  That might make it more convincing.

We crawled into the hollow.

“You can’t go down the tunnel.”  I whispered.

Guy inquired, “Why not?”

I took a deep breath.  “It is a trap.”

“How do you know?” He asked.

Guy turned to look at me.  I saw suspicion in his eyes, but I continued.

“Isabella hast set a trap for thee.”  I said in French.  “Thou must not go that way.” I said with urgency.

“Thou still hast not told me how thee dost know.” Guy said too quietly.

“I hath stole my way into the castle whilst thee and the others were making stores ready for Locksley. I went in with the maids and beheld Isabella with a man.  I heard him sayeth, “There be a tunnel that leads into the castle that only Guy of Gisborne knoweth.” I…”

At that point, Guy took hold of my arms and shook me, saying, “How couldst anyone else know unless it wert thee that told her!”

“It wert not me, Guy.  I only heard it when thee told it.” Of course this was not true, but I couldn’t say how I really knew.

“I wouldst not do such a thing to thee or to Robin.  I hath come to love these people.”

For some reason, it cut me to the quick to have him angry with me, let alone think that I would betray him.

He loosened his grip but was still holding on to me.  He tugged me close to him.

“And me, dost thou love me?”

I didn’t know what to say.  Did I love him?  Wow!  I can’t be in love with someone from this time period. I had to go home some time.  The heart is a tricky thing, though.  If ‘one’ is not careful, and not guarding ‘one’s’heart, ‘one’ could fall in love without even thinking about it.

My feelings for him must have shown on my face because, right then and there, Guy kissed me.  At that moment, all thoughts of time, tunnels and sheriffs fell away as we embraced each other.  He took my face in his hands and we gazed into each others eyes.  Again, we kissed, and I lay my head on his shoulder.

Reality broke through this misty, lightheaded feeling I was having.  First I, thought, ‘How can he suspect me one minute and kiss me in the next?’  Then I thought about Marian.  It wasn’t that long ago that he loved her.

“Dost thou not love Marian?” I asked.  Then, as I turned away, he pulled me toward him and held me against his chest.

“I will always love her,” he said,  letting out a heavy sigh.”but in a different way. Reverting to English, he continued, “I was obsessed with her.  The more she resisted me, the more I wanted her.  When I returned to Locksley, Robin had gone to fight with King Richard in the Holy Land.”  His tone became hard and bitter.  “Prince John replaced Marian’s father, who was sheriff, with Vasy.  I regret to say that Vasy and I formed an alliance. I was so filled with anger over losing any possible claim to a title, that I took whatever was Robin’s. I even intended on taking his woman, too.”  Guy’s voice became soft again.  ”What I hath done to her, haunts me every single day.  I dost not deserve happiness.”

He turned my face toward his.
In a most sober voice and reverting back to French, Guy said, “Being with thee hast shown me thou wert my first love, and thou wilt be my last.”  We kissed again.

“So, who is this man that hast told Isabella about the tunnel?” Guy asked at last.
“Wait a minute!” I exclaimed, hitting him in the chest. “Thou hast accused me of telling Isabella!”

“I knew not how thou dost know when I didst not  think anyone else was aware of it. I realise now that thou wouldst not betray me.” Guy said.

“Pray, let this be the last time thou dost question me so!”  I exclaimed.

I couldn’t tell him it was his brother because I hadn’t even met him yet. From Robin’s and Guy’s appearance, I could guess what the man would look like.

“He was tall and handsome,” I said once more speaking English, but quickly added, “not as handsome as you, of course.”

“That was my foul rat of a brother.”  he fumed.

“Archer?”  I queried.

“When he found out Isabella was his sister and the sheriff of Nottingham, he was ready to give Robin and me over to her men.  But it went against him,and we all were sent to hang.”

“And just in time Tuck and John and everyone else came to the rescue.”  I rejoiced.
“Something like that.” he replied.

“ We must bring Robin into this.” I said. “He should know, too.”

“Yes, we should, but we still must use the tunnel.  It is the only way in.”

We were headed for camp when we saw Tuck and John returning from Locksley, empty handed. A loud clap of thunder sounded, as if foreboding something ominous was about to take place.

Much was saying, frantically, “Kate!  She’s gone!”

Robin said, “She has a family to protect, and we have a castle to take!”

John ran over to Allan and took hold of him by the throat, calling him a ‘traitor’ and a ‘Judas’.

“What did you tell them?”  He shouted.
“Tuck said, “It’s all over Nottingham.  Allan’s been pardoned by the sheriff for services rendered.”

John still had Allan in his grip.  I knew I had to say something, but I waited to see what Robin would do.

“John, let him go.” Robin said.  John obeyed the command and released him.

Allan was near tears. “I haven’t done anything.”  he said.

“Come on.”  Tuck said to John, leading him away. Robin was peering intently at Allan.

“I haven’t betrayed you.” he cried.

Allan looked to each member of the group.

“Much?”

Much looked to Robin with uncertainty.

Allan turned to Guy, and Guy shrugged.

Now it was time for me to step in. I slapped Guy on the arm, knowing that Allan once worked for
him.

“All of you, listen!” I said. “Do you really think Allan would do this to you again?”

I gave Guy a stern look, then said, “Isabella is crafty.  Could she have contrived this to make you all suspect Allan?”

“Why would she do that?”  John asked, still angry.

“Have you never heard the phrase ‘Divide and conquer’?” I asked.  “She could be doing this to upset your plans and make everyone suspicious of each other to weaken your forces.”

“You think I sold you out to help myself?”  Allan asked, sadly.

“You’ve done that before!” Much said, emphatically.

I spoke up again.  “Haven’t you been listening to a word I said?  Think about it.  Guy, would Isabella do something like this?”

“It does seem like something she would do.”  Guy agreed.

“Robin, you know her, maybe even better than Guy.” I said. I knew Robin and she had a thing for each other at one time, because Guy told me about all that transpired before Robin and Guy found out about their brother.

“Would she do this?” I continued.

“Yes.”  Robin answered.  “I believe she would.”

Breathing a sigh of relief, my mind screamed, ‘You did it!  You stopped Allan from being killed!’ But I couldn’t relax just yet.  I still had to tell Robin about the tunnel.

While John and Tuck were making ready to go to the castle to stop the convoy, I took Robin aside, and Guy followed.

“You can’t use the tunnel.”  I said quietly.

“Why not?” asked Robin.

Guy replied, “Because Isabella has it rigged.  It’s a trap.”

Looking at me, Robin asked, “And just how do you know it’s a trap?”

I explained about how I snuck into the castle and overheard Isabella making plans with a young man.
“Archer.” Robin said. “Do you believe this, Guy?”

Turning to Robin, with his arms folded across his chest, Guy said, “I do.”

There was more thunder, and a light rain began to fall.

“Why would Archer want to help Isabella?” asked Robin, but he knew the answer before it was given.

“Money.”  Both Robin and Guy said at the same time.

“We must go in that way. There is no other route.”   Robin insisted.

I knew he would say that, so I had figured out a way to tell them about the step that triggers the trap door. Much’s document, very explicitly, described how the door came down.

“I heard Archer tell Isabella how the trap works.  He said there is a stone in the floor, and when stepped on, triggers the trap doors to close.”

With a sense of confidence, I continued, “All you have to do is walk in a straight line, each behind the other, down the right or left side of the floor.  Do not  go down the middle.  That is where the step is.”

I could sense Robin‘s gaze on me the whole time I spoke.  He must have thought I was telling the truth.

“Yeah?”  Robin asked, as he looked at Guy.

“Yes.”  Guy replied.”

“Then let’s do this thing.” Robin stated.
He then went over to Tuck and John and told them they needed to stop the supply train leaving, or they will all fail. They both nodded in agreement.

“It’s down to you to stop the convoy, no matter what!”  declared Robin.

He went on to say this may be the last time they would see each other.  As they were all saying their farewells, I led Guy off to the side.

“Thou must take great care.” I held back my tears.  Guy put his hand to the back of my head, and kissing my forehead, he replied, “I will.”  I hugged him closely.  Then he was off with Robin and Much. They went one way and Tuck and John went the other.

Making my way back, I saw Allan, loading up with bow and arrows. He began strapping on his sword.

“Allan. will you come with me to find Kate?”  I asked.

“You heard Robin.” he replied “She has her family to think of.”

“I think she left because she was upset about something.”

I knew that she would return because Much”s document said that she and Archer pulled the trap door open and saved the three.  I needed her around just in case they did get trapped.

“I saw something out there,” he pointed to the west, “and I want to check it out. You go. She’s probably still in Locksley.” he said.

“All right,” I replied, “but do be careful.”

“Women,” Allan laughed, “You worry too much.”

Before I sought out Kate, I retrieved my tartan from my backpack, and putting it across my shoulder, I pinned it to my armor with the broach of my clan’s crest.  I braided my hair on both sides of my head.  It’s too bad I didn’t have some paint, as I thought about  ‘Braveheart’,  my dad’s favorite movie.

I was ready to go.

Kate was nowhere to be found in Locksley.  I went to her mother and asked if she had seen her.

“She was here,” Rebecca said.  “I told her a lie about how Robin and Isabella were lovers. It was Isabella’s idea.  I just wanted to keep my daughter out of any trouble.”

“Rebecca, where is she now?”  I asked gently, for I could see she was hurting.

I suppose she’s gone back to Robin. I had to tell Kate the truth when I realized how much she loved Robin.”  Tears fell from her eyes.

I hugged her saying, “She’ll be fine . Robin will take care of her.” I turned and ran toward the castle thinking  Kate might go there.

When I arrived at the castle, I saw all of Locksley’s men sitting in front of the gate with Tuck and John at the front.
Isabella shot an arrow at Tuck, piercing his shoulder, but he didn’t move.

She shouted, “Cut them down!”

Suddenly, I saw Kate running up to the men. I was only a short distance behind her.  She walked right up to a soldier and held out her sword.

“Go on then. Start with me!”  she yelled.”  Then, softly, she said, “ Kill an innocent girl.”
I was walking up between the men as she was saying this.

“Make that two,” I shouted, holding out my sword.

Clenching her teeth, Isabella seethed, “Do it or die!”

The soldier raised his sword, but a dart-like object hit him in the back, and he fell to the ground. I looked up to see where the dart had come from.

A tall, handsome young man was unsheathing two swords.  With both swords slashing, he jumped into the fray.  Archer, I thought.  The battle began!

The best I could do was to ward off blows, but I managed to stab a soldier in the arm.  Pulling out my sword, I cried, “Who’s next?”  and was slashing and stabbing mostly at air but it kept me from any blows.

Kate and I made it to the gates as John and Tuck were leading the men of Locksley closer to the castle.  They were making headway.  The soldiers were being kept away from the castle gates.

The tall, young man ran up to us, gave me a questioning look, then said to Kate, “We need to save Robin!”

I didn’t see Robin, Much or Guy anywhere.  This must have meant they didn’t make it out of the tunnel.  I ran as fast as i could, trying to keep up with Kate and Archer.  We ran down the stairs into the tunnel.

Archer yelled, “Kate, get that rope!”

“What’s in there?” Kate asked.

“Robin, Guy and Much,” I said, while shooting a dirty look at Archer.

He lifted Kate up and she grabbed onto the rope.

“I’ve got it.” she said, with desperation in her voice.

“Pull it!” Archer exclaimed.

Kate pulled on the rope as Archer was pulling her down.  He continued to pull the rope. The door lifted up and limestone came sliding out.  In the limestone I could make out three figures.  Kate ran to Robin, brushing the limestone from his face and mouth.  Archer helped Guy up, and I ran over to him.  He was breathing heavily.  Then Archer pulled Much out and tried to help him stand.

Taking Guy’s face in my hands, I asked, “You stepped on the stone, didn’t you?”

“No.” Guy replied, sounding annoyed and still trying to catch his breath.  “It was that fool, Much!.”

In Much’s letter he said Guy stepped on the stone, so I changed a little bit of history.

“I am much pleased that thou art not dead!” I exclaimed, kissing him. “As am I.” he replied.

A similar activity was taking place between Kate and Robin.  She was telling him that Isabella had planted her locket on Robin to make it look like she was Robin’s one true love.  That was
the object Guy threw on the bunk
.

Archer spoke, “The entrance to the castle is blocked.  Follow me.”

We ran through the tunnel and up into the castle.  Kate ran on ahead of us.  I pulled Archer by the arm.  He turned to look at me, and I crooked my finger to gesture him to bend down.  When he did, I gave him a left hook.  It didn’t knock him down, but his lip bled profusely.

Touching it gently, he asked, “Who are you, and why did you hit me?”

“That’s for turning against your brothers!”  Then I ran off down the hall.

When we caught up to Kate, we found she and Isabella fighting.  Kate had Isabella by the throat up against the wall.  Robin strode forward holding the locket.

“I believe this is yours.”  he said, dangling it in front of her.

“It’s over, Isabella.”

Kate released her with a shove.

My Lady’s Musings ~ Chapters II and III

Greetings my friends.

I  present to you the second  and third Chapters of A California Gil in Nottingham’s Court..  If yu wish to read all of her stories, you may do so at http://www.wattpad.com/user/JeannieGisborne  Without further ado…..

A California Girl in Nottingham’s Court. 

Chapter 2

“Hail, hail! 

The gangs all here!” From Pirates of Pensance

 Chapter Two

After some time had passed Robin returned with a simple dress made of pale green linen that matched my eyes. Seeking cover behind the storage shelves I shrugged it on. Stuffing my clothes into my backpack I heard Robin say,

“Here’s a pouch to put your things in. That strange pack you are carrying must be hidden away, you know. No questions.”

Assenting, I took the pouch from him; big enough to hold my important items besides it could be belted around my waist. As I walked a fair distance from the camp, I found a good hiding place; some rocks piled by a large tree would do well. Covering the pack with rocks, I thought this would be easy to come back to. Some time later, I could get into my Mepad, Then I returned to the camp.

There everything was a bustle; the gang had returned from their mission of mercy. Introductions were made and soon curiosity got the better of them.

“Little’ John asked if my father was Ian MacLeod and of course I said yes, since that is his name I didn’t have to lie. John was a big man with a salt and pepper beard which gave him the appearance of a kind but able-bodied man. He went on about how the MacLeods were great warriors and Ian was a legend. I was getting a little self-conscious over this, when someone, I think the one called Allan asked how did I come to be here. Allan was handsome with blue eyes almost as deep as Guy’s. He was wiry , with a sprout of beard and mustache. Robin answered his question.

“We found her on our way back here. Her horse had thrown her and ran off. She was barely conscious.. Having revived her, we found out who she was and I remembered that she used to live in Locksley and was a good friend of Guy’s.”

“Yes, said Guy, clapping me on the shoulder as if to say ‘you asked for it’, “my best friend with whom I teased all the neighboring Lord’s sons . She used to shoot at them with her slingshot!” I assumed this must be true because Guy relayed the information with such confidence. I just smiled and went along with it.

“You couldn’t have been more that fifteen.” he said, looking at me mischievously.

I had to say something so I stammered,

“Uhum, yes I believe so. But you,” I said, punching him on the arm. “You were more trouble than me.”

“Oh no.” he replied. “My mother was always telling me to go find Aylaina. She’s probably gotten herself in a mess with those boys.”

Robin said with recollection, “I remember that about you, Aylaina. But I remember you helping me out of a few scrapes of my own.”

“Robin was a bit full of himself in those days. Always puffed up about what a great archer he was.” Guy said with some annoyance.

“I hope you still have your slingshot skills, Aylaina.” Robin ignored Guy’s remark.

“I do.” I said truthfully. “Don’t worry about that.”

“How lovely. HE has a friend!” A pretty young girl namesd Kate said and stomped away. Robin went after her.

The mood changed to a more sober exchange between the rest of the gang and me.

“if you know Guy then you must know the sheriff.” said Much, the one who always called Robin ‘Master’.

I was confused. “Why would I know the sheriff?”

“She’s Guy’s sister, Isabella.” Allan answered.

“Isabella is the sheriff of Nottingham?”  I asked, looking at Guy.   I thought I covered nicely considering that I just found out she was Guy’s sister, but he watched me with suspicion.

“Your own sweet little Isabella has betrayed me and tried to kill me, Aylaina.” he replied with that same sultry voice he used when I first met him. What turn of events could have occurred to make this happen? I was genuinely perplexed. Guy sensed this so he relaxed.

“I thought the sheriff was a man.”

“He was.” Guy said nonchalantly, “but I killed him.”

That’s a good thing, isn’t it? I replied looking around at the others. They all shrugged non-committedly.

“It is.’ was all Guy said and he got up and walked away.

By this time the others were all about their routines so I took the opportunity to sneak away. Finding the tree where the rocks were, I took out my pack. Reaching in I retrieved my Mepad. I checked the Tracker. The Tracker was the device I used to travel in time.  It would also return me to my own time.  Good. Plenty of time. I had charged everything before I left 2020, so the Mepad fired right up. But I had never heard or read this version of the legend before. Sitting with my back against the tree I began typing in each members’ name and found nothing unusual. I entered Guy’s name and the information revealed lots of murder and mayhem for the sheriff, a man sometimes called Robert or George. Then I realized I had forgotten about Much because I hadn’t heard that name used often in the stories. This page flew up so different than the others as it was a copy of an old parchment. Someone had printed it in modern English so it could easily be read and went like this:

‘These are the words of Much, devoted servant and friend to Robin of Locksley, or Robin Hood as told to Robert of Nettlestone written down for posterity.’

There it was. The story that was unfolding before me, written down as the events occurred. He told of all the things I had learned about Robin and Guy and their brother Archer. I found out why Kate hated Guy as did all the others. He was a baddy for sure! But Robin seemed to trust him even though he had done away with Marian, Robin’s wife. Something must have happened because Much didn’t understand it either. Having a brother in common did not seem to be enough in Much’s opinion for Robin to trust him. I read on to the end of the document.

Laying the Mepad on my chest I sighed. Dear God this was not good. Tears came to my eyes as I read of the fate of these people I was coming to know and the heartaches they would suffer. I stayed that way until I fell asleep.

When I woke it was getting dark so I headed back to the camp. Robin met me and said,

“Don’t go off like that! The sheriff has men everywhere and you could be abducted.”

We all sat down to supper and Brother Tuck gave a blessing for the meal. Unconsciously I began eating and almost choked.

“What’s wrong?” Much, the cook, asked, defensively.

“Nothing.” I said. “It’s – GULP – delicious. I just need a drink.”  Allan handed me a wineskin.

“Here you are m’Lady.”

“Thanks.” This time I sipped very slowly and good thing too; the wine tasted awful but I managed to keep it to myself this time and passed it back. I kept eating because I hadn’t had anything since that morning and even had some more wine. Funny how it got better tasting the more one drank. I started to get a little tipsy and thought, oh no, this will never do. Trying to stand but instead tripping over something, I almost landed on Allan.   Luckily he managed to catch me before I completely fell down.

He laughed. “Woe there girl!”

“Sorry.” I said, but it came out “shawry”. I had tripped on Guy’s leg and this made me laugh for some reason.

“I’m not as think as you drunk I am, thas what we tell the po-po back in my time.” I laughed.

Guy gave me an odd look then helped me to a place away from the group.

“Aylaina, you are drunk!” he said with some amusement.

“Me? Noooooo. Two little sips of wine can’t make me dru -HIC- nk. I could drink with the best of ‘em cause ya know I’m Scot -HIC- ish.”

“You have had more than two sips, dear lady.” He laughed and it had a nice sound.

“Then bring me a pillow cause I gotta sleep this off.” I think that’s what I said.

“I shall take you to a place where you can lay your head,” he said lifting me in his arms.

Putting my arms about his neck I said, “Aren’t you the gallant one.” He laughed quietly.

The next thing I knew it was morning and my eyes hurt, and my head was pounding. I was in one of the bunks and my pouch was right next to me. It must have been Guy’s bunk because it was set away from the rest, him being persona non grata and all.

I did something I never do and grabbed one of the wineskins to have some of the ‘hair of the dog that bit me’ so that this hangover would go away. Nobody was up yet and I guessed it must be about five o’clock; took some aspirins out of my pouch and laid back down. Guy must have put me here last night. I didn’t see him anywhere so who knows where he slept. Raising the wineskin in a toast to him I said quietly: “Cheers to you, laddy, took another sip and fell back to sleep.”

Next time when I woke there was movement all around and my head had stopped throbbing. I got up to see what was going on.

“Here, Lady. Have some bread.” said Much.

“Please call me Aylaina,” I said “and thank you.”

“Can I get you anything else .. Aylaina?” He asked.

He had a kind face and was a little nervous for some reason. He was walking backward in front of me and he looked a bit like a puppy dog who wanted to be petted. I realized that he probably didn’t come into contact with many women other than Kate, so I stopped him by putting my hand on his arm.

“Have you got any milk?” I asked.

“Oh yes, yes. We just got some from the village. L-Let me get it for you.” He turned around and nearly ran into Robin.

“Oh pardon Master, I-I’m just getting some milk for Aylaina.”

“Don’t let me stop you .” Robin replied with a grin.

To me he said, “I think he may be a bit enamored with you.” Smiling he went to gather everyone together.

Allan had been to Locksley before breakfast and told Robin what information he had concerning Isabella. It seemed that the sheriff was summoned to London to meet with Prince John. But no one knew why, only that she had left her deputy in charge. Hence Robin gathered everyone together to plan the day’s work.

“Since we won’t be having any trouble from the sheriff’s deputy I think we should all practice our fighting skills.”

The deputy was afraid of the outlaws so he left them alone.

Everyone paired up; John and Tuck took up quarterstaffs, Allan and Kate were practicing evasion tactics and Robin and Much were sword fighting.

I wanted to hone my archery skills and grabbed a bow and some arrows while searching for a good target. On the other side of the camp I spotted a large tree which would suit my needs.

I used to be pretty good with a bow but it had been a while. My first few tries were short and then too long. Eventually I hit the low branch I was aiming for and continued practising for some time. Getting bored I went to see what the rest were up to; Robin and Guy were doing an exhibition with swords. That was worth watching, I thought they really were fighting, maybe they were? Robin saw me and called out.

“You want to have a go?”

“No, I said, I’m not much good with a sword but how about some hand to hand combat?”

Robin was up for it as Guy stepped back to watch. There was that half smile again; I wondered what he thought was going to happen.

I motioned Robin to grab me around the neck from behind and when he did, I elbowed him hard in the gut . He bent over as I was spinning round with a hip high kick to his mid-section and he sprawled on the forest floor. Guy was quietly laughing, arms crossed, leaning up against a tree.

“If you find that so amusing, Guy, why don’t you try it.” Robin challenged.

“Alright, I will” said Guy, rising up from his slouch and walking over to me.

I knew I couldn’t beat him up but I could defend myself in a way that would let me escape someone his size. Guy came around behind and repeated Robin’s move. This time I kicked his shin hard with the heel of my boot. His leg buckled and I heard an “oof”, threw him over my shoulder and he landed on his back scowling. Robin was doubled over with laughter.

I merely said, “All you have to do is use the persons own weight against them.” I gestured with my hands toward my victim.

Guy got up with a smirk he was trying to pass off as a smile and walked over to me as if to shake my hand but instead he threw me over his shoulder and started to run.

“Let me down.” I yelled , pummeling his back . But he was laughing and enjoying himself too much because the next thing I knew I was sinking in some water.

I didn’t know there was a river nearby.

I’ll show him, I thought. Flailing my arms and gasping I shouted,

“Guy!” gasp, “Help. I can’t swim!”

He was watching me from the shore looking pleased with himself so I played it up. Sinking down in the water long enough made him think I was really drowning. Soon Guy was in the water pulling me up; as we reached air I shoved the top of his head under and swam toward shore.

I called over my shoulder, “Stay there. You could use a bath!”

As I climbed up the bank squeezing out my dress Robin looked for Guy behind me.

“He decided to take a bath,” I said, and gave a little smile and we both started laughing.

Allan, Much and Kate met us as we walked to the camp. Guy was a ways behind us but no one dared look at him. Kate gave me a comradely pat on the shoulder.

“Good for you, she said. “He deserved that.”

I thought so too but not for the same reason as she did.

Kate hadn’t spoken to me until that moment and I could only assume that it was because I was ‘Guy’s ‘friend’. From Much’s letter I learned that Guy had killed Kate’s brother. I certainly didn’t deny her any anger she was still harboring but hey, it wasn’t my fault ‘I’ was friends with Guy at one time.

It was unseasonably warm for autumn in England so my clothes dried quickly. I was eager to get to know everybody, but I needed to know more about my ‘cousin’ in case anyone asked about those days when ‘I’ was young. The only people who would know were Robin and Guy. Robin was too young then to remember much and I didn’t think Guy would be too pleased with me at this moment but to my surprise he sat down next to me.

“That was a clever move back there.” he said. “Where did you learn that?”

“Women, children and the very old are left alone when the men are off fighting.” I shrugged. “We had to learn to defend ourselves from marauders and nobles who didn’t partake in the war.”

I recalled my History lessons on the American Revolution and the Civil War that women had to fend for themselves when their husbands and fathers and sometimes sons were away at war.

“It served you well,” he replied, “since you are still among the living.”

“I had my slingshot and you might recall that Robin’s father taught me how to use a bow.” I was guessing on this one but it made sense. He had taught all the kids from what I learned.

“You were too willful for your own good.” He chuckled and went on. “You still are.” I could tell by the way he said this, that he didn’t consider it a bad thing.

“It was fun to tease those boys.” I said cautiously. “They deserved it!”

“Yes, they did. And I enjoyed watching you pick them off from that old oak tree. It gave me such pleasure to see them dart to and fro and scramble away to keep from getting more stings.” He had a smile on his face, it was good to see.

“You must have thought I was a pain always having to watch out for me.”

“At first, when my mother told me I had to keep watch over you, I was vexed.

She said, ‘Guy you must take care of her. She has no brothers of her own.’

“I didn’t think it was down to me to be your protector but after a while I took much pleasure in it. You were very interesting, always asking what I learned in my lessons that day, or telling me that the clouds made shapes. “Silly girl.” he said very softly.

Then he said, speaking in French, “But thee knowest this. Dost thou have mind how it was with us?”

Thank goodness I had learned French in College and spoke frequently enough with my French friends so my fluency didn’t fail me!

By the look in his eyes it slowly dawned on me that my ‘cousin’ and Guy were more than just friends and was about to say something as Guy was standing up.

“Come”. He said still using French, “I wouldst show thee something.”

I let him help me up and we walked away from the camp toward Locksley.  I should have been afraid of him, but I was not.  I supposed his evil ways were in the past.

“Where dost thee taketh me?” I inquired.

“Thou wilt soon see” He said. We walked in silence for a time and then he stopped.

“Here,” he said “See? “Dost thee not have mind of this, our secret place?”

“This” was a great old oak tree with a hollowed out base.

“A-Aye I do, I canst not believe it still be here!” I said, ad-libbing, I got on my knees and crawled inside. It was big enough for both of us. Guy crawled in too. He took my hand and ran it across the inside wall of the tree.

“Tis where we enscribed our names by use of numbers.” I could feel etchings of some sort.

“Were we not clever back then?’ I exclaimed.

“Not ‘we’. Thee.” he said using that silky voice that could make one turn to jelly. “Thou were always coming up with these strange ideas. I was just along for the ride.” Guy was sitting directly behind me as I looked at the etchings. He brushed my hair aside and spoke over my shoulder in a quiet voice: “That day my father was banished from the village, I was so angry and upset. I came here and thou were here crying bitterly. Dost thee remember?’

Everyone in Locksley had thought Guy’s father had been killed in the holy land but he returned having contracted leprosy.

“The day my father didst tell me I was betrothed to a MacLaren, “I said, barely a whisper. Once again ad-libbing but I was right.

Guy was so close that my heart was pounding loudly, I thought he could hear it. Dread was coming over me of what he might do next because I didn’t know what ‘they’ had done, though I had a feeling I would soon find out. When I realised I had been leaning against him, I lifted myself away and crawled out of the hollow.

“We must return,” I said brushing myself off. “The others might miss us.” He put his arms around my waist saying into my ear, still speaking in French,

“Whatever thou sayest , Aylaina. It was always ‘whatever thou sayest, Aylaina.” There was innuendo in his tone. I pulled away angrily.

“Dost thou sayest I was a trollup?”

Guy laughed at this. “Ah. there’s that fire I used to know! I apologise. I meant nothing by it. Do not be angry with me, Aylaina. Thou art the one friend I have left in this world.” He took my hand and said,

Let us return.”

As we were heading towards the camp I asked,

“What didst thee mean by that?”

Guy let out a breath, “Thou wert the clever one. It vexed me to find things for us to do, but thou didst always hath an idea and twas always intriguing. Our time together was never boring. That night we met at the tree; what happened was my idea and I shouldst not have done it. I shouldst not have taken advantage of thee.”

They had made love! What was I going to do now? What was I going to say? My ‘cousin must have acquiesced so I took a chance.

“Thou dost know it taketh two.”

“Yes, I know.” Guy agreed. “But I shouldst hath been in more control of myself.”

“Thou were young,” and full of hormones, I thought.  ”And I didst not stop thee.”

“Thou didst not.” I couldn’t see his face but I could hear the smile in his voice.

“Let us not speak of this again, please.” We walked the rest of the way in silence.

Chapter III

“To put right what
Once went wrong”        From TV series theme Quantum Leap

Chapter Three

The first rule of time travel is never mess with history!  But what does every pioneer do when he sets out on the first journey?  Break the rules!  I had already done that when I told Robin and Guy who I was, so it was ‘whatever happens will happen.’ There were so many stories about Robin Hood.  What was one more?  If I could,  I would take Guy home with me but that was not possible.  The next best thing was to tell Robin and Guy something that was going to occur soon; but first I needed some armor and to figure out what to tell them.

Kate was going into Locksley to see her mother, and I took the opportunity to accompany her.  She actually brightened at the prospect. “Yes, please join me.”
Kate was a young and pretty blonde with large blue eyes and an attitude that could be considered irritating.   On this day,however, she was in a very pleasant mood.

We walked along a well beaten path and crossed a narrow part of the river.  Kate seemed to be warming up to me and having another female around was probably a comfort to her.  She and Robin were cozy, but sometimes girl talk was needed.  I enquired as to how she met Robin.  She told me how the old sheriff sent Guy to round up men for an army and how Guy found her brother hiding in a wagon that was leaving town.  He told the guards to take him away and to restrain Kate. Hearing this kind of stuff made me cringe because I was finding out I didn’t like hearing about “evil” Guy. It was, however, a fact that that was the way he used to be.  I just had to get used to it.  Kate went on to say that she had evaded the guards and was running towards the woods when Robin grabbed her and hid her in the tall grass.

“He was so arrogant and full of himself,  as though I would swoon at the sight of him.”  She smiled, remembering.

“Although, eventually I came to love him.” she said,  blushing.

“Was he not merely being gallant?” asked I.

“Oh, yes, but it seemed so contrived.  Later I realized that was his nature.”she replied.

By this time we had reached Locksley, and Kate took me to her mother’s stand where she made and sold pottery.

“Mother, I would like you to meet Aylaina MacLeod.  She used to live here when Robin was a boy.”  Kate was speaking quietly so not to attract attention in case Isabella’s spies were about.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw a man in shabby clothes watching us.  He soon walked away and I thought maybe it was nothing. Nevertheless, I intended to be careful..

“How lovely to make your acquaintance!”  Kate’s mother, Rebecca, said.   She was an attractive woman, probably about ten years older than me.

“I am pleased to meet you, ma’am.” I replied. ” Do you know who does leather tooling?”

“Certainly, let me take you there.”

We walked past several vendors’ booths to a stand where a man was lacing up large pieces of leather.

“William,  this lady is in need of your service.”  Rebecca spoke to a large man with a moon face.  His smile was broad, kindly and made me feel at ease.  Kate introduced me and went back with her mother to their pottery stand.

“If you please,” I said, “I am in need of a coat of armor.  Could I draw you a design?”

“It will be expensive. Do you have coin?” he answered patiently ” How soon do you need it?”

“Very soon.”  I dropped two pieces of gold on the table.  He looked at the gold, then at me and said,  “Yes, m’Lady.  Here is some parchment.  All I have to draw with is this chunk of coal.”  he said excitedly.

I told him that would do, as his wife brought me to the back of the stand to take my measurements.

“I’ll need britches, too!”  I exclaimed, “To wear under my dress, of course.”

“Yes, m’Lady,” she said.  After I finished the drawing William told me to come back on the morrow, when he would have it ready for me.

Things were quiet at the pottery stand, and Kate joined me in looking around the market. Actually, I wanted to find the man that had watched us. I spotted him by the end of the stands, but he didn’t see us or at least I didn’t think he had. Rebecca motioned to Kate and she ran to help her mother out.

While making my way toward the narrow of the river I kept a careful watch.  Suddenly I heard a twig snap, and I crouched behind a tree.  The watching man passed me by, and when he had gone a distance, I started to my left too late, only to be outwitted!  There, before me were two armored men.

One of them unsheathed his sword and told me; “The sheriff would be most interested in you.”  I was cornered…but my eyes searched for a way out.

“There is no use.”  He said.  ”We are many.”  Three more men were behind me.  One of them grabbed my arms and shackled my wrists.  I tried to resist, but it was impossible.   They had me.  Another guard threw me over his horse and sprinted away.

Unbeknownst to us, Isabella had returned

Our party was headed for the castle. As we entered the courtyard, I was pulled down into the dirt. Someone clubbed me on the head and the lights went out!

As conxciousness returned, I felt a huge lump on the back of my head, and it hurt. I looked around and saw that I was in a jail; more likely a dungeon. Being seated on a stone bench, I waited for I didn’t know what. It wasn’t much of a wait.

A guard yelled, “Stay back! The sheriff wants to see you!”

I stayed where I was as the guard opened the door of the cell.

A beautiful woman, wearing a black armored gown with black-brown hair drawn up on her head and beautiful blue eyes, much like Guy’s, approached me. This must be Isabella. We found ourselves face to face, for she was no taller that I.

With a look that could kill, she said with teeth clenched, “I see my mother’s little stray has returned!”

“Isabella” I replied kindly.

“It’s Lady Sheriff to you!” she retorted. I thought she desperately needed some anger management classes.

“So, Aylaina, you are with that disgusting band of outlaws…and my brother!” With this last remark she nearly popped a blood vessel. I remained silent. I’ve had worse drill instructors.

“SPEAK!” she yelled in my face.

Softly, I said, “You already know that much. What else can I tell you?”

“Tell me how to find them,” she said more calmly, “and I will be lenient with you. I may even release you.”

Laughing out loud, I replied, “I’m not going to tell you that and you know it. So what is your next move?”

She backhanded me across the face. Okay, that hurt…a lot! She had a huge ring on her finger, and my cheek was bleeding, but I remained standing.

“I do not need you to tell me, because now that you are my prisoner, Robin and Guy will come to your rescue. Then I will have my revenge.” She laughingly screeched.

‘Now you’ve gone and done it, Aylaina,’ I thought to myself. You’re going to change history alright. Robin and Guy, and who knows who else,will be killed trying to rescue me and maybe I’ll be killed in the process.’ Groaning inwardly, I hid my feelings with a poker face.  Isabella was very unforgiving, so I tried to speak to her better angels.

“Isabella, how can you do this? Were we not friends at one time? Did I not treat you as my own sweet sister? Be of mind the times we spent playing princesses with the little dolls I made for you.” Guy had reminded me of this the night before, so I used it for all it was worth.

Her face soften a bit.   I continued.

“Your mother was so kind to me,as if she were my own, and I loved her, too. You said she could be my mother if I were to marry Guy.” The softness in her face was hardening again at the mention of Guy.

“Guy sold me to a brute!” She cried, striding around the cell. “He did not care either. I asked him to apologise, but he said it was the best thing for me! Huh, it was the best thing for him!”

“Come now, Isabella, you know how proud Guy is. It is hard for him to admit he was wrong. You must know he would not have done it, if he knew what kind of man Thornton was. My own father gave me to a man I did not know. I was heartbroken to leave and marry a stranger.”

“Was he cruel to you?” she asked, her voice thick. I really didn’t know. I just assumed he wasn’t.

“No.”I said. “But it was merely luck. He very well could have been.”

“But he wasn’t.” Her anger was returning . Once again,in that clenched voice, she said, “Guy will pay for using me, and so will Robin!”

She turned and strode to the gate. “And you can rot in here!” Then she was gone.

Sitting back down on the stone bench, a myriad of thoughts went through my mind. ‘What was I thinking, trying to spy on that man back in Locksley? Just because I’m from 830 years into future, it doesn’t necessarily make me more clever and cunning than they. Stupid, stupid!’ These shackles were biting into my wrists. ‘Oh right, Aylaina, you were going to change history and save the day. This wasn’t a Jules Verne novel or a Star Trek movie where Captain Kirk goes back in time to save the whales or Sam Beckett quantum leaps to put right what once was wrong! Who did I think I was…God, playing with people’s lives? These were real people, who were facing real danger’. I couldn’t seem to stop the self recrimination.

Once again, I lay down on the bench, my arm across my forehead, trying to think of a way out of this. I was hoping that Robin and Guy would not try anything heroic, but I knew that was in vain. Of course, Robin would come, as would Guy and someone would be killed, hanged or have their head chopped off. Now I was getting morbid. ‘Stop thinking this way,Aylaina’, I told myself. ‘Be positive.’ But it was impossible to try. With these thoughts still running through my mind, I closed my eyes and fell asleep.

A great gnawing feeling in my stomach woke me. I was so hungry. Walking to the front of the jail, I called through the bars.

“Guard?  Guard!”

“What do you want?” the guard sneered.

“I’m hungry. May I have something to eat?”

“Sheriff says no food for you!”

“What about….”

“No drink either!”

What was she going to do, starve me? The guard went back to his post and I laid down again and tried not to think about the hunger. Singing songs, reciting poems and even praying, ‘Lord, help me out of this. Don’t let other people suffer for my stupid actions. Strike Isabella down! Help me not to think of food. Amen.’ did not make the hunger pangs go away.

Time passed, but much too slowly.

Looking down,I noticed I still had my pouch! What did I have in here that could help me?

Just then I heard the echoing sound of voices and a strange scraping noise, like something being dragged.

The guard opened the other cell and threw a body into it. He closed the cell, laughing.

I went to the bars that separated the two cells and peered down. Oh, great! It was Guy! What the hell was he thinking? He must have gotten himself captured on purpose. Reaching through the bars, I shook his shoulder.

“Guy, Guy, thou great fool!” Speaking in French had become the way we communicated with each other when we were alone. ” Wake up!” I shook him again and heard a groan.

He raised his hand to his head and said, “Canst thee not be so loud? My head is bashed.”

“Thou gets what thou dost deserve for this ridiculous ploy. How art we to escape with thee in here? And how didst thee know I was in here in the first place?”

“When Kate returned without thee, I became concerned. Stupid girl, leaving thee in the village.”

“Do not blame her,” I said. I didn’t want to tell him that I was spying on Isabella’s man, so I said,

“I just wanted to have a look around. I have not been here in years thou dost know. Someone must have overheard Kate speaketh my name to her mother. Then thy sister’s men abducted me.”

“When thou didst not return,” Guy said, trying to sit up ” we were made aware.”

“Well now, thou hast made her day! She needeth only Robin and all will be right with her world. I said sarcastically.

“Such a biting tongue thou hast, woman,and to the man who is to be thy rescuer!” He exclaimed, trying to look stern, but I could see a hint of a smile. “Do not worry thyself. Robin and I hath hatched a plan.”

“Of course thou didst.” I replied. “And just how wouldst thee carry out this plan when thou art here?”

“We hath played this scheme before when we broke Archer out of York jail. Patience, lady, patience.”

“I was addle brained to go off by myself.” I said, knowing it was true and thinking he would comfort me. Guy scolded, instead.

“Thou must hath been. These are treacherous times and thou hast no experience with people like these!”

I had been pacing around the cell as he was speaking.

“What dost thee know?” I exclaimed.

In my time period I was once a soldier and even had battle experience! He was right, though. I never experienced anything like this before, especially without a modern day weapon, however, Aylaina had. She had to deal with all the ruffians of Scotland, with no able-bodied men to help. I said as much to Guy.

“Behold what thee hast wrought!”  He exclaimed.

“Thou art right.” I replied, “I bow to your superior experience.”

“As thee shouldst.” he replied in triumph. ‘Arrogant man!’ I thought.

Grasping the bars that seperated us, I whispered. “I hast a hair pin. Couldst thou use this?”

“Hum” he replied, “This couldst be of some use. He took it from me and started jimmying the lock on his shackles. It worked!

“Put thy wrists through here.” Guy motioned to the bars. Doing as he instructed, he unlocked my shackles.

Oh, how good it felt to have those things off. Not only were they tight, they were heavy, too.

Then came the sound of heavy footsteps and many reverberating voices. Guy put his finger to his lips.

“I’m telling you,” a familiar voice said, “The Sheriff wants to see the prisoners in the Great Hall.” It was Allan, dressed like a guard. Two other bigger ‘guards’ were behind him.

“You do not want to incur the wrath of the Sheriff, do you?” inquired Tuck. The guard that was now outside our cells said, “I-I’m not sure I…”

“Then you go tell the Sheriff why you did not obey her orders.” Allan replied.

The guard turned to unlock the cell door and John rammed his face into the bars. He fell to the ground in a heap. Allan opened the gate, and Guy pulled the guard in. He closed and locked it. Then Guy took the keys from Allan and opened my cell door. We embraced.

John hissed, “There’s no time for that. Let’s go!”

Away down the corridor we fled. We heard running footsteps behind us, and Isabella was yelling,

“Hurry, you fools!”

She must have seen my open cell door.

“After them!” she cried. They were on our heels.

Robin, Kate and Much were coming toward us. Swords were drawn. Robin threw a sword to Guy. The fight was on! I tried to stay out of the line of fire. Isabella was at the back of the melee. Sliding along the wall with the deafening clash of steel striking steel, I made my way to her. She saw me and tried to attack, but I was more skilled than she. As she swung at me, I caught her arm and twisted it behind her. Earlier, Guy had taken a dagger from his boot and had given it to me. I held it to her throat.

“STOP!” I yelled, “Or I’ll slit her throat!” Isabella struggled,but in vain, for she was tightly in my grip.

“Lay down your weapons and put your hands against the wall.” I ordered the guards.

As they all did as they were told, John kicked the swords out of their reach. I slid along the opposite wall, still gripping Isabella.

“Stay there,or she dies.”  Handing her off to John, we continued down the corridor to an escape hatch. Once we were outside, John let Isabella go, and I pushed her against the cold wall of the castle.

“It’s not too late to change sides,”I said. “You are allied with the wrong people, Lady Sheriff.”

She tried to spit in my face, but I held her throat too tightly.

“You will die like the rest of them, Aylaina MacLeod.” she croaked.

Shoving her down to the ground, I said,

“You have sealed your fate. Good-bye Isabella.”

With that, we all ran into the forest, leaving her to scream for her guards to go after us. It was too late, though. We disappeared into the night.

My Lady’s Musings

My Lady Jeannie is a wonderful writer. I tried to get her make her own blog in which to share her musings, however, she was reluctant to do so. So it was down to me make aware the many people out there who would desire to peruse her fine words, put together to create a wonderful story about a 21st century woman and a 12th century man. I hope you will enjoy these musings as much as I did.

I will be blogging a chapter or two at a time for your pleasure.

A California Girl in Nottingham’s Court

“Tell me, Doctor, Where are we going this time? Is it the 50’s or ‘2099’?’

 From Song by Huey Lewis and the News

 

Chapter One

 I was conscious of the ground beneath me. It was bumpy, smelled of dirt and I could feel leaves, some soft, some dry. They were the same colors as my hair, gold, brown, red and I could not tell where my hair ended and the leaves began. Kneeling beside me were two men.

 The younger one was smiling . Sandy colored hair and a partially grown in beard gave him a boyish appearance. The other man was sterner; handsome and dark in that “Heathcliff”‘ sort of way. He had long, almost black unruly hair.  As I looked into his eyes, I saw impatience, but something more.  I thought to myself ‘what sorrows lay beneath those icy blue eyes?’ They both wore leather armor but ‘Dark’s’ was black and ornate as the kind a noble would have worn. ‘Sandy Hair’s’ was brown with intricate stitching that must have taken months to make. I couldn’t guess what century this was, 13th, 14th? ‘Dark’ spoke first, but not to me.

 “What manner of creature canst this be?” The boyish one pursed his lips and shook his head.

 “Me thinks it be a woman.” he said, “but she be attired strangely.”

 The dark man said.”Leave us go. Time is passing.”

 “Sandy Hair’ said, “Thou wouldst abandon her to the wild or to the sheriff? Nay, pray let us take her back to camp.”

 At this point I decided it was time to join the conversation.

 “Where am I?”

 “Dost thou not know?” ‘Dark’ asked with impatience. “Thou must be addle-brained!”

 Speaking as they did, I replied.

 “Aye, I hath fallen from my horse. My head be quite rattled.” It didn’t seem appropriate for me to tell them I had traveled in time.

 I am a Time Traveler from the year 2020. My name is Aylaina MacLeod. The discovery of traveling in time was made by my father, Ian McLeod, a quantum physicist. My brothers and I all had degrees in computer science and physics and we had been working on time travel for several years when we made the discovery of transporting a person or thing from one point to another within the same time. We knew if we could do that then we could bend time and travel forward or backward. In the past, time had always been considered to run in a straight line, beginning at one point and ending at another but we had discovered that time was always in flux, continuous. Like a circle it was always running, forward and backward, hence the phrase Space-Time continuum. Many such discoveries were made as a result of forward thinking 20th century Science Fiction authors such as Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clark and Robert A. Heinlein.

It would appear that I had traveled backward in time.

 ‘Sandy Hair’ answered my question. “Thou be in Sherwood Forest. Dost thee be of mind now?”

Sitting up and rubbing my head for affect I replied, “I dost have mind of traveling here, aye.” How was I going to pull this one off? Think fast Aylaina, but before I could say anything else ‘Dark’ urged, “Leave us be going. Take the creature if thee must!” and started walking away.

‘Sandy Hair’ helped me up.

“I am called Robin Hood.” He exclaimed proudly. Ah, the end of the 12th century.

 “Then he must be Little John.” said I, pointing to ‘Dark’.

 “Nay!” the other barked. “I am Guy of Gisborne.”

 This was going to be interesting considering that I had an ancestor who knew both of these men in her youth. If I told them my name they would claim to know me as I was named after that very ancestor. I decided I would go with it and see what would happen.

 “Well met, gentleman for I am your friend from long ago, Aylaina MacLeod!” Both of them turned to gaze at me. The sun was shining brightly through the trees that were turning colors as autumn was approaching. They shaded their eyes so they could check me out.

 “Aylaina? Is that really you?” Robin asked as he was taking my hands.

 “Aye.” I said. “It is me” He turned to Guy, “Do you not remember Aylaina, Guy?”

 “Of course I do.” he said in a low throaty voice as he walked over to me. He lifted my chin to get a better look at me. His eyes burned into mine . He turned my face this way and that and took a handful of my hair. “It is you.” He said softly , touching my cheek.

What had happened between these two, I wondered? All I knew from the family history was that they all knew each other. Perhaps there was more information than I aware of. I would have to check my Mepad later as I had all my fathers’ history downloaded to it. I didn’t know what to do next so I just said,

“Hello Guy.”

One side of his mouth turned up as a smile, I think, but it suited him.

“Come.’ He said. “We must get back to our camp.”

 Reaching for my backpack I followed after them. As we walked along Robin asked,

“Did your father not marry you to a man in Scotland? Something about joining the clans together to unite Scotland.”

I assented because this was true. It was common practice in those days for people of noble birth to make a good match for gain of money, land or power. In this case my ‘cousin’s’ father wanted to do just as Robin had said. His name was Ian and my father was named after him. Aylaina’s husband had been killed in the clan wars right about this time in history. ‘I’ was a widow.

“Why are you dressed so oddly?” Robin inquired. ” I thought your manner of attire was similar to ours.” I had on a leather jacket and a long floral print blouse, belted at the waist, black leggings and mid-calf black leather boots. It gave me the appearance of a cute little pixie, in my humble opinion.

 “M-My husband was killed,” I stammered, “so my father moved us to a far away land where their customs are…different.” I was really tap dancing on this one.

 “So,” Guy said. “Conor MacLaren is dead. Where are your children?” How did he know Aylaina’s husbands’ name? He must have been guessing about ‘children’ because Aylaina had only one, a boy about 18 or 20 at this point in time. Oh boy, this wasn’t going to be easy. What had I gotten myself into?

 “My son is still fighting in the clan wars.” I replied. That’s what he would have been doing when his father was killed. His name was Elliot.

 “Then why have you returned?”

Trying to keep up with Guy, I replied, “Well I heard all about Robin’s exploits and wanted to be a part of something noble. Would you welcome another hand?” I asked Robin. Before he could answer, Guy stopped walking and grabbed my arm.

 “You must know all about me, too Aylaina.” He retorted. His face darkened and It frightened me. I tried not to let it show but he said, “I see you do!” He let go my arm and continued walking.

“But you must have changed,” I said, trying to recover, “or you two would not be together.” I had some idea of what Guy was talking about, but it seemed there was more to it than the old legends say. That was another thing I had to look up. Since my ancestors were to have known Robin Hood as a child I was very interested in all the legends that were told about him and the Merry Men. I had downloaded all the info I could about them into my Mepad.

Before anything else could be said Robin stopped and I nearly bumped into him.

“We’re here.” he said.

 “Where?’ I asked. “I don’t see anything.”

 “And that is a good thing.”  Robin said with a smile and a wink

 

Reaching up, Robin took hold of a loose vine hanging from the tree .He wound the vine around his hand several times before giving it a great pull.  Gazing in amazement, I had to step back as a mixture of thicket and bracken began to rise. At that point I realized it was a camouflaged door that led into the camp beyond.

We went inside and Robin and Guy walked to the back of the ‘hide out’ as I peered around. The place was a make-shift home.  On both sides there were bunks made from tree branches, and a cooking pit. There were storage spaces and above a camouflaged roof almost like the ones the military used but entirely made out of leaves. Impressive!

I became aware of the conversation the men were having. They were speaking in low tones but I could only just make out some of it.

 

“She could be working for Isabella.” Guy was saying. Robin was saying something about him being so suspicious.

“Isabella betrayed me!” Guy spat. I moved a little closer so I could hear better.

“You saw her, Guy. She didn’t even know where she was when we found her. I doubt that she’s one of Isabella’s spies.” Robin was saying. “Besides, weren’t the two of you” he paused, “close back then?”

“Yes.” Guy replied, ” but Aylaina loved Isabella like a little sister.” He whispered but I was able to hear him.

Who is this ‘Isabella’? I wondered.

“And she loved your mother, too.” replied Robin. Before anything more could be said I spoke up.

“So tell me how you came to be comrads in arms?” I queried. I sat down on a log and motioned them to sit.

“We have a brother in common.” Robin explained as they sat down on either side of me.

 “My mother and his father.” Guy said.

 Both men looked uncomfortable. Well this was common where I come from but for these men it was shameful.

“Where is he now?” I asked.

 Guy spoke with anger in his voice. “He betrayed us after we rescued him from hanging.

 “Archer chose not to join us in our fight.” Robin said sadly.

 “So where is the rest of your gang?” I enquired.

 “They should be returning shortly. They went into the villages to bring food to the people.” Robin stood up and turned to me.

“I should try to find you something more suitable to wear.”

 I thought what I was wearing was suitable enough. My outfit made it easy for me to get around in this terrain. My boots were low heeled and comfortable and my jacket had buttons rather than a zipper but Robin didn’t want a lot of questions from the others who tended to be superstitious so I agreed. He sized me up and figured I was about as tall as someone named Kate but with a little more, shall we say meat on my bones. It was more like muscle. I had been in the military and still trained most days.

 “I will go into Locksley.” Robin was saying. “I’m sure I can find something already made that you can wear.”

“Sure.” I said and walked around the place.

Guy was still sitting on the log so I sat next to him.

 “Where is Marian?” but I quickly realized I said the wrong thing. Guy’s face darkened again and he stood up.

He pulled me up from the log roughly and with his face inches from mine, said, “If you know of Robin’s exploits than why do you not know what happened to Marian! Hm? Did you not know that I killed her?” He pushed me away.

 Gathering my wits, I said gently, for I could see it pained him, “I didn’t know.” I touched his shoulder. He could see that I was earnest.

“I have committed many crimes since I last saw you, Aylaina. You should not associate yourself with me.”

Impossible!” I said. “I was your friend then and I am your friend now.” I thought it a good idea to stay on Guy’s good side and knowing a little of my ‘cousin’s’ personality it seemed the right thing to do.

“Then be prepared to be counted amongst the hated for the others will not take kindly to your position.” he replied.

 “I care not for what others think of me.” This was true, I don’t. “And I can take care of myself.”

 There was that half smile again. I took this to mean that Guy approved.

 “You still have your slingshot?” He asked

“Of course,” I replied, among other things.

 

Come back next Guy day for the next chapter. Thank you my friends and Good Day.

 

 

If The Shotgun Had Been Invented, There Would Be One Pointed At My Head

  • So I had to do it.  Prince John and the sheriff insisted that I marry the lady Jeannie for her fortune and her lands that would go to her husband upon the death of her very sick father.
  • Since that day, many events had taken place.  Including the one that I have chronicled for you here.
  • Lymeria entered  Nottingham castle, finding the dark gloomy hallways and cold walls and floors something depressing. She had always admired castles but this one truly haunted her. She sighed and tried to see the positive side about returning. There was Allan after all, and Seth of course. But Seth worked on the lower half of the castle while she was on the upper part. She passed by Vaisey’s chambers and shuddered when she pictured the coal pit and what new ideas Vaisey would come up with next.
  • “Come in jester.” Vaisey said as he heard the bells of Lymeria’s costume.

 

Lymeria inhaled deeply and sighed before throwing back her
head and shoulders.

  • I may have met my match!

  • “Find our gloomy friend and get him relaxed for tomorrow.  He’ll need to be completely confident and well rested for his journey.”  Vaisey said while dotting his “i’s” and crossing his “T’s” with a quill pen.
  • “Yes m’lord.” Lymeria smiled for she had hoped to run across Guy and to test his behavior and mannerisms
  • “Use that song of yours to put him out. I want to make sure he’s fully awake for the journey.” Vaisey said without ever looking up from his important documents.
  • .
  • “Yes m’lord.” Lymeria curtsied and turned away from the sheriff to skip out into the hallway. She stopped one of the servants and asked where she would be able to find Sir Guy. The servant reported that he was in the bathing area of the castle. Lymeria’s jester hat sank in disappointment for who would want attention while they were in the tub? She exhaled from her lips and walked toward the bathing room thinking how things could play out. She knocked on the door and tried to steady her nerves. “Sir Guy? The sheriff has sent me to relax you for your journey tomorrow. May I come in?”
  • Guy scoffed. It was just like Vaisey to bother him while he was bathing. Let’s just see how this little whatever she is, will react when I demand a towel from her. “Come in.” he growled, his voice a deep rumble.

 

  • If only Seth could demand respect in a wolf-like tone. Lymeria thought and entered the room. She calmly closed the door behind her and clasped her hands together. “No need to get up sir, I’ve already run through the many ways to relax you.” She noted the sword beside the tub and swallowed harshly. There would be no need for jokes if his weapon was still in arms reach. She rubbed her hands together and walked over to him, moving around the tub to face him. “Which would you prefer tonight? Song? Dance? Mimicry? Or how about contorting? The sheriff loves it when I am able to lift my leg above my head and pretend it was a noose.” She demonstrated this, balancing on one leg while the other reached the sky. She turned her head sideways and stuck out her tongue to pretend her neck had snapped. She recovered within seconds and placed her leg down. “Or perhaps a simple rubbing of the muscles to relieve stress as I sing would be more pleasing for thee?” She reached into her costume pockets and pulled out a little bottle. “I have scented oils.”

 

  • Guy smirked at the jester’s antics. He stood up, like Vaisey had once done to him and said, softly, “Get a towel and dry me off.” He smirked again.

 

  • “Hm.” She said, keeping her eyes at his eye level. “Is your water still warm?” She removed her glove and felt the water. “Very. Have a seat.” She challenged him with bold but mischievous eyes. “Sheriff said to relax you and that is my goal. What better way than while in calming waters.” She moved around him and pressed down on his shoulders, even though she was shorter than him. “Trust me, I know what I am doing.”
  • Guy was amused. He thought he detected a bit of discomfort in this little urchin, but he figured what harm could it do. Let the creature massage his sore muscles. “Fine,” he said and sat back down. “Use some of that oil. I like the way it smells. And sing, or whatever it is you call that sound you make.”
  • “Nasty piece of work you are.” Lymeria said. “Almost as rude as the sheriff.” She opened the bottle of oil and let a drop land on her fingertip. She touched the sides of Guy’s head, allowing the oil to fill his nostrils. “You shall have no trouble smelling this strong of oil through that fine Roman nose of yours.” She caught sight of a mole on the left side of his torso and giggled, for Seth had a mole in the very spot. When she felt that Guy would question her sudden amusement, she prayed he would chalk it up to jester insanity. “Lean back for me.” She instructed and winced, for she was giving him orders rather than the other way around. Still, if he was willing to sit back down again, he may be willing to listen. “I find that closing your eyes helps in relaxing. And while I sing, you can bring fully formed pictures into your mind.” She said and removed her other glove, then rolled up her sleeves. She pulled up a stool and sat upon it while massaging his temples. “Inhale and exhale slowly. Imagine any form of stress leaving your body.” She said quietly and had flashbacks of doing this for the sheriff. “Imagine obtaining your goals and fulfilling your life ambition.” She said as her fingers moved his circles. She inhaled and paused for him to take in the sensation of real relaxing before singing. “In the moonlight I felt your heart quiver like a bow string’s pull. In the moons pale you looked at me, nobody knows your heart. When the sun is gone I see you beautiful and haunting but cold. Like the blade of a knife so sharp so sweet. Nobody knows your heart.” Her voice was one meant for the opera, but as she sang, it flowed as silk, soothing to the ears and good for the soul. It was like hearing a mother’s first lullaby, tender and caring. “All of your trouble, grief and pain is locked away in the forest of the night. Your sacred heart belongs to the world of the things that sigh in the dark. Of the things that sigh in the dark.” She began to hum this time for there were no more words left to sing. Her hands drift down to the back of his neck, using her fingers to massage the base of his skull as his head tilt forward. Already she could feel him giving in as most do, for who could resist pampering? “La da da da da da da da, ooh ooh ooh la la la la la la la…” She continued to sing, cooing like a dove to a baby. Her hands moved over to his shoulders and worked on the knots gained by years of stress formed by the sheriff and fear of losing his life. She grunts as one knot in particular took most of her strength to work out, but in the end it popped. “You shall wear me out before the night is through.” She said and drew back a loose strand of hair. “What are you made of underneath? Iron? I will need to call for a black smith to work these kinks out.” She pressed the heel of her hand down upon other knot and began to massage it away.

 

  • By this time it didn’t matter what the creature said, his tired muscles were beginning to relax. Now maybe he could get some real sleep. Sleepily, he said to Lymeria, “Bring me that towel.”
  • Lymeria rolled her eyes for she hadn’t finished yet. Still he seemed calm enough to relax for the rest of the evening and most likely past dawn as the sheriff first had. “Yes sir.” She replied and went to fetch the towel. She grinned, proud of herself to have completed her task an imagined Vaisey cursing for not hearing Guy shouting at her. Surely that was his plan from the beginning? She brought over the towel and let Guy rise from the water. “Anything else sir? A drink before bed?”

 

  • Her willingness to please his best of moods was showing, something she could never hide from anyone. She was a clever woman with wits to match that of a fox. But she also seemed naive for her eyes were unmarked by the harsh realities of Nottingham.

 

  • Guy thought for a moment for he was very sleepy from the massage, but A goblet of wine might be just what he needed to send him into dreamland. “Yes,”, his voice a low purr. ‘”Bring me some wine.” If Vaisey thought he was going to get to Guy with his jester, he was not sorry to disappoint. This was just what he needed. “Well,” he said., somewhat impatiently. “What are you waiting for?”
  • “I am making sure you don’t fall flat on your nose. You’re drunk tired.” She said while holding onto his arm. “I take it this might be the first time that you have relaxed in a long while. But no worries, there are other opportunities.” She said, finding the timing perfect to ask about Seth since he was not entirely coherent. She hurried out of the bathroom and told a servant to grab her some wine, then quickly returned to finish toweling Guy off. He was so much like Seth in appearance that she could not help but think that her friend was standing before her rather than Guy himself. “Just out of the sake of curiosity, if you had a son how would you want him to be raised? Would you want him to wear your boots some day or would it not matter?”
  • Guy stiffened. He turned to look at the jester, suspicion in his eyes. “What did you say?”

 

  • “Well if I had a son I’m certain I would have him learn fencing, gentleman manners, how to use a sword and ride an armadillo.” She threw the last one in there to make it sound like foolish pondering. “Armadillers are rather fast and I hear that the can buck the rider off.” Her eyes sparkled at her own joke as she looked into Guy’s eyes. She stopped moving the towel about his chest as her smile turned to disappointment. “You really ought to smile more, it’ll do wonders for your health.” She sighed and continued to stroke his arms. “Like you would have children anyway. The sheriff has you running around so often that you barely have time to eat.”

 

  • Meanwhile, Seth paced in his chambers worried for Lymeria. He was worried she would feel his father’s wrath in case the man had forgotten about her royal priviledges for being Prince John’s jester. He tilt back his head and sighed while whispering, “Come on….”
  • “Let alone breed.” She finished and looked him over for any other traces of water. “I don’t dry off the naughty bits, you’ll have to do that yourself.” She said, tossing the towel at Guy and walked toward the servant who brought the wine and glass. “Thank you.” Lymeria told the servant and sat on her stool again to uncork the wine bottle. She used most of her strength but could not open it. “Would you mind?” She held the bottle up to Guy.
  • Guy peered at the jester and took bottle the by the neck. He deftly uncorked the bottle and handed it back to her to pour. The servant was still standing by the door. Even tho’ he was relaxed, Guy sternly asked the servant, “Well, what do you want?” The servant informed him that his wife would like a word with him. “hum” he sniffed. “Send her in.” Guy was curious as to what this was about. Jeannie hardly ever came near him except at meals. The jester was still in the room as she entered.

 

  • “Uh, sorry to bother you My Lord, Jeannie said. “but I have to ask you…I mean…” she stammered and looked to Lymeria for some excuse for her to be there. She gestured discreetly to Lymeria to offer her the wine.
  • Lymeria became fascinated by the sound of wine pouring from the bottle and grinned as the liquid sloshed within the glass. Water and liquid always held a strange power over her as she watched it. At last she tilt back the bottle and handed the glass to Guy. Lymeria handed Jeannie the bottle, not taking to discretion well due to being comical. “We were just discussing what it would be like to have offspring since the sheriff mentioned to me earlier how much he thinks of Sir Guy as his own son.” She said gently, letting the words sink into Guy’s heart if it were possible. “Wine my lady? And I do mean the drink and not the audible complaint.”

 

  • Jeannie colored to the roots of her flaxen hair at Lymeria’s remark. She knew Lymeria was referring to Seth, but still the thought of Guy fathering a son would mean that she would be the bearer of said child. She shot Lymeria a harsh glance, but the jester didn’t seem to notice. Meanwhile Guy had sat in a chair still wrapped in only a towel. Jeannie had dressed for the occasion. She wore her best silk, modest but accentuated her figure. Her hair she wore long, and the natural wave to her hair made it shimmer in the candlelight. She spoke to Guy. “I realize my Lord, that we have not spent much time together.” She sipped her wine. “Perhaps you would like to get dressed in your nightclothes and Lymeria,” she nodded in her direction, “could entertain us both with a song.
  • Lymeria was surprised to hear this for she thought Guy would prefer to go straight to bed. However she loved to oblige and turned her eyes onto Guy for his say in this.
  • Returning from donning his nightshirt, Guy was so relaxed at this point that he was easily talked into anything. “If my Lady would like to hear you sing than, by all means.” he gestured with his hand. “Go right ahead. He glanced at his wife. For the first time since he first met her, he noticed her appearance. She had lovely blond hair and deep blue eyes, large and animated and she had a good figure. Perhaps if she has enough to drink, she might be seduced to perform her wifely duties. He turned his attention to the jester as she began to sing.

 

  • Lymeria stood before them, curtsied out of respect and opened her mouth to sing the Italian version of “It’s Time to Say Goodbye” gently to further ease Guy’s weary spirit. But Lymeria’s eyes stayed upon Jeannie to see if she was enjoying the song more than her husband.
  • Lymeria’s voice had a lovely quality to it that even a tone deaf person could appreciate. Jeannie was educated and therefore her appreciation for Lymeria’s voice and the song she sang touched her deeply. She noticed Guy poured more wine in her goblet, but she continued to drink it. When Lymeria was finished, Jeannie asked, politely, “Please, if you will sing another.” She looked to Guy for his approval. He nodded his head in assent

 

  • Lymeria nodded and thought about the next song carefully. There was so much she wanted to sing to them both for the messages that they contained but knew now was not the time. Instead she chose her own stylized version of Ave Maria. It was both haunting and pleasing to the sound and a little slower for the listeners to enjoy. She felt mechanical more than human, moving slowly to form the words as her hands lift to guide the notes to where they need be. Within her mind she could hear the instruments supporting her as she sang and imagined herself singing before a king and queen. Every word was precise and formed to the way she voiced them. When Guy looked away she motioned with her hand for Jeannie to stop drinking the wine then returned to being robotic once Guy looked up again. At last she finished the song a long note that gently died out and bowed before her audience.

 

  • Mesmerized by Lymeria’s singing, Jeannie did not at first notice the subtle gesture of Lymeria’s hand that beckoned Jeannie to stop drinking the wine. It was a good thing she had for Jeannie was getting a little light headed and she had to keep her wits about her. At the end of Lymeria’s song, Jeannie stood up. “My Lord, I must go now. You need your rest for your journey on the morrow. ” She turned to walk out the door.

 

  • Guy was feeling just good enough to want his wife, tho their marriage was forced upon him, to stay. He grasped her arm and said in that voice that could melt butter. “Perhaps you would like to stay.” He tried to draw her close but she resisted, saying, “I think not. You should get your rest lest you should be unfit for your travels. I will bid you goodnight.” She was out the door in an instant. He clutched the hand that held her arm into a fist, but smiled a half smile. This could prove challenging.
  • Innocent but not naive, Jeannie could see that look in Guy’s eye that men get when they wish to conquer a woman. Her father, when he was still strong, had informed his daughter on the ways of man and she had seen this look in other men’s eyes as they gazed at her. Even Prince John had given her that look. Jeannie took Lymeria’s am as she headed out the door. “Lymeria, you must take things slow. You don’t want to ruin it for Seth. He’s probably a nervous wreck, waiting to find out what has transpired. When Guy returns we will work on him some more, but slowly. You got that?”

 

  • Lymeria nodded. “Yes though I am afraid we may be running out of time. Vaisey already knows and it could be any day now that he says something to Guy. We both know that the sheriff loves to make life miserable for others and telling Guy to shock him and anger him may be on his agenda.”

 

  • Jeannie looked thoughtful for a moment. “Hm, He IS that despicable. By the way Lymeria. You have a lovely singing voice. Where did you learn to sing like that? Let’s go see Seth.”

 

  • As they walked down the hallways Lymeria explained, “I am self-taught by listening to the best and then practicing daily for years. I do not know how to read song notes but I can listen to any voice and mimic it close enough to make it sound real. But I am better at mimicking animal sounds.” She waves at the guards standing in certain spots along the halls and they nod back. “I have always had an interest in both music and animals. If only I could combine the two and make animals sing. Birds do not count.” She added and continued down the stairs. “Tell me, Is Guy really all that horrible? He was testing me as much as I was testing him and I could sense a bit of loneliness. Most bullies are usually lonely.”

 

  • “Well, you have a natural talent. I’m sure you could teach an elephant to sing.” Jeannie chuckled,” and that joke about the wine, I had to stifle a laugh, for it would be unseemly for me to do so. As for Guy being horrible. I’m not sure. As I’ve said before the first time we met we had a conversation of sorts but since we’ve been married he barely speaks to me and sometimes her glares at meal tho’ tonight he had a different look in his eye and I was afraid I might not make it out of there. But I must admit, he does seem lonely.” Jeannie became aware of her surroundings. “Why are we going deeper into the castle. I thought we were going to see Seth.”
  • “Seth lives below us Jeannie. He is kept away from Guy for his own protection.” She said while skipping down the winding stairs. “Besides, the servants quarters are down here and he is technically my servant.” She explained.
  • “Does the sheriff keep him here?” Jeannie was perplexed. “From whom does he need protection since Guy doesn’t know about him?”
  • “Seth and I live in a cottage near the edge of the forest. I found him when he was fourteen and we have been together ever since. Four years later I introduced him to Prince John as my escort and servant. When John saw that the sheriff needed to make more money he sent us to Nottingham. I first saw Guy and mistook him for Seth until I got a better look at him. I knew at once who he was and told Vaisey before I knew what kind of man he really was. Vaisey thought it would be a fun game to see how long it took for Guy to notice his son was walking around, but Seth has always been careful thus far. From what I have seen of Guy’s personality, I have often wondered if he would harm Seth for whatever reason he may have. Perhaps out of humiliation for having a bastard son.”
  • “To be honest, I don’t know what Guy would do.” Jeannie replied. “However, I don’t think he’s as cruel as Vaisey. Do you think Vaisey will tell Guy on this journey they are taking? If so, then it’s time for some drastic measures.” Jeannie smile slightly, but tried not to let Lymeria see it. She had an idea, but was not sure if she could go thru with it, but if it meant saving Seth from uncertain danger, she might just have to try it.
  • “Vaisey isn’t going on the journey, but he might tell him beforehand or after.” Lymeria paused outside of Seth’s door and knocked loudly. When he opened the door she flung her arms around him while standing on tiptoe. “Oh Seth he has a mole on the left part of his side just as you do!”
  • Seth said, “You saw his mole?”
  • “Not by choice mind you.” She kissed his cheek. “I’m sorry lovey but he wasn’t thrilled over the hypothetical question of having a son. In fact he looked rather startled then grumpy. But since he’s always grumpy it was hard to tell which direction he would take soon after.”
  • “Jeannie thought for a moment. “I could get in the way by keeping Guy away from Vaisey in the morning before he leaves, or I could tell him myself….tonight.”
  • Lymeria and Seth both looked at her with fear over the idea, but it was Lymeria who said, “Are you sure that’s wise? He might come after me demanding that I tell him what I know since it was I who mentioned it earlier.”
  • I would feel better having to ‘accidentally’ walk into him during a tour of the village.” Seth replied.
  • Jeannie addressed Lymeria first. “I could tell him I saw him in Nottingham, which is the truth.” To Seth she said, “That would not be wise either Seth. You don’t know how he’ll react when he sees you ‘accidentally’. Let me handle it. I know just what to do.” She hoped no one would notice her false confidence, Jeannie was prepared to help her new friends anyway she could. Maybe it would help her with her relationship with Guy, but she was still afraid of the consequences her ‘actions’ might have.
  • “I assume Vaisey would want Guy’s mind cleared for going after the outlaws so he may wait until later to tell him. Possibly during supper and in front of everyone.” Lymeria played with a strand of hair while leaning against Seth. “Either way he is bound to find out eventually. We might as well try it out before the sheriff does.”
  • Jeannie resisted the desire to bite her nails. “I’m going to go speak to Guy right now. I figure that it’s only a matter of time before I have to ….you know….wifely duties and all. So it might as well be on my terms.” She looked from one to the other, with an eyebrow arched.
  • Seth looked disgusted but otherwise said nothing while Lymeria was still trying to figure out what “wifely duties’ consisted of.
  • “I suppose I wouldn’t mind having a younger brother or sister if it comes down to that.” Seth shrugged in trying to support Jeannie’s idea. “But if I were you, I would keep an eye on your child at all times.”
  • “Lymeria,” Jeannie prompted. “Help me out here. Do you understand what I’m saying?’
  • Not at first but after Seth’s comment I’m beginning to.”
  • Seth grinned for his friend had nothing to do with men. Ever.
  • “Right, that’s it. Here I go. Jeannie smiled. ” I’m off to…..take care of business. Wish me luck. If you don’t see me tomorrow, well you’ll know I tried.” Jeannie knew she was being a bit dramatic, but she was also trying to be amusing in hopes that her friends would not worry about her. “Who knows, maybe I’ll like it, ha ha!  Bye.” and she turned to go back above.
  • As Jeannie approached Guy’s bedchamber suddenly her legs got wobbly and she was afraid she might fall thru the door as soon as she opened it. But she kept her feet and quietly entered the room taking several deep breaths. Going to the side of the bed he was facing away from, she bent over his ear and whispered, “Guy.”
  • Guy stirred and turned his head to see his wife leaning over his shoulder. He smirked, ever so slightly, thinking, ‘She can’t resist me’.
  • “I have something for you.” Jeannie said, in a soft, seductive voice. “But you have to do something for me.”
  • Guy asked, “What is it?” He was intrigued.
  • Jeannie replied still using a sexy voice, “Just a little promise you must make to me.” she smiled sweetly.
  • Guy: eyes narrowed, “What kind of promise?
  • “This will be easy. All you have to do is promise to meet someone that I know and be kind to him.”
  • Guy was suspicious, “Him?” he questioned.
  • “Yes.” said Jeannie still in a soft soothing tone. “Do you promise?” Guy turned to take her into his arms, but she pulled away. “You must promise not to betray me, Guy. You know betrayal is the worst thing a person can do. You’ve said so yourself. So promise.”
  • Guy lay back on the pillows. He smiled at her and
  • Jeannie thought she had never seen a more beautiful smile in her life.
  • “I promise.” Guy said, sincerly.
  • Again he tried to take her in his arms but she stopped him. “The girls in the tavern say that they like it so if you make sure I do, then maybe I’ll let you do it again.”
  • Guy furrowed his brows. “What are you doing talking to tavern girls? They are wh…”
  • Jeannie cut him off before the word got out of his mouth.. “What difference does that make? If those women can enjoy it, why can’t a married woman? Hm?”
  • Once again Guy smiled. He wondered why he hadn’t taken the time to talk to her before.
  • This time she let him hold her, but before he could kiss her, she said, “Remember your promise.”
  • “I remember.” he said, his voice low and throaty. Then he pulled her to him and kissed her.

My Demons

The night is cold, as is my heart.
The sky is black to match my soul.
She said the words I dreaded most, yet longed to hear.
For in those words I would be released.
Released from her lies.
Oh curse you for the Delilah that you were.
Your mouth spoke what my heart wanted to hear, yet did you truly say the words?
Oh, my soul, they were only implied.  What I wanted to hear.
Then that fateful day, you dared to say.  “I could never love you. I would never marry you.”
“I love him!  I’m going to marry him!”
How could I stop you from saying those words?
I felt my sword in my hand.  It was a part of me.  I entered your flesh and pulled you to me.
Then…..God!  What have I done?  Horror, disbelief, agony.
You fell to the ground and your smile left your face.
That smile so condescending was no more.
You fell from my grasp, gazing at me with incredulity as if to say, Did you really kill me?
Oh, my love. I took your life for I could not stand your disdain.
How do I go on?
There is no peace, only pain, guilt, shame.
The bottle can not stop the demons from wrenching my soul into darkness, darkness.
She haunts my dreams and in my wake she never lets me go!
Only death can release me now,but death I fear and cannot end myself.
I ask him to kill me, I live in hell but he will not.  He will let me live in this hell I created.
I pass through this world, a mere shadow of the man I once was seeking only peace that death can bring.  But it is not to be and I wonder through this life waiting only for it to end.
Somebody make it stop. somebody give me peace.
Peace that only forgiveness can bring.

More News From Nottingham

I must admit, she looks quite fetching in her “boys attire”.

This is what I felt like doing when Vaisey and Pembrooke broke to “wonderful” news.

Good day, my friends.  Yeah, I know it’s Guy Day so I thought it was about time to post another installment of the hectic life I lead at Nottingham Castle.

Continuing the story of meeting the lovely, yet exceedingly annoying, Jeannie of Devonshire, I will relay the events of the supper that was held that evening after I first met the lovely *cough* lady.

Many thanks for all the Birthday wishes.

It would seem that I share a birthday with a much loved figure who looks an awful lot like me.

In fact, it is thanks to him that I exist today. So I did not wish to infringe on his day.

A very good friend of mine, a bard of  much talent had written a ballad in honour of my birthday of which I will share with you today.

  • Jay Lee Cobb Lo! There is a brave and strong man in black
    /This knight is no orindary jack/
    He is a noble man threw and threw of the name of Guy/
    Don’t let his name fool you for he not simple/
    When he is around most men trimble/
    Everyone knows him threw out England/
    Even north of the ancient wall in Scotland/
    The man is Sir Guy of Gisborne/
    When he blows his horne/
    All come to serve him even Roland the Frank and Theodric the Goth/
    He the flame to his lady the moth/
    With him we shall thole Prince John till Richard cometh back home.”
    I shall treasure this always.
    Many thanks to all of you who have given me your best wishes on the day of my birth.  I treasure and each everyone of your thoughts and kindnesses.
    The artist’s name appears in each portrait.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Nottingham

As I rode to work this morning, I thought I would linger in the forest to see if any outlaws were about.

Hoping to catch Robin Hood, I came upon a stranger shooting arrows at a tree.

This is what transpired thus far

  1. Sir Guy*is riding thru Sherwood Forest. Hears the sound of a twig snap. Dismounts and listens*