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The Rob Saga

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  The Rob Saga

Chapter 6—Rob Goes On His First Robbery And Deports Himself Poorly

Rob and Little John saw Will Scarlet, Alan-A-Dale, Will Stutely and Arthur-A-Bland sitting on the far side of the village. Nothing unusual in that. Rob had never seen anyone here who didn’t sit around, or dance, or get drunk or do anything resembling work.

“Ye will remember Will Scarlet. He blew snot into ye ‘and”, Little John said.

“Yea, I remember ‘im. Don’t ‘ardly know ‘ow ye can forget someone who blows snot into ye ‘and’. Seems a right ignorant thing to do if-”

“I wouldn’t know anything about that. I can’t imagine anyone blowing snot into my ‘and. That would seem a foolish thing to do. There are easier ways to kill thyself. Easier and far less painful. No, no man would think o’ doing that to me.”

Yea, Rob thought, there probably aren’t. Should I offer my ‘and to the others? Would they do the same or would they be angry I offered a snot-blown hand to them. Damn it all to ‘ell.Damned if I do and damned if I don’t.

The three men were not happy to see Rob and were less happy when Little John told them Rob was going on the robbery with them.

“I think not”, Will Scarlet said. “I do not need another man. Just us four and ye for the fear. No, ‘e is not coming along. I don’t need a cock-up on this job. This man surely is a cockup if they ever be one.”

Little John thought Will had not heard him correctly. “Will, ‘e is coming along. I was telling ye a fact not making a suggestion. Ye need to listen better. Not listening can be dangerous.”

Arthur_A-Bland spoke up immediately. “No, ‘e isn’t. I heard thee and I was listening but we don’t need ‘im. I don’t see as ‘ow we need ‘im. So no.”

Little John was taken a bit aback by that. Arthur-A-Bland sounded as if he was being defiant. That couldn’t be true. He must have misunderstood. “Ye needs to think before thee speaks. Master Robin said to take ‘im along so ‘e can learn. That’s all there is to it.”

“No, that isn’t all there is to it. I shall go speak to Robin myself. I do not fear ‘im in the least.”

“Arthur-A-Bland, I know ye do not fear Robin. At least not since thee beat ‘im at wrestling. Ye forgets what ‘appened the next day. Let’s set that aside. I say ‘e is coming along. Ye ‘ad best be afraid of me. I don’t wrestle. I ‘urt people. There, that settles the matter, does it not?”

Yes, it did.

Arthur-A-Bland was the best wrestler in camp. Will Scarlet was the best swordsman anywhere. Gilbert Whitehand was the best archer while Alan-A-Dale was the best troubadour. Whenever Robin Hood got drunk he’d boast of how he was the best of all in all of these things. He never said he was the best fighter. Even drunk, Robin Hood wasn’t going to chance pissing off Little John.

When Robin Hood got tanked and started his boasting the Merrymen would ignore him until he sobered up. He was the leader because he was the smartest, most clever man in camp. They couldn’t deny that. One night it didn’t work out well for Robin Hood.

Arthur-A-Bland was drunk as a skunk when Robin started bragging. When he got to the part about being the best wrestler Arthur-A-Bland got up, staggered over and threw Robin into a tree. Robin yelped and then passed out.

“Wrestle that, jackass.” Arthur-A-Bland then got drunker and passed out himself after throwing up on his shirt. That broke the party up very quickly.

The whole band was stunned by that. Robin was knocked completely out. Little John carried him home and tossed him into his bed. He didn’t try to wake him. He thought it best not to let things go any farther along. He grabbed Arthur-A-Bland and dragged him to his hut. He told everyone not to speak of it.

The next morning Robin was standing in the doorway of his hut when Arthur-A-Bland walked by. Robin was not feeling well and Arthur-A-Bland made a mistake.

“Good morn”, Robin said.

“Well, it is for me. Guess ye found out ye cannot out-wrestle me, eh?”

“What do ye mean?”

“I beat thee last night. That’s why ye ‘urt so much, ye braggin’ load of shit. Ask around the camp, ye soft, sissy ‘alf-man.”

As Arthur-A-Bland got to the river, where he intended to wash the vomit off of his clothes, an arrow went between his legs. He jumped and turned to see Robin with a bow.

“Alright, then, man. Ye are a great archer. That was a bloody good shot.”

“Nay, it were not. I was trying to hit thee and remove ye balls, scoundrel.”

Friar Tuck happened along and disarmed Robin and talked him down.

As Rob and Little John listened, Will Scarlet explained the plan. “What we ‘ave is the Duke, the Bishop and Sir Quomly coming down the Notting’am Road today. We are going to lie in wait. When they get to us, we jump out and rob them.”

“What?”, Little John said. “That’s it? That’s ye plan? Lie in wait and jump out? Do we yell ‘boo’? That’s not a plan. That’s all we usually do. A plan would be to do something different. What ‘ave ye three been talking about? One day, the Sheriff is going to figure this out and set us up. He can’t be as stupid as he seems.”

“Well, it’s a simple plan,er, idea I agree. It will fool them. They will not be expecting us”, Will said.

“No, they will not. They will not because they are stupid. England is full of stupid men. Thank God we are an island. They know we ere ‘ere and they ‘ave no men to escort them- so ye say. This Sir Quomly, who is he? Never ‘eard of ‘im. There’s a Quomly what keeps records for the Duke-”

“Same one. The Duke got ‘im knighted’ Will told Little John.

“Quomly? ‘ow did ‘e do that. The man is a coward and a sissyboy.”

“Well, ye know’ ow it is. The Duke throws a few coins at Prince John, King Richard doesn’t know what’s going on ‘ere and the man is knighted.” King Richard tended to avoid England. He hated the weather and he didn’t speak English very well.

“Good Lord, what is England coming to? I’m more suited to be a knight except for this outlaw thing”, Little John said.

Alan-A-Dale spoke up. “Does he get a full share or not. It is ‘is first robbery.” Alan-A-Dale divided the shares among the men.

“Oh, well, I’m sure you will make it a fair share without me ’aving to tell thee what that is. Ye would not cheat.”

“I can figure out no share if need be”, he said looking directly at Rob.

Little John and Rob walked away from the group. Rob wanted to ask a question he knew he shouldn’t ask. He knew he would anyway. Most of his trouble came from doing, or saying, what he shouldn’t do or say.

“Ye must trust Alan-A-Dale a lot. Why?”

“Why what? ‘e can count farther than we have fingers and toes. Who else would be able to divide the shares up?”

“Yes, but you must trust him to, ye know-”

“Know what?”

“Ye know, to , uh, get it, umm, well, right.”
“Ye think he would cheat?”

“No.”

“Then why did ye say anything?” Little John was thinking this little man was a bit strange.

“Ye know. Telling someone ye trust is someone ye trust is like telling someone a pretty girl is a pretty girl.”

“I would not be telling Alan-A-Dale he’s pretty if I were ye. He’s not a great fighter to be sure but I don’t think ye are much of one either.”

“No, of course not. I meant-”

“He is sort of a pretty boy but not that way. Ye get into a lot of trouble with that mouth. Best be quiet.”

Rob decided to change the subject to something less likely to get him hurt.

“How did ye become an outlaw, Little John?”

“Well, lad, I didn’t ‘ave much choice. I was carryin’ a deer across my shoulders when a couple of the Sheriff’s men caught me. I must ‘ave been dreaming or something. I did not see them until they were right in front of me.”

“One of them says,‘Where did thee get that deer? Why do ye ‘ave it?’ Well, there is no good answer to that, now is there? So, I dropped the deer ‘itting one of them and knocking him down. I grabbed the other one- he was surprised I did anything except grovel- and I broke ‘is arm. The other got up and ran off. Me being so big, everyone knew who I was. I brought my family out ‘ere to live.”

“How did ye meet Robin?”

“Oh, that. The story is we were both crossing a creek. He told me to let him past and I refused. Then he knocks me off the log and I joined him. Imagine ‘im knocking me off the log. I knocked him off, knocked him daffy. Then I took ‘im ‘ome and fed ‘im. There were a bunch of us living ‘ere. ‘e sort of took over.”

The next day, at dawn, Alan-A-Dale, Arthur-A-Bland, Will Scarlet, Will Stutely and Little John were standing at the edge of the camp waiting for Rob to appear.

“Where is the bloke? We said we wanted an early start. That’s it, let’s go. I say we leave ‘im”, Will Scarlet said.

“Let us not speak that way. ‘e’s going. That’s that. ‘e comes with us. Let’s go get ‘im”, Little John said.

Rob was asleep. He was dreaming about Mary Jayne straddling him and him rubbing her chest. It felt divine; it felt heavenly; it-

The men had come over to wake him up.

“Unn!”

“Blimey, ‘e looks as if ‘e’s ‘aving a fit”, Will Stutely said.

“Pervert”, Arthur-A-Bland said.

“Yes, but I think ‘e’s not dreaming of a goat”, Little John said as he kicked Rob to wake him.

“What? What the -”

“Time to be at it, well, I suppose you were, time to get, umm, let’s go”, Little John told him.

They started through the forest towards the Nottingham Road. The forest wasn’t very thick along here so the men went as quietly as possible. The Sheriff had been known to set up ambushes trying to catch the outlaws. He had never succeeded but no one wanted a fight.

The Merrymen intended to hole up near the road and make sure the party hadn’t been supplied with a guard detail. The Sheriff was tricky and , as Will Scarlet said, “a sneaky sod if there ever was one”. The sheriff wasn’t smart but had a lot of men to use.

Getting to a good spot, the men said and waited. Most of them began to eat something to hold them for awhile. Actually, all of them did except for Rob. He hadn’t thought to bring anything and no one was thinking of offering him anything. Alan-A-Dale simply didn’t think of it. Will Scarlet thought it was a good lesson to learn. Will Stutely wasn’t paying attention. Arthur-A-Bland was a bit of a bastard and Little John didn’t think he ever had enough food for himself much less to share. Rob sat there hoping his stomach didn’t growl and embarrass him.

Soon enough, they spotted the party riding down the road. “Alright, it’s just the Duke, the Bishop and that Quomly guy. This should be simple. Rob, try to keep out of the way”, Will Scarlet said.

The Merrymen rushed out of the trees and grabbed the reins of the horses. The Duke’s horse reared up and came down throwing a leg out. That leg caught Rob in the forehead, knocking him back and out. He fell straight back and laid there like a dead man. Will Scarlet got the horse under control and told the Duke, “We want it all. We want the money and- say, this velvet?”

“See here, ye ruffian, let me be. I shall tell the Sheriff of this and he will send men to hunt thee down. Ye shall soon be ‘anging from, umm, uh-”

“Umm, uh, indeed. Care to speak more or answer my question. Is this velvet?”

“Of course it’s velvet. I’m not some peasant in homespun.”

“Get thee off the horse. I’ve always wanted velvet. Big as ye are, I can get two suits from this one. Get thee down.”

The Duke hesitated for a moment until Will drew his sword. Then he tried to get down. He was very fat and had trouble getting his right leg over the saddle. He tried several times. Finally, as he tried again, Arthur-A-Bland grabbed his foot and flipped him off. The Duke landed hard.

“Arthur-A-Bland! Look at that. He ripped his britches at the crotch! I wanted this suit!”

“Calm ye self, Will Scarlet. The cloth has to be cut anyway bit no I shan’t look at his crotch. Do ye want me to check this fool to see if ‘e’s dead?”, Arthur-A-Bland said, pointing to the dead or, at least, unconscious Rob.

“Nay, if ‘e’s dead we can’t help ‘im. If ‘e’s not, ‘e can’t ‘elp us. Leave ‘im lay.”

Alan-A-Dale and Will Stutely had grabbed the reins of the Bishop’s horse and got it under control with no problem.

“Now, see ‘ere, I’m a Bishop of the Church. I am a man of the cloth”, the Bishop said.

“I would not be speaking of cloth in front of Will Scarlet”, Stutely told him.

“Still, ye should not rob a man of, uh, a, I’m a priest!”

“Yes, I suppose ye are. The way I figure it, ye rob the poor so we rob ye and give it back. Woks out great for us and the poor. Ye, not so well”, Alan-A-Dale piped in.

“Ye shall burn in ‘ell for this.”

“Oh, I don’t know about that. I think ye might. Want to find out right now?”, Will Stutely said.

Sir Quomly, seeing what was happening, thought he should defend his Duke. He didn’t want to. He wanted to take a crap. He looked to the side into the eyes of Little John. Quomly was sitting on his horse and Little John was standing in the road looking him right in the eye. Quomly then did take a crap.

“And you a knight”, Little John said as he yanked Quomly’s sword out. Snapped it and tossed it into the forest. He then yanked Quomly off his horse, sat him down and told him not to move. He shot him an eye full of fear and went up to Alan-A-Dale.

“How goes it here, Alan-A-Dale? Got his pouch yet?”

“No, we were discussing going to ‘ell. Trying to decide if ‘e wants to find out sooner or later.”

“Damn it all, just rob ‘im and be done with it. Your ballads are a pack of lies as is.”He then spotted the naked Duke. With a heavy sigh he went up to Will Scarlet and said, “What the ‘ell is going on ‘ere? I swear to god, Will, ye try me badly.”

“I want these velvet garments. I’ve always wanted to wear some velvet and now I’m going to.”

“Velvet? Have ye taken leave of ye senses? We live in the forest. Ye just wants to look nice for the ladies. Ye- say, where’s Rob?’

“Rob who?”, Will asked.

“That man we brought along. Oh, there ‘e is. What ‘appened to ‘im?”

“ ‘e was kicked in the ‘ead by the Duke’s ‘orse.”

“Is ‘e dead?”

“I don’t know. ‘e ‘asn’t moved at all.”

“Did ye check ‘im?”

“Blimey, I was busy. I thought if ‘e was dead ‘e’d be no ‘elp. If he was knocked out ‘e’d be no ‘elp. Why check? If ‘e’s dead we each get a bigger share. If ‘e isn't dead we should get a bigger share. ‘e didn’t do anything to ‘elp.”

Little John couldn’t argue with that. He went over to Rob to check on him. He looked at him and thought he looked dead but he wasn’t sure. He kicked Rob a good one and Rob moaned; softly to be sure but a moan all the same.

“Okay, ‘e’s alive. Let’s carry ‘im back to camp. We can decide on a share later.”

Will Scarlet spoke right away. “I’m not carrying ‘im. I got my hands full with this cloth.”

Alan-A-Dale also spoke up. “I’m not carrying ‘im because I’m carrying the takings.”

Little John looked at Arthur-A-Bland and Will Stutely. He didn’t know what excuse they were going to come up with but he wasn’t carrying the lad back by himself. “Arthur-A-Bland, Will Stutely, are ye too weak to ‘elp carry the lad back?”

The two of them had been trying to come up with an excuse not to help. Now that Little John had said what he did they were stuck.

“No, of course not. I’ll grab an arm”, Arthur-A-Bland said.

“I’ll grab the other one”, Will Stutley said.

“Let’s not be bumping ‘is ‘ead either.”

Will Scarlet told them to wait a moment. “I want something to carry this velvet back so it doesn’t get caught on something. That robe of the bishop should do the trick very nicely. ‘e won’t like it but what the ‘ell.”

As they were carrying Rob off, Little John decided one last remark was needed. He said to no one in particular, “ I wonder who goes into the castle for ‘elp; the naked Duke, the Bishop with no clothes or Sir Poopypants.”




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