Author: muchbeddled PM
Former suitor of Marian, wimpy Martin of Aylesbury, is ambushed by Robin's gang in Sherwood. Sequel to You Must Have Had Suitors.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Robin H. & Marian - Chapters: 164 - Words: 155,646 - Reviews: 873 - Favs: 41 - Follows: 53 - Updated: 03-11-13 - Published: 05-04-11 - id: 6963905
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"Stop!" Sheriff Vaisey screamed, rattling the nerves of Sir Guy of Gisbourne, who wanted nothing to stop him from "crowning" a pitch covered Hood with a flaming circlet, and watch him ignite and burn. "Not so fast, Gisbourne!"
"My lord, why stop? If I do not crown Hood now, something could happen, and he could..."
"What, Gisbourne, hmm? Afraid pretty little Robin will perform another one of his schoolboy tricks, and slip away? A clue...no. Hood is mine at last, Gisbourne! Look at him! He's pathetic, and he's not going anywhere."
"But why stop? My lord, let me deal the death blow!"
"You've waited a long time to watch Hood die, haven't you, Gisbourne?"
"Then you won't mind waiting a little longer. Why rush things, Gisbourne, hmm? Let me enjoy my little fun with Hood a few minutes more. For once you set that burning crown on his head, poof! Poor little Robin Red Breast will burst into flames, charring that pretty little smirk right off his pretty little face, and I, for one, will miss the sight."
"The sight of him burning is all I need to see."
Kate led the crowd in chanting, "Burn him! Burn him! Burn him! Burn him!"
"Why do they want Robin dead?" Marian's father asked her. "I thought the people loved him!"
"They've been deceived," Marian answered. "They've been told Robin's stolen from them."
While Sir Edward gasped, the sheriff gloried in the crowd's chant, skipping about and waving his arms, as if conducting a band of musicians. But after a few moments, he silenced the crowd, and turned back to address Gisbourne.
"Yes, well, Gisbourne, let's just say you don't enjoy quite the same degree of fondness I've developed toward the King of Sherwood, hmm? Besides, I've just come up with another glorious plan! Wasn't there some king of something, who was stripped naked, and people threw dice for his clothes?"
"That was the King of Heaven, my lord."
"The King of Heaven! Yes! I wonder if His little buttocks were as tight and round and saucy as-"
"You speak blasphemy, my lord!"
"And look! No thunderbolts have struck me dead! Amazing, hmm, Gisbourne? Grow up. You don't believe that religious goobly gook, do you? Quick, somebody strip the rags off Locksley! Let him stand naked here before me, before Gisbourne sets the crown upon his pretty little head! Oh, and anyone who wants to, may throw dice for his garments, dirty and pathetic though they are! Oh, yes! This is good!"
The sound of bells tinkling softly alerted everyone to the presence of lepers. The crowd parted, fearful and alarmed, dreading to even breathe the same air as those inflicted with the disease.
"Somebody get them out of here!" Vaisey screamed. "Gisbourne!"
Despite Robin's dilemma, Marian was moved to pity. Reaching for her purse, she tossed its entire contents to the five slinking, hooded lepers below.
One of the group caught the purse before it hit the ground, and called up to Marian, "Thanks! Not bein' funny, but Your Ladyship's generosity is as big as your...oi! I was gonna say heart!"
"We're supposed to be sick, Dunderhead!" another leper scolded, sounding remarkably like Much. "Not commenting on the fullness of Marian's...Marian's... Never mind!"
So! Robin's gang was here, disguised as lepers. Good! Marian hoped their plan to rescue their leader was better than their acting! She held her breath, as Gisbourne strode forward, the flaming crown still balanced on the end of his sword.
"Somebody undress Hood!" the sheriff shrieked. "I want to see Locksley stripped of every stitch, before he dies!"
To everyone's amazement, Robin suddenly sprang into action, kicking Gisbourne so hard he dropped the flaming crown and doubled over in agony.
"Sorry to disappoint you, Vaisey," Robin smirked, using Gisbourne's own sword to slice through his bonds, before leaping off the platform to the ground. "I'm not worthy to be compared to my Lord and Savior, so I'll just keep my clothes. And you may keep the crown, for no man in Sherwood is higher than another, unless King Richard himself were to return."
"Not wounded? Oh, I'm wounded, but not helpless! And I'm no thief of the poor!" Turning to face the crowd, he insisted, "You know me. I would never, never take from you. I risk my life, to put bread in your mouths. Believe me. I only want to help you-"
"Master, look out!" Much cried, in his leper disguise.
"Time to disappear?" Robin asked his men, and before Gisbourne could throw a burning torch at him, he turned and ran, kicking up his heels, with his gang in close pursuit.
"No!" Vaisey cried, burying his face in his hands.
"With all respect, my lord," Gisbourne sneered, "I warned you about letting Hood slink away."
The sheriff was so furious, he picked up the smouldering crown and placed it hard upon Guy of Gisbourne's head, then screamed and jumped up and down, as the pain from his burn tormented him.
Gisbourne shook the crown off his head, then roared with fury, watching Hood dash away to safety.
Marian watched as well, confused by Robin's sudden recovery, yet jubilant that he was safe. She vowed to visit him in Sherwood tonight, and learn if he'd been faking his lightheadedness, and see to his head wound. The Saracen boy Djaq might know medicinal herbal treatments, but Marian knew Robin, and wanted to tend to him herself.