Robin Hood and his group of followers hurried along the hidden path through Sherwood Forest that led to one of their campsites. They had just delivered some more food to the needy in the nearby villages, and were now returning to their camp for the night. They moved silently through the undergrowth, they momentarily paused, listening keenly for any noises foreign to the forest. The sound hooves reached their ears, and the entire group froze in horror. Robin signalled for the group to crouch and move towards the nearby road. As the hooves drew near, it became clear that they belonged to a group of horses, with riders, that was heading towards the town of Nottingham. Curious, the troupe peered through the bushes that lined the road and watched.
The group of horses thundered past. Their riders were solders, wearing the black armour the outlaws had come to hate. There was, however, one exception. One of the horses was being ridden by a mysterious figure, wearing a long blue cloak, with the hood drawn up, covering their face. The group of outlaws could tell from where they lay crouched, that the stranger was a prisoner, and that he was probably heading to Nottingham to be hung. Robin felt Will shudder at the thought. Robin knew the memory of the feeling of rope around his neck was still fresh for him, and for Allan. They watched as the leader of the group called a halt at a wider section of the well used road.
"We'd better give the brat its daily dose of pain" the captain of the solders spat, shooting a glare at the cloaked prisoner. The solders dismounted, and began to set up a rough camp. The guard that was leading the prisoner's horse stood at the prisoner's side, the lead rope held loosely in one hand.
Robin narrowed his eyes and inwardly frowned. The prisoner, who ever it was, was almost certainly doomed to hang. He glanced over his shoulder at the rest of the group. Little John, Will and Allan were all leaning forward, their faces serous. Djaq had a shocked look upon her face. Robin glanced at Much and grinned, catching his loyal companions eye.
"Oh Master, surely not" Much whispered under his breath. The others glanced away from the clearing to look from their leader to Much.
"Much, they're going to hang that person. We have to help him" Robin told his followers, his voice quiet.
"But what if they're a murderer, or something" Much gasped.
"Relax, I'm sure we'll be able to handle it" Robin reassured his friend, but grinning at Much's paranoia. The other members of the group gathered up their respective weapons and split up, creeping through the forest to better strategic positions from which they could attack from. Once they had reached their respective hiding places, they crouched, waiting patiently for Robin's signal.
RH RH RH RH RH
The three noted whistle that served a signal within Robin and his troupe sounded from the edge of the clearing, raising the guards' awareness, but in reality, it was too late for them. Will, Little John and Much leapt from their positions in hiding and hurrying to intercept the oncoming guards. In the confusion that followed, the guard that had been holding the prisoner's horse let go, and hurried off to join his struggling colleagues. This was what Robin had been waiting for. He jumped from his hiding place and hurried across the clearing to where the prisoner's horse nervously stood, shifting its weight nervously from one hoof to another. Robin slowed down as he neared the horse, seeing its nervousness. The prisoner was looking around franticly, trying to decipher what was causing all of the noise. It was only when the prisoner looked at him did Robin realise that the Prisoner was blindfolded. Slowly, Robin reached a hand, trying to calm the trembling horse before it did something dangerous. At the same time he carefully watched the Prisoner.
"What's going on" the prisoner asked into thin air. Robin was shocked when he heard the voice. It sounded very young, and, he was surprised to admit, slightly familiar.
"My name is Robin. My men and I are rescuing you. I'm going to untie you from the saddle, and then we'll hide in Sherwood Forest, alright" Robin explained his plan to the young prisoner. The prisoner nodded and relaxed slightly as Robin undid the tight lashing securing the prisoner to the horse. As he freed each of the prisoners limbs Robin noticed how the Prisoner would gingerly stretch out that limb. He guessed that the Prisoner had been bound for awhile. Eventually, Robin had undone each or the ropes, and now looked back up at the Prisoner.
"Alright, you're all untied. Can you get off the horse?" he asked, glancing over to where the other were disarming the solders, and searching them. Will was walking towards Robin, a curious expression on his face.
"Um, yeah, I think so" the Prisoner replied, carefully dismounting from the horse. Robin was once again struck by the youthful sound in the Prisoner's voice. Upon standing before the Prisoner, Robin realised that the Prisoner was a lot shorter than he was. He watched as the Prisoner pulled the hood of their cloak back an untied the blindfold, which covered most of their face. As the blindfold fell away, Robin gasped.
"What are you doing out here?" he heard himself gasp.