Brother Tuck's Story
'The flowers were fresh and gay that morning in May, and I was contemplating by the side of the stream. Because of the many outlaws that lived hereabouts, I wore a leather coat and a cap of steel with a sword and buckler by my side - becomes me quite well, I think.
Well, this fellow comes strolling by, grand as you please, carrying a bow with a sheaf of arrows at his belt - I only learned later that he was the outlaw named Robin Hood.
'Good fellow,' the fellow greeted me, 'as you can see I am a weary man. Will you carry me over this water for Saint Charity?'
I thought I might do a good deed - not having done one for a while - so I lifted him on my back and carried him over the stream. Good deed done, I drew my long sword and ordered this cheeky fellow: 'Carry me back again, bold outlaw, or you shall have some of this!'
Speaking neither good nor ill, in fact nothing at all, Robin carried me back to the other side, the water reaching a span above his knees. But as soon as he had dropped me off his back, Robin drew his own sword and ordered me to carry him back again! Well this time, when we came to the middle of the stream, I just threw him in. 'Now choose, fine fellow, whether to sink or swim,' I told him.
I swam to a wicker wand to help me out of the water while he swam to a bush of broom. When he had climbed on to the bank he let fly with an arrow at me but I deflected it with my steel buckler. 'Shoot on, fine fellow,' I informed him. 'You will not hit me if you shoot all this summer's day.'
He shot a few more arrows without hitting me so we took to our swords and bucklers and fought with might and main. Must have been ten o'clock in the morning when we started and by two in the afternoon Robin had sunk to his knees begging for respite: 'A boon, a boon, curtailed brother! I beg it on my knee!' he cried. 'Give me leave to set my horn to my mouth and blow three blasts.'
'That I will do,' I told him. 'And I hope you blow so hard that your eyes fall out.'
He blew three blasts and fifty yeomen with bows bent came ranging over the lee.
'Whose men are these who come so hastily?' I demanded.
'These men are mine, brother,' said Robin Hood, 'and what is that to you?'
'A boon, a boon!' I cried. 'The same as I gave to you. Allow me to set my fist to my mouth and whistle three times.'
'A whistling fist can do me no ill,' he said, so I whistled three times and my fifty savage dogs came running up to me. 'Here's a dog for every man,' I told the outlaw, 'and you are matched with me.'
'God forbid that should ever be,' said Robin. 'I'd rather be matched with three of your curs than matched with thee.'
I blew a loud whistle again and all the dogs couched down in a row. 'What now fine yeoman?' I asked him.
'Come, good brother, let us agree. If you will forsake Fountainsdale every Sunday throughout the year, I will pay you a fee of ten shillings; and if you will go with me to Nottingham on every holy day throughout the year I'll provide you with new garments.'
'It seems a fair bargain,' I said, 'By Saint Charity I agree.'
And that's how I became acquainted with Robin Hood'
'Sherwood Times' Tips for the Home
A simple way to make cheeese is to leave a jug of milk alone for a few days till the curds separate from the whey. Pour them into a linen bag, tie up on a line to drain out the whey and the curds will become soft cheese. Give the bag a squeeze if you like your cheese harder.
It is quite easy to build your own straw bee-hive called a skep. Bind some long wheat or rye straw with some split bramble into a rope, coil the rope around and sow together into a basket, leaving a small gap at the bottom for the bees to enter. You will need two of these. Make a straw hat to go over the the top and put in an earthenware over that to keep out the rain. When you find a swarm of bees in the wood, hold your bee-hive under it, give the tree a shake and the bees will simply drop into your skep. Since they have filled themselves with honey before flying off to a new home they are harmless. To extract the honey from the hive place an empty skep over the one full of bees and using an ember from the fire to provide a whiff of smoke, force the bees into the empty skep. If you are lucky, baby bees will be left behind and will continue to make honey; if not, you will have to find a new swarm.
Fitting Out a Lady's Bedchamber
Hang your curtain, or scenic canopy, around the walls to keep out draughts, flies and spiders. A tapestry should hang appropriately from a pole. Have a chair and stool close to the bed with a bench nearby to help you with your toilet. A feather mattress should be placed on the bed with a bolster attached and covered with a quilted pad of striped cloth. On top of this place a cushion for your head. Next lay sheets of muslin, cotton, or pure linen and cover this with a coverlet of green cloth, or coarse wool with a fur lining of badger, cat, beaver or sable if you lack purple and down.
Provide yourself with a pole from which to hang your clothing, and close by, a perch for your hawk to rest. Your chambermaid should have a face possessing charm and render a tranquility within the chamber. When she finds time, she may knit or unknit silk thread, or make knots of silk lace, or sew linen garments and woollen clothes. Provide her with a leather thimble to protect her from needle pricks, and also scissors, a spool of thread and various sized needles for embroidery and feather stitching .
A Good Health Tip
|Tales of Robin Hood