Little John Rescued
Having left Robin in a huff, Little John (pictured right) returned to Barnsdale, to find his companions in a desperate plight. Two of them lay dead in the forest glade and Will Scarlet's feet were flying over the ground with the Sheriff and seven score of his men in hot pursuit. 'I'll get off one shot at least,' cried Little John. 'I'll bring gladness and joy to that last fellow who flies not quite so fast.'
Pulling his bow of yew back all ready to shoot, he cursed when it broke in two and fell at his feet: 'Wicked wood! What worth are you? You are my sorrow when you should be my help this day.'
Weak as the shot was, it struck William a Trent, one of the Sheriff's men, killing him. Better justice would have been served if William a Trent had hanged on the gallows rather than lie in the greenwood slain by an arrow.
With his bow now useless and since six men are stronger than three, Little John was seized by the Sheriff's men who bound him tightly to a tree. 'We'll drag you over dale and down and hang you high on a hill,' the Sheriff promised him.
'Sheriff, you may fail yet,' answered Little John, 'if it is God's will.'
At that moment Robin Hood returned to Barnsdale and setting Guy's horn to his lips, blew a loud blast. The sound carried to the Sheriff of Nottingham waiting at the bottom of the hill. 'Listen!' said the Sheriff. 'I hear good tidings. That is Sir Guy's horn which means that he has killed Robin Hood . . . and lo! here comes the mighty yeoman himself clad in his horse-hide. Come hither good Sir Guy, ask of me anything you wish!'
'You can keep your gold,' answered Robin. 'Now that I have slain the master all that I ask is to strike the knave. No other reward do I ask.'
The Sheriff looked surprised: 'You must be mad for a knight' reward was yours for the asking . . . but since your request is so foolish I will certainly grant it.'
Robin went toward Little John with his sword upraised. 'Confess your sins, for you are about to die!'
Little John recognised his master's voice but the Sheriff and his men crowded round. 'Stand back! Stand back!' ordered Robin. 'Why are you all so close? Where I come from, we don't listen to other men's confessions.'
Quickly cutting Little John's hands and feet free with his Irish knife, Robin put Guy's bow into his hands, saying: 'Here is your salvation!'
Little John took the bow and arrows stained in blood. As soon as the Sheriff saw him draw back the bow with an arrow aimed right at him, he fled fast away towards his home in Nottingham. He could not run fast enough for fear of an arrow cleaving his heart in two.
Nor could the rest of his men, not one able to face the deadly arrows from Little John.
'Sherwood Times' Tips for the Home
Hiding in the woods are many varied plants, holding within their leaves or flowers or roots, a remedy for curing a variety of human ailments. They are best dried in the sun after cleansing then powdered by grounding, or simmered in a jug of water and using the resulting liquid.
Take the Leaves first:
Celery seeds ease rheumatism
Colewort and Ragwort excite love but Psyllium seed offers a cure for it.
For good health don't forget the rules of the Salerno School:
Duties of a Kitchen Maid
She should place eggs under the sitting hens, give mixed rye and wheat to the geese, and gently feed the ailing lambs with milk from an ewe other than their mother's. She will keep the calves to be weaned, whose teeth are few, in an enclosure near the barn.
Normally she will give whey to the swineherd, ploughmen and other herdsmen, but to the master and his friends she will offer cups of curds. In the evening she may offer bran bread to the dogs in the pen.
She should be provided with new clothes to wear on holidays.
Duties of an Upstairs Maid
She should exclude the intemerate air by wafting with a shirt. A band or a hair net should restrian her flowing hair and she should have a necklace and a brooch by which she can fasten the neck opening of her cote, or fustian. She may have bracelets and earrings.
|Tales of Robin Hood