Robyn Hoode and the Templars: Chapter One

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic
Continuing the untold story of Robyn Hoode. Having left the holy land and the crusades behind. Robyn gets up to mischief in Cyprus.

Submitted: July 31, 2017

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Submitted: July 31, 2017

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Chapter One

Robyn Hoode and the Templars.

 

Will Scathelocke looked around the tavern through drunken blurry eyes. The air was hot and sweaty from the squash of bodies and a fire pit with its coals glowing red hot in the middle of the room. A large chunk of charred meat spitted on iron fire-dogs, sizzled over the fire as its rich juices dripped into the coals below causing them to hiss. The smell from the meat was succulent and had Will’s stomach growling.

Will and Robyn had spent the last month in the tavern, drinking, gambling badly and having the odd drunken brawl; which Robyn more than likely had instigated with his cheeky and cocky demeanour.

Will took another quick glance around the tavern and snorted, ‘Where the hell is he?’

Robyn was nowhere to be seen. Almost dropping his empty clay cup, Will mooched over to the bar-keep.

‘Have you seen Robyn?’ he slurred.

The bar-keep pointed to the stairs, ‘number 3,’ he growled without raising his eyes.

Will slurred a reply and made his way upstairs.

Will’s head was swaying like a rowboat in a windy swell, as he plodded up the stairs. He had to swallow hard to keep the contents of his stomach coming up in protest.

Coming to a rickety door with a crude number three whitewashed on it, Will half stumbled, half fell into the room.

 Will’s drunken entrance was met with a laugh and a girlish squeal as Robyn sat up on the bed naked and lying next to him was an olive skinned woman with long dark curling hair and dark exotic eyes grinning at him. She too was naked and made no attempt at covering herself up. Will’s eyes brushed over her lithe body admiring her charms.

Robyn had trimmed his dark chestnut beard into a smart affair. His hair was tied back into a small pony tail. His face was that of a young man with a mischievous glint in his rich green eyes.

‘ Ah, there you are, brother!’ Robyn laughed; his voice was full of mirth and quite deep for his average size. It had a commanding and cheerful lilt to it. A voice that had the ability to charm a person into doing things they would not usually do. Will had fallen victim to it many a time.

‘Come and join us?’ Robyn grinned as he ran a hand over the girl’s rounded hips and patted her bare buttocks, ‘Isabella won’t mind, will you, love?’ Robyn winked as Isabella puckered her full rouge smeared lips together and blew Will an inviting kiss.

Will staggered over to the bed flopped down beside Isabella. Closed his eyes and immediately began to snore.

‘Oh well, looks like it’s just me and you, my lovely,’ Robyn grinned at Isabella, ‘now where were we?’ he laughed as he and Isabella rolled over giggling like a couple of love sick youngsters.

 

Will Scathelocke opened his gummy eyes and groaned. The light from the window pierced his eyes like hot needles; he smacked his lips and pulled a face.

‘Oh, god has someone shit in my mouth?’ he spat as he slowly rolled over and stretched the stiffness from his body.

‘Remind me, god never to drink again!’ he mouthed.

Robyn and Isabella were gone, the sound of life out in the narrow streets below filtered in through the small window. Will shuffled over to a water basin and splashed his face before leaving the room and making his way out into the bustling streets.

The narrow winding streets of the town were a hive of activity with sellers shouting out their wares for sale under the protection of cloth awnings from the heat of the sun.

There was everything imaginable laid out on tables, from oozing cheeses, to breads and fruits in all its colourful abundance. The smell of street foods sizzling on hot coals had Will’s stomach crying out to be fed, but his purse was empty. With a snort he left the streets with their wondrous smells behind and headed off towards a secluded cove a mile from town.

 

Robyn stood on an outcrop of rocks dangling a line in the swell below. A small campfire burned away behind him. Will smiled to himself. If there was one thing that could be said for Robyn, then he was a survivor. He had a knack of turning everything to his advantage. They may not have any coin but Robyn stood whistling a merry tune as he reeled the line in with a squirming octopus dangling from the hook.

Pulling out a stiletto blade he stabbed it in the brain sack and tossed it on the fire. The flames hissed and spluttered. The octopus writhed for a moment before its slimy tentacles began to curl up and bubble from the heat.

‘Breakfast’s up!’ Robyn smiled cheerfully as he cast the line in again. ‘Pull yourself up a rock and rest you arse, brother, there’s a waterskin and bread by the fire.’

Will shook his head picked up the skin and took a gulp of water. It never ceased to amaze him how happy -go -lucky Robyn was. He wasn’t a complicated soul at all, but was a simple man in which the most rudimentary of things in life were all that he asked. His philosophy in life was just as simple. ‘Take care of today’s business and let tomorrow take care of itself,’ he would often say with a grin when things got a bit tight.

Pulling up the line again, Robyn laughed at the large reddish round spiny fish flapping away, stabbing it in the eyes with the stiletto. Robyn joined, Will at the fire and began to prepare the fish for cooking.

‘A breakfast fit for the King himself.’ He laughed.

‘Aye, perhaps!’ Will protested, ‘but I bet the King has more coin in his purse then us?’ Throwing his empty purse at Robyn’s feet, Will moaned, ‘It’s as bloody empty as my belly.’

‘It may be empty now,’ Robyn smiled. ‘But, like your belly which is about to be filled with bread and fish, so our purses will be full by the end of the day.’

Will gave Robyn a suspicious look, ‘There’s that look of yours, the one that says we are about to get into a shit load of trouble.’

Robyn laughed, ‘Why what do you mean, brother?’

Will shook his head in submission, ‘Right, let’s hear this great plan of yours.’

‘Thought you would never ask,’ Robyn winked. ‘Now eat up and listen.’

 

So this was Robyn’s great plan to fill their purses with coin. Will still could not believe he had been talked into it. They hid in the shadows of a dark cobbled street like rats. Robyn had recruited three others for the work at hand. Will couldn’t remember their names, he didn’t care. There was hook nose, one tooth and pockface. All of them were scum and cutthroats with murderous eyes and treacherous demeanours.

 

It was during their crossing from Jerusalem to Cyprus that Robyn had noticed how three Templars onboard were guarding a shipment of chests, chests which made a distinctive chinking sound when moved, and that sound was music to Robyn’s ears, coin lots of them.

Once every week a ship would dock with three or four Templars and their cargo of chests. They were looting the Holy land and Robyn had the glint of gold in his eyes. So now they waited in the shadows for the latest shipment of coin filled chests and their Templar guards to pass on their way to their stronghold.

The sweat trickled down Will’s back and his mouth was distinctly dry as the sound of a wooden cart came within ear-shot. Surely enough a quick peek from his hiding place had Will’s leg trembling. Four men and a donkey pulled cart emerged from the darkness. Two men walked behind the cart and two at the front holding a tether urging the donkey on with the odd jerk of the rope.

There was a flash of metal In the moonlight from their chainmail hoods and distinct chinking sound chain armour made on its wearer.

Robyn casually strolled out in front of the four men, who stopped in their tracks as Robyn drew an arrow back from his bow and pointed at them.

‘It’s a nice night for a moonlit stroll wouldn’t you say?’ Robyn glibly quipped.

‘Step aside, fool you are interrupting Templar business,’ A goatee bearded Templar growled in a Frankish accent, unperturbed by the arrow pointing at his face as he swept his cape aside to reveal his black tabard with The white pointed cross of the hospitallers  emblazoned on it. Then casually rested his hand on the hilt of his broadsword slung at his side.

‘I wouldn’t draw that if i was you,’ Robyn smiled as he drew back the bow a little further, ‘ My arrow I think will hit its mark quicker than you can pull that sword from its scabbard, ‘ he tutted.

The Templar snorted, ‘that little prick will not pierce my chain, dolt!’

‘No it won’t, but it will sit nicely in your eye socket,’ Robyn smiled.

‘Enough of this, you little shit!’ The Templar growled as he suddenly drew a dagger and threw it at Robyn.

The dagger glinted in the moonlight as it flew straight at his face. Robyn turned his head just in time as it sped by a hairs breadth from his cheek, at the same time he loosed his arrow.

 Robyn’s arrow struck the goatee Templar in the face, its point ripped through the flesh of his cheek in a spray of red cutting down to the bone and tore off his right earlobe for good measure.

The Templar fell to his knees as the pain blinded him for a second. That was all it took for Robyn to run up to him and kick him square in the face knocking him out.

Enraged the three Templars drew their vicious broadswords as one of them shouted, Kill them all, kill the little bastards.'

Will, was filled with dread as the plan turned to shit. Now he and his other thieves were faced with snarling angry Templars determined to cut them to pieces

There was a terrible scream to the left of Will, who spun around just in time to see Pockface holding up his Brocken sword. The Templar’s keen edged broadsword had sheared clean through the cheap metal and had carried on cutting through Pockface’s midriff, severing his spine and almost cutting him clean in half.

Pockface’s body crumpled to the ground in a spray of crimson and entrails as he twitched a couple of times before lying still and dead.

Robyn had nocked another arrow and let it fly. The arrow hit a Templar in the eye and erupted from the back of his skull. The Templar hit the ground like a sack of turnips, dead before his arse touched the cobbled stones.

Robyn had another arrow  ready in an instant, ‘Stop!’ he shouted.

With two of their comrades down the Templars ceased their attack. Will quickly wiped the nervous sweat from his brow as he levelled his sword at the nearest Templars throat.

‘Easy now, good sir!’ Will cautioned the Templar who eyed him with a raging stare.

‘Now then,’ Robyn chirped as he approached the cart. ‘Who has the keys?’

His question was met with stony silence.

Striding over to the nearest Templar, Robyn levelled his arrow head an inch before his eye.

‘My arm grows tired and I don’t know how long I can hold this arrow back!’ He scowled.

The Templar swallowed hard then pointed to goatee lying on the ground.

‘Thank you, good Sir!’ Robyn grinned as he skipped over to the unconscious Templar and began searching him. With a smile, Robyn held the keys up jingling them.

Unlocking a chest he let out a whistle. ‘Seems you good knights have been busy over there,’ he chirped as he picked up a fist full of coin. ‘So when we poor footmen are being killed in our hundreds you lot are looting and taking the spoils of war for yourselves.’

The Templar stood silent his face a twisted mask of rage and death aimed at Robyn.

‘Well, it’s time to fill our purses and be on our way.’ Robyn laughed as he scooped handfuls of coin into his hungry purse.

With purses bulging, Will turned to Robyn, ‘what now?’

‘Now we run!’ Robyn laughed and took off into the night with Will at his side.

 

The Templar knelt before his Lord, his face burned with pain, his right eye was black, swollen and closed and his goatee was matted with dried blood.

He had apologised profusely to his Lord, who had stood before him listening with impunity. He felt lucky that he hadn’t been thrown out of the order, or worse lost his head for bringing disgrace to his house.

‘You are lucky that I have need of a man to set to a task,’ His Lord spoke in an even monotone voice.

‘There is a job to be done. You will travel on the morning sail to England to a small place called Nottinghamshire and deliver this message to our order there. ‘Do I make myself clear?’ The Magister said handing the knight a parchment case.

The knight felt his stomach tightening as he took a deep breath, ‘But, my lord I was to leave for Paris tomorrow for my betrothal next month,’

The Magister leant forward his plump face reddening as he clenched his teeth together in annoyance, ‘Do I have to remind you of your oath, to not only this order, but to God almighty himself? Do you presume to put your own priorities before the holy vows you swore?’’ The magister boomed as he pointed upwards with a quivering finger.

‘No, Magister!’ The Templar simpered bowing his head.

‘Good!’ The Magister spat as he sank back down on his padded throne, ‘Oh, and one more thing, Gysborne?’ The Magister spat.

‘Yes magister?’ Sir Guy De Gysborne replied.

‘Do not fail me, or there will be consequences to pay. Do I make myself clear?’

Getting to his feet, Sir Guy Bowed his head, ‘I understand Magister,’ he replied as he backed out of the room and let out a deep breath of relief. England he thought that filthy cess pit of a country.

Returning to his candle lit cell, Sir Guy slumped down in a chair and stared into the flickering flame for what seemed an age. Then reaching for a piece of parchment, he opened the lid on his inkwell dipped in his quill pen and began to scribble.

My dearest love, Marie Ann,

 I write this letter with a heavy heart of news about our planned betrothal next month.....

 

 

Will sat at their campfire watching Robyn as he chinked his purse of coins playfully in his hands.

‘So, what now, Robyn?’ Will asked.

‘Do, not worry, brother I have a plan.’ Robyn smiled.

‘God save us, not another plan!’ Will protested.

‘I have secured us a place on a merchant ship leaving for the shores of Frankia tomorrow, and in about a month’s time we shall be back home in dear old England.’ Robyn said as he held up a jug of wine, ‘Come on, Will let us drink to Good fortune, beautiful women and England.’

Will couldn’t help but crack a smile as Robyn took a swig from the jug and handed it to him. Gulping down a mouthful, Will wiped his mouth on his sleeve.

‘To England,’ Will toasted, ‘to home, Robyn. To Nottinghamshire and to a peaceful life at last.’

 

Look out for chapter two.

Robyn Hoode and a Maiden in distress. Coming soon!


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