Outside of the palace, Anne ran with the boys as fast she could. “Anne where are we going?” asked Phillip.
“John’s house,” she panted. “Come on keep, running.”
“Will John’s father go get Robin Hood?” James wanted to know.
Surprised, Anne stop. “Why, what ever made you ask that?”
“Oh, I don’t know,” shrugged the little boy, continuing to walk on. “Just thought may be he could help Will out. Isn't that what he does, help people like us out?”
“Why James,” cried Anne excitedly, “You’ve just given me an idea. Hurry! We must hurry!”
Back inside the Great Hall, Will and John were beginning to get tired. “Must – find – someplace – to – rest,” gasped John.
Will nodded. “We’ll fight our way to the tower,” he said, indicating which one with a jerk of his head. “Ready? Go!” Sword blades whirling, the two fought furiously to the gatehouse. Thrusting his blade into a guard, Will ran across the courtyard, only to find that John was not with him. Without hesitation he whipped around and ran back. Ten men running out of the hall nearly saw him as he ran. Dodging behind the door, he avoided them as they ran past, slipping into the hall when they were past.
As he tried to catch sight of John, he did not notice the solider behind him until a heavy sword handle crashed down onto his head. The vision swirled in front of his eyes as he tumbled to the floor, trying to keep hold of his sword. Instinctively rolling away, he narrowly avoided being chopped in half. Shaking his head, his eyes refocused as he pulled himself up.
Jumping back into action, Will suddenly thought of an idea. Fighting vigorously, he forced his way through to where the Sheriff was still hiding beneath the table. Grabbing his luxurious velvet coat, he hauled the tiny man up on to the table. Pressing his blade against the frightened man’s throat he roared, “If anyone moves, this man dies.”
All fighting ceased and the men, who suddenly realized they were fighting each other, stared up at Will. He scanned the hall anxiously for his friend. Out of nowhere, John landed nimbly beside him, grinning. “Where did you come from?” Will gasped in astonishment.
John pointed up to a balcony above them. “When it looked like I would not make it out the door, I managed to swing up there without anyone noticing me. Then I had a wonderful time watching them all kill each other.”
Will shook his head admiringly. Unexpectedly lunging forward, he grabbed hold of the Sheriff who had tried the same trick as Will. “Thought you could get away, aye?” he asked, imitating the Sheriff’s manner. “Well now, if ye will sit down here, that would be greatly appreciated.”
“What do ye want?” growled the Sheriff.
“What I asked for before,” replied Will amiably. “More time in order to get the money I need to pay the taxes. Also,” he added, “more time for anyone else who is unable to pay at this moment. After all, our dear Prince John will not get all of his money if the debtors are rotting away in prison.”
The Sheriff glared at Will, “And what will happen if I do not agree?”
“Well now, my dear Sheriff,” Will said thoughtfully as he pressed his blade harder. “We might just have to borrow money off of you to pay the taxes.”
“All right, all right, I agree!” choked the Sheriff.
“Good, I am glad you do!” smiled Will taking his sword away from the Sheriff’s neck.
At that moment, a large group of men clothed in green dashed into the hall. When they saw that there was no fighting going on, they stopped short and one man, obviously the leader stepped forward.
“We were told that an honest peasant was in need of our aid, for he was under assault from the Sheriff’s guards,” he said, taking in the scene. “However, I see there is no need now.” He looked up at Will, “Are you he whom we were sent to assist?”
“That must be,” Will replied, “But I do not know who could have told you.”
“A young girl of about twelve years found us,” the man answered, “and asked that we make haste to the Sheriff’s palace to help her brother who was in need of our aid.”
“Why, that must have been Anne,” John put in looking at Will.
“Yes,” he agreed.
“I thank you for your aid,” Will said turning to the man, “but as you can see, we are in need no longer. I have gotten what I want from our dear Sheriff here, and now I will go home.”
“Two brave young men you must be,” the green clad man bowed low. “Pray, what are your names.”
“This is my good friend, John Miller,” Will nodded his head in his friends direction. “I am William Locksley.”
“William Locksley?” repeated the man glancing sharply at him. “Was your grandfather by any chance Sir Edward of Locksley?”
“Why yes,” answered Will. “But our family fell on hard times, and now we are peasants.”
“My dear boy,” said the man offering his hand to Will, “My name is Robin Hood, once Sir Robin of Locksley. Sir Edward was my uncle. Your father was my cousin, though he was much older than me. Very glad to meet you!”
Will shook the outlaw’s hand joyfully. “Why, I never knew we were related!” he cried. “I knew you used to be Sir Robin of Locksley, but I never connected the names.”
Robin Hood placed a hand on Will’s back, “My boy, you, your sister and what ever other siblings you might have must come and live with us in Sherwood Forest.”
William shook his head, “Thank you cousin, but I think all of us would wish to stay in our little house where we have always lived. We will visit you of course.”
“By all means, do!” exclaimed Robin Hood as he, Will, John and the Merry Men walked towards the door. At the door, Will turned around and looked back at the Sheriff.
“Oh by the way, my dear Sheriff,” he called, “you had best not try arresting me for being cousins with an outlaw.” Will grinned mischievously. “I might have to fight you again if you do, and you would not want that now would you?” Laughing heartily, the group walked out into the sunshine, leaving the Sheriff sulking in his chair.