Hugh Fitzooth, gamekeeper to the Earl stared at the flustered old nurse.
“Master Fitzooth….” gasped the woman breathlessly, as she faced the grizzled, kindly keen-eyed man with the longbow slung across his shoulder and two large greyhounds by his side. “I seek the Maid. Where is that harum-scarum son of yours?”
“She is not with Robin,” came the reply. My lad is yonder drawing his bow against a willow wand.”
“Find one bad penny and you’ll find two! Snapped Tyb crossly. “I bid you good day, Master Fitzooth!” And curtsying, she hastened off towards young Robin Fitzooth amongst the trees in the distance, still crossly calling, “Marian…Marian!”
It was, indeed to bad that, after decking and adorning her charge like a daffodil so that Queen Eleanor would be certain to give the maid a place in her household, poor Tyb should have to go seeking Maid Marian in this way.
Yet it looked like Hugh Fitzooth was right, Robin seemed alone as he planted his feet firmly, drew back his bow and let fly an arrow towards the four foot willow wand. WHIZZZZZ! But the arrow missed its target for the third time and quite suddenly, the archer knew he was not alone, that hidden behind a tree, a girls hand holding a stick had gently pushed the target each time the marksman had shot.
“Ah!” exclaimed Robin as he made a sudden darting movement towards Marians hiding place. “So that is why my aim is not so true, eh?”
A merry laugh answered him.
“Did you miss the mark again poor fellow?” Maid Marian teased.
The couple dodged between the trees, but Robin caught his foot on a root and rather embarrassingly tumbled down.
The old nurse then arrived through the grove of trees. “Marian saints above!” She exclaimed in horror.
“Now look at you. My Lord Earl waiting and here you are grovelling in the dirt. A lady old enough to serve the Queen is old enough to act like a lady.”
The old nurse was taken by surprise, but gave a little bobbing curtsey, then went off shaking her head. Robin chuckled and as