9. Murder

Close behind came Maid Marian on horseback waving the golden arrow given to her by Robin. Then she was gone and the forest fell silent.

As they continued their journey they were soon following a narrow winding path beneath a thick canopy of Beech trees. Suddenly there was a ZIPP as an arrow hit Hugh Fitzooth in his back. The stout game keeper straightened up, violently choked, then fell forward. Robin bent over his father’s body, grasping at the arrow, but a second arrow, whizzing past his head, prevented him from helping his dying father. Stunned, Robin quickly dived behind a covering tree and waited, breathing hard.

Eventually, Robin cautiously peered around the trunk of the tree, to get a glimpse of his father’s assassin. There in a fork of a tree, he saw an archer in the black and yellow colours of the sheriff of Nottingham. Robin quickly let fly a shaft that thudded into Red Gill’s chest. The sheriff’s assassin swayed unsteadily then fell backwards, crashing to the ground.

Robin went over and stared down at the man that had murdered his father. But the sound of hoof beats, soon sent Robin quickly running through the forest to avoid the rest of the sheriff’s soldiers. The leader of the sheriff’s men reigned in his horse and looked down at the dead body of Red Gill. He then beckoned his men to follow Robin. But before darkness came, Robin Fitzooth was safely hidden in a cave, in the depths of Sherwood Forest.

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