17: The Fight On The Bridge
The fight was fast and furious, they struck and parried, then Robin got the first scoring blow catching the stranger in the ribs.
“Well done lad,” he said, “I’ll pay you back if I can.”
He attacked with a flurry of blows, but then the giant slowed down as if beginning to tire. Robin’s eyes gleamed and he moved in closer. But he had been tricked and like lightning the strangers staff caught Robin across his head and he toppled over backwards into the stream.
Robin bobbled up quickly to the surface, shaking off the water. The big stranger held out his staff and pulled Robin to the bank.
“Beat me with bowstrings,” spluttered Robin, If I ever dispute any bridges with you. You’ve cracked my head, soaked my hide and drowned my hunting horn.”
Pretending to blow it clear, he put the horn to his lips and managed to blow three loud blasts.
“I like a lad who can take his ducking,” said the giant.
“How are you known?” Asked Robin.
“I’m known as John Little,” replied the stranger, “I seek a proscribed and banished man called Robin Hood.”
“To what end?” Asked Robin suspiciously.
“To join him,” was the answer, “and I care not who knows it.”
“He’s not far off.” Answered Robin, wringing the water out of his clothes. Suddenly a band of men in Lincoln Green came over the hill. John Little gripped his quarter-staff tightly.
“How now, good Master Robin?” Asked Will Scarlet.
“Be you Robin Hood?” He asked in amazement.
“I be,” Robin replied.
“Would you be of a mind to join us?” Asked Will Scarlet, “you will eat fresh meat everyday, sleep soft and have money in your poke.”