22: A Toast To The King

Stutely growled and threw a portion of meat across the table. But the Sheriff defiantly folded his arms.

“Surely my Lord,” said Robin, “you’ll not disdain our fare?”
“I have no taste for venison killed by poachers!” De Lacy said.

Robin looked at Stutely, “Can you put an edge on his appetite?”

Stutely leaned across and raised his knife to De Lacy’s throat. The Sheriff immediately started to cram some venison into his mouth. Robin then called for a bowl of ale to help the prisoner wash down the meal.

“You eat and drink of the best when you dine with us!” Said Robin. “This ale is of the ripe October brewing. The Bishop of Hereford was sending it to you but we diverted to a nobler cause, for we drink to the health of OUR KING!”

The outlaws rose as one man to pledge the toast except the Sheriff, who remained seated.

“On your feet sir!” Thundered Robin Hood.
Reluctantly De Lacy got to his feet.

“To Richard of England!” Cried Robin, “God grant him health and long life. Speak up!”
The Sheriff slowly muttered the words as Robin continued.
“Also confusion on his enemies, be they peasant……..or prince.”
The Sheriff mumbled, “…...or prince.”

The toast was concluded nosily.
“Now that you have pledged your king as a loyal subject, we’ll speed you on your way.”
“First, said Will Scarlet, “he must pay for his cheer.”

Robin looked across at the Friar, “will you look to the reckoning and give fair dealing as an honest son of the church?”
The bulky friar moved across the table beside the sheriff and began to scratch figures on the rough boards.

“Nine pennies for the meal;” he began as De Lacy looked suspiciously, “and for that lad’s wounded back, nine crowns.

“For my cracked head and the loss of my cattle,” Scathelok shouted, “twenty shillings!”
“Twenty for my barn burned and my taxes tripled!” Shouted Adam.

Then came demands from all around the table.

(To read earlier chapters of the story click on the label 'story' below).

1 comment:

Clement of the Glen said...

22: A Toast To The King
From the Walt Disney's motion picture 'The Story of Robin Hood.'