25: A Cursed Outlaw?

“Shamed indeed!” cried the Archbishop. “You could spare yourself such grave humiliation by giving until they gape at your heroic generosity.”

The prince laughed.

“Would that I could, the truth is that my nobles and I are alike impoverished. Our money goes out as fast as it comes in. I am forced to support what is well nigh an army.”

“An army!” echoed the Archbishop raising his eyebrows. “To protect whom against what?”

“To protect the realm,” Prince John said passionately. “Against a cursed outlaw who loots the countryside and whose following is so numerous that he threatens our state with civil war.”

“Who is this outlaw?” demanded the Archbishop.
“Robin Hood, said Prince John. “He that was named Robin Fitzooth.”

“It cannot be!” said Marian, springing forward and facing the Queen and Prince John. “Hugh Fitzooth is my father’s chief verderer. He and his son, Robin are both men of honour.”

The prince scrutinised the unhappy girl.
“Hugh Fitzooth is dead. He was killed for shooting a king’s forester in the back. As for his son, he has killed three score foresters since.”

Marian stared at Prince John.

“Whoever killed Hugh Fitzooth murdered the king’s most loyal subject.”

Marian turned to the Queen and knelt at her feet.

“Good Madam,” she appealed, “he could have been no less. As for Robin, he and I were playmates at Huntingdon. I know he loves the king.”
“He loves him better in a foreign prison.” Prince John sneered.

"Send me to Robin Fitzooth, " Marian begged, “I will prove to you his loyalty.”
“I dare not, Marian,” Queen Eleanor insisted. “I have you in trust. I promised your father.”
“But with an escort?” Marian pleaded.
"Let her seek out her swain, " said Prince John sarcastically.
“No!” the Queen was firm. You shall not set foot outside the castle walls.”

Marian bowed her head, but her mind was made up. She could not forget Prince John’s sneering words

(To read previous chapters please click on Story.)


Clement of the Glen said...

Chapter 25: A Cursed Outlaw?

From Walt Disney's "Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men" (1952)

Neil said...

Just look what a fantastic set that is - so authentic one imagines. There is a scene possibly just before this where there are one or two massive pillars in the foreground - I wonder if they were painted in on a glass matte by Peter Ellenshwaw - I reckon they were.

Clement of the Glen said...

I think we have discussed those pillars before Neil. I do believe they were part of a matte shot although because of Ellenshaw's skill it is very hard to know for sure.

Alianore said...

Thank you for your kind and supportive email to our new website, Clement. Much appreciated, and great that you're enjoying the site!

(Sorry for posting this here, by the way, but I haven't figured out the email on the site yet! :)

Clement of the Glen said...

Thats not a problem Alianore.

I shall certainly be a regular visitor, as I hope will some of my readers who enjoy historical detective work and finding the truth behind medieval history.

Craig said...

I always enjoy this brief exchange between Prince John and the Archbishop, as well as the part during the raising of money for the ransom when the Archbishop goads John into ordering the sheriff to make a donation, and then John leans slightly forward to see the Archbishop's reaction to the Sheriff's donation. I think Anthony Eustrel has a good presence as the Archbishop, and provides a nice contrast to Friar Tuck as a religious figure in the film.

Clement of the Glen said...

Welcome Craig and thank you for your posting.

I agree,
Anthony Eustrel carries off the role as the influential Archbishop with elegance and aplomb. And that is a very interesting point you make between the contrast of the comical Friar and the stern Archbishop.

Here Disney sharply goes against the medieval legend. In the ‘Geste of Robyn Hode’ Robin instructs his men ‘ These bisshoppes and these archebishoppes, Ye shall them bête and bynde.’

In the ancient ballads Robin is very ante clergy and they are often the villains who he beheads, but here Disney has him as the loyal fundraiser for Richard’s ransom and a support for the Queen Mother.

Eustrel died in L.A. in 1979, but he is another member of the cast that I know very little about and must get around to featuring on this blog. All I can say is that he went on to play Prince John in the TV series ‘My Favourite Martian in 1965!

I look forward to hearing from you again.