To the stocks!

Nottingham Castle – the long hall

“Ah, but Robin Hood is an outlaw and outlaws should, and must, be punished….hmm….hung,” said the Sheriff with a grin on his face that was far from kind.
Gisborne sighed. If the Sheriff had said this once, he had said it a thousand times before, each time gaining nothing.

“Forgive me, but if I might be permitted to speak. You kill too readily. When I was Sheriff-,” pleaded Edward.
“Shut up,” barked the Sheriff, then, realizing that the only way to gain this man’s confidence was to listen to what he had to say, he finished warily, “So what do you propose I do?”
Edward briefly looked taken aback, then taking hold of the chance that was in front of him he proceeded to say, “When I was Sheriff I used the stocks or -,” Edward stopped as Sir Guy of Gisborne, otherwise known simply as Guy or Gisborne, stood up.
“M’lord, this man speaks treason. HE must be punished,” said Gisborne with a superior air.
The Sheriff had got up from his throne-like chair and had been pacing up and down the length of the long table that Edward and Gisborne were seated at, when Gisborne interrupted Edward. Now he stopped and looked up at Gisborne.
“Get your dictionary, Gisborne, and find out what treason means. Edward, how would you like to be beaten, then put in the stocks and have rotten eggs and tomatoes thrown at you all day long?”
“Much better than being hung,” replied Edward.
“How much better?” enquired the Sheriff.
“I would rather be first in the stocks than thousandth to be hung, of that I am certain!”
“Oh la di da di da, guards! You can take him away. No, wait! Before you escort this man to the dungeons, I have something to say. Edward, it is a pity you’re not a favorite of Prince John or he might have let you remain as Sheriff. As it happens I am now the Sheriff and I say you are going to wait in the dungeons until I have some stocks erected at Knighton Hall, then you will try them out. Guards! On with the show.”
The guards were just grabbing Edward when Marian burst into the long hall, and seeing her father being led away, she was surprised, but not so surprised that she could not talk.
“What are you doing to my father?”

Gisborne looked over to where the words had been spoken. He was equally surprised to see Marian standing there, but not at all surprised at what she had said. Marian was the type of person that liked to know what was happening.
“Why are you here, Marian?” Gisborne queried.
“Lepers, Gisborne, lepers,” the Sheriff reminded under his breath.
“What, in the name of King Richard, are you doing to my father?” Marian persisted.
“She’s pretty ‘til she talks, isn’t she, Gisborne? Wait guards,” said the Sheriff.
Marian was getting desperate “Guy, what is happening…Guy?”
But it was Guy’s father, who answered. “Oh, Marian, it is a bit like this. Your father and I were discussing the subject of outlaws and law-breakers and what to do with them.” The Sheriff stopped for breath.
“He means Robin Hood!” thought Marian.
The Sheriff continued speaking, “And your father wanted to introduce the stocks. He even went so far as to say he would like to be the first in them.”
Marian was puzzled. It would be the first time her father had said anything of the sort.
“Father?!” she questioned.
“Marian, you know what I would and wouldn’t say. Go my dear.” Edward finished with urgency in his voice.
Now the Sheriff was not about to let Marian go, so, calling his guards, he summoned them to take Marian to the dungeons along with her father, and to the lass he said, “Marian we wouldn’t want you running to Robin Hood for help now, would we? And to enable you to have a party with your father, I will be generous and supply the refreshments – as well as the location. Ha ha.”
Gisborne still had some sense of justice left and he still loved Marian, which is why he protested against the Sheriff saying, “M’lord, about Marian, she is a high born lady.”
“And I am higher. Gisborne, it would do you well to remember who gives the orders,” remarked the Sheriff and with a glance in the direction of Marian, Edward and the dungeons, he went off to see about erecting the stocks. 

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