He still persists


Nottingham Castle – the dungeons


Marian and Edward were being led down into the dungeons. Edward, who had a calm nature, went quietly. Marian, who had not inherited her father’s personality, was protesting.
Edward was put into the cell closest to the flight of stairs that led up into the very middle of the castle. Marian was put into the cell opposite her father.
As Edward sat on the wooden bench that served as a bed, his mind was full of regret. If only he hadn’t spoken, if only he had bided his time, like he was always telling Robin to, if only… This train of thought went on for some time, then stopped abruptly.

“Now is my chance to see what the dungeons look like,” Edward thought to himself.
The dungeons were fairly new to Edward. They had been constructed when the new sheriff had taken over. When he had been sheriff there had been no dungeons, nor any need for them. There had only been a set of stocks and even they weren’t used that often. Edward sighed and looked over to where his daughter was pacing up and down. He knew she would be trying to form an escape plan, but he also knew it was useless. They were stuck behind iron bars with nothing to aid their escape. Edward watched Marian as she sat down on her bench with her head in her hands. He stared at the hard packed earthen floor and waited. For what? He did not know, but still he waited.
Marian was angry; why was she here in the dungeons? For speaking up for her father! But she was glad she that she had spoken up – both for her father and for England! She glanced at her father and wondered what he was thinking. Without realizing it she had begun pacing back and forth.

“I have to think of a way out of here,” she resolved. “How does Robin do it?” She wandered over to the bench and resumed her former pose, head in hands and thought. One of her hair pins fell out. Marian picked the hair pin up and looked at it, a recollection of former times aroused. Marian recalled that once when she and Robin had been trapped outside the scribe’s room Robin had taken one of her hair pins and had pushed it into the lock. Marian remembered asking if it would work and Robin had confidently replied that there was no need to worry, because he had done it many times before.
If the hair pin trick had worked for Robin, then surely it would work for her. Marian walked over to the cell’s entrance and called out softly, “Father, I think I can get us out of here.”
“I have a hair pin and it should be able to unlock -” Marian stopped abruptly. Gisborne was coming down the stairs into the dungeons and behind him followed the jailer. Quickly Marian dropped the evidence of her thoughts.
Gisborne raised his hand and said to the jailer, “Wait here.” Then going to the cell where Edward stood, he said, “I am sorry that you should have come to be here.”
However, Edward knew that Gisborne was not sorry for him, but only sorry for Marian.
“You cannot have her,” Edward stated.
Gisborne only raised his eyebrows and went over to Marian. “Marian, it is rather unfortunate that I should see you here…If you could, would you escape?” Gisborne asked.
“I think even a madman would,” came the curt reply.
“Marian, I can free you, but you would need to be protected from the Sheriff. I can give you that protection if you marry me.”
“I would never marry you!”
“Why not?”
“Because you are a traitor. You went off to the Holy Land and tried to kill King Richard. That’s why!”
Gisborne look sorrowfully at Marian, then called to the jailer, “Keep an eye on these two.”
Pouting, he walked back up the stairs into the castle.
Edward gave Marian a questioning look.
“He still persists,” Marian said by way of answer.



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