Explosive Negotiations


Treeton Mine.
(Black powder is being poured from a small barrel into a bowl, then the barrel is pulled back to leave a trail on the ground. When Lambert reaches the Sheriff, Gisborne and Marian, he turns the barrel upright, corks it, and trades it for a lit torch from an assistant. The Sheriff watches him with his eyes from his horse.)
Lambert: “We are ready. Forgive our excitement, Marian, but we’ve been waiting months for this.”
Marian: “I’m intrigued.”
Gisborne: “You’ll be astonished, I assure you.”
(The Sheriff leans on his hand, bored.)
Lambert: “Right. What you are about to see here today demonstrates that by containing the black powder, we can control the charge. Guy’s miners would then be able to place a small charge at the scene (Gisborne glances back at the Sheriff.) let the powder do the hard work, and increase production without endangering lives.” (The Sheriff yawns.)


“Please dismount, my lord. There may be quite a bang.”
Sheriff: (Flatly:) “Really?”
Gisborne: “And your horse is highly strung.”
Sheriff: (Motions to a guard.) “It won’t be the only highly strung creature if I’m made to hang around for much longer.”
(Dismounts by stepping on the guard’s back. Lambert lights the end of the trail with a torch. He tosses the torch into a bucket of water behind him as he, Gisborne and Marian dash behind a partition made of thin logs. The Sheriff stands and watches the flame as his horse is led away, then realises how volatile the powder is as it quickly travels along the line. He ducks behind the partition with the others and peeks out its window. There is a

large explosion as the powder bowl ignites and the horse neighs loudly. All but Lambert duck. As the three slowly stand again, the Sheriff is now visibly impressed. All but Marian walk towards the blast site. Gisborne pats Lambert on the back.)
Gisborne: “Well done, my friend.”
(The Sheriff stands in the centre of the crater and jumps up and down, giddy with excitement as Gisborne folds his arms and watches him.)
Sheriff: “Well done, Gisborne! Get me ten or twenty large, huge crates.
Lambert: “If I’m to create more black powder, then there are conditions.”
Sheriff: “Really?”


(Gisborne glares at Lambert.)
Lambert: “One, I’m allowed to sell my discovery to other mining concerns.”
Sheriff: “Naturally.”
Lambert: “Two, I get a bonus for me work.”
Sheriff: “Of course.”
Lambert: “And finally… (notices Gisborne glaring at him…) this powder must never be used as a weapon.”
Sheriff: (Exaggerates an agreeing look.) “Ah. (Climbs out of the crater to Lambert and looks him in the eye.) I think you and I have a future. Trust me.”
Lambert: (Thinks. Mutters:) “No.”
Gisborne: (Admonishing:) “Lambert…”

“I think not.”
Gisborne: “Think about what you’re doing.”
Lambert: “I cannot trust you.”
(The Sheriff steps in to Lambert as guards gather round, drawing their weapons.)
Sheriff: “My dear boy…”
Lambert: “Let me go or there will be trouble.” (Backs away from the Sheriff.)
Sheriff: “I adore trouble. (Lambert backs away more, then takes two short tubes from his belt and throws one towards the Sheriff and Gisborne, who throw themselves onto the ground.) Whoa! (The tube explodes when it hits the ground. Lambert brandishes the other at the guards.) Get him! (Lambert throws the bomb at the guards approaching from in front of the partition. Marian ducks behind it and the guards are thrown back from the explosion as Lambert makes a run for it. Pointing:) Alive!”
Gisborne: (Getting up:) “Lambert!”
(The guards pursue. Lambert runs through the woods, straight into Robin and Little John, who catches him.)
Robin: “Whoa!”
Little John: “Whoa! Whoa! Don’t go.”
Robin: “Stop. Stop! We can help you!”
(Lambert twists away, thinking they’re with the Sheriff.)
Lambert: “Back off! No. No!”
(Lambert tosses a bomb at Robin and Little John, who turn away and are pushed to the ground as it explodes. Lambert turns around and runs straight into the guards. Allan, Much, Djaq and Will are watching from further away. Robin and Little John join them.)
Guard: “Stand still.”
Lambert: “Back off!”
Guard: “No point struggling.”
(Another guard grabs Lambert from behind. Gisborne arrives on his horse.)
Gisborne: “It was a mistake to run, Lambert. You’ll not renege on our deal.”
Lambert: “There can be no deal. You lied to me, Guy.”
Gisborne: “You force me to do this. (to guard:) Search him.”
Lambert: “You promised me you would not use it as a weapon. Please!”
Gisborne: “Where is the ledger… with the formula? (Lambert is silent.) That information belongs to both of us. I commissioned you.”
Lambert: “And that is where your input ends. (The gang are still watching from the brush. Little John wipes the soot from his hair as Robin looks on with concern.) Black powder is not a toy, Guy. It is lethal. And I will not let you abuse its power.”
Gisborne: “Where is it?”
Lambert: “Somewhere you’ll never find it.”
Sheriff: (Next to Gisborne on his horse.) “Your friend seems to enjoy the power he has over us. Very clever. Congratulations, you just made yourself the most important man in Nottingham, Lambert. So when we hurt you, we’ll do it very carefully.”
(The Sheriff clicks to his horse and the guards follow him with Lambert. Robin and the gang are still watching, hidden amongst the trees.)
Allan: “He’s done for.”
Robin: “We’re done for, if the Sheriff gets the ledger.” 


Sherwood Forest.
(The gang walk back to camp.)
Allan: “Few of those, you could take out a whole town, couldn’t you? “Hello, villagers. What? You can’t pay your taxes? Boom! You’re out.”
Little John: “It’s not funny. Punched me to the ground.”
Will: “What was that?”
Robin: “Greek fire. When we were in the Holy Land, we heard tales of boats being destroyed, sunken without a trace.”
Djaq: “Typical. Our alchemists have been experimenting with it for years and it’s called Greek? Never Saracen. Greek!”
Allan: “It’s amazing.”
Will: “No, it’s not. It’s evil. It doesn’t require any courage or strength or wit to use it.”
Robin: “Right. The plan is… somebody needs to get arrested and taken to the dungeons.”
Allan: (Chuckles.) “I’m not being funny or anything, but isn’t getting arrested what we normally try and avoid?”
Robin: “Well, that’s the quickest way in. Why, are you volunteering?”
Allan: “No.”
(Much stops and raises his hand. The gang stop and stare at him.)
Much: “What? (The gang snigger and laugh and resume walking.) What? Oi! (Chases them down.) I’m being serious!”


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