Priorities (pt.2)

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Sherwood Forest.
(Gisborne is gagged and his hands are tied over his head to a tree. He watches Robin, who is glaring at him, walk into camp. Robin throws a piece of wood to the ground by the fire.)
Will: “Djaq is our priority. She’s one of us.”
Robin: “How long before Gisborne’s men come looking for their master? (Looking around at them all:) I need to sort this and I need to sort this now. (Points to Gisborne.) This man is a traitor. He tried to kill the King!”
Allan: “Look, I’m not being funny, but… I didn’t see it.”
Will: “Nor did I.”
(Robin turns to Much with his arms wide, as if to say, “Back me up, here!”)
Much: “You sent me for help, remember?”
(Robin turns away in utter frustration.)
Allan: “I thought you said a Saracen stabbed you.”
Robin: “That was before I realised it was Gisbome!”
Allan: “Well, get your story straight. Are you sure this isn’t just about Marian agreeing to marry him? (Robin turns, hands on his head, trying not to scream.) Anyway, that is not the point. The point is—”
Will: (Interrupting:) “They’ve got Djaq.”
(Robin turns, frowning.)
Much: “We can’t leave her.”
Allan: “We’ve got to get Djaq, Robin.”
Will: “They could be torturing her.”
Robin: “Do any of you understand what treason is?!”
Allan: “I understand what torture is.”
Little John: “Robin, we go to Nottingham, for Djaq. (Little John forcefully punches Robin in the jaw with his staff in his hand, knocking him out cold.
Allan lets him fall gently to the ground as a bewildered Much stares.)
Sorry!”
(Little John throws down his staff and walks away as Will and Much stare after him, gaping.)

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Nottingham Castle. Dungeons.
(The Jailer leads the Sheriff to Djaq’s cell.)
Jailer: “I think you should see this. He’s been acting like this since you brought him in. He’s up to no good. (They arrive at the cell.) There.”
(The Sheriff steps forward, peering into the cell. Djaq is sitting on her heels on the floor, clasping her container, staring slightly down but not at anything in particular.)
Sheriff: “What? He’s not doing anything.”
Jailer: “That’s how I know! They never do nothing. They always try something. Something’s wrong. With your permission, my lord, I’d like to have him hanged sooner rather than later?”
Sheriff: (Takes another step forward, looking at Djaq. Puts his fingers at his mouth, thinking, then points at her.) “What’s that around his neck? What is it, pretty boy?”
Jailer: “Must be some sort of heathen magic. I don’t like it. And I don’t like him.”
(Djaq moves only her eyes to glance at the Jailer.)
Sheriff: “Glad you got me here for this.”
Jailer: “Thank you, my lord.”
Sheriff: “A clue: no. The next time you get me here for no reason I shall see you inside the cell, not outside it. Do you understand me?”
Jailer: “Yes, my lord.”
Sheriff: “I thought you would. (Leaves.)
(The Jailer frowns at Djaq a moment longer, then leaves. When the way is clear, Djaq opens her container and pulls out the phial. She steps to the door, checks the guards, inspects the latch, then bends down to the lower hinge. She opens the phial and pours the acid on the hinge, which sizzles and smokes. After a moment she kicks at it until the bottom section springs free. She pushes it open and crawls through it. As she turns the corner, she runs right into the Jailer, who laughs and advances towards her. He backs her up to the wall, then forces the container from her hand and jerks its chain off her neck. Another guard comes over to inspect the cell door. The Jailer looks at the container, then glances at the broken barrier.)
Jailer: “I knew it. Heathen magic. Bottled hellfire, my lord.”
(Hands Sheriff the phial.)
Sheriff: (Hold up the phial.) “Melts solid iron?” (Glances at Djaq.)
Jailer: “It’s the devil’s work.”
Sheriff: (to Djaq:) “Did you make this yourself, my friend? (Djaq reaches through the bars for the phial but the Sheriff grabs her arm and holds it out. Chuckles.) Oh, come along, do tell. (Djaq stares defiantly. The Sheriff tuts.) Solid iron…(He pours some acid onto Djaq’s arm. She grunts in pain.) Ooh, ouch. Vicious stuff. Nasty, nasty.” (Djaq grimaces, trying to pull her arm back.)
Jailer: “Very. Shall we have him killed now?”
Sheriff: “Killed? Don’t be so ridiculous. If he can make more of this,
I might even kiss him.”
(The Sheriff departs, leaving the Jailer puzzled.)  

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Sherwood Forest
(While the gang have gone to rescue Djaq, Much has untied Robin…)
Robin: “Who else was in the plot to kill the King?”
Gisborne: “What are you going to do if I don’t talk?”
Robin: “I will kill you. I will kill you whether you talk or not.”
Gisborne: “No. You’ve changed, Locksley. You told me so yourself. ‘Show me an argument ever settled with bloodshed’ was it? (Robin storms off to the fire.) You’ve become a peace-lover, warm and woolly, taking trinkets for the poor.” (Robin bends down, heats his sword in the fire and returns to Gisborne. Much steps between them, grabbing Robin’s shirt.)
Much: “This is wrong. (Robin doesn’t look at him.) Master… this is wrong.”
Robin: (Quietly:) “I’m not going to kill him. Just make him talk. (Robin glances up at Much, then stands, holding out the white hot tip of the sword. Much gets out of his way as Robin slowly steps towards Gisborne.) The plot against the King. I want names.”
Gisborne: (Panting:) “What kind of king deserts his people to fight someone else’s war in a foreign land?”
Much: “No! Stop! I will not take part in this. You will regret this. You will see sense and you will regret it.”
Robin: (Looks at Much. Callously:) “Then leave me. Go!”
(Looks back at Gisborne. Much takes off on his horse leaving the two men alone. Robin swings the sword overhand at Gisborne, who grimaces, expecting to be hit, but the sword hits tree above his head, severing his bonds. Gisborne looks up, then pulls his hands free and rips away the gag hanging round his neck as Robin calmly walks away, sword in hand. Gisborne looks about and sees Robin turn around to face him.)
Robin: (Intensely:) “Make no mistake. This ends here, traitor.”
(Robin throws the sword away, it is to be a fight between the two,
man to man combat.)

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Nottingham Castle. Alchemy room.
(The Sheriff enters, followed by Djaq and two guards. In the centre of the room is a circle of hanging shelves, filled with various jars, bottles, containers, herbs, etc., and tables underneath them. The Sheriff turns around to face her.)
Sheriff: “Alchemy. Marvellous idea. (Walks around the shelf and table to the middle.) Frustrating results, but… especially if you’re my alchemist. (The Sheriff points to a small skull on the shelf. Djaq steps to the side of the shelf to look.) This… pulls the skull off… is my last one. (He holds it out to Djaq. She takes it and, seeing that it opens, does so. Inside is a flat surface and a small, round, metal jar in its centre.) Inkwell, poor fellow. Good boy. (Djaq closes the skull as the Sheriff wanders on.) Handsome, a bit like you. (Peers at her over a shelf.) Soft hands. (Djaq glances at her hands, wondering if the Sheriff suspects.) But his alchemy, well, it was wretched, depressing. I shall have to say, I was very depressed. (Continues circling around the shelves. Whispers:) But then you came along with your wonderful Saracen… what is it?”
Djaq: “Zayt al-Zaj.”
Sheriff: “Well, whatever, hm? Liquid that can burn through solid metal. (Comes up behind Djaq and sucks in his breath.) Well. (Djaq quickly turns and backs away from him.) Who’d have thought? So… I want you to make me up a batch.”
(Takes the skull from Djaq and turns to put it back.)
Djaq: (Brightly:) “I do not know how. (The Sheriff turns to face her again and taps the skull.) I need particular ingredients. (The Sheriff puts the skull on the shelf.) I do not see them here.”
Sheriff: “We have guards, over there, on the door. They’ll get you whatever it is that you need. (Walks around the shelf for the door.) You have, shall we say, two days? (Stops and chuckles.) Joke. Two hours.” (Leaves.)
(Djaq looks around to see what she has at hand.)
Locksley Manor. Exterior.
(Allan has come up with an idea on how to get into the castle. With a little help from Isabella and no fear of Gisborne returning anytime soon, Little John and Will load food and provisions from the Manor’s stores.)
Allan: (To the gang:) “See? Who needs Robin? It’ll be as easy as shelling peas. (Turns to Isabella:) Thanks for this Iz, you’ve been a real help.”
Isabella: “Oh please, I’m glad to do it, after all, (sardonically) my brother is nothing if not benevolent.”
Allan: “Ha, yeah ain’t that the truth. Well we better get going, time’s a wasting.”
Isabella: (Slinking sensuously against Allan’s back:) “Now surely Djaq doesn’t need three strong, burly men to rescue her? (blows in Allan’s ear, whispering:) Seems a little greedy to me.” (Allan turns to look her in the eye and sees the wantonness in her gaze.)
Allan: (Addressing Will and John but never breaking eye contact with Isabella:) “You know what lads, I think I’m gonna stay here and protect Izzy, can’t leave her all alone…it’s not safe.” (Isabella smiles, victorious.)
Little John: “What?”
Will: “It doesn’t matter, we have to rescue Djaq, lets go!”

Nottingham Town. Main gate.
(Little John and Will, with kerchiefs over their heads, drive a cart up to the gate Little John stops the horse and hides his face, embarrassed at his costume.

The guards walks around the cart, inspecting the sacks and bushel baskets of vegetables. Finding nothing they let them pass. John chirrups to the horses. They enter the gate.)

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(The fist fight continues. Robin punches Gisborne, who is slow to get up.)
Gisborne: “Face it. You’re loyal to a weak king.”
Robin: “A king with principles.”
(Robin and Gisborne circle each other, waiting for the other to strike first.)
Gisborne: “No. He’s a pawn and you know it. It’s not England’s war.
It’s Rome’s.”
Robin: “Then why have you made it worse? Your attack broke the ceasefire. There could have been peace.”
Gisborne: “No, there will always be war. So let’s have a king who will fight for our gain, not the Pope’s.”
Robin: “Do you know why I went to war? To recover Jerusalem.
To recover our Holy Land.”
Gisborne: (Sarcastically:) “How noble.”
Robin: “No. When I got there, I met the Muslims… and the Jews… and I saw it was their Holy Land, too.”
Gisborne: “What are you, Locksley, lord of the dance? You thought you’d come back from the Holy Land covered in glory, didn’t you? Well, guess what? No-one here cares. They couldn’t even point at the Holy Land on a map. So what was it all for, eh? Robin of Locksley, Earl of Huntingdon, hero of Acre.
And look at you now. You’re just a common outlaw. House and lands lost. Do you think I don’t laugh every time I go to sleep in your bed? And Marian, the woman you gave up, lost… to me.”

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(Robin gets to his feet, his eyes full of hatred.)
Gisborne: “You think I won’t laugh every time I— (Robin punches Gisborne, then staggers backward and falls. Gisborne gets to his hands and knees again.) To be honest I was surprised you decided to stay in Nottingham. I mean, surely you would have friends else where that would take you in. I should have realised. Marian. I thought you’d given up long ago. But you still carry a torch for her, don’t you? And now she is to be mine.”
Robin: “I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you.”
Gisborne: “She has accepted me!”
Robin: “When the King returns.”
Gisborne: “A detail.”
Robin: “She will know you are a traitor. I will tell her.”
Gisborne: “I’ll deny it.”
Robin: “She is astute.”
Gisborne: “True. And she has her doubts about me. But she’s also stirred by me. (Robin’s temper flares with jealousy.) She will believe my denial.”
(Robin musters every ounce of strength, punches Gisborne’s jaw and falls back, exhausted. Gisborne falls back, unconscious. Robin sits up just as Much and Marian appear at the top of the rise. Marian shakes her head in disbelief at the sight.)

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Party Crashers

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Sherwood Forest. Outlaws’ camp.
(Robin wakes abruptly from his dream and tosses his head back and forth, grimacing at the memories. Much is seated on a boulder above him and has seen it all. Robin starts to sit up, notices Much watching him, and looks guiltily away.)
Much: (Quietly, knowingly:) “Acre.”
Robin: (Sighs heavily, then nods slightly. Quietly:) “Yes.”
Much: (Silent a moment, then scratches his nose.) “It’s his birthday today.
The King. Gisborne is celebrating in Locksley. Can you believe that? (Robin sits with his knees up, puts his hands on them, and pushes himself up to stand. He steps to the fire and stretches his arms over his head as Much continues.) The great and the good raising their cups in your house to a man who wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you. Without you, there would be no birthday to celebrate. (Robin stretches his back with his hands behind his head.) Can you imagine them, the Sheriff and his cronies, and their syco… sycophantic… (scoffs, shakes his head.) It’s galling.”
(Robin gets a glint in his eye as a plan forms in his mind.)
Robin: “In Locksley?”
Much: “More than galling. (Much looks at Robin, who has a mischievous grin on his face as he looks sidelong at Much, a grin which Much knows all too well. With mistrust:) What?”
(Robin smugly scrunches up his face as he rests his hand on top of the fire’s tripod.)
Robin: “Hm. Why don’t we celebrate the King’s birthday, too? Hm? (Much stares at Robin, who smirks and raises his eyebrows in anticipation.) What do you say?”
Much: “There is something wrong with you.”
Robin: (Smiling and nodding.) “Mm-hm.”
Much: “I’m serious.”
(Robin laughs wildly.)

Locksley Manor. Interior. Main room.
(A crowd of people are talking and drinking. Marian and Edward stand near the fireplace under the stairs. Marian scowls at the guests.)
Edward: (to Marian:) “What is it?”
Marian: “What is it? This is Robin’s house. Look at these people.”
(Gisborne addresses the crowd.)
Gisborne: “My lords, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for your attendance here today. As you know we are here to celebrate the King’s birthday. (Turns to the table and pours wine into a goblet.) We wish him success in the Holy Land… (picks up two goblets and walks over to Marian) …and we pray for his speedy return to these shores. (Gisborne hands a goblet each to Edward and Marian, who smiles slightly as she takes it. Gisborne goes back to the table to pick up his own drink.) Please, raise your goblets in a toast… to King Richard.”
The Guests: “King Richard.”
(The guests all sip from their goblets along with Isabella who appears not to be on her first goblet of the day. Gisborne stares at Marian as he drinks. Marian lowers her goblet and notices him staring.)
Gisborne: “I, myself… (sets down his goblet)… have a particular reason to hope for the King’s early return to England. For when that day comes, this fair lady, Marian…(Marian stares at him with apprehension in her eyes)…. has consented to be my wife.”
(The guests “oh” and applaud.)

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(Edward takes Marian’s hand.)
Gisborne: “Before I toast my future bride… (takes a ring from the table and steps towards Marian)… there is something that I would like to present to her. (Gisborne walks over to Marian. Her face is blank as Gisborne holds up the ring to her.) May I?”
Marian: (Whispers, leaning towards Gisborne:) “You leave me little choice.”
Gisborne: “I thought you had already made your choice.”
Marian: (Smiles faintly.) “I have. This means so much to you, doesn’t it?”
Gisborne: “This means everything to me. Have I not expressed myself? (Takes Marian’s left hand.) You mean everything to me. (Gisborne sighs, then slips the ring on Marian’s finger. Edward watches silently. Gisborne pauses, letting the satisfaction of the moment sink in.) My lords and ladies, I give you… (takes Edward’s goblet and holds up Marian’s hand)
the future Lady Gisborne.”
The Guests: “Hooray! Hooray!”
Isabella: (monotone:) “Hooray.”
(An arrow suddenly knocks the goblet from Gisborne’s hand. Gisborne wildly looks up to see Robin standing at the top of the stairs with one foot on a crossbeam, which runs parallel to the stairs.)
Robin: (Facetiously:) “Have we missed the speeches?”
(Little John kicks open the back door as Allan bursts in the front. Gisborne glances at Allan with his hand on his hilt as Marian smiles up at Robin, then quickly hides it. Djaq follows Little John in as Much strides along the gallery behind Robin with his bow drawn.)  

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Gisborne: “Hood! I don’t remember inviting you.” 
Robin: (With open contempt:) “Since when has a man needed an invitation to his own house?”
(Much passes Robin and goes downstairs as Djaq takes Allan’s place by the front door and Allan goes to the back fireplace.)
Gisborne: “Oh, I don’t know. Perhaps since he lost all rights to that house by becoming an outlaw?” (Glares at Robin.)
Robin: (Laughs.) “I would have declined anyway. My men and I are here on business. (Much heads straight for the food as Robin addresses the guests. Cheerfully:) Please, everyone, if you could assist us by removing all your jewellry and valuables and handing them to that man over there. Much? (Much, chewing, looks up, then wipes his mouth. Coming downstairs:) And then proceed to that room where you will all wait quietly until we’ve gone.”
Gisborne: “Do as he says.”
Robin: (Leans on a post at the foot of the stairs.) “Wise decision, Gisborne.” (Little John, shaking his head in a silent scold, takes a sword from a guest. Robin looks around the post at Marian.)
Little John: “Well, come on! Move it! Move it! Get up there.”
(Little John herds the guests towards the back as Much opens his shoulder bag. Robin looks at Marian and raises his eyebrows briefly with a glint in his eye. Marian fights to keep the smile from her face.)
Allan: “This way, please, my friends. Thank you.”
(Much nods, mouth full, as the guests pass and put things in his bag.)
Robin: “Look on the bright side.”
Allan: (Smiling widely at Isabella:) “Don’t be shy.”
Robin: “You’ll sleep well tonight, knowing your donations will be feeding the poor of Nottinghamshire by this time tomorrow.”
(Marian lets a smile show as Allan and Little John herd the guests into the back room. Robin checks their progress, then looks back again at Marian. Gisborne notices where Robin’s gaze is directed and his jealousy flares.)
Exterior.
(A coach approaches. Will sees it, heads for the front door, places the butt of his broadaxe against it and knocks three times.)
Main room.
(Robin glances at the door.)
Little John: “Signal.”
(Motions to Allan and Much.)
Robin: “Nearly done.”
(Little John, Allan and Much go to stand by Robin, who leans his bow against the post.)
Much: “Master?”
(Robin steps to Gisborne and claps once.)
(Gisborne starts to draw his sword but Djaq puts her blade on his arm.) 
Edward: “Robin, this is ugly.”
Robin: “Yes, this is ugly. (Looks pointedly at Gisborne.) This is my house.
So, Marian—”
Gisborne: (Interrupting:) “Back off, Locksley. Marian does not carry money about her person.”
(Little John comes over and puts his staff to Gisborne’s neck.)
Robin: “How do you know?”
Marian: “He is right. I do not carry money.”

Robin: “My compliments. You are very wise to take precautions when there are so many unsavoury characters around. (Allan glances around the room then leaves by the back door as Much stares wide-eyed at Robin, who picks up Marian’s left hand.) But this ring…” (Scoffs.)
Little John: (In warning:) “Robin… signal.”
Gisborne: “You’ve taken everything else. You can leave that.”
Marian: (Quietly, slightly pleading:) “Robin…”
Robin: (Leans into her.) “What?”
Little John: (Impatiently:) “The signal!” (Moves away from Gisborne towards the back door. Robin kisses Marian’s hand and pulls off the ring.)
Much: (With disgust, picking up Robin’s bow:) “Please…”
(Little John and Much leave through the back as Djaq heads for the back door.)
Robin: (Stepping backwards; to Gisborne with contempt:) “We should do this again. It was entertaining.” (Turns for the backdoor.)
Gisborne: (Drawing sword:) “With any luck, once will be enough.”
(Robin turns, draws his sword and blocks Gisborne’s in one motion, spinning Gisborne round as Edward pulls at Marian. Gisborne, with a dagger in his left hand, attempts to reach back with it to stab Robin, but Robin grabs his arm, twists it behind his back and pushes him forwards into the post by the stairs. Edward quickly leads Marian beyond the stairs, well out of the way, then they turn to watch. Robin pulls the dagger out of Gisborne’s hand, then steps back, allowing Gisborne to spin round and strike with his sword. Robin blocks it and drives Gisborne’s arm up,pushing him back, then pins Gisborne’s sleeve to the post with the dagger. Gisborne reaches out with his free hand at Robin’s throat, but Robin pushes it away and steps back,bringing his scimitar to the front and pointing it at Gisborne. Robin backs away. Gisborne glares at Robin, who grins wickedly back at him.)

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(Gisborne pulls his arm down from the dagger, tearing his sleeve and revealing a solid black wolverine tattoo with a neat, straight, white scar across it. Robin’s grins falls into a wide-eyed gape as he recognises the tattoo. (A flashback to Robin’s dream: Robin slashing across the tattoo and Gisborne’s eyes in a masked face.)
Gisborne: “Surprise.”
Robin: “It was you!”
(Robin is so shocked he cannot move. Robin stares as Gisborne pulls the dagger out of his sleeve and Djaq runs over to Robin.)
Djaq: “Robin, what’s the matter with you? Wake up!”
(Djaq circles behind Robin and pushes him towards the back exit as Gisborne punches her in the back with the butt of the dagger handle, knocking her to the floor. The Sheriff enters. Gisborne sheathes his sword as the Sheriff notices Djaq lying on the floor.)
Sheriff: “Food poisoning?”
(Gisborne runs outside past the Sheriff, Marian following.)
Exterior.
(Will, Allan and Little John are on horseback, getting away as fast as they can. Robin, sitting on his horse, glares back at Gisborne as Much rides past him.
Robin starts his horse and Gisborne chases him on foot, Marian hurrying behind.)
Marian: “Guy, leave him.”
(Gisborne runs to an outrider’s horse as Robin gallops away.)
Gisborne: “I don’t think so.”
Marian: “What has he taken? Trinkets, a few purses… nothing.”
Gisborne: (Mounts the horse.) “He has your ring.”
(The Sheriff strolls over to Marian.)
Sheriff: “Your parties are much more fun than mine.”
(Marian ignores him, watching anxiously as Gisborne gallops off after Robin.
Djaq is escorted past Marian, who gazes after her with concern. Isabella stands next to Marian.)
Isabella: “Have they gone?”
Marian: (Distractedly:) “Yeah.”
Isabella: “Even Allan? Shame.”
(The women turn and head back towards the Manor.)

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(Gisborne is in pursuit of Robin. He races his horse through the forest up a hill and finds Robin calmly standing on a rise, looking down at the ring in his hand, his bow and quiver leaning against a tree. Gisborne dismounts, loops the reins over the roots of a fallen tree, and walks cautiously towards his foe. Robin appears to be calm and rational, but inside he is absolutely livid.)
Robin: “Is this what you’re after? Take it.”
(Robin flips the ring like a coin at Gisborne and it lands on the dead leaves carpeting the ground. Gisborne sighs, looking down at the ring.)
Robin: “When the King returns I will see you all hang for treason.”
Gisborne: “I wouldn’t hold your breath if I were you.”
Robin: (Confidently:) “The King will return.”
Gisborne: “If the King returns… I still win. I win Marian. (Gisborne keeps an eye on Robin as he bends down to the ring, but as soon as he drops his gaze to pick it up, Robin runs forwards and kicks him in the face. Gisborne falls to the ground. Robin pulls out his scimitar and holds it to Gisborne’s throat while lifting up Gisborne’s shoulders, letting his head fall back and exposing his neck.) What are you gonna do now? Cut my other arm?”
Robin: “No. I’m going to kill you.”
Little John: “No! (Robin looks back at Little John, Allan, Will and Much rushing in behind him.) Killing we do not do.”
Will: “He’s right. At least that’s what you taught us.”
Much: “We do not take part in bloodshed… unless absolutely necessary.”
(Allan meekly shrugs. Robin looks at Gisborne, lets him go, then stabs the scimitar’s point into the ground. Gisborne smirks contemptuously at him and Robin punches him out cold.)
Robin: (Breathing heavily:) “That was necessary.”
(Little John nods with an accepting look.)
Will: “Hang on. Where’s Djaq?”
(Much and Little John turn to Will with anxious faces, and Allan looks at Robin for an answer.)  

Indecent Proposal (pt.6)

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Knighton Hall. Upstairs.
Isabella: (With quiet intensity:) “Don’t come any closer.” (Thornton slowly puts the sword’s point under her chin. Isabella looks down at it warily.)
Thornton: “You’re going to die, Isabella. (He holds the sword there a moment longer, then drops it and advances with his hands out in claws.) With these.”
(Thornton slowly reaches out for Isabella’s neck, but she quickly bows her head into a pose she knows will appease him.)
Isabella: “No. I beg you, please. I’ll give you everything you want. Just let me live. (Sniffles.) I see now. I’ll be a good wife. I will show you the love of a good woman.”
Thornton: (Annoyed:) “Get up. (Isabella slowly raises her head.) Stop snivelling, will you? (Thornton leans in to kiss Isabella, but she brutally stabs him with her knife instead. Thornton steps back, utterly surprised.) What have you done?”
Isabella: “What I should have done years ago.”

(Thornton falls back as Marian, pushing past Godfrey, throws open the door.)
Marian: “Isabella! (Thornton hits the floor. Isabella stands at his feet as Marian kneels over Thornton and checks to see if he’s still alive. Looks up at Isabella.) He’s dead.”
(Gisborne enters the room and takes in the scene, Marian stands as Godfrey goes to kneel by his fallen master.)
Gisborne: (Unknowingly echoing Thornton’s final words:) “Isabella, what have you done?”

Isabella:
“I could not endure another day.
I was only a thirteen-year-old girl.
If you have any idea what he has done to me… Guy, I’m your sister… all I ask for is for protection.”

Gisborne: “Well, it seems you’ve already received that from Robin Hood.”
Isabella: “I knew nothing of his true nature. I was in need of help, the help I’m asking from you now.” (Gisborne turns away.)
Godfrey: (standing slowly, his sword drawn) “She has killed my master, blood will have blood.”
Isabella: (Backing away from the man, pleading with her brother:) “Guy, please surely you must feel some obligation towards me, a sense of loyalty, duty?”
Gisborne: (Faces Isabella.) “Loyalty?”
(A range of emotions course through Gisborne’s mind as he looks from Isabella, to Marian, deciding what to do.)
Godfrey: “Enough of this, she dies.” (Godfrey turns to Gisborne as Gisborne draws his sword.)
Gisborne: “I’m afraid that I cannot allow.”
(Gisborne puts his hand on Godfrey’s shoulder and runs him through.
Godfrey falls onto the edge of the table, dead.)
 

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Gisborne:
(Calmly, coldly:) “Very well. You may stay in Locksley with me.”
Isabella: “T-Thank you.”
(Gisborne puts a finger under Isabella’s chin and holds her face up to him.)
Gisborne: “But if I find you in Hood’s company again, I will hang you myself.”
Isabella: “You have my word.”
(Marian’s face shows fear, having witnessed two murders in quick succession, she runs out across the hall to her room and crosses to the window, her back to Gisborne. Gisborne follows.)  

Gisborne:
“I’m sorry. I was wrong. (Marian slowly turns around to face Gisborne.) If I am prepared to forgive my sister for murder then I must also forgive your…transgressions. (Suddenly fearful for her:) Marian, I told the Sheriff that you betrayed us.”
Marian: “Tell him you were mistaken.”
Gisborne: “He’s expecting news of your arrest.”
(Robin is outside the window listening with concern.)
Gisborne: (Thinking aloud:) “How could he trust you after this? I… I cannot protect you.”

Marian:
“You must!”
Gisborne: “You have already defied the Sheriff once. Suspicion will cling to you and your father. You must prove your loyalty beyond all doubt.”
Marian: (Desperately, very quietly:) “How?”
(Gisborne grabs her shoulders.)
Gisborne: “Marry me. (Robin whirls his head towards the window, not wanting to believe his ears.) It’s the only way. As Lady Gisborne, I could protect you.
What do you say?”
Marian: “You leave me no time to think. (Robin stares out in disbelief, then looks back at the window.) A moment ago you would have me hanged and now you want to marry me.”
Gisborne: “Is it so difficult to prove your loyalty?”
Marian: “I am loyal… but…”
Gisborne: “But what? I know you were once betrothed to Robin Hood.”
(Marian lies, knowing she must not let him have any hint that she still loves Robin.)
Marian: (Scoffs:) “I was a girl then. (Robin hangs his head, thinking her words are true.)
Gisborne: “Would you still hesitate if he were asking the question?”
Marian: (Firmly but quietly:) “I would never marry him. (Robin looks back up at the window, visibly hurt by her words.) I despise Robin Hood. (Robin grimaces and looks away.)
Gisborne: “Really? So what about me? (Robin lifts his head, fearful of the answer.) Will you… marry… me?”
(Marian’s mind is racing, but she can think of no way out. There is a long pause as she decides and Robin stares anxiously at the window.)
Marian: (Defeated:) “Yes. (Robin grimaces with the thought of losing her a second time and throws his head back against the wall.) I will marry you.
I will marry you the day King Richard returns to England. (Gisborne hangs his head in relief as Marian unhappily glances away. Gisborne looks up at Marian and leans in for a kiss, but she turns aside.) Sh-Shall we go downstairs and tell my father the good news?”

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Gisborne: “Yes. I have an apology to make. (Gisborne turns, remembers the bodies on the floor) And bodies to dispose of.”
(He leaves the room. Marian sadly turns around to close a shutter.
She sees Robin looking at her despondently.)
Marian: (to Robin, honestly but disheartened:) “I’m sorry!”
(Marian closes the other shutter, turns and is embraced by Isabella, both women exhausted by the days traumatic events. Robin rests his head back on the wall in utter confusion and dismay, then lets it fall forward to his chest.)  
Knighton Hall. A Short While Later
(Gisborne readies his horse. Isabella catches him up.)
Isabella: “Guy, I need to know why you gave me to Thornton? (Gisborne ignores her and continues packing his saddlebag.) Why won’t you answer me? Don’t you owe me that at least?”
Gisborne: “I owe you nothing. I did what was best.”
Isabella: “For who, you? (Gisborne turns to the horse.) You did nothing but condemn me to hell and I demand to know why.”
Gisborne: “You’re a foolish girl and you do not understand the world.”
Isabella: “No, I understand perfectly. I just want to hear it from you. (Gisborne looks away.) Why did you give me away? (Gisborne remains silent.) I said, why did you give me—”
Gisborne: (Angrily interrupts:) “Because he offered a fair price for you, that’s why. (Isabella is shocked.) So… do you still require my protection?”
(A tear falls from Isabella’s eye.)
Isabella: (Quietly:) “You know I do.”
(Gisborne mounts his horse. Isabella wipes her nose. Gisborne offers her his hand, and she places hers in his.)     

Dire Situations (pt.5)

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Nottingham Town.

(Robin and Much glance at each other, then Robin punches a sentry in the stomach with the end of his bundle and Much punches his opponent in the jaw. Robin’s guard punches at him, but Robin turns it aside with the bundle and hits him upside the head with it as Much ducks a punch, then comes up swinging. Much spins around, shaking his hand.)  

Robin:
“We rescue Tom and then we meet up with Marian. Now get the uniforms. Come on.”
(Robin goes through the gate as Much bends over a guard.)

Nottingham Castle. West exterior corridor.

Marian: “Robin! (Robin rushes over quickly into the corridor to Marian.) Isabella is Gisborne’s sister. I have to go back and warn my father before Gisborne pieces things together.”
Robin: “Wait for me.”
Marian: “I can’t leave him!”
Robin: “Marian, you cannot go home now. It is too dangerous.”
Marian: “He is weak already. He cannot defend himself. If…
Robin: (Interrupting:) “Marian, look at me. Look at me. Give me time.”

(Marian turns and leaves. Much steps forward to hand Robin his things and they hurry off to the side gate where Little John and Will are waiting for them.) 

Nottingham Castle. Courtyard.
(The castle doors open to a fanfare. The courtyard is packed with spectators. The Sheriff walks out, raising his arms to the sky.)
Sheriff: “Ah! (Waits a moment before walking down the steps.) All those eager faces. (Steps up on to the gallows and addresses the crowd.) You’re all expecting Robin Hood to turn up, aren’t you? Hm? (Allan, Djaq, Will and Little John are amongst the crowd in their cloaks.) Do a few tricks with his bow and arrow? (Chuckles. Much appears in the upper window of the corner tower, and Robin on the battlements above him. The Sheriff paces on the platform as Robin peers down at him.) Well, this is no time for schoolboy tricks. This is justice. We have laws. Robin Hood has no respect for the law. Robin Hood flouts the law. He would have us all be criminals, murdering and stealing. (Robin, wearing a guard’s tunic, nocks an arrow in his bow and peers back down at the courtyard.) And yet still you wait here, expecting him to come and save one of his own. Yes, of course you do. Which is why… I have brought the hanging forward by one hour. Look up there! (The Sheriff points on top the west wall. Robin rushes to the parapet to look. Allan turns his gaze up. On the battlements above, guards pulls covers off three hooded bodies hanging from separate gibbets. The crowd gasp in horror. Robin collapses, completely dismayed. Allan is silently furious.) You’re too late, Robin Hood! (Allan makes to charge the Sheriff but Djaq steps in front of him, holding him back.) Your men are already dead! (Robin turns around and sits against the wall. Djaq steps back to Allan’s side.) Oh, I wish you could have seen the look on their faces just before they realised that you weren’t coming to rescue them. Hm? (Chuckles.

Allan is shocked; Much expresses his dismay.) Oh, it was very moving. First there was… disappointment… tinged with confusion… soon to be replaced by anger and then tears, just before they realised that it was the final, fatal drop. (Feigning sadness:) It was very moving, very touching. (Allan shakes his head, tears in his eyes, seething in anger.) Yes! (Calling out to the crowd:) 
I wish you could have seen that, Hood! (Allan starts, but Djaq puts her hand on his arm.) Well, thank you very much. (Starts to step down, then adds as an afterthought:) Oh, will, er, will one of you tell Robin Hood if you do see him? Thank you. Eager, smiling faces. Good. (Steps down off the gallows and up the steps, whistling.) All in a day’s work. (Chuckles. At the door:) Sheriff coming through!”

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Knighton Hall. Exterior.
(Godfrey leads Gisborne and Thornton towards Knighton Hall.)
Thornton: “This is it. (Gisborne says nothing, his face fixed in a stony expression, his eyes dead.) Come now Guy, lead the way (smugly) we’ll need you to make the introductions on our behalf.”
(Gisborne keeps walking purposefully towards the house.)

Nottingham Town.
(Allan and Djaq have found a secluded dark spot just off the street. Djaq is giving instructions to a young man.)
Djaq: “You have come for the belongings of the hanged man, Tom A Dale. You are his cousin. Bring them here quickly.”
(The boy runs off and Djaq notices Lucky George’s new coach go by.
She caresses Allan’s arm and lets him cry.)  

Knighton Hall. Interior.
(Gisborne faces Edward across the table, both seated. Gisborne is patiently holding in his temper, but not his contempt.)
Edward: “What do you want?”
Gisborne: (Spits food out onto his plate.) “Maybe some salt.”
Edward: “Where’s Marian?”
Gisborne: “Good question.”
Edward: “If you’ve hurt her… if you’ve done anything to her…”
Gisborne: (Acidly:) “You’ll what?”
Upstairs. 
(Thornton has Isabella cornered in her room.)
Thornton: “My beautiful wife. (Isabella stares in silence.) What’s going on in that pretty little head of yours?”

Isabella: “Nothing at all. (Defiantly) Just the way you like it.”

Thornton:
(Quietly, intensely:) “Don’t you understand? (Isabella puts on a blank face, staring past him.) Every time you cross me, every little word or action, you make it worse for yourself when I get you on my own in a small,
dark room. (Feigns a sweet smile.) Just like this one. Now go on.
Prove you love me.”

Nottingham Town.
(The boy hands Djaq Tom’s things and leaves just as Will finds them. He checks behind him, then approaches them.)
Will: “Robin is looking for you. (Squats down to them and pulls back his hood. Looks at Allan.) I’m sorry.” (Allan sniffles and nods in appreciation.)
Djaq: (to Will:) “Give us a moment. (Will stands, puts his hood back on and steps away a few paces, but within listening distance. to Allan:) I had a brother, a twin. He was killed in your Crusades. (Will looks back at her in astonishment. Allan’s eyes cast down.) I became him. His name was Djaq. (Puts her hand on her heart.) He still lives here, inside me… (puts her hand over Allan’s heart…) like your brother lives inside you.”
Allan: (Scoffs slightly:) “That’s what I worry about.”

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Knighton Hall. Interior.

(Marian bursts in the door.)
Gisborne: “Speak of the devil.”
Marian: (Breathlessly:) “Sir Guy. We were not expecting you.”
Gisborne: “I know! Sorry. I just popped in for a little chat. (Marian turns into the main room.) Where have you been?”
Marian: “At the hanging. (Steps back to Gisborne.) Can we get you something to drink?”
Gisborne: “I don’t think so. (Marian stands, waiting, trying not to look alarmed. Gisborne stands and steps over to her.) You two have been conspiring with outlaws.”

Edward:
(Stands and goes over to Gisborne.) “Now look here,
If I may say, Sir Guy—


(Gisborne furiously backslaps Edward. Marian is shocked.)
Gisborne: “The lies end here!”
(Marian is fearful now.)

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The approach to Nottingham Town.
(Lucky George’s carriage comes to a stop in front of Little John,
who is blocking the road.)
Lucky George: (From inside:) “Driver? Why are we stopping? Driver! (Lucky George jumps out of the back of the carriage.) What is it this time? (He immediately runs into Much’s sword point.) Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa, lads…”
Robin: (Puts his hands on his hips.) “Tom was executed for trying to rob your carriage.“
Lucky George: “What, er, and?”
(Little John steps around to the back of the carriage. Robin glances at him.)
Robin: “Because of you, people are dead and a lot poorer than they were before you entered their lives. (Lucky George just stares at Robin and shakes his head.) This is no game.”
(Lucky George remains still. Robin opens the pedlar’s coat to reveal a plethora of trinkets hanging inside.)
Lucky George: “Erm… er, look, just-just leave me the money and you can have the rest.”

Robin:
“I have to get to Marian. (to Lucky George:) You are lucky. (to gang:) Take everything. And this time, I mean everything!”
(Robin runs off as Little John pushes Lucky George back into the carriage.)   

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Knighton Hall. Interior. Main room.
Marian:
“You would have me prove my innocence?”
Gisborne: “Do you deny it?”
Marian: “Have I committed a crime?”
Gisborne: (A bit more demanding:) “Do you deny it?”
Marian: “This is the end of our friendship. How can I be friends with somebody who demands proof of my innocence without stating my crime?”

Gisborne:
“You betrayed me to Robin Hood. You told him of my plan. You collude with outlaws to hide a woman from her rightful Lord and master.
And now, you will pay the price.”
Marian: “You have no proof.”
Gisborne: “Your father was seen fighting side by side with the Nightwatchman.”
Marian: “To protect your sister! What would you have us do? Shun the outlaw and allow three men to brutally assault your own flesh and blood?!”
Gisborne: “Do you know the worst of it all? I thought we were friends.”


Marian:
“So did I.”
Gisborne: “The only reason you paid me any attention was to feed information to my enemy.”
Marian: “That’s not true.”
Gisborne: “Why persist with lies? You’re dead anyway.”
(An almighty scream sounds from upstairs, from the room Thornton and Isabella are occupying. They all turn towards the noise.)
Marian: (Determinedly:) “Well if I am already dead then what I do here doesn’t matter anymore!”
(Marian, shoves Gisborne hard, pushing him out of her way as she runs up the stairs, to save Isabella.)   

Second Chances (pt.4)

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The next morning.
(Much kicks Allan awake.)
Much: “Get up! (Much kicks him again.) Get up! (Allan sleepily turns his head as Will comes up behind Much.) They’ve gone.”
Allan: (Still half asleep:) “Gone?”
Will: “And they’ve taken everything.”
(Robin stands on Much’s other side.)
Allan: “Everything?”
Robin: “Clothes, money, horses. Everything.”
Allan: (Shakes his head.) “I will kill him. I’m gonna kill him. Bury him, dig him up and kill him again!” (Grimaces.)

Sherwood Forest. Lucky George’s carriage.
(Lucky George has stopped in the forest for a break. Tom leads his laden horse near Gisborne’s borrowed coach, where Lucky George is dozing in the doorway, his hat over his face. Tom hands off the horse to a companion and strides towards George, drawing his sword.)
Tom: “In the name of Robin Hood, hand over the money and we won’t harm you.” (Points sword at Lucky George.)
Lucky George: (Sits up.) “Whoa! Son! Don’t even think about it. There’s half a dozen guards relieving themselves in the forest behind you.”
Tom: “Do you expect me to believe that?”
Lucky George: “Well, turn around. See for yourself.” (Puts his hat over his face again and settles back.)
Tom: “Do I look like I was born yesterday?” (Lucky George sighs and Tom looks behind him to see six guards coming out of the trees, adjusting their belts. The guards draw their swords and surround him.)  

Sherwood Forest. Outlaws’ camp.
(Will returns to camp, solemn.)
Will: “They’re to hang.”
(Everybody unhappily ponders this.)
Much: “They have lied to us, stolen from us. They’re nothing but trouble.”
Little John: “Let them hang.” (Everybody looks at Little John.)
Allan: “I agree.” (Everybody turns to Allan.)
Much: “You do?”
Allan: “My brother had more chances than he deserved.”
Robin: “Does he deserve to die?”
Allan: “Do we? We go to Nottingham, we’ll end up joining him on the scaffolds.”
Will: “They took some of our tags. Sheriff’s crowing, thinks he’s got Robin Hood’s men. Now it’s like he’s daring us to rescue them.”
(Robin looks up, trying to make a decision.)
Allan: “My brother was never part of this gang, was he? We trusted them and they let us down. That’s it. We’d be fools to walk into a trap for them. (All are silent.) Does anyone disagree with me?” (Again nobody speaks.)

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Knighton Hall. Exterior.
(Robin walks up, checking for anyone watching, holds his fingers to his lips and whistles. He glances back again, waiting for Marian to appear at her window.) Marian: (Chuckles.) “What do you want?”
Robin: “To talk!”
Marian: “So talk.” (Robin jumps up and grabs a horizontal metal bar connecting the stable to a post below Marian’s window. He curls his feet over his head and pushes himself up onto the bar, then steps to the loft of the stable beside him and walks over to the window. Marian is smiling slightly, watching his progress. Robin tries to enter window. Sits on the sill.)
Marian:

(Playing hard to get:)

“Ah, you can talk from there. (Robin grins at her, staring into her eyes.) What?”
Robin: “Nothing.”
Marian: “You were looking at me.”
Robin: “That’s just the way my eyes were pointing. (Sighs.) I’m sorry about yesterday, about everything, I have no right to be so jealous. How’s your father?”
Marian: (teasingly) “Ha! A weak apology and now you ask for sex?!“
Robin: "Marian! you know what I mean.”
Marian: (laughing) “Yes, but I can make bawdy jokes too.”
Robin: “The Abbess must’ve been good for you.”
Marian: “Well you were right about one thing, once you’ve had it, sex does seem to be on your mind more often.” (Robin stretches his neck up to her for a kiss, but she puts her hand on the side of his face and stops him.)
Marian: (Playfully:) “Nn-nn.” (Robin is frustrated.)
Robin: “Fair enough. (Sighs.) The Sheriff is hanging men in my name, hoping I’ll turn up to rescue them. But my gang think it’s a trap. Has your good friend Guy of Gisborne said anything to you?”
Marian: “I think he was a little preoccupied. But I will go to the castle to see what I can find out.”
Robin: “Thank you, again.”

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Nottingham Castle. Exterior corridor by the dungeon door.
(Marian is waiting at the top of the stairs to the dungeons as Gisborne comes up. Screams of torture are heard in the background.)
Gisborne: (Sees Marian and stops.) “Marian.”
Marian: “Sir Guy.”
Gisbome: “Come away. This is not for your ears.”
(Gisborne leads Marian to the cloister.)
Marian: “What is it?”
Gisborne: “Oh just my Sergeant torturing one of Hood’s outlaws for the benefit of the Sheriff. My Lord does not look his men in the face so he will not know any difference when my Sergeant returns to duty.”
Marian: “I’m sorry Sir Guy I don’t understand.”
Gisborne: “We set a trap to flush out a spy. An unguarded cart. Someone tried to intercept it. I told the Sheriff it was my Sergeant knowing full well it wasn’t him as he is well paid and his family are well looked after working for me at my home.”
Marian: “But then who…”
Gisborne: “I know it was you Marian, I know you’ve been plotting your revenge on the Sheriff ever since he cut your hair. I’ve allowed it continue because I do not always agree with the Sheriff’s methods – Lucky George to name but one.”
Marian: “So you named your Sergeant as the spy to protect me?”
Gisborne: “Yes. I made sure you got your revenge on the Sheriff by telling Hood about Lucky George. When the Sheriff insisted I catch the spy I knew what I had to do. By giving him a scapegoat and making a fool out of Hood in the process, things have turned out quite well." 

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Marian: "Sir Guy..I don’t know what to say..”
Gisborne: “My plan will only work if you promise to have nothing more to do with Hood. He and I have a blood feud going back to our childhood that… well I won’t go into it now. (Looks over to see Thornton headed their way, annoyed) Speaking of childhood, my brother in law is waiting for me, it appears my sister has run away from him.”
Marian: “Your sister?”
Gisborne: “Yes, he thinks Isabella has come back to Nottingham, thinking I would protect her from him.”
Marian: “Well surely he is right Sir Guy? If your sister returned to you for help, you would not turn her away?”
Gisborne: “Perhaps. (eyeing Marian curiously:) You understand loyalty? The importance of loyalty?”
Marian: “Yes I do." 
Gisborne: "Well I have shown you mine (smirking roguishly) hopefully one day you will show me yours.” (Gisborne walks away, leaving Marian to ponder what she has just learned.) 

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Thornton: “My my Sir Guy, she’s a pretty one isn’t she? Perhaps she’s the reason you’ve yet to lift a finger in regards to finding my wife?”
Gisborne: “I have responsibilities other than being my sister’s keeper. A job until now I thought you could handle.”
Thornton: (Distractedly, watching Marian walk away) “Hmm. What is her name?”
Gisborne: (increasingly annoyed:) “Lady Marian of Knighton. Come on lets-”
Thornton: (interrupting:) “Knighton? Really…come with me a moment.”
(Thornton motions for Gisborne to follow him back down into the dungeons, Gisborne sighs and relents, following his brother in law.)

Nottingham Castle. Dungeons. 

(The Sheriff is standing by Tom’s cell, waiting for Lucky George as Gisborne and Thornton enter.) 
Sheriff: “Ah, Squire Thornton, any luck finding your wife yet?”
Thornton: “Indeed I have Lord Sheriff, in fact I paid that man there (pointing at Tom) and his idiot mutes to capture her for me. I know precisely where she is.”
Sheriff: “Well by all means, don’t leave us in suspense.”
Thornton: (To Tom:) “Tell everyone where I left you when last we spoke, what estate were we talking by?”
Tom: “K-Knighton, my Lord.”
(Gisborne is shocked, but confused.)
Gisborne: “You saw my sister at Knighton?”
Tom: “Yes m’Lord. She was being protected by the Lord of the house.”
Thornton: “And why is it you have not brought her to me, boy?”
Tom: “We was…we were stopped by a man in a mask.”
Sheriff: “A man in a mask eh? Well that’ll be the Nightwatchman then.”
Thornton: “One man stopped the three of you? How pathetic are you?”
Tom: “We were doing alright, then Robin..”

(stops himself.)


Sheriff: “Robin Hood stepped in, am I right? (Tom says nothing and looks down.) My dear Gisborne, seems to me that our old friend Edward is quite close chums with outlaws. And if he is then you know that his outspoken daughter must be as well.”
Gisborne: “I’ve been betrayed.”
Sheriff: “Hm, well, you’re making a habit of it, aren’t you?”

Gisborne:
(Angrily) “The silver, It was Marian. I have the proof.”
Sheriff: (Feigned surprise:) “Marian? Well, well, well… Am I surprised? Clue: [almost inaudibly:] no. It’s always the girl. I told you: women — lepers. 

(Gisborne looks down, his heart broken.)

Ahh, you’re really hurt, hm? (Quietly:) Can you feel the hot metal of the knife twisting in your back, hm? All the time she was smiling at you, but really she was laughing at you, betraying you, despising you… humiliating you. Huh? And what do you want to do to her now? Gisborne looks into his eyes. Go… and enjoy it.”
(Gisborne leaves as Lucky George approaches.)
Sheriff: (to Thornton:) “Squire Thornton, your men were caught trying to rob a carriage-”
Thornton: (interrupting:) “Oh these aren’t my men, they’re Robin Hood’s.” (smiles wickedly and turns to catch up with Gisborne)
Sheriff: “Indeed. (to Lucky George:) Ah. In there.” (Indicates Tom.)

Lucky George:
“Yeah, that’s the lot that tried to rob me.”
(Tom goes to the door and seizes Lucky George.)
Tom: “Have pity on us!”

Lucky George:
(Pushes Tom away.) “Get off me! This was clean on!”
(Lucky George slaps Tom’s hand away, then he and the Sheriff leave.)
Tom: (Calling after them:) “Robin will save us. He’ll be here!”
Sheriff: (Without turning around:) “Oh, no he won’t.”

True Colours (pt.3)

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Sherwood Forest. Outlaws’ camp.
(Much sharpens his sword. Tom and his companions are formulating a plan.)
Tom: “It’s time we got to work, boys. (Stands.) Let’s hit the road.”
(Much sees them leave. Allan is dozing near him.)
Much: (Whispers to Allan:) “Oi!”
(Sheathes his sword. Allan sits up and looks after Tom. Will and Djaq step up to Robin, who sees their concerned looks.)
Robin: “Lucky George?”

Will:
“Nettlestone. More guards and a new carriage.”
Robin: “Hm. So he is engaged with the Sheriff.”
Will: “The villagers are falling over themselves to give him their stuff. And they’re selling cheap because they think you’re going to give everything back.”
Robin: “First thing in the morning, we find him and take his toys away.
For good.”
Allan: (Calling to Robin from the other side of camp:) “Robin! (Robin jogs over to him.) I’ve lost my brother.”
Robin: (Facetiously:) “It’s a big forest.”
Much: “They must have gone east.”
Allan: “He didn’t tell me where he was off to, though. I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
Robin: (Sighs.) “Fetch the horses. East is towards Knighton.”

At the edge of Knighton estate.

(Tom and his companions meet up with Thornton and his man Godfrey.)
Thornton: 
“Now, surely a mere woman shouldn’t give three starving thieves this much trouble?”

Tom: “We were stopped by Robin Hood my Lord. (smirking) But we managed to convince them to be our allies.” 
Thornton: “Impressive. However that is not what I’m paying you for. (Grabbing Tom by the back of the neck, pulling him in close.)

Where is my wife boy?”
(Tom is silent, unnerved by Thornton’s outburst.)
Thornton: “Thankfully I have one man I can depend on. Godfrey, where is she?”
Godfrey: (Pointing towards the house:) “She’s in there my Lord, Knighton House.”
Thornton: (Looking at Knighton:) “Very good. Now you three, go in there and bring me back my wife. Do not fail me again.” 
Tom: “Y-yes my Lord.”
Thornton: “Bring her to me at Nottingham castle and you will be paid in full.”
(Thornton and Godfrey turn and leave. Tom crouches in the bushes with his companions.)  
Tom: “Nice house means rich pickings. (Hands a club to a companion.) No reason we can’t steal a few things before we grab the bitch. Come on, (Pulls a scarf over his face.) Round the back.”
Knighton Hall. Stable. Interior.
(Marian has a horse saddled and is putting a scarf over her nose and mouth.

She puts her Nightwatchman’s mask on then, pulls her hood over her head. She is about to mount her horse when she hears Edward chasing the outlaws out of the house.)

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Knighton Hall. Exterior.
Edward:
”… have the gall to rob this house! Get away from here!”
(Marian pulls her sword out of the saddle’s sheath and runs outside. Edward has his sword and blocks once, but then is punched to the ground by the hilt of Tom’s sword. Marian comes running out and swiftly knocks Tom’s sword aside twice, then gives him a mighty kick to the chest, sending him backwards as Edward sits up, shocked but impressed. She turns to the first companion, blocks his club with her sword and kicks him back, then turns to the second companion. She blocks his staff low and twists it over andround in front of him, knocking him off balance. She turns and elbows him in the back, in time to face Tom again. As he’s reaching back to swing, she kicks him in the chest, then grabs his shoulder and pushes him to the ground. Isabella comes out of the house and helps Edward sit up, they’re watching in astonishment. Marian blocks the club again, then swings at the man, who ducks and knocks the sword from her hand. The man with the staff tries to take her feet out, but she steps on the pole and brings her other foot up to kick his friend, then quickly turns back to the staff, grabs it with both hands and pulls it from his grip, sending him tumbling to the ground. For good measure she stabs him in the chest with the end before turning to the other companion, who wrestles her for control of the staff. She does a half spin around, turning the staff over their heads, and flips herself over his back to her feet. She pulls the pole away and knocks him upside the head with it just as Tom engages her again. She holds the end of the staff under her arm and parries Tom’s sword, then gives him a mighty heave to the chest as Robin, Much and Allan come round the corner of an outbuilding on horseback. She changes her grip on the staff, slaps Tom’s back with it, then takes his feet out from under him as Robin stops at her side.)

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Robin: “Stop! (Robin slides off the saddle and strides over to Tom.)
What is going on?”
Tom: (to Robin:) “Thank goodness you’re here. (to Marian:) This is Robin Hood and you’re in big trouble, mate!”
(Marian shakes her head angrily at Tom, then rushes to her father.)
Allan: (Hoarsely, angrily:) “What are you doing? (Allan slaps Tom upside the head, then he and Robin step over to Edward.) I am so sorry.”
Edward: “These men were robbing my house.”
Tom: (Sheathes his sword.) “Yes, we’re robbing his house. (Thinking quickly:) That’s what we do! We’re trying to show the top man what we can do!”

Allan: (Steps to Tom. In Tom’s face:) “These people are our friends!”
Tom: “Now you tell me. I thought they were—”
Allan: (Interrupting.) “You don’t think! You can’t think!”
(Allan slaps him upside the head again.)
Robin: (to Edward:) “Are you hurt?”
Edward: “Only my pride. These are your men?”
Robin: “Not for much longer, I promise. (Steps to Tom.) Apologise. Apologise for the disturbance. (Tom doesn’t move.) Now!”
Allan: (to Tom:) “Do as you’re told.”
(Tom reluctantly obeys and Allan slaps his head again. Allan steps back and receives an angry glance from Robin before they follow Tom to the door.)
Tom: (to Edward, quietly:) “Sorry.”
Robin: “Louder.”
Tom: (Glances at Robin, at bit piqued. Louder:) “Sorry.”
Robin: (to Edward:) “I knew nothing about this. They will be punished.
You have my word.”
Allan: “Robin, I’m so sorry…”
Robin: “Just take them away!”
(Allan grabs Tom and turns him away. Marian gently pulls on Robin’s arm and heads for the stable. Robin follows. They step inside as Much watches.)    

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Stable.
(Marian takes off her hood, mask and scarf.)
Marian: “There’s a consignment of silver coming down the Great North Road.
I was on my way to intercept it.”
Robin: (With disbelief:) “You?”
Marian: “Yes, me! The woman who just beat up 3 of your men by herself. Anyway, It is unguarded so as not to attract attention. A simple cart.”
Robin: (A bit jealously:) “And how do you know this? Another present from Gisborne?”
Marian: (Ignoring his tone:) “Look, I need to stay with my father. If you want it, you must hurry.”
Robin: (Nods.) “Thank you. (Robin runs outside to Much.) Much!
The North Road.”

Sherwood Forest. The Great North Road.
(Robin and Much cut through the trees towards the road where two nondescript men are pulling a cart. Robin shoots an arrow into the cart and the men immediately stop.)
Robin: (Dismounts.) “Sorry about that. We arrived as quickly as we could.
(Robin walks over to the cart, pulls out his knife and strikes its handle against the lock. The lock breaks and Robin opens the chest to discover a treasure of worthless stones. He throws the lid back and sighs.) A decoy. What’s the Sheriff up to now?” (He looks at the silent men, then turns to Much.)
Much: “Well… it looks like we’ve all had a wasted journey.”
(Robin leans exasperatedly on the cart.)

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Knighton Hall. Exterior. 
(Allan is attempting to apologise to a clearly shaken Isabella.)
Allan: “Iz please, I’m sorry about my brother – he’s an idiot but–”
Isabella: (Interrupting:) “You don’t seriously believe he was here just to rob this house do you?”
Allan: “Well yeah, I mean–”
Isabella: (Continuing:) “The same men who were chasing me, hunting me down only a few hours ago somehow, coincidentally decide to rob the house I happen to be hiding in?”
Allan: “Alright I’ll admit it’s a bit dodgy–”
Isabella: “He’s lying to you Allan! He’s still working for my husband to capture me. Thornton pays and pays well.”
Allan: “Well why does he need my brother and his mates to help him then?”
Isabella: “Thornton sees himself as nobility. He won’t dirty his hands himself.”
Allan: “Yeah but still, Tom was with us at camp when Marian brought you back here, he couldn’t know this is where she lives.”
Isabella: (Thinks a moment:) “Oh but don’t you see? You brother and his men ran away from your camp right? Thornton’s man Godfrey can track a falcon on a cloudy day, he can find me. They must have met up with him and he would’ve told them where I was. Which means he’s still out there somewhere (she looks into the distance frantically) watching me – I’m not safe staying here!”
Allan: (closing the distance between them:) “Shh…now listen to me Iz, no one is going to let anything happen to you here. Marian and Edward will protect you and I won’t let my brother out of my sight. We’ll find this Godfrey bloke and your old man and stop them. You have my word.”
(As Isabella nods, Allan wipes a tear from her cheek. She smiles and they part, she heads back into the house and Allan, determined, walks away back towards camp.)
Nottingham Castle. Sheriff’s quarters.
(A chest of silver sits near the fireplace. The Sheriff picks up a handful of coins.)
Sheriff: “Well done, Gisborne. (Lets the coins slide from his hand back into the chest.) Hood wanted silver… (walks to another chest on the other side of the fireplace, the arrow still stuck in its side…) instead he got this. (Chuckles as he picks up some rocks, drops them back in and dusts his hands. Pulls the arrow out.) So, who did you tell?”
Gisborne: “My sergeant.”
Sheriff: (Circling behind Gisborne:) “Anyone else?”
Gisborne: “No.” (The sheriff whips the back of Gisborne’s legs with the arrow.)
Sheriff: “You’re sure? Not Lady Marian too?”
Gisborne: “Only my sergeant. It must be him.”
Sheriff: “Hmm, Make him suffer, but question her too.”
Gisborne: “Oh, I will.”
(Gisborne turns and leaves.) 

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Sherwood Forest. Outlaws’ camp. Evening.
Robin:
(to Allan:) “You know I agreed you should make up with your brother.”
Allan: “Yeah?”
Robin: “I’ve changed my mind.”
Allan: “He was trying to impress you. And he didn’t realise who he was robbing. It’s just a big house. He doesn’t think. Anyway, you don’t have to trust them, you have to trust me. I should’ve kept an eye on him.”
Robin: “Yes, you should have.”
Allan: “Look, when have I ever asked you for anything? (Robin raises his eyebrows at him.) All right, apart from saving my life. He has made a lot of mistakes, I know, I tried to help him. Look, I was like him once. Out of control. But I’ve changed… because of you, because of being here. If you could give him a second chance—”
Robin: (Interrupting:) “He’s had a second chance.”
Allan: “But if here was with us, with decent men, he could change. Now if I take control, properly, you won’t have to worry about him. (Robin stares uncertainly at Allan.) Please? One more chance?”
Robin: “He stole from you and you still defend him.”
Allan: (Shrugs.) “He’s my brother.”
Robin: (Reluctant to agree, sighs.) “One more chance.”
Allan: (Smiles.) “Thank you. (Allan walks over to Tom and his companions.)
Last chance. Do you understand?”
Tom: (Nods.) “All right.”
(Allan walks away and Tom looks at a companion, who smiles.)   

Dangerous Games (pt.2)

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Nottingham Castle. The Great Hall.

Gisborne: “I told you Thornton, I haven’t seen my sister in years.”
Thornton: “Well my men have tracked her here in Nottingham and there’s only one person she would be coming to see.”
Gisborne: “The fact that you cannot control your wife is none of my concern.”
Thornton: “Oh but it is Gisborne, for you see if I find that you’re hiding her from me, I can make things around here very messy for you.”
Gisborne: “Enough with your idle threats, when I am done with my business here I will do what I can to help find your wife for you.”
(Thornton sneers at Gisborne then turns and leaves.)

Sherwood Forest. Outlaws’ camp.
(Will finishes showing Robin Lucky George’s treasure.)
Will: “That’s it. That’s the lot.”
Robin: “Where is Lucky George’s money? Where’s the coins?”
Djaq: “We searched his pockets. Nothing.”
Robin: “Well, how can he trade if he has no money?”
Will: “Maybe he spent it all.”
Robin: “That’s unlikely.”
Tom: “The old gang back together.”
Allan: “How did they lose their tongues? No lies.”
Tom: “For spitting at some guards.” (Tom chuckles, then Allan. Seriously:) It’ll be different this time. I won’t let you down again, I promise.”
(Allan side-slaps and clasps Tom’s hand, then pulls him into a hug, which turns into a bit of a wrestling match.)  

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Nottingham Castle. The Great Hall.
(Gisborne stands behind Marian and puts the necklace on her, stroking her neck as he takes his hand away.)
Gisborne: "Do you like it?”
Marian: (hesitantly:) “Yes, I do, but…”
Gisborne: “It’s simple silver. You have no need of gold or gaudy jewels.”
Marian: “But really, where did you get it?”
Gisborne: “I stole it from a villager, it looks much better on you.”
Marian: (incredulous) “Sir Guy!”
Gisborne: “Was that wrong?”

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Marian: “Yes it was wrong! I mean for goodness…. (noticing that Gisborne is smiling at her)..you’re teasing me?”
Gisborne: “The sheriff requires that each couple who wishes to marry pay a dowry to the state. The necklace was the only thing of value they had so, I’d much rather you have the neckace than the state.”
Marian: (smiling) “Well I don’t agree with it, but thank you (pushing a finger into his chest) don’t do it again.”
Gisborne: (playfully smiling back) “Yes M’lady. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go look all stern for my Sergeant.”  
Marian: (to herself) “That man is dangerous. (smiling) Sweet and smouldering but still very dangerous.”

Sergeant:
“You wanted to see me, sir?”
(Gisborne, bothered by the interruption, turns and walks over to the sergeant while Marian listens surreptitiously.)
Gisborne: “Cancel the guard for the consignment from Rotherham.”
Sergeant: “No guards?”
Gisborne: “No guards. Guards attract attention and why would we want to attract attention to a chest full of silver travelling through Sherwood Forest?”
Sergeant: “Yes, sir.”
Gisborne: “Grabs the sergeant’s arm. And tell no-one. No-one. Not even the guards themselves.”
Sergeant: “Yes, sir.”
(Goes upstairs. Marian hides her curiosity and formulates a plan in her mind.)

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Sherwood Forest. 

(Allan walks over to Isabella who has been standing quietly away from the others.)
Allan: “Alright there Iz?”
Isabella: “What did you call me?”
Allan: “Oh, sorry I, well you know, it was just a nickname.”
Isabella: “A nickname? (tersely) I’ve never had one of those before. Being sold into marriage by my brother at thirteen, I was never really able to have friends.”
Allan: “Your brother sold you into marriage? Then why are you in such a hurry to see him?”
Isabella: “I have no one else! There is nowhere else for me to go.”
Allan: “Yeah but, what say you get to his place, he sees you and sends you right back to your old man?”
Isabella: “That’s just a chance I’ll have to take, I’ve come too far now.”
(Allan says nothing but ponders if there is a better way.)
Nettlestone.
(Lucky George drives his new carriage into the village. Will and Djaq are on the outskirts and see him.)
Lucky George: “Good morning, Nettlestone!”
Djaq: (Disgustedly:) “Look at that.”
(She walks around the back of a cottage to see better as Lucky George continues into the village.)
Lucky George: “Hey, you know me! Come to Lucky George.
I help you, you help me…”
Djaq: “I thought we had put him out of business! (Will follows her as Lucky George invites the villagers over.) Look at this.”
Will: “Where does he get his money from?”
Djaq: “They sell everything. Why?”
Will: “Word’s got round. Robin will return their goods, just like he did before.”
(Will and Djaq return to the forest.)
Sherwood Forest.
(Allan is talking animatedly with Robin.)
Allan: I’m not being funny, but c’mon, we can’t let her go back to her brother, he sounds as bad as her husband.”
Robin: “Well I very much doubt Isabella’s going to want to stay in the forest with us, Allan.”
Allan: “Yeah well alright point taken, I’m just saying there’s got to be another way to help her, hide her till we can send her husband and his men packing.”
Much: “We’ve already taken three of his men away, into our gang no less!”
(Robin, seeing a lone rider in the distance is distractedly listening to Much and Allan bicker when he realises who it is.)
Robin: (interrupting the squabbling:) “Enough. I need time to think. I’ll be back shortly.” (He leaves towards the direction of the rider, stealthily and with purpose. Isabella and the others watching him go.)

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(Marian is riding her horse down the road when Robin jumps out at her, startling her horse and causing it to rear. Marian walks around to the horse’s head, glaring at Robin. She grabs the bridle and calms the horse as Robin leans on his upright bow with his roguish grin.)
Robin: “Sorry. I thought you were some rich noblewoman looking to donate your fancy jewels to a good cause.”
Marian: (Not amused:) “You knew it was me.”
Robin: (Charmingly, mischievously:) “You shouldn’t be riding alone through the forest. There are some very unsavoury characters about. Outlaws, you know. (Marian ignores him, tending her horse. Robin notices the necklace and picks up the dangling end.) What’s this?“
Robin: (Looking at the necklace:) "It’s very pretty. Have I seen it before?” Marian: “No. It was a gift.”
Robin: “From whom? (Turns his head aside as he knows. Jealously:) Gisborne.”

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Marian: “As it happens he took it from a villager as payment for her wedding..”
(Robin reaches for the necklace.)
Robin: “Well, I can’t imagine she gave it to him willingly. But it’s not like you stole it from the poor girl yourself. (Marian thinks a bit as Robin leans his chin on his bow.) (With jealous sarcasm:) And you obviously like it. And it is certainly a special and thoughtful gift from a man that clearly means a lot to you.”
Marian: (changing the subject:) “What was it you wanted? This is hardly a chance encounter.”
Robin: (Biting his tongue:) “We rescued a woman being chased in the woods today, her husband and his men are still looking for her.”
Marian: “Does she have family in Nottingham?”
Robin: “A brother apparently, but he was the one who sold her in the first place so..”
Marian: “So she’d be going from the fire back into the frying pan, as it were?”
Robin: “Not an ideal situation either way. We need to hide her somewhere until we can find the men after her and stop them.”
Marian: “So you thought you’d ask me to invite her to Knighton?”
Robin: “The woods are hardly a suitable hiding place for a lady in her finery (meaningfully) and jewelry.”

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Marian: “Do not pretend you are worried for my safety. Ever since you’ve been back it’s all been about you and your ego. God forbid anyone pays attention to my wants or needs.”
Robin: (Sighs, thinking.) “You know that is not true. It’s not about me…”
Marian: "It’s about the fact that you only come to me for help, never to help me. Last week was a prime example, I needed your help and you shunned me for another quest for glory.”
Robin: “I was told the Abbess gave you more than enough attention. (even more jealously) Perhaps your head-wear today is an homage to her and the time you spent together?”
Marian: (sighing, supressing her anger slightly) “Despite what you may think, green is not a good colour on you. Gisborne may be a lot of things but at least he pays me attention, brings me gifts, a kind word or two..And he bathes! (Marian mounts her horse.) I will take the girl back to Knighton with me. We won’t require an escort.”  (She leaves, continuing on her way past Robin.
Robin glances back as she goes, and then looks down. Resolving to be less of a jealous prick, he heads back to the gang’s camp.)