Well, that’s season 1 done…

I’m going to keep working on episodes but won’t be posting any future instalments till after x-mas/new year.

I really enjoy writing these and fitting the 100 characters with the RH faves.

I have no idea if anyone is reading these or enjoying them. I received some feedback during my prequels and prequel sequels but since beginning the series again there has been nothing.

Now, as I’ve said, I love writing these but I think it would be nice to know your thoughts.  So, if you want these to continue please get in touch.

Royal Ruse Revealed (pt.6)

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Nottingham Castle. The Great Hall.
King’s Guardsman:
“Former sheriff, Edward of Knighton!”
(Allan steps forward and claps Edward on the shoulder.)
Allan: “Tell it how it is, Edward!”
Edward: “I will.”
(Edward glances at the King and steps forwards. Little John glances anxiously at Allan.)  

Locksley. Church. Interior.
Gisborne’s Man:
(Running in to Gisborne:) “We can catch her for you, sir.” (Gisborne
bends down and picks up the ring from the floor. Isabella is glancing
at him, torn between happiness for Marian and feeling sorry for her
brother.)
Gisborne: (Sinisterly, a bit maliciously:) “No. Let her go.”

Nottingham Castle. The Great Hall.
(Edward kneels and kisses
the King’s ring, then steps towards the doors by the fireplace. Little
John sighs with a look of satisfaction. The doors creak open.)
King’s Guardsman: “Lord Knighton, go left, à gauche, to give evidence for the Sheriff. Go right, à droit, to give evidence against the Sheriff.”
(The doors close behind him.)

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Nottingham Town. Exterior. Main gate.
(Robin, Marian and Much stop in front of the gate. Two sentries stand guard.)
Robin: “We can’t be seen together.”
Much: “We’d never get in anyway.”
Marian: “I’ll try the east gate.”
(Marian slides off the back of the horse.)
Robin: “We’ll try the west. (Robin and Much gallop off to the left. Marian starts running to the right.) Marian!”
Marian: (Turns around.) “Robin!”
(Robin
gallops back and stops in front of the south gate. Marian runs back to
him. Robin leans down from the horse and gives Marian a long kiss. He
straightens up, smiling, then turns his horse and rides off again.
Marian lovingly and coyly watches him go, then runs off again herself.)  

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Nottingham Castle. Interior corridor.
(Edward reaches the end of the corridor. He pauses, looks to his right, then goes in.)
A small room.
(The Sheriff loudly lays the quill down on the table.)
Sheriff: (Gruff voice:) “Do you wish to give evidence against the Sheriff?”
(There
is a moment of silence, then two arrows in quick succession pierce the
table in front of him. The Sheriff pops his head up in total surprise.)
Robin: (Laughs. Mockingly:) “A clue: No!”
(Robin
turns and leaves the room. The Sheriff makes to follow, but his sleeves
are pinned to the table by the arrows. He frustratingly grabs at them,
but can’t work them loose.)
Sheriff: “Help! Help!”
Interior corridor.
(Robin, Much and Edward run away, back to the Great Hall.)
The Great Hall.
(Meanwhile, Clarke leads the Commander and her warriors into the Great Hall. The doors by the fireplace open and Much runs in.)
Much: “It’s a trap! (Jumps up on the table in front of the King’s throne.) It’s a trap! (Points at the King.) This is not the King!”
(The King stands, glaring at Much.)
Man: “Arrest that impostor!” (Little John frowns in confusion at Much.)
Allan: “I knew this smelled funny.” (Djaq glowers at Allan.)
King: (Pointing at Much:) “Get him!”
Much: (to the gang:) “Run!”
(Allan,
Little John, Will, Djaq and Much scramble away as Lexa rounds on Clarke who doesn’t know what to say.)
King: “Arrest everyone!”
Lexa: (Looking to the King then back to Clarke:) “This man is not your uncle?”
Clarke: (Shakes her head:) “No.”

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(Lexa turns to Indra and nods.)
Indra: (Drawing her sword, to her warriors:) “Kill them all.”
(The gang are trapped between the Sheriff’s men and Lexa’s warriors. There is a stalemate before Lexa draws her sword and runs the imposter through. Screams of panic and terror ring out as the ‘King’ slumps to the floor dead, his crown rolling off the dais. Lexa and her warriors turn their attention to the Sheriff’s men as Robin enters the hall
with the rope over his shoulder and bow in hand.)
Allan: “This ain’t funny!”
(Allan, Little John, Will and Djaq stop short as a group of soldiers enter below the balcony. Robin runs in behind the gang.)
Little John: “No!”
(Seeing they are trapped, Robin turns around and knocks out a guard behind him with his bow, and beckons to the group to run up the stairs.)
Robin: “Shall we?”
Allan: “I thought we were out of a job.”
Will: “Good to have you back.”
Robin: (Smiles.) “It’s good to be back.”

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(Seeing that the Commander and her men are outnumbered, Clarke pleads with Lexa.)
Clarke: “Commander, please. You have to leave.”
Indra: “We shall never retreat.”
Clarke: “There are too many of them.”
(Robin runs up the stairs after them, but the Sheriff calls out.)
Sheriff: “Robin! (Robin stops, frustrated, on the landing halfway up the stairs.) Not so fast, my friend! (Lexa’s attention is caught by the Sheriff. Clarke notices this and wonders what she must be thinking. Robin impatiently looks back at the Sheriff, who has Much bent over with a dagger to his throat.) Sorry to burst your bubble, Hood! But… (The Sheriff pulls Much up to standing by his collar, keeping the dagger under his chin.) … I’m sure you know how this goes, hm? Hands up. (The Sheriff chuckles as Robin calmly grabs the end of the rope and glances up to see where Little John is.) Spoilt my game, Hood. Tut-tut.“
Robin: “John! Catch!”
(Robin throws the coil of rope up, holding an end for himself, and Allan catches the rope next to John at the top of the stairs. Two guards enter through the upper doors and turn to Robin as Little John presses his back against the wall.
As Robin grabs an arrow from his quiver and fits the knot over its tip, Little John throws his cloak over the two men and Allan loops the rope over them. Robin aims at the ceiling and shoots, and two loud ricochets are heard as the Sheriff drops his guard on Much as the two of them follow the arrow’s path around the room. Marian rushes in to her father’s side, then Much looks down as the rope drops in front of him. The Sheriff sees Much looking down, then looks down himself and sees the arrow embedded perfectly between his black-nailed toes in the sole of his sandal. He does a double-take and looks anxiously back up at Much. Much smiles, pulls his arm away and runs. Little John and Will push the captured guards through the railing. The falling men are a counterweight and pull the Sheriff up by his foot. Robin points his drawn bow at the Sheriff, who is hanging upside down by his foot and roaring in indignation.)

Robin: “Everybody still, if you please! (Allan smiles at the top of the stairs and glances back at Will, who has a reserved look of satisfaction. Facetiously:) I think we can safely say… an audience with the King… has been suspended!”
(Lexa looks at the struggling Sheriff for a moment then re-sheathes her sword.)
Lexa: “You know a safe way out of the castle?”
Clarke: “Yes, it’s this way.”
Indra: “Commander, please.”
Lexa: “That’s enough, Indra. (To her warriors:) We fall back and regroup.”
(With a nod to Clarke, the group leave the Great Hall amidst the chaos caused by Robin’s gang. Edward and Marian are smiling and the gang are laughing. The Sheriff is still roaring with anger.)

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Robin: “Come on, lads! Let’s go home.”
(Robin winks to Marian, who smiles more brightly this time.)
Sheriff: “Come back! Get me down from here, you blithering oafs!”
Courtyard.
(Robin
and the gang walk down the outside steps. Robin looks back at them all
proudly. They take a few more steps, then they all throw a fist in the
air and cheer.)
Commanders Tent. Interior.
(It is sometime later and Clarke and the Commander stand in front of a large table. On the table is a rudimentary layout of Nottingham from the forest to the town, including all the villages.)
Lexa: “Your friends are impressive. Flouting the Sheriff’s authority like that.”
Clarke: “I told you there those of us willing to stand up and fight against Prince John and his lieutenants. We should be allies, Lexa.”
Lexa: (Nods:) “Perhaps. You may have your truce.”
Clarke: (Smiles:) “Thank you.”
Lexa: “I just need one thing in return.”
Clarke: “Tell me.”
Lexa: “Deliver me Sheriff Vaisey.”
(Clarke looks uncertainly at Lexa, who’s expression remains cold as we…)
Fade to black.

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Ejections & Objections (pt.5)

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Nottingham Castle. The Great Hall.
(The King steps onto the long table, set up like a catwalk in the centre of the room. The nobles applaud and watch intently.)
King Richard: (Walking along on the table:) “My loyal subjects, we have survived the Holy Land and we are grateful for your warm welcome. (The Sheriff’s eyes dance, watching for the reaction from the nobles.) However, there are those amongst us who are disloyal. (The nobles gasp. Edward and Merton exchange glances.) Who would plot against authority, (The Sheriff eyes Edward and Merton.) who do not understand law and order. (Edward subtly glances back at Little John.) We must quash them now. (Pauses. The Sheriff looks around to see the others’ reactions.) Arrest Sheriff Vaisey!”
(Points at the Sheriff.)
Sheriff: (Feigning surprise well:) “Me?”
(The nobles murmur in happy surprise. Edward and Merton can’t believe it.)
King Richard: “Take him to the dungeons.”
Sheriff: “Me? Me? (Two soldiers each grab an arm of the Sheriff. Edward and Merton smile in delight.) Blithering oaf! Me? Arrest them! Arrest all of them! You idiotic buffoon!” (Little John and Allan laugh triumphantly.)  

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Locksley. Church. Interior.
(Marian walks solemnly towards
the open doors of the church as the villagers applaud and toss yellow
petals at her. Gisborne is already kneeling at the altar.)
Outside Locksley.
(On
the hillside, Robin stands, slings a bundle of his few possessions over
his shoulder, picks up his bow and quiver, gives a last glance at the
church and walks towards his horse.)


Nottingham Castle. The Great Hall.
(King Richard sits back in the Sheriff’s tall chair.)
King Richard: “Good subjects. We must judge the Sheriff according to law. In such a case… we shall hear French evidence.”
Allan: (Puzzled:) “French evidence? What?”
King’s Guardsman: “Walter, Lord of Merton.”
(Merton straightens, looks at Edward, nods, and goes to the King. He kneels and kisses the King’s ring.)  

Locksley. Church. Interior.
(Canon Bond is officiating in Latin. Marian and Gisborne are kneeling at his feet.)

Nottingham Castle. Interior corridor.
(Merton strides down the corridor.)
King’s Guardsman: (Overdub of his instructions to Merton:)
“Walter, Lord of Merton, go left, à gauche, to give evidence for the
Sheriff. Go right, à droit, to give evidence against the Sheriff.”
(Merton slows as he reaches the end, looks to his right, and enters.)

A small room.
(The Sheriff, disguised and hidden in a brown cloak, sits at a small table.)
Sheriff: (In a gruff voice:) “Do you wish to give evidence against the Sheriff?”
Merton: (Boldly:) “I do.”
Sheriff: (Gruff voice:) “Good. (Looks up at Merton. Normal voice:) God save the King.” (The Sheriff pulls out a dagger as Merton realises in horror that he’s been tricked. The Sheriff stabs Merton.)  

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Locksley. Church. Interior.
(Much runs to the door and starts ringing the bell wildly.)
Much: “Stop the wedding! Stop the wedding!”
(Everybody in the church turns back to look at him.)
Outside Locksley.
(Robin,
walking miserably along the road out of Locksley and leading his horse,
hears the bell and Much’s voice. He stops and looks back, puzzled by
Much’s outcry.)
Much: (Distantly:) “Stop the wedding! It’s not the King!”
Locksley. Church. Interior.
(Gisborne looks up, staring straight ahead.)
Much: “The King is an imposter! The King is not in Nottingham!”
(Gisborne’s men grab Much and stop him from ringing the bell.)
Gisborne’s Man: “Oi Stop!”
Canon Bond: “Whether the King is in Nottingham or not, that has no bearing on a wedding.”
Marian: (to Gisborne:) “Did you know this?”
Gisborne: “The priest is right. This makes no difference. Our happiness—”
Marian: (Interrupting:) “You lied to me! What else have you lied about?”
(Gisborne says nothing, but stares straight ahead again.)
Much: (Still yelling:) “He went to the Holy Land! (Pointing at Gisborne:) He tried to kill the King!” (Marian ponders Much’s words.)
Gisborne: (Looking ahead:) “I have done wrong, but you will wash away my sins.” 

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Marian: “If it is not the King…”
Gisborne: “It is a ruse by the Sheriff to flush out his enemies.”
Marian: “What will happen to them? (Gisborne gives her a sinister look.) My father! I must go to Nottingham!”
(She hurriedly tries to stand up, but Gisborne grabs her by the arm.)
Gisborne: “Your
father will be safe; I have made provision. He alone will be spared.
You see? My influence, it benefits you. As my father-in-law he is
protected. (Emphasises:) As my father-in-law!”
Marian: You are cruel!“
Much: “This is wrong!”
Canon Bond: “You must have legal grounds to object or remain silent.”
Much: “I have moral grounds!”
Gisborne: (to his men:) “Get him out of here!”
(Gisborne’s men grab Much and drag him away, but he continues to shout.)
Much: “This man is a traitor! And a liar! Is that legal? And… (points at Marian…) her heart belongs to another!”
(Gisborne’s
men stop. Marian is distressed at Much’s revelation. She is trying to
think what to do. She is torn between an opportunity to stop the wedding
and a chance to save her father by marrying Gisborne.)

Much: (A bit quieter, his voice breaking:) “Let her tell you that. (Marian is still wrestling with her decision.) Marian, my lady. Tell them.”
Gisborne: “Yes, Marian. (Looks out at the audience.) Tell them. (Softly:) Remember your father.”
(Marian realises she must go through with the wedding if she is to save her father.)

Marian: (Unemotionally, a bit haltingly:) “It is not true. (Marian looks at Much, who stares back incredulously.) I am sorry. I know you mean well. But my heart belongs here.”
Gisborne: (to priest:) “Get on with it!”
Much: “What?! (Marian is cringing inside as Gisborne’s men continue to drag Much away.) I don’t understand! This is surely some mistake!”
Canon Bond: “You have a ring?”
Much: “He needs you! Marian!!!” (Marian
looks agonizingly past Gisborne’s shoulder, listening to Much’s last
words. Gisborne lifts her left hand up and puts an elaborate ring on her
finger.)

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Gisborne: “Wise decision. In time you will thank me.”
(Much
yells as he is pushed into the pond with a loud splash. Marian blinks
and calmly looks down at her hand. She slowly pulls the ring off and
slips it onto her right ring finger as the spectators start to murmur.)
Canon Bond: “No, the left hand.”
Marian: “No.”
Canon Bond: “The ring must go on the left hand.”
Marian: “No. (Rips the front of her veil from her face.) The right is better.” (Marian punches Gisborne just below the eye with her ringed hand. The canon looks on in disbelief.)
Exterior.
(Marian
runs out of the church, wildly looking around for Robin, who she knows
must be there. She spies him and smiles broadly as he gallops into the
village at full speed.)
Robin: “Do you take this man, and this horse, as your route out of here?”
Marian: “I do!”
(Marian
runs, smiling broadly as she weaves her way through the people and
tables to meet Robin on the main path. Robin stops by her, also smiling,
as Much crawls out of the pond.)
Much: “Master! The King! It’s not the King! He’s an imposter!”
(Robin’s face immediately turns serious as the peasants murmur.)
Robin: “A trap! I knew it! Who’s there?”
Much: “Everyone! The gang!”
Marian: “Robin, my father. He leads the rebellion.”
(Robin
reaches an arm down to help Marian up behind him, then turns the horse
to run to Nottingham. Marian takes the veil off her head and tosses it
into the air, letting it fall to the ground behind them. Much, having
found another saddled horse, takes off after them.)

Plots and Preparations (pt.4)

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Merton Hall. Interior. Night.
Merton:
“Arms. What about weapons?”
Edward: “We will make sure all our men are armed under their cloaks. I will alert the King’s private guard as best I can.”
Merton: “I am anxious. What if the Sheriff is planning to—”
Edward: (Interrupting:) “Remember, the Sheriff will try to kill the King tomorrow. We will have the King’s private guard on our side. (Merton looks around at the others as Edward passes behind him.) And not just that. We will have right on our side. Justice. (Merton nods.) My lords, we’ve been biding our time for too long.”
(A
knock sounds on the door. Merton goes over, draws his sword and points
it at the door. The door opens to reveal Much, Will, Little John and
Allan.)
Much: “We are Robin Hood’s men, here to protect the King.”
Edward: “Let them in. They are Robin’s men. We can trust them. Much served the King in Antioch. (Steps aside.) Welcome, Much. Robin is not with you?”
Much: “Robin is, er… by himself.”
Little John: “There is no Robin.” (Edward nods, understanding.)
Locksley. The next morning.
(Robin
has spent the night on the hillside with his back against a tree. Birds
are chirping, greeting the morning sun. Robin sits looking at the
village, miserable and despondent. Meanwhile, the villagers are gladly
preparing for the wedding. Gisborne comes down the steps of the church,
walking along the pond and watching the hubbub. Isabella approaches
him.)

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Isabella: “Are you ready, Guy?”
Gisborne: (Still watching the people.) “Look at them Isabella, all happy, running around, excited.”
Isabella: “They’re excited for you, for the day their Lord gets what he’s always wanted has finally arrived.”
Gisborne: “They all fear me-”
Isabella: (Interrupting:) “Respect. It is respect, Guy. Locksley continues to thrive because of you. That’s something everyone can be joyous about.”
Gisborne: (Thinks a moment:) “Do you- (pauses) Do you think after-”
Isabella: (Puts her hand on Gisborne’s, holding it as she speaks:) “Once you and Marian are married your harsher ways will be tempered by her softness.”
Gisborne: “How can you be sure?”
Isabella: “Because I understand you, brother. I know that aside from power, all you’ve ever wanted in your life is to be truly loved.”
Gisborne: “That is the thing, isn’t it? To be understood. (Looks at his reflection in the pond. Sighs.) I have committed crimes.”
Isabella: “Really?”
Gisborne: (Looks at her.) “Heinous crimes. (Isabella looks encouragingly at him.) But by taking Marian in holy wedlock… I will wash away those crimes.”
Isabella: (Wondering if what she suspects is true:)  “Guy…did you-”
Gisborne: (Continuing, interrupting:) “I’m grateful that you’re here with me. (Surprised
by Gisborne’s moment of honesty, Isabella lets the question die on her
lips and squeezes her brother’s hand in support.)
Her pure heart…will cleanse mine.”

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Knighton Hall. Exterior.
(Marian unhappily steps out of the house in her wedding attire. She walks to Edward, standing by Gisborne’s coach.)
Marian: “Be careful.”
Edward: “I will.”
(Marian steps into the coach.)

Locksley.
(Marian’s coach arrives. Isabella smiles as Gisborne
walks over to meet it. A page opens the coach door and bows. Marian
gets out and looks around as Robin slouches on his tree, watching.
Marian tries to smile at joyful peasants around her.)
Gisborne: “I hope the decorations… the church… I hope they please you.”
Marian: (Flatly:) “They do.”
Gisborne: “I hope I please you.”
Marian: “You should not be here.”
Gisborne: (Broodingly agitated:) “Who should be here?”

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Marian: “You should be inside the church, waiting for me.”
(Steps past Gisborne towards the church.)
Gisborne: (Turns around to walk with her.) “Forgive me. I was unaware.”
Marian: “Have you never been to a wedding before?”
Gisborne: “Er, no.”
Marian: “Wait inside for me.”
(Marian stops. Gisborne takes several steps towards the church, looks at Isabella, who nods encouragingly, then he turns back.)
Gisborne: “Marian, I have dreamed of this day.”
Marian: (Quietly:) “Go.”
Gisborne: (Realising her father is not with her:) “Sir Edward?”
Marian: “He was needed on business. He sends his apologies. (Gisborne scoffs and gives her a sinister look.) What?”
Gisborne: “Nothing.”
(Gisborne turns to enter the church, Isabella walking beside him.)
Isabella: “I’m sure he’d be here if he could, Guy. Don’t let it spoil your day.”
(Gisborne
says nothing as he enters the church and the bell starts ringing.
Marian steps slowly towards the church as Robin watches, still not
having moved from the tree.)  

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Sherwood Forest.
(Clarke leads a host of warriors and the Commander through the woods. As she walks she check behind her to see where Lexa is.)
Nottingham Castle. The main gate.
(The nobles enter, Edward on horseback. The gang follow, dressed as monks.)
Will: “This is strange. The gang without Robin.”
Much: (Curtly:) “It’s fine. He’s made his decision. It’s fine.” (Stops.)
Allan: “What are you doing?”
Much: (Shakes his head and pulls off his hood.) “There’s something I have to do. I must find Robin.” (Runs back through the town.)
Little John: “Come on. It’s up to us.”
(Little John, Djaq, Will and Allan continue into the castle.)

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The approach to Nottingham.
(Much
runs away from town, runs and runs. He runs up a hill and stops, out of
breath. He looks up to see the King’s company approaching.)

Much: (to himself:) “His Majesty. (Smiles and throws his arms in the air.) Haaaa! Whoa! (Running up to the guards, waving his arms.) Your Majesty, welcome home! (to the first guard:) Wait! (The lead soldier pushes Much to the ground.) I’m Much! I fought in the King’s guard. I’m— (sees the “King.”) Your Ma— (Much
realises the man riding past with a crown on his helmet is not King
Richard. Much stares open-mouthed, watching the party go by, then
realises it must be a trick set up by the Sheriff. He quickly gets to
his feet, still staring towards Nottingham.)
Edward. (Looks the other direction towards Locksley.) Marian.“ (Turns back towards Nottingham.)
Sherwood Forest.
(Clarke finally breeches the edge of the trees and stands overlooking Nottingham. The assembled group all stop a moment, waiting for Clarke to proceed. Not sure that she’s making the right decision, Clarke looks back toward Lexa. As the Commander gives her a withering stare however, Clarke finally makes up her mind.)
Clarke: (With a slight nod towards Nottingham:) "This way.”
Nottingham Town.
(The King’s party rides through the street to cheers by the townsfolk.)
Nottingham Castle. Courtyard.
(The
Sheriff has a smug look, standing in front of the nobles gathered on
the steps. The King raises a hand to the cheering people. Merton and
Edward are smiling. The King enters the courtyard, stops and removes his
face mail.)
Sheriff: “Your Majesty. (He and all the nobles bow, as do the “monks” in the back.) Welcome to Nottinghamshire, the King’s own county.”
King Richard: “We are glad to be back on English soil.”
Sheriff: “I’m sure we are.”
(Smiles, revealing a red jewel in his new fake tooth.)  

To Confront & Concede (pt.3)

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Knighton Hall. Interior. Main room.
(Marian gingerly makes
her way downstairs, using Isabella to lean on to steady herself and
holding her side with her other hand. Edward hears the footsteps on the
stairs and turns from the table where he was preparing a tray of food.)
Edward: “Marian? Isabella I told you she need her rest!”
Marian: “I asked her to help me downstairs, I was going stir crazy in bed all day.”
Isabella: “Perhaps your father is right Marian, you might tear Djaq’s sewing.”
Marian: “Shh, don’t fuss you two. (Changing the subject:) What is happening with Merton and the other nobles?”
(Edward and Isabella help her down the last steps and guide her towards a chair in the main room.)
Edward: “They are ready, making preparations.”
Marian: “Will you get word to the King?”
Edward: “If we can. I not, we will protect him as he arrives in Nottingham.”

(Marian sits down, Isabella passes behind Marian’s chair to sit
in one opposite her and Edward returns to the tray on the table.)
Marian: “It is so dangerous. Any move against the Sheriff, if you were to be caught…”


Edward:
“I have waited too long, Marian.”
Marian: “And Robin?”
Edward: (Stops, alarmed.) “What of him?”
Marian: “Well, he used to be in charge of the King’s private guard. He will assist you.”
Edward: “I think not.”
Marian: “Why?”
Edward: “He wants to stop your wedding.”
Marian: (A pause. Looking sideways to Isabella then down at her hands, Quietly:) “He cannot.”
Edward: “I have told him.” (Edward brings the tray over and sets it by Marian.)
Marian: “Do you believe Gisborne went to the Holy Land? Tried to kill the King? Attacked Robin?”
Edward: (Shakes his head.) “I do not know what to believe any more.”
Marian: (Looking to Isabella:) “Is your brother capable of such an act?”
Isabella: (Sighs:) “My brother is power hungry, we all know this. (Takes Marian’s hand in her own, Earnestly:) But to travel to the Holy Land to kill King Richard? I doubt even Guy would be that fiendish.”
Marian: (Thinks a moment.) “Will you take me to him?”
Edward: (Interjecting:) “Robin?”
Marian: (Looking up at her father:) “No, Gisborne. (Turning back to Isabella:) I need to ask him.”

(Isabella nods mutely as Edward helps Marian out of the chair. Her expression unreadable as Marian gets to her feet.)

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Locksley Manor. Courtyard.
(Gisborne is giving instructions to his men.)
Gisborne: “Get out and scour the country for the Nightwatchman! (Marian
gets out of the coach and says something to the page holding open the
door for her. Isabella follows as Edward remains in the carriage.)
I want him found by sunset! (Two
servants carry the splintered door outside. Gisborne follows them out
with Robin’s arrow in one hand and the axe in the other. He stops when
he sees Marian walking slowly into the tunnel. With surprise:)
Marian.”
Marian: “I am quite well.”
Gisborne: (Realises the axe is in his hand.) “Er, a robbery. A small thing. (Hangs the axe on a beam and lays the arrow on a table under it.) But I-I’ve taken extra precautions. You’re entirely safe.”
Marian: (Stepping inside the main room:) “I hope you have not lost anything important.”
Gisborne: (Sinisterly:) “I’ll get it back.” (Nods to Isabella who walks into the house, not stopping as she heads up the stairs to her room.)
Main room.
(Marian turns around as Gisborne slowly enters, wondering why she’s here.)
Marian: “Sir Guy, I must ask you a difficult question.”
Gisborne: “I’m intrigued.”
Marian: “Did you try and kill the King in the Holy Land?”


Gisborne:
(Smiles slightly, then his face falls a bit.) “Pardon?”
Marian: “Is it true? That last year you were not in quarantine with a fever…(Gisborne turns away and takes a few steps….) but that you travelled to the Holy Land, you and others dressed as Saracens, and tried to kill the King?”

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Gisborne: “Robin Hood.”
Marian: “What of him?”
Gisborne: (Turns to Marian.) “Been talking to him?”
Marian: “This is a rumour which has been circulating and I need an answer. I could not marry you if it were true.”
Gisborne: (Sighs.) “Rumours, Marian. (Circles her.) You need to be more careful… (intensely in her ear: …) who you listen to. (Marian is piqued, but says nothing.) The day the King returns is a day of joy for me. It is the day that I marry you.”
Marian: “I am not sure.”
Gisborne: “Well, you must be sure.”
Marian: “But—”
Gisborne: (Interrupting:) “Have you not seen what to do to me? My passion for you? (Gisborne leans in and kisses Marian. After a brief moment, she pulls back, disconcerted.) I have never felt like this before.”
Marian: “I must go.” (Walks determinedly towards the door.)
Gisborne: “Stay.” (Marian keeps walking.)
Marian: “I must go.” (Gisborne catches her arm and stops her.)
Gisborne: “Not until you tell me you believe me.”
Marian: (Flatly:) “I believe you.”
(Smiles
slightly and leaves. Gisborne looks up, gives a small sigh, then sits
back in a chair and sighs deeply, reigning in his passion.)

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Sherwood Forest.
(Clarke, flanked by warriors, crests a hill toward the Commander’s tent. As she reaches the entrance, Gustus stands imposingly in her path.)
Gustus: “If you so much as look at her the wrong way, I will slit your throat.”
(Clarkes eyes widen and she gulps. As Gustus steps aside to hold the tent flap open for her, Clarke steels her resolve and walks into the tent.)
Commander’s Tent. Interior.
(Walking slowly into the tent, Clarke passes a warrior as Gustus follows her. Stood to the side of the Commander is Indra, who watches Clarke very closely. Clarke approaches Lexa who is seated in her throne playing idly with a dagger in her hands.)
Lexa: (Not yet looking up:) “You’re the one who burned three hundred of my warriors alive.”
(As she finishes speaking, Lexa finally looks up at Clarke. Clarke, for her part, is not easily intimidated.)
Clarke: (Matter-of-factly:) “You’re the one who sent them there to kill us.”
(Lexa watches Clarke a moment then sticks the point of her dagger into the throne’s arm.)
Lexa: “Do you have an answer for me, Princess?”
Clarke: “I’ve come to make you an offer.”
Lexa: “This is not a negotiation.”
Indra: “Let me kill her and get this over with.”
(Lexa raises her hand to silence Indra.)
Clarke: “I can bring you to my Uncle. I can help you make peace between our people once and for all.”
(Her curiosity piqued, Lexa brings the dagger back into her lap.)
Lexa: “Go on.”
Clarke: “King Richard has returned to England from the Holy Land. He’ll be here later today.”

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Indra: “Lies. The King would not come to this part of the country. He would return directly to London to usurp his brother.”
Clarke: “The people of Nottingham are preparing for his return as we speak. (To Lexa:) Our people both share the same enemy. Prince John and those loyal to him. I had intended to come to you sooner, with Anya.”
Indra: “Another lie. Anya died in the fire, you killed her.”
(Clarke shakes her head then reaches for something in her pocket. Immediately as she does, Gustus and Indra reach for their swords. Realising her mistake, Clarke slowly pulls out a lock of hair from her pocket. Lexa looks at it in Clarke’s hands.)
Clarke: “She told me you were her second. (Taking a couple of steps forward:) I’m sure she’d want you to have this.”
(Keeping an eye on Gustus as she approaches, Clarke hands the lock of hair to the Commander. Lexa takes it and holds it reverently.)
Indra: “We don’t know it’s hers.”
Lexa: “Quiet Indra. (Clarke takes a few steps back from the throne:) Anya was my mentor. (Looking Clarke in the eye.) Before I was called to lead my people. (Clarke nods in understanding as Lexa places the lock of hair gently on a table beside her. Looking down and away:) Did she die well?”
Clarke: “Yes. By my side. (Lexa looks back up at Clarke:) Trying to get a message to you.”
Lexa: “What message?”
Clarke: “The only way to save both our people is for us to work together.”
Indra: (Scoffs:) “Those who are about to die will say anything.”
Lexa: “I’m still waiting for what it is you want from me, Princess.”
Clarke: “Please. Call me Clarke… (At Lexa’s raised eyebrow:) I’ve grown to prefer it. (Lexa nods as Clarke continues:) I want you to let Lincoln and Octavia go in peace.”

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Indra: “Impossible. No one leaves our people. (Indra steps down from the dais and stalks over to stand face to face with Clarke:) Commander I beg you to let me kill her. That traitor is the reason-”
Lexa: “Indra, enough! (Lexa gets to her feet as Indra snarls at Clarke. Clarke takes a deep breath to steady her nerves but Indra simply moves away to the other side of the tent. Lexa gives Indra a meaningful glance then she too steps down from the dais to stand in front of Clarke.) You say your Uncle is returning today?”
Clarke: (Nods:) “Yes.”
Lexa: “Then prove it. Take me to him.”
(Clarke keeps her eyes firmly on the Commander. Having got what she wanted, the Princess can only wonder just what lies ahead.)

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Knighton Hall. Main room.
(Marian drops her
Nightwatchman’s mask into the fireplace, then drops her cloak on top of
it. Robin appears in the rear open doorway, his horse tethered to a post
outside.)
Robin: (Softly:) “How are you feeling?”
(Marian looks up, surprised. Robin is leaning on the jamb with doleful eyes.)
Marian: “I’ve been to see Guy. I’ve challenged him.”
Robin: (Sarcastically, jealously:) “And let me guess. (Stepping towards Marian:) You asked him if he was a traitor, he said he wasn’t, and you believed him.”
Marian: “Yes.” (Robin nods once, leans on the post at the foot of the stairs, glances out the open front door, then stares at her.) Robin, I think you’ve been wrong about him.”
Robin: (Quietly:) “No! Trust me. I’ve been right about him.”
Marian: “Maybe the difference between you and he is not so huge. (Robin’s eyes drift away.) And isn’t that your thesis? Isn’t that the Robin Hood world view?”
Robin: “What thesis?”
Marian: “That
one man is much like another. That the poor are no different from the
wealthy and just as deserving. Why can’t you apply your charitable
principles to somebody who’s been deprived in a different way? Deprived
of love.”
Robin: (Raises eyebrows scornfully.) “Deprived of love. (Robin crosses to fireplace. Marian clenches her fists in frustration as Robin notices the mask burning in the fire.) The Nightwatchman.”
Marian: (Slowly turns to face Robin.) “This is goodbye, Robin. (Robin sighs and turns around.) It’s time for us to both grow up and accept our lot in life.”
Robin: “Are you marrying him?”
Marian: (Unemotionally:) “I am marrying him.”
Robin: (Nods once in gracious defeat.) “Very well.”
Marian: (Surprised:) “Pardon?”
Robin: (Walking past Marian:) “You said grow up, and I’m growing up.”
(Robin passes her for the back door, leaving her bewildered and confused.)
Marian: “Robin, where are you going?”
(Robin
doesn’t answer and goes out the door towards his horse. Marian slams
her hand into a post, frustrated that Robin has given up fighting for
her.)

Close House Calls (pt.2)

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Nottingham Castle. Sheriff’s quarters.
(The doors open and the Sheriff and Gisborne enter.)
Gisborne: “It would have been nice to have dealt with Hood before the King returns. (The Sheriff laughs, pulling off his gloves.) What?”
Sheriff: “The King is not coming.” (Cups water from a bowl in his hands and sucks in the water.)
Gisborne: “What do you mean the King is not coming?”
Sheriff: (Spits the water back into the bowl.) “He is in the Holy Land. (Spits again.) I
have arranged an imposter. Think about it. Is the real King, who spent
God-knows-how-long fighting in the Holy Land, going to stop off in
Nottingham on his way home for a chat? A clue: no!” (Sits.)
Gisborne: “Why?”
Sheriff: “How
many of our friends are against us? Hm? Our pathetic lords: Merton,
Woodvale, perhaps even your father in law to be, Edward, hm? How many of them are scheming? Smiling at us?
Lying? Biding their time? Nodding their heads? All the while preparing
for the return of their King, the precious Richard the Lionheart.
Preparing, hm? To turn against us the minute he walks through that
door.”
Gisborne: “I don’t know.”
Sheriff: “None of
them have ever seen the King. So, this way we find out, hm? The plots
bubble to the surface. The rats come scurrying out of the woodwork.”
Gisborne: “Why didn’t you tell me?”
Sheriff: (Sarcastically apologetic:) “Oh, sorry. Nothing personal, hm? Anyway, you should thank me. You get to marry the girl.”
Gisborne: “Yeah, but based on a lie. The King is not really coming.”
Sheriff: “Oh, isn’t that despicable, hm? I don’t know how could you possibly live with yourself.”
Gisborne: (Looks down. Quietly:) “What if Edward is one of them?”
Sheriff: (Slams his hand on the table. Roars:) “I will hang him!”
Sherwood Forest. Heading towards Knighton.
(The
gang have fashioned a stretcher suspended from two tent poles and are
carrying Marian home. Djaq leads the way. Robin and Much carry the
forward end of the poles; Little John holds up both rear ends. Marian is
pale and rests fitfully.)
Little John: “Swap!”
(Allan
and Will take the forward ends, replacing Robin and Much. Robin stops
and leans on a tree a moment, then walks along beside a few steps,
watching Marian pass. He stops and puts his hands on his knees. Much
slaps his shoulder as he runs past him.)
Much: “Come on!”

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Knighton. Interior. Marian’s bedchamber.
(Little John
carries Marian into her room. Djaq and Robin follow. Little John gently
places Marian on her bed as Edward, Clarke, Allan and Much enter and crowd round
the bed. Djaq pulls the blankets over her as Edward leans over
anxiously.)
Edward: “Robin, this is my fault.”
(Will
watches the garden from the window over the stairs. Robin stands at the
foot, staring worriedly. Allan sits on Marian’s windowsill.)
Robin: “No. It was the Sheriff and Gisborne’s.” (Djaq checks Marian’s pupils.)
Edward: (Stepping to Robin:) “When the King returns, the Sheriff will make his move. You know that. He will try to kill the King. Help me stop him. (Robin
turns his head away.)
My daughter’s wedding takes place in Locksley on
Saturday. (Much is listening. Little John shrugs out of his left coat
sleeve with a groan, revealing a torn and bloody shirt sleeve where the
arrow grazed him.)
At the same time, the Sheriff will meet the King
in Nottingham. Maybe he’s thinking I and others will attend the wedding
and leave him free to assassinate the King. (Robin turns an exasperated head, not wanting to hear. Djaq looks at Little John’s arm as Little John listens.) But we must forget the wedding. We must be in Nottingham.”
Robin: “We? (Shakes his head slightly.) I don’t think so.”
Edward: “You, me, the Princess and a number of loyal nobles. (Robin stares desperately at Marian. Djaq stands up. Marian tosses her head on the pillow.) Now is the time to act, to stand up and defend our King. Join us.”
Robin: (Fiercely:) “What about Marian? She cannot be left to meet Gisborne at the altar.” (Will leaves the window and steps in the doorway.)
Will: (Whispers:) “Gisborne!”
(Edward and the gang look at Will in alarm. Robin hangs his head.)
Edward: “I’ll get rid of him.” (Goes downstairs.)

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(Little John stands and puts his arm back in his coat sleeve. Allan looks out Marian’s window to see Gisborne dismounting.)
Main room.
(Edward comes quickly downstairs. Just as he reaches the bottom, Gisborne raps loudly on the door.)
Marian’s bedchamber.
(Marian
stirs. Much looks wildly around for a place to hide. Robin is still
standing at the foot of the bed, staring at his beloved as Edward opens
the door.)
Edward: (From downstairs:) “Sir Guy?
Gisborne: “I’ve come to see Marian. There’s something I need to

speak to her about.”
Edward: “She’s indisposed.”
Main room.
(Gisborne is standing at the door.)
Gisborne: “Indisposed?”
Edward: “Sleeping.”
Gisborne: (Leans on the jambs, suspecting Edward is hiding something:) “At this hour?”
Edward: “She is… unwell.”
Gisborne: “She’s not here.”
Edward: “She is here.”
Gisborne: (Looks down, sighs.) “I knew it. I knew she would not keep her promise. (Looking pointedly at Edward:) She cannot run from me.”
Edward: (Protesting:) “Sir Guy, I assure you that she would—”
Gisborne: (Interrupting:) “Do not “Sir Guy” me. (Steps inside.) Where is she?”
Edward: “She’s been injured. I do not know how. Perhaps a fall in the woods.”
Gisborne: (Pushes Edward aside.) “Don’t lie to me!” (Goes upstairs.)
Edward: “I am not lying!” (Closes the front door and follows Gisborne upstairs.)
Marian’s bedchamber.
(Robin
stands still with an intense look on his face as footsteps come up the
stairs. Much panics, looking for a place to hide and ducks behind the
door as it opens. Gisborne strides in and Edward stops short to avoid
running into him.)
Gisborne: (Upon seeing Marian in the bed:) ”Ah.”
Edward: “I told you.”
(Gisborne
steps to Marian’s bedside as Edward looks around for the others and
spies Robin pressed between beams against the ceiling over Marian’s bed.
Gisborne leans over Marian.)
Gisborne: “She looks pale. Marian? (Marian
opens her eyes and sees Gisborne’s face above hers and beyond it,
through the green gauze draped over her bed, Robin against the ceiling.)
Sh-sh. It’s all right. It’s only me. (Marian’s eyes flicker to Robin, who is staring a warning at her, then close.) She is unwell. I will send for a physician.”
Edward: “No need. (Smiles.) I’m sure rest and recuperation... (Edward pushes Little John’s foot further under the bed with his. Reaches out to Gisborne’s shoulder.) Perhaps the excitement of the wedding.”
(Gisborne stands and lets Edward guide him to the door as Marian opens her eyes.)
Gisborne: “Is that true? The wedding excites her?”
(Marian stares up at Robin.)
Edward: “You wanted to tell her something?”
Gisborne: “Yes. (Robin and Marian both look at Gisborne.) Tell her… I am also… (pauses, shakes his head.) Goodbye.” (Leaves abruptly.)
(Marian looks at Robin.)
Edward: “Goodbye, Sir Guy.”

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(Edward follows Gisborne out and closes the door behind them. Little
John flips up a cloth hanging from the foot of the bed and pokes his
head out. Much breathes a sigh of relief and slides his sword back into
its sheath. Will jumps down from inside the chimney. Allan pulls himself
up on the window bars from outside.)
Much: (Crossly:) “I will send for a physician.” (Will glances at Much, who walks towards the fireplace.) He just killed one. (Robin drops down from the ceiling. Pointing towards the door:) He is revolting.”
(Allan crawls head first through the window.)
Marian: (Weakly:) “He killed one?”
(Allan stands up and lets out his breath.)
Much: “Yes. Pitts. (Will
stands up from the fireplace. A knock is heard in the room. Much looks
behind him. Allan and Will open the trunk along the wall and pull up the
green cloth draped over it to reveal Djaq, who gets out as Robin walks
around the foot of the bed and sits at Marian’s side.)
We thought he would denounce Gisborne, but he was a traitor. He was also revolting. I’m glad he is dead.” (Marian frowns.)
Clarke: (Returning to the room:) “I knew Pitts, he treated my wounds after my fight with Anya but he was working for the Sheriff. Gisborne brought me to him. (to Marian:) I’d say he got what he deserved.”
Allan: “Yeah, but she’s got to marry Gisborne now. Tomorrow.”
(Marian stares at Robin.)
Much: “True.” (Edward opens the door and enters.)
Robin: “Marian, I will find another way out of this.”
Edward: (Sternly, with deliberate care:) “Robin, I need to speak to you.”
(Marian weakly raises her head, wanting Robin to stay. Robin smiles at her then leaves the room with Edward following. Much, Allan and Will step forward towards Clarke.)
Will: “Clarke, we’ve got a problem.”
Clarke:
(Nodding towards Marian:) “Other than Marian almost dying and the Sheriff planning to kill my uncle?“
Much:
(Gravely:) “Yes.”
Allan:
“We met the Commander.”
Clarke:
“You did? Tell me everything.”

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Outside Marian’s bedchamber.
(Robin and Edward step onto the landing outside. Robin leans on the windowsill, looking outside.)
Edward: “Do you really have another way out for Marian?”
Robin: (Earnestly, desperately:) “I will think of something.”
Edward: “If you cannot stop it, then do not speak of it.”
Robin: “Once Marian is married, it can never be undone.”
Edward: “Then what is your plan?”
Robin: (Turns to the window, sighs and hangs his head, then looks at Edward. Quietly:) “Edward, I will think of something.”
Edward: “No! That is not good enough. (Robin turns angrily to the window.) You
will raise Marian’s hopes. You will raise her hopes only to see them
dashed. If you care about her, spare her that. If you cannot save her, I
beg you, do the right thing. Let her go.”
Robin: (Chuckles. Turns to Edward with tears in his eyes:) “You know something? (Looks through the door at Marian.) I am sick of doing the right thing.” (Robin glances once more at Marian, then goes downstairs.)
Edward: (Calling after him:) “Robin? I need your help. (The front door closes below.) Robin!”

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Locksley.
(Robin sits despondently on the hillside overlooking the village, his arms round his knees. Much walks up behind him.)
Much: “I knew you’d be here.”
Robin: “It is my village.”
(Much sits nearby, a bit downhill from Robin, facing the village.)
Much: (Smiling:) “Remember the times we used to sit up here? Sit up here and say there was no finer place in England.” (Sighs, contented.)
Robin: (Quietly:) “I dreamt of this exact spot in the Holy Land. I was walking down this hill towards Marian who was wearing what only could be described as a wedding dress. As our hands reached for each other…. (Sighs:) Gisborne is stealing my life.”
Much: (Pauses before answering.) “Then you must let him. (Looks at Robin.) You heard Edward. The King is in danger, and what is Locksley if England can’t be saved?“
Robin: “At this moment I care more about Locksley than England.”
Much: “It isn’t Locksley, is it? It’s Marian. (Silence.) We must let her go. (Robin sorrowfully looks at Much.) I say we. I mean you.” (Looks away.)
Robin: “There must be a way.”
Much: “Robin, the King is coming back. And if we can stop the Sheriff from messing things up, then England will be right again.”
Robin: (Nods subtly, staring at Locksley. Flatly:) “Will it?”
Much: (Eagerly:) “Yes. The Sheriff will be out. You’ll be in. We’re talking days, surely. I mean, you’ll have your lands back. You’ll be in Locksley. I’ll be in Bonchurch. (Robin closes his eyes in dread, knowing Much is going to babble on about his promised estate.) It’s not a huge estate, but it’s big enough. (Robin smiles and lets out a silent flustered chuckle.) A man could easily get lost on it, easily.” (Sighs.)
Robin: (Quietly, smiling devilishly:) “You know something? If you want to get lost… why don’t you start practicing now?”
Much: (Scowls at Robin.) “You don’t mean that. (Robin chuckles. Much scoots up the hill to sit even with Robin. Playfully:) You know a smaller man would be offended. A smaller man would be wounded.”
Robin: “You see, there is no smaller man, Much. (Much scowls at Robin.) You are the smaller man. (Looking out:) All you care about is the roof over your head, the food in your belly… You speak every facile thought that comes into your head. (Looks at Much.) You’re like a pox on my skin. I keep scratching… (pointedly:) but you never go away.”
(Much stares, his face falling and his lower lip trembling, then he suddenly gives Robin’s shoulder a hard shove. Robin falls over and slowly sits back up.)
Much: (Quietly, indignantly:) “You go away.”
(Much glares at Robin as he rights himself, then stands and storms off. Robin stares glumly at Locksley for several moments, then hangs his head in shame.)

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Lincoln & Octavia’s Cave.
(Lincoln is resting on his bedroll with Octavia by his side. Lincoln’s friend Nyko is going through his medical supplies as Clarke enters the cave.)
Clarke: “Anyone home?”
Octavia: (Smiles:) “Come in, Clarke. Nyko was just giving Lincoln something to ease his pain.”
(Clarke nods and moves over to them. Nyko doesn’t look at Clarke but raises a phial in his hand and holds it to Lincoln’s mouth.)
Nyko: (Almost imperceptible, under his breath to Lincoln:) “Your fight is over.”
(As a drop of liquid is about to escape the phial, Clarke reaches out and snatches it.)
Clarke: “Wait! (Nyko reaches for his dagger as Clarke turns to Octavia.) He’s not trying to heal Lincoln. (Looking into Nyko’s eyes:) He’s trying to kill him.”
Octavia: (Shocked:) “Nyko, is it true?”
Nyko: “Yes. It is the only way. My clan want Lincoln dead.”
Octavia: “But why?”
Nyko: “They know he was captured and held prisoner in the castle. Indra has told the Commander that she believes Lincoln has betrayed us.”
Octavia: “He would never. He’d die first.”
Nyko: “He’ll die anyway. You know the punishment for traitors.”
Octavia: “Death by a thousand cuts?”
Nyko: (Nods, looks down at Lincoln:) “I would do anything to spare him that fate.”
Clarke: “It won’t come to that. Not if I meet with your Commander.”
Nyko: (Scoffs:) “You? You’re one of them. The Commander would never-”
Clarke: (Interrupting:) “Trust me, Nyko. Your Commander needs to hear what I have to offer. Can you arrange a meeting?”
(Nyko says nothing but looks to Octavia who nods her approval.)

All Hell Breaks Loose.

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Sherwood Forest. Cave. Exterior.
(The Sheriff and Gisborne approach. A few footsoldiers are carrying large basket-weave shields on their backs.)
Sheriff: (Calls out:) “You’re getting slack, my friend! (Little John and Much scramble unseen from the cave entrance to behind two large boulders on a rise.) Could it have been easier for me, hm? If you’d led me by the-
Interior.
(Robin is listening, leaning on Marian’s chest, staring at the wall, intense with rage.)
Sheriff: “-hand to your little hidey-hole?
Exterior.
Sheriff:
“A clue: no.”
(Little John and Much crouch behind the boulders.)
Much: (Muttering:) “Allan. Where are Allan and Will?”
(Much
slams arrow points into the ground behind the boulder. Little John
watches the Sheriff’s advance as Much nocks an arrow in his bow.)
Little John: (to Much:) “Now.”
(Little
John stands on the boulder and Much rises up behind his, in view of the
oncoming party. Much points his drawn bow at the Sheriff.)
Much: (Roars:) “Stand!”
Sheriff: (Unconcerned, feigned slight surprise:) “Oh.”
Much: “Stand or we shoot!”
(The Sheriff and Gisborne stop. The Sheriff looks around for more of Robin Hood’s men.)
Sheriff: “Er, there are two of you!”
Much: “Last warning!”
Sheriff: (Quietly to Gisborne, still looking at Much:) “How many do you think there could be of them?”
Gisborne: “A dozen or so at the most…(The Sheriff chuckles and looks around again)…. of the inner circle.”
Sheriff: (Face falls.) “And how many of the outer circle?”
Gisborne: “I don’t know.”
Sheriff: (Scowls. to Much:) “You seem to misunderstand me, my friend!”

Interior.
(Djaq pushes Pitts up against the wall, her sword at his throat.)
Sheriff: (From outside:) “You do not have a bargaining position!”
Djaq: “Robin…(Robin hasn’t moved, still entranced with rage.) what do I do with him? If he dies you have nothing against Gisborne.”
Exterior.
Sheriff:
“Wait! (Thinking out loud:) Why are they not running? Why are they not running? (Pointing at the cave:) Hood must be in there.”
Much: “John? Now what?”
(Little John glances at Much.)
Sheriff: (Tilts his head.) “Bored now. Kill them!”
(Motions advance with his arm.)
Gisborne: “Positions!”
(The soldiers and a handful of archers line up in front of the Sheriff and Gisborne. Two set up the large shields.)    

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Much: “John, I think we’re gonna die.”
(Little John bends down to the ground as the soldiers and archers take their positions.)
Little John: “A good day.”
(Rubs a streak of black earth under his eyes.)
Much: “What?”
Little John: (Gruffly, intensely:) “A good day to die.”
Much: “What?”
Little John: “It’s a saying.”
Gisborne: “Take aim!”
Much: “I hate sayings.”
(Much
holds the arrow to his cheek and closes one eye. The Sheriff’s archers
pull back their bowstrings. There is a momentary standoff, then an arrow
flies from behind Much and hits a soldier squarely in the chest in
front of the Sheriff. Much looks behind him.)
Sheriff: (Pointing:) “There’s Hood! Shoot!”
(Robin
bursts out of the cave and falls to his knees, slamming a fistful of
arrows point first into the ground, his bow in his other hand.)
Much: (Quietly chastising:) “Robin!”
(Robin
draws back a nocked arrow with another one waiting tucked in between
his fingers, ready to be nocked quickly. He shoots and immediately grabs
the bowstring as the Sheriff ducks low behind the horse’s head. Robin
fires off the other as the Sheriff’s archers shoot back, forcing Much to
duck.)
Sheriff: (Sits back up. With a hand over his mouth:) “Ah! My tooth!
(Robin shoots at Gisborne, who has to duck as the mounted soldiers
regroup. Robin grabs his arrows from the ground as Little John glances
at him. Robin rolls down the hill as more arrows fly past him. Crawling
on the floor:)
Where’s my tooth? (Robin continues to roll as Much
faces the battle and shoots down an archer. Robin stops about even with
Little John and Much, but several paces away below the boulders. He
slams the arrow points into the ground and pulls three back out. The
Sheriff is on his hands and knees under his horse, looking for the tooth
just knocked out of his mouth by his quick duck into the horse’s head.)
Gisborne, where’s my tooth? (Robin shoots an arrow. A soldier grunts and falls onto theg round right in front of the Sheriff with an arrow in his back.) What is this? (With emphasis on each word:) Hood does not kill!”
(Robin
has four arrows ready: one nocked on the string and three more between
each of his fingers. He aims and shoots them in rapid succession. An
archer and a footsoldier go down as Djaq, with her sword, and Pitts
emerge from the cave. Three more soldiers are shot, the arrows squarely
piercing their chests. A mounted soldier falls in front of Gisborne.)    
Pitts: (Standing in the entrance waving a bandage:) “Do not shoot! (Much barely ducks an arrow flying past his shoulder. Pitts runs down the hill as Robin shoots another arrow.) Sir Guy, it’s me!”
(Pitts runs past Robin and stops in his line of fire.)
Robin: (Irritably:) “Move!”
Pitts: “Sir Guy?”
Gisborne: “Kill him!”
Pitts: “I have always served you well!”
Gisborne: “You’ve served your purpose. Kill him!”
(Pitts
panics and turns to run away as an archer takes aim at him. He is shot
in the back and falls face down. Robin is stunned for a brief second,
watching his only witness fall, then regains his composure and draws.)
Sheriff: (Pointing at Gisborne:) “You’re learning.”
(Robin fires at Gisborne, who ducks. Little John’s upper arm is grazed by an arrow which gets stuck in his sleeve.)
Gisborne: “Second line forward!”

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(The foot and mounted soldiers advance. Robin throws down his bow and
reaches for his scimitar. He stands up, draws his weapon, tossing the
scabbard aside, and runs a few steps forwards, holding the hilt with
both hands. Much and Little John hear the ring of the scimitar and
glance back at

Robin.)
Much: (Draws his sword and looks at Little John.) “It is a good day!”
(Robin charges. Little John, Much and Djaq follow, all yelling a war cry.)
Little John: “Come on, then!”
(The Sheriff stands behind his horse, frightened and confused.)
Sheriff: “What is this? Is this suicide?”
(The
Sheriff ducks behind his horse as the gang yell and charge. Robin
swings his scimitar at a soldier’s sword with all his might, then spins
round and holds his sword up over his head to block a second. Gisborne
looks on in disbelief.)
Much: “We fight for Robin Hood and King Richard!”
(Much
charges in at two soldiers, swinging his sword in an arc to parry both
at once. Little John runs in and jabs the butt of his staff into one man
before taking on another. Robin is hacking at the soldiers, showing no
mercy as Djaq enters the fray behind him. Little John knocks out a
soldier with his staff. Djaq stops in front of a charging soldier and
lets him roll over her back before taking on the next one. Gisborne
circles the mêlée on his horse, watching incredulously as Robin spins,
slicing through a man in front and behind him simultaneously. Little
John knocks out a soldier. Robin hacks at another’s back and makes a
beeline for Gisborne, who pulls back his horse. They stare at one
another, Robin with intense rage in his eyes. Suddenly an arrow flies,
just missing Gisborne’s head, a shaft from Allan’s bow. Robin looks back
to see Will running to join in, yelling, as Little John watches in
surprise.)
Much: “Allan!”
(Robin hears the swing of a sword, ducks, grabs the soldier’s arm as he takes another swing, and slices his throat.)
Sheriff: “Do something, Gisborne!”
Gisborne: “Regroup!”
(Little John beats off more soldiers with his staff. Allan takes a shot at the Sheriff, who ducks. The arrow hits a mounted

soldier in the neck instead.)
Sheriff: (Panicked:) “Get me out of here!”
(Will
charges, yelling, at a guard. He blocks overhead with both hands on his
broadaxe and kicks the man back at the same time. Allan runs in to join
the battle with his sword in hand.)
Allan: “I fight for Robin Hood and King Richard!”
(Djaq
stabs a guard. All the gang are stabbing, slicing, et cetera, and
showing no mercy and amazingly receiving no harm in return. The Sheriff
is running around, wildly trying to find an escape.)
Sheriff: “Get me out of here!”
(Will
swings his broadaxe into the stomach of a charging soldier and ducks
another one swinging. Gisborne watches them all in fear as Allan swings
his sword into the back of a soldier and Will kicks out at another. The
Sheriff waves at Gisborne’s retreating men, trying in vain to get them
to protect him.)
Gisborne: “Move back!”
(The gang
keep attacking and all the soldiers run off. Gisborne follows on his
horse as Allan hacks at a prone soldier’s stomach. Little John wildly
pulls the arrow out of his sleeve as the Sheriff and Gisborne gallop off
side by side.)
Sheriff: (Slapping Gisborne’s shoulder:) “Those blithering idiots cost me my tooth!”
(The
gang spin around, prepared to take on more, but their opponents are
riding or running off. Battle over, they catch their breath. Robin looks
around with wide eyes. Much turns around with his sword out. Allan
looks round. Little John glances at Allan. Will guiltily looks down.
Much sinks to his knees and sits on his heels. Robin takes one last look
around, then, leaning on his scimitar, slowly goes down to one knee,
hanging his head.)
Little John: (Glancing between Allan and Will:) “Where were you two?”
(Will is ashamedly silent.)
Allan: “The Commander took us! Well, some warrior of hers.”
Djaq: “Her? The Commander is a woman? (Allan nods, Djaq smiles:) I knew it.”
Allan: “Yeah, well anyway she took us hostage and tried to get us to kill each other.”
Djaq: (Concerned:) “So how did you escape?”
Allan: “Ah, well…we fought our way out didn’t we?”
Will: (Shakes his head:) “She let us go after I promised to bring the Princess to her.”
Little John: (Angry:) “You what?!”
Allan: “It was the only way we were getting out of there alive.”
Will: “It’s the only way to stop her army destroying us.”
Djaq: “But we did that already.”
Will: “There are more of them, hundreds. (Looking at Allan:) That’s why we were gonna take the haul. Gisborne’s money. We were gonna take it to Scarborough.”
Allan: “Yeah… what can I say?”
Will: “Sorry! (Sincerely:) Really.”
Allan: “Well, we’re here now. Saved your bacon, actually. What? We said sorry.”
Much: “Marian. Gisborne stabbed her last night. (Allan is surprised.) And she’s…”
Robin: (Looking up, quietly:) “She’s dead.“ 

image

Interior.
(Marian lies as they left her on the rock slab. Little John leads the gang in with a torch. They stop a few paces from her.)

Djaq:
“We need to bury her.”
Robin: (Voice all but breaking. Quietly:) “We must take her to Knighton Hall, to her father. (Stands staring at Marian with tears in his eyes.) John, I want you to… (trying not to break down.) Djaq, prepare her body. (Takes a step towards Marian.) Will, I need you to make…(Robin takes in an audible breath as Little John passes behind him and puts his arm round his shoulders.) I need you to make a coffin.”
Little John: “Shhh-sh-sh-sh-sh-sh. In good time. First… (glances at Marian)… we say goodbye.” (Turns to face Marian.)  
Will: (Softly:) "She was a good woman. (A tear falls.) Kind and considerate.”
Much: “Good? Oh, she was…She was…”
Allan: “She was all right… Yeah.”
Little John: “Her… we liked.”
Robin: “Her we loved. Her I loved… I loved her and I never told her.”
Much: “Well, she knew. We all knew.”
(Allan shifts his feet, frowning at Marian, takes a step forwards, staring at her.)
Allan: “I’m not being funny, right? She’s breathing.”
(Robin
rolls his eyes, thinking Allan has a bad joke going, as Little John
glances at Marian, frowning. Allan, sensing their skepticism, earnestly
holds an arm out to her and Little John takes the torch over. Will
stares at her, hardly daring to hope. Robin and Much remain still as
Djaq holds her sword under Marian’s nose, and sees her breath condense
on the cold metal.)
Djaq: “On the blade. She is breathing.”
Allan: (Holding his arms out:) “Eh? Told ya!” 

image

Djaq: (Unbuttoning Marian’s coat:) “The physician’s draught. I have heard of this before. Hemlock. Too much and the body freezes… (opening Marian’s eyes, one at a time, to check her pupils: …) the breathing stops. But if one is young and strong, the body fights back. Comes back from the dead!”
Allan: “She died?”
Djaq: “And came back!”
Much: (Shaking his head with relief and joy:) “Oh, that is…”
(Djaq and Little John chuckle with relief. Will stares, tears still falling.)    
Robin: “Marian? Marian? (Rubbing her cheek.) Marian?”
(Marian weakly opens her eyes. Robin laughs in relief.)
Marian: “Where have I been?”
Robin: (Quietly:) “I don’t know… but I’m glad you’re back!”
(Robin gazes at her a moment. Marian stares weakly but wide eyed at Robin, who chuckles again.)