Sinister Plots (pt.8)

robinhoodrevisited:

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The relationship between Henry and Richard finally dissolved into violence shortly before Henry’s death.
(Philip Augustus held a peace conference, making a public offer of a generous long-term peace settlement with Henry. Henry refused the proposal, whereupon Richard himself spoke up, publicly changed sides at the conference and gave formal homage to Philip in front of the assembled nobles. The conference broke up with war appearing likely, but Philip and Richard launched a surprise attack immediately afterwards where Henry was gravely injured. Henry was carried back to Chinon on a litter, where he was informed that John had publicly sided with Richard in the conflict. This desertion proved the final shock and he finally collapsed into a
fever. Soon after, at Ballan, Henry, only just able to remain seated on his
horse, agreed to a complete surrender: he would do homage to Philip; he would recognise Richard as his heir; he would pay Philip
compensation, and key castles would be given to Philip as a guarantee. In the immediate aftermath of Henry’s death, Richard successfully claimed his father’s lands. Eleanor was released from house arrest and regained control of Aquitaine, where she ruled on Richard’s behalf. As King, Richard was more determined than ever to begin the crusade. Once again sending his emissaries out to find the best men England had to offer. Lord Sheridan requested that the King revoke the law that gave Nobles the right to refuse serving in the King’s war. Richard declined, noting that he knew far too many useless, fragile Nobles and would be better off without them in his ranks.)

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Nottingham.
(Undeterred, Sheridan returned to Nottingham with a plan. With the help of one of his spies, Sheridan would track down Lord Malcolm Locksley.)
Sherwood Forest.
(Sheridan and Fuller move quickly through the forest trying not to make a sound. They stop behind a large tree a moment.)
Fuller: (Pointing:) “That’s him. In the cloak.”
Sheridan: “Good. He’s a drunkard, you say?”
Fuller: “He was, but I ain’t seen him touch a drop in months. Something to do with his son’s wedding.”
Sheridan: (Dismissively:) “Ah, once a drunk always a drunk. Don’t you worry, I’ll have him right where I want him. Where is he headed?”
Fuller: “The tavern. (At Sheridan’s look.) He’s a gambler too.”
Sheridan: (A little too loudly:) “Perfect! (The pair drop behind the tree. Quieter:) Perfect, this will be like taking candy from a baby. If my plan works, Robin of Locksley will be headed to the Holy Land with me before the month is out.”
(Sheridan pats Fuller on the shoulder and they resume their pursuit of Lord Locksley.)

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London. Coronation Day.
(Prince John is seated sullenly by the fire as his brother, the King enters the room.)
King Richard: “Cheer up, brother. I keep telling you, you made the right choice.”
Prince John: “The only choice you left me.”
King Richard: “Indeed. And you made it all by yourself. Oh come now, you can’t possibly fault me for releasing our mother to her rightful place?”
Prince John: “This isn’t about Aquitane! This is about our father!”
King Richard: “Here we go, always the daddies boy, weren’t you? Father was weak and a liability to our family. I have brought peace with France and am about to reclaim Jerusalem for Rome.”
Prince John: “And what of England? Do the people not deserve your (snidely:) Heroic presence to rule over them?”
King Richard: (Chuckling:) “John, look around you. The people of England love me, I cannot do a thing wrong. You on the other hand, were unable to tame the Irish. (John sneers at his brother with contempt.) Face it, little brother, had father named you his heir then our country’s future would be in serious doubt.”
Prince John: “So you would leave England without a sitting monarch as you fight your wars thousands of miles away?”
King Richard: “On the contrary, I leave England with just that. (Leaning in closely:) A sitting monarch. You will assume the throne while I am gone, dear brother. You will listen to the Royal advisers, you will enjoy my position and you will save face in front of the populace.”
Prince John: “You wish me to do nothing of importance while you are away?”
King Richard: “You will have the power to do as you wish. (Moving to admire his reflection in a mirror.) But we both know your judgment isn’t to be trusted. So you will be a good Prince and hold everything in place, just as I leave it, while I’m away. (Turning back to face John:) Unless you’d like me to ask mother to-”
Prince John: (Indignant:) “No! I shall do as you ask.”
King Richard: (Chidingly:) “Ah ah ah. ‘I shall do as you ask, your Majesty.’ ”
Prince John: (Staring daggers into his brother, slowly:) “Yes, your Majesty.”
King Richard: (Smirking:) “Good boy.”
(The King leaves the room as John’s look is thunderous.)
Nottingham. Tavern.
(Malcolm Locksley sits quietly in the corner of the room. Sheridan watches him as he stands by the bar.)
Sheridan: (To Barkeep:) “That man over there (Pointing at Malcolm:) What’s he drinking?”
Barkeep: “Malcolm Locksley? Water only, under his strict instructions.”
Sheridan: “Really? Bit of a lush is he?”
Barkeep: “I’m not at liberty to say, my Lord.”
Sheridan: (Tosses a few coins at him:) “And what about now?”
Barkeep: “He’s been known to knock a few back, yes my Lord.”
(As the Barkeep reaches for the coins Sheridan grabs his hand tightly.)
Sheridan: “And his son, does he approve?”
Barkeep: (Wincing in pain:) “Ah, no sir. That’s why he’s on water.”
Sheridan: “I see. (releasing the man’s hand.) Sounds like his sobriety is not a voluntary one. Two tankards of ale for me and my new friend, Lord Locksley.”
(The Barkeep pours the drinks and Sheridan takes them, walking over to Malcolm in the corner of the room.)
Sheridan: (Acting inebriated:) “Afternoon, kind Sir. Care to join me in celebration?”
Malcolm: (Looking up then back to his water:) “No, thank you, I wish to be alone with my thoughts.”
Sheridan: “Oh come now, it’s not every day England crowns a new King!”
(Sheridan slams down the tankards and sits heavily into a chair opposite Malcolm, a gleam in his eye.)
Nottingham Castle. Sheriff’s Quarters.
(Marian & Edward are going over the preparations for the wedding which is due to take place on Saturday.)
Marian: “Are you concerned that you were not invited to London for the Coronation? (Edward does not answer as he is busy tallying up the cost of the decorations, flowers etc for the occasion.) Father?”
Edward: (Jolted from his calculations:) “What? Oh, no not particularly. (As Marian looks to him pointedly:) Well, I’ll admit it’s not a good sign… but the King cannot invite all the Sheriff’s of the land to attend his coronation, can he? I mean, there would be anarchy in the streets.”
Marian: “Do you think it has anything to do with Robin’s refusal to-”
Edward: (Reassuringly:) “I really doubt the King is that petty, Marian. Besides, I will have to go to London at some point for the royal appraisal.”
Marian: “What’s that?”
Edward: “Oh, just a formality really. When a new King is crowned it is customary for all representatives of each county to travel to London to be appraised by the new King. To see if he approves of me or not, in short. It was the same when I was first appointed Sheriff. After I was sworn in, I headed to London to visit King Henry.”
Marian: “Are you not worried he’ll side against you?”
Edward: “If he does, he does. There’s nothing I can do about that. But it is more often than not the case that the incoming monarch will retain most of the ‘old guard’ to make his transition easier.”
Marian: “To maintain a sense of stability, I suppose?”
Edward: “Yes, I would say so.”
Marian: “Do you think Richard will try to recruit Robin again, now that he is King?”
Edward: “As far as I know, the law remains the same. No Noble shall be compelled to join the King’s ranks if he does not wish to do so. And I sincerely doubt Robin’s position has changed on the matter.”
Marian: (Considering, then changes the subject:) “I suppose so. Now, what I was thinking for the party after the ceremony was…”
(Marian continues to recite what she would like for the wedding reception as Edward goes back to worrying about paying for it all.) 

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Back At The Tavern.
(Sheridan is continuing to goad Malcolm into joining him in a celebratory drink.)
Sheridan: (Shaking his tankard at Malcolm:) “Come on, what’s one drink going to do?”
Malcolm: “For the last time, I said no!”
(Sheridan slams the tankard down, causing a few drops of ale to slosh onto the tabletop.)
Sheridan: (Hands raised in defeat:) “Fine, fine. No drinking. (Reaching into his pocket.) Then perhaps a friendly wager? (Pulling out a deck of playing cards he notices the momentary flicker of interest in Malcolm’s eyes.) Ah, I thought you were a betting man, the moment I set eyes on you.”
Malcolm: “No, I shouldn’t..”
Sheridan: “What’s your game eh? Blackjack? Gin? Poker?”
Malcolm: (Making excuses:) “I…I’m out of practice.”
Sheridan: “Ha! All the better for me then. So what’s it to be?”
(Malcolm looks at Sheridan as he shuffles the cards. He assesses the clearly inebriated man before him and makes his decision.)
Malcolm: “Poker.”
Sheridan: “Now you’re talking! (Turns to the bar:) Barkeep! Another round!”
London. Evening.
(Celebrations continue long into the night as the Royal court rejoices over their new King. In a far corner however sits Prince John, a dour expression on his face. A man dressed in black approaches and the Prince looks up.)
Prince John: “Ah, Vaisey. A friendly face at last, come sit.”
Vaisey: “Surely, Sire, (Indicating the gathered masses.) you are surrounded by friends?”
Prince John: “Spineless sycophants more like it. They don’t love me, they adore my brother.”
Vaisey: (Taking a seat beside the Prince:) “There are those of us who have loved for this to be your coronation day, Sire.”
Prince John: (Sighing:) “Yes. (Taking a deep breath and looking around at the throng of people:) My father for one. That’s something I’ll never forgive my brother for, making me swear my allegiance to him over my father.”
Vaisey: “You had no choice, Sire. It was a necessary evil to gain the King’s trust.”
Prince John: “Oh, he doesn’t trust me. He expects me to assume the throne in his absence and do absolutely nothing. To be a figurehead and nothing more.”
Vaisey: “And for as long as your brother is in England, you shall. But once he leaves…”
Prince John: (Realisation dawning on him:) “There will be nothing to stop me from doing exactly what I want, how I want.”
Vaisey: “Yes, Sire. Although I would suggest replacing those who are loyal to the King with people who…have your own best interests at heart.”
Prince John: (Smiles at Vaisey:) “Oh, Vaisey. I knew there was a reason why you’ve served me longer than any other man in my employ. What would I do without you?”
Vaisey: (Bowing his head slightly:) “You will never have to know, Sire.”
Prince John: “Hmm. As soon as my brother leaves on his foolish quest, we shall set about restructuring England to best suit my needs.”

Making A Stand (pt.7)

robinhoodrevisited:

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Henry’s relationship with his two surviving heirs was fraught.
(For,
while the King had great affection for his youngest son John, he showed
little warmth towards Richard and indeed seems to have borne him a
grudge after their argument in 1184.The bickering and simmering tensions between Henry and Richard were cleverly exploited by the new French king, Philip Augustus. Initially Henry and Philip Augustus had enjoyed a good relationship.
Despite attempts to divide the two, Henry and Philip Augustus agreed a
joint alliance, even though this cost the French king the support of
Flanders and Champagne. Philip Augustus regarded Geoffrey as a close friend, and would have welcomed him as a successor to Henry. With the death of Geoffrey, however, the relationship between Henry and Philip broke down. Philip suggested to Richard that he should ally with the French king
against Henry, marking the start of a new strategy to divide the father
and son. This coincided with Jerusalem surrendering to Saladin and calls for a new crusade swept Europe. Richard was enthusiastic and announced his intention to join the
crusade, and Henry and Philip Augustus announced their similar intent. Taxes began to be raised and plans made for supplies and transport. Richard was keen to start his crusade, but was forced to wait for Henry to make his arrangements. In the meantime, Richard set about crushing some of his enemies in
Aquitaine. Richard’s campaign undermined the truce between Henry and Philip and
both sides again mobilised large forces in anticipation of war. Henry rejected Philip’s offers of a short-term truce in the
hope of convincing the French king to agree to a long-term peace deal,
but Philip refused to consider Henry’s proposals. A furious Richard, however, believed that Henry was stalling for time and delaying the departure of the crusade.)

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Nottingham. Knighton Hall.
(Work is well underway for the building of Knighton Hall. The building is being constructed on what was once Locksley land. With the engagement of Robin and Marian, Malcolm Locksley generously donated the land as a wedding present. In the woods nearby Robin and Marian sit together watching the progress.)
Robin: “I hope your father is pleased with the way things are shaping up?”
Marian: “He’s not thrilled with how much this is costing him. (At Robin’s look, reassuringly:) But that’s just his way. I think he’ll miss having me around all the time once we marry.”
Robin: “Well I can’t say I blame him. (They share a warm smile.) I’ve made you something, well carved you something…as a housewarming present.”
Marian: “Really? What is it?”
Robin: (Stands and dusts off his hands:) “It’s nothing much, just something for us.”
Marian: (Holding out her hand for assistance:) “It sounds wonderful, show me.”
(Robin takes Marian’s hand and pulls her to her feet. They walk to the top of the ridge overlooking Knighton. Robin stops at a tree and turns to Marian.)
Robin: “Close your eyes.”
Marian: “Is this a trick?”
Robin: (Laughs:) “No, trust me. (Marian closes her eyes and feels Robin take her hand again and guide her to stand in front of the tree.) OK, open them. (Marian slowly opens her eyes and sees Robin’s gift. Worried she doesn’t like it, apologetically:) I realise it’s not much but I thought-”
Marian: “I love it.”
Robin: (Relieved:) “You do?”
Marian: “I do. It’s us. (She leans up and kisses Robin.) Thank you.”
Robin: “I thought perhaps one day we could have it carved onto our fireplace?”
(Marian takes Robin’s hand in hers and stands beside him admiring the carving.)
Marian: “Hm, I like that idea.”
Nottingham Castle. Sheriff’s Quarters.
(Edward is seated at his desk as a stocky built man stands before him.)
Edward: (Looking up from the letter handed to him by Sheridan:) “Lord Sheridan, how may I help you?”
Sheridan: “As the letter states, due to the forthcoming war with the savages in the Holy land, the Prince is preparing his troops.”
Edward: “I’m afraid I don’t understand, is the Royal army not up to the task?”
Sheridan: (Looking down his nose at the Sheriff:) “The Royal army is already protecting the King, strategically placed in readiness for a war with France and paramount to England’s defense against the Irish.”
Edward: “Indeed. So perhaps another war is not what the country needs right now?”
Sheridan: (Smirking, then sneering:) “Fortunately, Sir Edward, what is best for the country is not ultimately your concern.”
Edward: “It is my concern when you swan in here asking for Nottingham to sacrifice its sons and brothers for an unwinnable war!”
Sheridan: (Calmly:) “Careful, Sheriff. Words of that nature are tantamount to treason. Now, do you know where I might find the best of what Nottingham has to offer? Or shall I have the Prince made aware of your refusal to help your country?”
(Edward throws the letter down onto his desk and leans back, speechless, into his chair.)

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The Old Mill.
(Robin and Much sit together at the old mill. Production has ceased since the passing of Much’s father.)
Robin: “Are you sure you don’t want to pick up where he left off?”
Much: (Twirling a blade of grain between his fingers, ruefully:) “Nah..dad was right, I don’t have the temperament or the talent for this kind of work.”
Robin: “You could learn.”
Much: “I spent my childhood trying to learn, no use. That’s why he sent me to work for your father, get me out from under his feet.”
Robin: “You know how to sell it. If you had a partner you could – ”
Much: “I hate market day. (At Robin’s look.) I only went there because you loved it so much. And to spend time with dad. But I was useless at it.”
Robin: “Much..”
Much: “Nope, (Getting to his feet:) this place is better off without me. I couldn’t bear to tarnish his name.”
(Robin gets to his feet as well, holding out a flask to Much:)
Robin: “A toast then. To your father.”
(Robin takes a drink from it and passes it to Much.)
Much: (Taking the flask and raising it:) “To dad.”
(Much takes a drink and almost immediately coughs from the potency. Robin smiles and slaps Much on the back as he continues to cough.)
Nottingham Castle. Marian’s Chamber.
(Edward and Marian are discussing Lord Sheridan’s visit.)
Marian: “And what did you say to him?”
Edward: “I suggested that England would be best served not entering another war.”
Marian: (Nods in agreement:) “To say the least. What was his reaction?”
Edward: “Well he wasn’t impressed with my candor. But I’ve had enough of it, sending men off to war for no good reason. Some senseless quest for glory.”
Marian: “You said all that?”
Edward: “No..but my tone implied it.”
Marian: “Hmm. So what happened?”
Edward: “Ah, well you see… (Moving to sit beside Marian on her bed.) Lord Sheridan is on a scouting mission to recruit soldiers for the Prince’s crusade.”
Marian: “You mean the King?”
Edward: “Apparently not. Sheridan is here on behalf of Prince Richard. It seems the Prince is more eager to begin this next crusade than his father.”
Marian: (Considering this a moment:) “Perhaps the King is having second thoughts?”
Edward: “It’s possible…but I’m afraid I don’t have the luxury of simply ignoring a direct request from a member of the Royal family.”
Marian: “But if the King is dragging his feet..”
Edward: “I’m sorry, Marian. I had to give Sheridan my co-operation.”
(Marian waits for Edward to continue. But realises what this means.)
Marian: “You gave him Robin’s name? (Getting to her feet and pacing the room, angrily:) You told him to go see the man I am to marry to ask him to fight in the Prince’s war?”
Edward: “You must understand, my position as Sheriff was under threat. Robin may yet-”
Marian: (Interrupting:) “What? Decline the offer? Decline the opportunity to leave his responsibilities behind? His chance for glory?”
Edward: “As a noble Robin has the choice on whether to fight or not.”
Marian: (Shaking her head:) “From the moment I met him, Robin has always yearned for adventure.”
Edward: (Sighing:) “So, if what you say is true then isn’t this an ideal opportunity to find out if his feelings for you are what they seem?”
Marian: (Frowning:) “You sent Sheridan after Robin to test him?”
Edward: “Would it not be better to determine whether Robin wants to leave for glory before you marry? (Looking down at the floor.) I could not bear to see you a widow of war.”
Marian: (Distraught:) “If you did not want us to marry, father… (Edward looks to her about to protest.) you should have had the decency to say so!”
(Marian storms out of the room, leaving Edward to stare after her.)

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The Old Mill.
(Robin and Much are sparring together with their swords. They are pretty evenly matched, but Robin the more athletic manages to use his agility to best Much.)
Much: (Breathing hard:) “I had you there for a moment, admit it.”
Robin: (Chuckling:) “Close only counts when playing horse shoes, Much. (Shrugs, but admits:) You had me, but couldn’t shut me down. (Resumes his fighting stance.) Again?”
Much: “You’re on. (The sounds of swords clanging and swishing can be heard far and wide as the friends battle one another. Robin’s attention is momentarily caught by the sight of Sheridan walking towards them from a distance. Much knocks Robin’s sword from his hand.) Ah-ha!”
(Robin smirks then jumps down to retrieve it. He flips over a beam and lands next to his sword, plucking it from the ground. The sound of clapping can be heard as Sheridan approaches.)

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Sheridan: (Still clapping:) “Very impressive.”
Robin: “Thanks.”
Sheridan: “You’re far too easily distracted however. That won’t do in battle.”
Robin: “Battle?”
Sheridan: “Yes, master Locksley. I’ve come to recruit you for the Prince.”
Robin: (Raising his eyebrows:) “Is that so?”
(Robin turns and heads back up the steps to meet Much on the second tier of the building. Sheridan follows, undeterred by Robin’s lack of reaction.)
Sheridan: “Yes, I have sent been by Prince Richard to scour the land and find the best fighters England has to offer.”
Much: (Chiming in:) “Well, look no further than my Master. (Proudly:) There’s no man better with a sword in the whole of Nottingham.”
Robin: (Chidingly:) “Much..”
Much: (Continuing:) “Well, other than me of course, I’m right up there.”
Robin: “Much stop talking.”
Much: (Further babbling:) “Then there’s Marian of course, but she’s a girl so..”
Robin: “Silence, Much!”
(Sheridan glances at Robin then offers his hand to Much.)
Sheridan: “I am Lord Sheridan, trusted adviser to Prince Richard.”
Much: “How do you do? (Shaking Sheridan’s hand.) I am Much, trusted adviser and brother in arms of Robin of Locksley. (Robin smiles despite himself at Much’s antics.) So what are you scouting for, is there a tournament happening?”
Sheridan: “A tournament? Oh I’m afraid not young man. The Prince has sent me to find men to populate his army for the glorious battle against the heathens in the Holy land.”
Much: (His face falling rapidly:) “Ah. (Looking to Robin, then back to Sheridan:) Now when I say there’s nobody better..”
Robin: “It’s all right, Much. (To Sheridan:) I’m afraid I have to decline.”
(Robin moves to gather up his things as Sheridan watches him, taken aback.)
Sheridan: “Decline? My dear boy are you not aware of how much honour comes with an offer like this? To stand proudly beside Royalty as you fight for King and country? Why it is..”
Robin: “I would do myself a dishonour if I were to abandon my people. I am responsible to the people of Locksley and their families.”
Sheridan: “I was told your father..”
Robin: “My father is not a well man and cannot adequately perform his duties. But more importantly than that, Sir, (Smiling:) I am to be married.”
Sheridan: (Frowns, incredulous:) “You would defy your future King, for a woman?”
Robin: “I would defy a thousand King’s for Marian. (To Much:) Come on, we’re leaving.”
Sheridan: “Now see here..”
Robin: “Am I right in thinking that the Sheriff sent you here?”
(Much grabs their belongings and heads down the steps.)
Sheridan: “He did, yes.”
Robin: “Then Marian must already know of your intent. I have to see her.”
(Robin makes to move past Sheridan but is held back by a hand to his chest.)
Sheridan: “I’m accustomed to getting what I want, lad.”
Robin: “Well you shall not get it from me. I am to protect another and I will not disappoint her.”
Sheridan: “Prince Richard shall hear of this.”
Robin: (Defiantly:) “Be sure that he does. Now, if you’ll excuse me.”
(Robin looks behind him then jumps, flipping in mid air to land gracefully on the ground. He lands next to the departing Much who has a worried look on his face.)
Much: “Master, is it wise to anger such a man?”
Robin: (Giving Sheridan one last look:) “Relax, Much. (Turning to walk with his friend.) It’s me he wants, and I’m not going anywhere.”
(The pair head back to Locksley village as Sheridan, his face unreadable, watches them leave.)

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Locksley Manor. Exterior.
(Marian sits waiting on the stump of an old tree as Robin and Much approach. Wordlessly, Robin asks to be left alone with Marian. Nodding, Much breaks off and heads towards the tunnel and into the manor.)
Robin: (Approaching, quietly:) “Hey.”
Marian: (Not looking up:) “Hey.”
(Robin can see Marian is troubled but patiently waits for her to speak.)
Marian: (Acting casual:) “There’s a Lord Sheridan looking for you. Father met with him at the castle.”
Robin: (Nods:) “I know, we had an interesting conversation.”
Marian: (Finally looking up:) “Really? (Trying to seem unconcerned:) And what did you speak about?”
Robin: (He considers Marian a moment then replies simply:) “I believe you already know.”
Marian: (Nods, resolvedly:) “And?”
Robin: “And…what?”
Marian: (Slightly agitated:) “You know what, what’s your decision?”
Robin: “My decision? (Marian looks at him earnestly:) Oh, did I decide to leave all my troubles behind and join Richard’s army, that decision? (Marian drops her head but nods, unable to meet Robin’s gaze. Robin slowly moves closer to her. Cautiously, as if she were a deer he does not wish to spook, he brings his hand up under her chin and lifts her face to look into her eyes.) I told him that my place is here, with you.”
Marian: (Warily:) “But the adventure…the glory?”
Robin: “Marian…I wanted all of those things…yearned for them for years. All before I met you. I don’t need to go anywhere to find my happiness when she’s standing right in front of me.”
Marian: (Watches him a moment, them beams:) “You promise?”
Robin: (Raising his hands to cup her face:) “With all of my heart, my love.”
(Robin closes the gap between them and kisses Marian with all the love he has to offer. Marian, overjoyed, gives the same back to him tenfold.)

Indecent Proposal (pt.6)

robinhoodrevisited:

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Sherwood Forest. A Short Time Later.
(Robin and Marian are sat together talking and enjoying the gentle breeze that blows through the trees. Marian is talking about her childhood and her father’s expectations of her.)
Marian: “My father is an expert swordsman, but he would say it is improper for a lady to learn the ways of the sword. He’s a a very proper man. (Sighs, troubled:) And I don’t think I’m the proper daughter he deserves.”
Robin: “Perhaps you’re more like your mother?”
Marian: (Smiling:) “I’m told I look like her. (Laughs) I think father would prefer if I were even more like her. She was very obedient and always appropriate.”
Robin: “Is that how he describes her?”
Marian: “Yes, but sometimes I don’t believe him.”
Robin: “You think she was more like you?”
Marian: “Perhaps. It would be a way of knowing her. My nursemaid told me my mother would ride her horse for miles at night looking up at the skies and feeling the wind blow through her hair. Father doesn’t even like it when I neglect to ride sidesaddle.”
Robin: “Growing up, you had trouble with rules?”
Marian: (Laughs:) “You have to ask? Yes. I was a very willful child.”
Robin: “That must have been something to see. (They share a moment, a smile.) What happened to your mother?”
(Marian looks away. A painful memory but one she’s learned to cope with.)
Marian: “She died, just after I was born. I never knew her…and my father rarely speaks of her.”
Robin: “I loved my mother, I miss her every day. As does my father. I think that’s why he drinks, he’s never gotten over her.”
(Marian reaches over and squeezes Robin’s hand.)
Marian: “She must have been a wonderful woman.”
(Robin smiles and nods. They sit quietly a moment then Robin clears his throat.)
Robin: “So, shall we?”
Marian: “Absolutely.”
(The pair stand and both reach for their swords which are laid beside them. They stand opposite each other in a fighting stance.)

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Robin: “I promise to go easy on you, nice and slow.”
Marian: (Smiling, more to herself than Robin:) “Thank you.”
Robin: “Ready? En garde!”
(Slashes of light shine through the trees as the two figures duel. Marian attacks – practiced, deadly. Surprised, Robin evades, he leaps away from her. He feints, then lunges and stops still. Marian’s blade is aimed directly at his throat. He looks concernedly at her.)
Robin: “Well this is a surprise!”
Marian: (Still holding the blade against him:) “My father thought it was improper for me to learn how to fight with the sword. I didn’t say I agreed with him. (She steps back and drops her blade.) I’ve had the proper instruction since I was three years old.”
Robin: (Very impressed:) “It shows! Alright then, forget slow and easy.”
(They engage again, blades dancing. A slash cuts Robin’s shirt. He fingers the cut, nods in admiration then attacks seriously. Lightning quick parry-ripostes. Marian is more than a match for Robin with the sword, she is, in truth, his equal. The realisation dawns on him as she once again parries him against a tree.)
Marian: (Leaning in:) “You should have parried septimo.”
Robin: (Completely enamored with her:) “Marry me.”
Marian: (Blinks:) “What? (Robin leans in and kisses her. She does not resist. Their lips part. He stares into her eyes and leans in again. Marian pushes away from him.) What did you say?”

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Robin: (Raising his sword:) “Marry me. Be my wife.”
Marian: (Frowns, thinking this is some ploy:) “Why you…(She moves in again. This time slashing wildly.) How dare you stoop so low! To propose to me in that way! To win a duel!”
Robin: (Backing up and fighting for his life:) “It’s not a tactic, Marian! (Sparks fly. She lunges at him. He parries, she swipes at his head. He ducks. Both are breathing hard. Robin side steps and wrenches Marian’s sword from her grasp.) Listen to me! (Marian is incensed but stands waiting. Robin has his hands up, placatingly:) I have never known a woman like you. You’re brave, intelligent, beautiful, strong, caring and utterly beautiful. My life was empty before I met you, I know that now. (Marian’s look of indignation turns to one of curiosity and then joy as Robin lower his hands and sinks to one knee.) Marian, I could not bear to think of living for one day without you in my life. (Taking a steadying breath.) Would you do me the honour of staying with me forever and being my wife?”
(Marian says nothing, as a single tear falls. Slowly, cautiously Robin returns to his feet and approaches her.)
Robin: “Can I take that as a yes?”
(Robin reaches up to wipe away the tear and Marian leans in to the touch and closes her eyes as more tears fall.)
Marian: (Quietly, nodding:) “Yes, with all my heart.”
(Beneath the canopy of trees the two of them embrace. Robin picking Marian up and spinning her around as her laughter fills the air.)

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Locksley Manor. That Evening.
(Servants are moving busily throughout the kitchen as Gladstone stands preparing the food for the evening. He smiles as he chops vegetables and even hums a tune as he stirs the broth with a wooden spoon. Marian, resplendent in a deep red dress, watches amused and in similar high spirits.)
Marian: “How long have you served the Locksleys, Gladstone?”
Gladstone: (Absently:) “Sometimes it seems like a lifetime. (Marian laughs, surprised by the answer. Gladstone immediately realises his mistake and tries to recover.) I’m sorry, I speak out of place.”
Marian: “Don’t worry, Gladstone. They won’t hear it from me. (Glancing at the door to the main room. Wondering how things are going between Robin and her father. Looking back to Gladstone, frowning slightly:) Would you like any help with those?“  (Indicating the carrots.)
Gladstone: "Thank you, Lady Marian but I couldn’t possibly-”
Marian: “No, please…I’d like something to occupy me. The wait is making me jittery.”
(Gladstone smiles at her then offers up his knife and a couple of carrots.)
Gladstone: “Well, if you insist.”
(Marian moves to stand beside Gladstone and begins to chop, grateful for the distraction.)
Marian: “I don’t know why I’m so nervous.”
Gladstone: “Master Robin is a fine young man… and he is constantly improving.”
Marian: (Voicing a concern:) “I wonder if this all isn’t happening a bit fast. Robin bears a lot of responsibilities already, I can only imagine what our marriage will do to him.”
(Gladstone doesn’t reply immediately, buying time by tasting the broth and adding ingredients to it.)
Gladstone: “Sometimes…sometimes circumstances prevent a person from saying the things that need to be said. The things he most wants to say. As I’ve watched Master Robin assume more of the duties of his position I’ve seen him become more withdrawn and frustrated. (Marian nods, frowning.) That all changed the moment he met you. (Marian begins to protest but Gladstone continues:) No, no it’s true. He stood in this kitchen as you are now and regaled us all with the story of this beauty he’d met. He had so much energy that he’d helped complete most of the household chores without even realising he was doing them. (Marian laughs at the image of Robin sweeping the floors as he bent the ear of anyone who would listen to him.) So no, Lady Marian, I wouldn’t worry about Robin’s burdens. You’ve already done wonders to lighten his spirits.”
(Marian blushes at the compliment as Gladstone leaves to check on the main course.)
Main Room.
(Edward stands by the fireplace eyeing Robin who stands nervously a few paces away.)
Edward: “You didn’t think it to be good manners to ask me for my daughter’s hand before proposing?”
Robin: (Carefully considers his answer:) “Lord Sheriff, your approval of our union means everything to us. But I believe if I had asked for your permission without Marian’s knowledge or consent we would both be the worse for it.”
(Edward looks at Robin a moment. Knowing all too well of his daughter’s feelings on women being viewed as commodities by men.)
Edward: (Nods:) “Yes, I believe you may have a point there Locksley. (As Edward turns to face the fire for a moment, Robin smiles at his small victory.) The happiest moment of my life was when my daughter was born. (Edward turns back to look at Robin.) No one in this world can love a girl more than her father. (Robin begins to speak but Edward raises his hand to halt his words. Continuing:) Having a daughter makes you see the world in a different way. She is my only joy. So I don’t care what it takes for you to protect her. There cannot be any quarter given. As long as you treat her the same way I treat her, like my princess, you have my blessing.”
(Robin stands no longer smiling. Instead his face is serious and sincere.)
Robin: (Bowing to Edward:) “You have my word.”

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(Marian cautiously enters the room and looks from Robin to her father.)
Marian: (Walking over to Edward:) “Is everything all right in here?”
(Edward holds his hand out to Marian and she holds it in hers.)
Edward: “Everything is fine my dear. (Placing his other hand on top of Marian’s in a comforting gesture.) I’m just so pleased for you both. Are you happy, my child?”
Marian: (Looking over to Robin:) “Yes, (Biting her bottom lip.) I truly am.”
Edward: (Also looking at Robin:) “Excellent. Well then, time to eat! (He squeezes Marian’s hand once more then releases her.) Where is Lord Malcolm?”
Robin: (As Marian walks over to join him.) “He’s… (Wrapping an arm around Marian.) well the last I saw him he was out in the stables. I could go check…”
Edward: (Looking for an excuse to leave the pair alone:) “No, don’t bother, I’ll find him.”
(Edward leaves the room as Marian and Robin turn to one another.)
Marian: “You must have impressed him.”
Robin: “Did you ever doubt it?”
Marian: (Smiling, leaning in for a kiss:) “Not for one moment.”
(As they lean in for a kiss, Much arrives, clearing his throat.)
Much: “I came as soon as I could.”
Robin: (Sighing, the moment lost.) “Much. Perfect timing.”
(Robin shares a look with Marian then walks over to Much.)
Much: (Apologetically:) “I’m sorry, Master, I should’ve…”
Robin: “It’s fine, Much. How is your father doing?”
Much: “Still bedridden but he’ll survive. He’s a tough old goat.”
Robin: “Well lets hope for his speedy recovery. With all your time spent at the mill I think you’re spreading yourself too thin.”
Much: “Yes, Master. I’m sorry I’ll try to do better.”
Robin: “And I can’t have my best man preoccupied with work. ”
Much: (Not registering Robin’s words momentarily:) “Please forgive me, Master I…(Then it hits him.) Best man?”
Robin: (Smiling he motions to Marian for her to join them:) “Yes, Much. Marian has agreed to marry me. There’s a wedding to plan.”
Much: (Looking stunned, then straightening himself up proudly:) “And you want me to be your best man?”
Robin: “Of course, who else is better suited for the job?”
(Robin pats Much on the shoulder then turns and heads for the dining room. Marian grins at Much who is puffing out his chest with pride, then goes to follow Robin.)
Much: (Standing alone, speaking the words to himself:) “Best man.”

Father Knows Best (pt.5)

robinhoodrevisited:

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It is 1185 and the Prince’s trip to Ireland was not a success.
(John offended the local Irish rulers, failed to make allies amongst the Anglo-Norman settlers, began to lose ground militarily against the Irish, and finally returned to England with his tail between his legs. Looking to soften the sting of failure for his son, Henry finally got his own way in regards to the line of succession. Henry brought Eleanor to Normandy to instruct Richard to obey his father,
while simultaneously threatening to give Normandy, and possibly England,
to Geoffrey. This proved enough and Richard finally handed over the ducal castles in Aquitaine to Henry, who in turn bequeathed the duchy to John. Upon convincing her son to acquiesce to the King’s command, Eleanor was returned to her house arrest in Aquitaine, much to Richard’s chagrin. As Henry was about to return John to Ireland once again, news came
that Geoffrey had died in a tournament at Paris. This event once again changed the balance of power between
Henry and his remaining sons.)

Nottingham. Trip to Jerusalem Inn. Noon.
(A cloaked man staggers drunkenly out of the Inn and leans against the tavern wall. A grey haired man follows the cloaked figure and hurries to offer assistance.)
Gladstone: “My Lord, may I suggest we return you to the manor?”
(The cloaked man looks up and we can see his face for the first time. Heavily scarred by fire, it is Malcolm of Locksley.)
Malcolm: (Wincing up at his servant:) “You don’t believe I can beat those men in there, Gladstone?”
Gladstone: (Moving to lift Malcolm’s arm over his shoulder and walk him slowly away from the inn.) “I know better than to doubt you, my Lord. But alas, you have run out of money. Perhaps another day might prove more fortuitous?”
Malcolm: (Chuckling to himself:) “You don’t think that they’ll take me at my word that I’m good for the money?”
Gladstone: “No, Sir. I’m afraid I do not.”
Malcolm: “Then perhaps you are right. (Taking a deep, steadying breath:) Lead on, Gladstone, lead on.”
(The two men make slow progress back towards Locksley manor.)

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Locksley Manor. Exterior.
(A target is set up on the grounds of the manor. An arrow pierces the very centre of the bullseye. Robin stands smiling proudly as Marian walks over to inspect the target.)
Marian: (Fingering the shaft of the arrow:) “That’s very impressive.”
Robin: “My father told me a long time ago I could be the best shot in England.”
Marian: (Walking back towards Robin:) “Do you think you could teach me?”
Robin: “I don’t see why not.”
(Robin holds out his bow to Marian, who takes it and moves to stand in front of the target. Robin hands her an arrow and she notches it to the bow. She takes a moment then draws back the bow, closes one eye and releases the arrow. It glances the target and then sails past it.)
Marian: “Bugger.”
Robin: (Smiling:) “Not bad, it was headed in the right direction at least.”
Marian: “Hey!”
(Robin grins at her then motions for her to notch another arrow. Moving closely beside her he gives her a few tips.)
Robin: “Keep calm, control your breathing. Don’t take your eyes off the target. Try and slow your heart rate – which I realise around me isn’t easy.”
Marian: (Chuckling:) “You are such an arse.”
Robin: (Softly:) “Shh. Now take a deep breath…hold it. Slowly breathe out…Now.” (Marian releases the arrow which this time finds the target, right next to Robin’s arrow.)
Marian: “I did it!” (Marian hugs him.)
Robin: “Very nice indeed. But can you do it amid distraction?”
Marian: (Playfully:) “Ooh a challenge. (Marian motions for Robin to step aside as she notches another arrow and slowly draws the bow back. Just as she’s about to release the arrow however, Robin rubs the fletching of another arrow against Marian’s ear, distracting her. Marian’s arrow embeds itself into the wall of a neighbouring house. Robin chuckles smugly.) Can you? (Robin tilts his head as if considering the challenge, then winks at her. Taking his position he draws back his bow. As he’s about to shoot, Marian leans in and kisses him on the cheek. Robin’s arrow goes flying high into the air and beyond sight. Satisfied:) Well done.”
Robin: (Laughing:) “You don’t play fair, Marian.”
Marian: (Sultrily:) “Now where would be the fun in that?”
(Robin is about to retort when Much’s voice is heard.)
Much: (Calling from the top of the hill.) “Master!”
Robin: “What is it, Much?”
Much: “It’s your father. He’s headed this way and…well he’s…”
Robin: (Not needing Much to finish his sentence:) “Alright, Much, thank you I’ll handle it.”
(Much nods and acknowledges Marian with a slight bow. He then runs off to help Gladstone. Robin grabs his tunic and begins dressing.)
Marian: “Is the lesson over?”
Robin: “I have to deal with my father. You may not wish to stay to see this.”
Marian: (Confused:) “Why not, what’s wrong with him?”

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(As soon as these words leave her lips she gets her answer. Coming over the ridge, supported by Gladstone and Much, Malcolm Locksley stumbles loudly and drunkenly into view.)
Robin: (Earnestly:) “Please, Marian I don’t want you to see him this way.”
Malcolm: (Calling over as soon as he sees the pair:) “Lady Marian! (Robin rolls his eyes.) How wonderful to see you again. Come to brighten my son’s day again have you? Marvelous.”
Marian: (Smiling kindly at him:) “Good afternoon, Lord Locksley. I see you are in good spirits.”
Malcolm: “Ha! Good spirits indeed oh you do have a way with words! Come here, child.”
(Lord Malcolm draws Marian to him for a heartfelt embrace. Marian’s eyes widen at first but soon she awkwardly returns the hug of the inebriated man. Robin however, has seen more than enough.)
Robin: (Pulling his father away from Marian:) “Get your hands off her you drunkard. (Standing with his back to Marian, his eyes angry.) Why do you do this? Why must you embarrass me at every opportunity?”
Marian: (Softly:) “Robin..”
Robin: (Continuing:) “Stinking drunk and it’s not even dark outside.”
Gladstone: “Master Robin if I may…”
Robin: “Thank you, Gladstone you may go back to your duties. (His eyes never leaving his father, but sensing Much’s presence:) Much, you go with him. (Much opens his mouth to speak, then thinks better of it and follows Gladstone inside the Manor. to Malcolm:) You’re supposed to be the Lord of this Manor, you have responsibilities…”
Marian: (Trying again a little louder:) “Robin…”
Robin: (Ignoring her and berating his father:) “What do you think you’re doing?”
Malcolm: (Defensively:) “I’m doing the best I can.”
Robin: (Angrily:) “Well it’s not good enough! Ever since the fire you’ve become a liability.”
(Marian moves quickly between the two men, grabbing Robin by the front of his tunic and shaking him.)
Marian: “Robin, stop this! He is your father, he deserves your support.”
Robin: (Not looking at Marian:) “I have done nothing but support him for years and I’m tired of it.”

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Marian: (Calmingly:) “Robin, listen to me. If you’re looking for perfection, we all fall short. There’s nothing you can do to change the past, you can only work to make the future better. (Robin finally looks at Marian as she speaks. Softly, her words only for Robin:) You don’t have to do this alone. You have good people around you, people who love you.”
(Malcolm silently watches the exchange between the two. Noticing the undeniable connection they have with each other. When he sees Robin smile at Marian he recognises the look instantly.)
Robin: (Holding Marian’s hands in his own:) “Thank you.”
(Marian smiles at him but the moment is broken when she hears hoofbeats approaching. One of the Sheriff’s guards arrives on horseback, holding the reigns of a second horse which canters beside him.)
Guard: “Lady Marian, I’ve come to accompany you to back to the castle.”
Robin: (To Marian:) “Your father still doesn’t trust me with you.”
Marian: “He’s just old fashioned. (She turns and waves farewell to Malcolm who smiles and nods.) And very protective.”
(Robin walks Marian to her horse and watches as she gracefully mounts the animal in one smooth motion.)
Robin: “Give my regards to the Sheriff.”
Marian: (Smiling down at him:) “Indeed I will. (Turning the horse around.) Until next time, my Lord.”
Robin: (Returning the smile:) “I look forward to it, My lady.”
(Marian clicks her tongue and the horse heads for Nottingham, her guard bringing up the rear. Robin stands and watches her ride away until the last possible moment.)
Malcolm: (Walking to stand next to him:) “Son, if you don’t marry that girl, you’re a bigger fool than I’ve ever been.”
Robin: (Pursing his lips, unable to stay mad at his father:) “I’m working on it.”
Malcolm: (Awkwardly:) “I’m…sorry, son.”
Robin: (Ruefully:) “Yeah, (Putting a hand on his shoulder:) me too. Come on, lets get some food inside you to soak up the booze.”
(Malcolm chuckles good naturedly as they walk back inside Locksley Manor.)

Spirited Beginnings (pt.4)

robinhoodrevisited:

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Many years later.
(Almost 10 years have passed since the Great Revolt. With Young Henry dead, King Henry has set about rearranging the order of succession. Richard was to be made King of England albeit without any tangible power until the death of his father. Geoffrey, the King’s other rebellious son, would retain Brittany as it was his via marriage. Henry’s favourite son John would become the Duke of Aquitaine in place of Richard. Richard, however, refused to give up Aquitaine as he was deeply attached to the duchy, and had no desire to exchange his role for the meaningless one of being the junior King of England. Henry was furious at this slight by Richard and ordered John and Geoffrey to march south and retake the duchy by force. The short conflict ended in a stalemate and a tense family reconciliation at Westminster occurred by the end of 1184. John, believing he had failed his father, undertook an expedition to Ireland. The country had only recently been conquered by Anglo-Norman forces, and tensions were still rife between Henry’s representatives, the new settlers and the existing inhabitants. John believed he could bring peace to the region.)
Meanwhile, in Nottingham.
(Much, the Miller’s son and Robin of Locksley are setting up a stall in the marketplace.)
Much: “Master you really are most kind, helping my father and I like this.”
Robin: “Nonsense, Much. It is you show me the kindness.”
Much: “I’m afraid I don’t understand?”
Robin: “Well, (As Robin and Much turn the table the right way up.) you see running my father’s estate is a lot of responsibility. Being Lord of the Manor is trying sometimes.”
(David, the Miller and Much’s father chimes in.)
David: (Sarcastically:) “Oh yes, I can see how that would be such a burden. Come along you two, get this stall ready for business!”
Much: “Father, please!”
Robin: (Chuckles and turns to Much:) “You see? Here at the marketplace I am neither of those things. Here at market I can simply be Robin, no title just myself. (Spreading his arms to indicate the other stalls.) One of the people, able to interact with the common man. Market day is my favourite day and I thank you and your father for letting me share it with you.”
Much: (Frowns then shrugs his shoulders:) “I still think you’re mad, my Lord. The people can be animals on days like today.”
Robin: (Beaming:) “I welcome the challenge! And no more of this ‘My Lord’ business. Today I am merely Robin.”
David: (Returning to the stall:) “Well, merely Robin, get your backside in gear ‘cause here come the rabble.”
(The Miller points towards the oncoming crowd of people. Much groans and resolves himself to a long day as Robin rubs his hands together gleefully.)

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Nottingham Castle. Sheriff’s Quarters.
(Edward, the Sheriff of Nottingham paces the room frustratedly.)
Edward: “These men are here for our protection, they are not to be subjected to pranks or chasing after you down the hallways. You are a Lady, please try to act like one.”
(As Edward moves back towards the table we see a young woman standing with her hands fidgeting on the table top. It is Marian, the Sheriff’s daughter.)
Marian: “I was just playing with them, father. Try to understand, I’ve never done a thing on my own. I’ve never had any real friends. Since you became Sheriff, since we moved here – I’ve never been outside the Castle walls!”
Edward: “Marian, you are the Sheriff’s daughter, you can’t go running around the town. Lord knows what would happen to you.”
Marian: “I’m a prisoner here! The only people my own age I see are servants and they have to be nice to me. The male servants won’t even look me in the eye.”
Edward: “That is for your own protection.”
Marian: “I don’t need protection! I need…I want a life of my own. I can just stay here locked away and have my life lived for me!”
Edward: “Ooh! God forbid you should have any daughters!”
(Edward turns and storms out of the room.)
Marian: (Calling after him:) “How is that EVER going to happen!”
(The door slams shut and Marian throws up her hands in frustration.)

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Nottingham Market. Mid Morning.
(The market is bustling with activity, the crowds are large but jovial. There are jugglers, fire-breathers and puppet shows set up among the various stalls of fruit and veg, fish, meat and bread. A healthy number of people are gathered around the Miller’s stall as Robin does his best to drum up business.)
Robin: “I’m not talking about any old rubbish here, ladies and gents, I’m talking about the finest produce you will ever find here in Nottingham…”
(As Robin riles up the crowd, David barks orders to his son.)
David: “Come on, son. Put your back into it, we need everything sold before lunchtime!”
(Much nods and moves frantically to keep up with the demand.)
Much: (Under his breath:) “Oh, I hate market day!”
(As a roar of laughter erupts from the crowd at Robin’s antics we see Marian, wearing a hooded cloak walking through the street.)
Shopkeeper 1: “Pretty lady, buy a pot.  No finer pot in brass or silver.”

Shopkeeper 2:
“Sugar dates, sugar dates and figs! Sugar dates and pistachios!”
Shopkeeper 3: “Would the lady like a necklace. A pretty necklace for a pretty lady.”

(She is charmed by the action, but is startled by a fish thrust into her face.)

Shopkeeper 4: "Fresh fish! We catch ’em, you buy ’em!”
Marian: “I don’t think so. (She backs away, but bumps into a fire eater, who is startled into swallowing his fire.) Oh, excuse me. (He gulps, then belches fire from his mouth. Marian is shocked. He is pleased and taps his stomach. From his stall, Robin sees her, and a large smile comes over his face.) I’m really very sorry.” (She pulls the hood of her cloak over her head. Much sees him and waves his hand in front of Robin’s face.)
Much: “Robin, hello? Anyone in there?”
(Marian stops at the Miller’s stand and sees a young homeless child reaching for a piece of bread. She picks one up and gives it to him.)

Marian: “Oh, you must be hungry.  Here you go.” (The boy runs off.)

David: “Oi, you’d better be able to pay for that.”
Marian: (Mystified) “Pay?”
David: “Too bloody right pay! No one steals from my cart!”
Marian: “Oh, I’m sorry sir. I don’t have any money.”
David: “Thief!”
Marian: “Please, if you let me go to the castle, I can get some from the Sheriff.”
David: “A likely story. Do you know what the penalty is for stealing?”

(He takes her hand and calls for the castle guards.)

Marian: “No, no please!”
Robin: “Woah, woah relax Sir. I’m sure the lady meant no offense.”
Marian: (Whispering) “What are you doing?”
Robin: (Whispering back) “Just play along.”
David: “Robin, You know this girl?”
Robin: “Sadly, yes. She is my chambermaid.  She’s a little crazy.”
(Marian is perturbed.)
David: “She said she knows the Sheriff.”

Robin: “I know, tragic, isn’t it? Oh well, no harm done. No need to call the-”
Guard: (From a distance:) “There she is!”
Robin: “Too late. (Robin looks to Marian who’s eyes widen in panic, not wanting to return to the castle so soon. Conspiratorially:) Don’t worry, I’ll handle this.” (Robin looks quickly around for a distraction. He smiles when he finds one and Much arrives at his side.)
Much: "What’s going on?!”
Robin: “We need to escape the guards. Come with me (to Marian:) You wait here.” (Robin and Much move quickly over to the fish stall behind the large water barrel filled with fish.)
Much: “This is a very bad idea.”
(They wait for the very last moment then tip the barrel over onto the guards right as they move into position.)
Robin: “Run!”
(Robin and Much run as fast as they can towards the town gates, Robin taking Marian’s hand in his as they pass.)
David: “Oh you bloody kids!”
(The guards and various vendors stop what they’re doing to help round up all the fish flopping around on the floor and put them into another barrel as the trio run for the woods.)

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Sherwood Forest.
(The trio keep running until they reach the forest. Stopping for breath, Much is the first to recover.)
Much: “What in the name of St. Josephine was that all about?!”
Robin: (Glances at Marian who returns his smile:) “That was a bit of excitement, Much! Something to get the blood pumping!”
Much: “Excitement?! I almost had a heart attack! (Robin laughs at Much’s distress and Marian does her best to stifle her giggles.) Oh, here! (Much throws Robin’s jacket and other clothing at him.) I have to go back and help father.”
Robin: “Tell him I’m sorry, Much, but it had to be done.”
(Much gives the pair a withering look then, resigning himself, heads back towards the town to face the music. Now alone, Robin and Marian share a smile.)
Marian: “I want to thank you for stopping that man.”
Robin: “Oh, forget it. (He pulls his soaked vest off and wrings it out.) So, uh, that was your first time in the marketplace, then?”
Marian: “Was it that obvious?”
Robin: “Well, you do kinda stand out. (He stares at her, spellbound. She returns the look. But he realizes what he is doing, and returns to normal.) I mean, uh, I’ve not seen you around before.”
Marian: “I’m…new to the area.”
Robin: “Right. That must be it.”
Marian: “And where do you live?”
Robin: “Locksley Manor.”
Marian: “A manor? That sounds wonderful.”
Robin: “Oh, yeah. (Wanting to be seen as a normal, common man.) I mean I’m just a servant…with Much. But I can come and go as I please.”
Marian: “Fabulous.”
Robin: “Well, it’s not much, not like the castle.“
Marian: “Oh, I’m sure it’s wonderful.”
Robin: “It can be a burden sometimes (At Marian’s look.) Ah, for my Master. To have servants and valets around constantly.”
Marian: “Oh, sure. People who tell you where to go and how to dress. You’re not free to make your own choices.”
Robin: “Sometimes you feel so–”
Marian: “You’re just–”
Both: (in unison) “–trapped.”
(They look at each other, realizing that they’re perfect for one another. But Robin then realizes where he is, and breaks the look to pull his jacket on.)

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Robin: “So, where are you from?”
Marian: “What does it matter? I ran away, and I am not going back.”
Robin: “Really?”
Marian: “My father wants me to be his perfect daughter. To be reserved and proper and that’s just not who I am.”
Robin: “That’s…that’s awful. I wish there was something I could do to help.”
Marian: “Hmm, that’s very sweet.”
(Robin
and Marian have been moving closer and closer, until Robin leans in to
kiss her. He is interrupted, however, by the Guards, who have found
them.)
Guard: “Here you are!”
Marian: “They’ve found me! My father must have sent them…”
Robin: (With a glint in his eye:) “Do you trust me?”
Marian: “What?”
Robin: “Do you trust me?” (He extends his hand)
Marian: “Yes.”  (She takes it.)
Robin: “Then lets go!”
(They both run deeper into the woods. They try to get away, but the exit is blocked by a guard.)
Guard: “You’re coming with us. (More guards arrive and surround them. Three guards grab Robin.)
Guard: “It’s the dungeon for you, son.”
Robin: “Hey, get off of me!”
Marian: “Let go of him.”
Guard: “Sorry, Milady. Sheriff’s orders.”
Marian: “Unhand him, by order of the Sheriff’s daughter.”
Robin: “The Sheriff’s daughter?”
Marian: “Do as I command.  Release him!”
Guard: “Well, I would, Milady, but my orders come from the Sheriff. You’ll have to take it up with him.”
(The guards drag Robin away, back towards Nottingham.)
Marian: (Angrily:) “Believe me, I will.”

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Nottingham Castle. Great Hall.
(Edward is seated in a long backed chair berating Robin who stands biting his lip, listening to the Sheriff’s tirade.)
Edward: “In all my time as Sheriff, never have I seen such behaviour. Causing mayhem in the marketplace, disrupting trade – incapacitating two of my guard. And to top it all, kidnapping my daughter!”
Robin: “Lord Sheriff I..”
Edward: “I should lock you in the dungeons and throw away the key! Rest assured that your trading license will be revoked!”
Robin: “No, my Lord please. The Miller and his son had nothing to do with this. I’m to blame, you cannot punish my subjects for my actions.”
Edward: “Your subjects? (Looking Robin up and down.) Who are you, boy? What is your name?”
Robin: “I am Robin of Locksley…”
(Robin’s introduction is interrupted by the arrival of a very annoyed Marian.)
Marian: (Striding into the Great Hall:) “Father! Release this man at once.”
Edward: (Scoffs:) “Marian, please, I’m handling this. I’m about to throw the book at this…this…reprobate!”
Marian: (Frowning:) “What is his crime?”
Edward: (Incredulous:) “His crime? Kidnapping my daughter, of course!”
Marian: “He didn’t kidnap me, I ran away!”
Edward: “You ran away? Why on earth would you do such a thing?”
Marian: “Because this place is stifling! I’ve told you dozens of times how unhappy I am, father.”
Edward: (Dismissively:) “That is no reason to just run off with the first…(Motioning toward Robin.) street vendor who looks your way!”
(Robin clears his throat just as Marian was about to object.)
Robin: “Actually, Lord Sheriff as I was trying to tell you earlier, I am not a street vendor. (Marian looks to him, curiously:) My name is Robin of Locksley, son of Malcolm, Lord Locksley.”
(Robin and Marian exchange looks and then smiles as the full truth of who they are is revealed.)
Edward: “Lord Locksley? We have not had the pleasure of his company at the council of Nobles in quite some time.”
Robin: “My father is…in poor health, my Lord. I have been running the estate in his place for some time now.”
Edward: “I see. (Glancing at Marian.) Well, I suppose there was no real harm done. But be sure to let your father know that as soon as he’s well enough, he is to return to the council. (He stands.) It does not do for a Noble to neglect his responsibilities. After all, as nobles, we have rights, but we have duties also; so such duties validate our rights.”
Robin: “Noblesse oblige, my Lord.”
Edward: “Exactly. (Considering the man in front of him a moment, then deciding to give him a second chance.) Well then, don’t let this happen again, Master Robin. (Motioning to the door.) My daughter will show you to the castle gates.”
Robin: “Thank you, my Lord.”
Marian: “Thank you, father.”
(The pair make their way out of the Great Hall, averting their eyes so not as to start laughing at their good fortune.)

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Courtyard.
(The pair walk in silence towards the portcullis. Marian fidgets with her hands and Robin gives her a sideways glance before finally broaching the subject:)
Robin: “Lady Marian, eh?”
Marian: “Robin, I’m sorry.”
Robin: “Why did you lie about who you are?”
Marian: “I didn’t lie…I just neglected to mention who my father was.”
Robin: “And who that made you.”
Marian: (A little annoyed:) “I’d like to think I am more than my father’s position.”
Robin: (Realising his error:) “Of course you are, I didn’t mean..”
Marian: “What about you, Robin of Locksley? All that dribble about your Master and his servants.”
Robin: “You’re right, I’m sorry.”
Marian: “Why didn’t you just tell me the truth?”
Robin: “The truth? The truth is that I do find it a burden sometimes, being accountable to all those people. Market day is the one time where I can just be one of the people. And, Well, you know, the son of a Noble going out into the city in disguise, it sounds a little strange, don’t you think?”
Marian: (Stops walking:) “Not that strange.”
(Robin stops as well and turns to look at Marian.)
Robin: “Marian..your eyes..”
Marian: “What about them?”
Robin: “When you look at me…I know we’ve only known each other a very short time but…when you look at me I believe you can…that you’re…”
Marian: (Moving closer, encouragingly:) “Yes?”
Robin: “That you can see into my soul.”
Marian: (Smiles, looking into his eyes:) “Perhaps I can.”
(They slowly lean forward to kiss but Marian is spooked by the noise of the portcullis rising. Taking his opportunity, Robin closes the distance between them and kisses her soundly as the portcullis continues to raise beside them. Parting from each other, Marian walks slowly away then turns to look at him.)
Marian: “Good day, Robin of Locksley.”
Robin: “Farewell, Lady Marian.”
(Robin turns and exits the courtyard beaming as Marian walks up the stone steps back into the castle, unable to suppress her smile.)

World Turns To Ash (pt.3)

robinhoodrevisited:

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Gisborne Manor. One Week Later. Exterior.
(Ghislaine walks with Isabella through the tunnel, Guy follows them. Longthorn moves quickly to catch them.)
Longthorn: “Lady Gisborne… (Ghislaine’s face falls.) I have waited an appropriate amount of time, allowing to grieve your husband. (Glances at Guy.) But now I really must insist you leave this place. (Ghislaine stares at Longthorn. Guy pushes him into the wall. Fighting with Guy:) I’ve been looking for an opportunity to get what I deserve: lands of my own. (Guy loosens his grip and Longthorn pushes him off.) You will give me yours, lady.”
(Guy lunges at him again.)
Ghislaine: “Guy, no! (Ghislaine pulls Guy off and pushes him into the wall.) It is a good thing your father is not here to see this. He would be ashamed of your behaviour.” (Guy pulls his mother’s hands away and walks out the tunnel. Calmly:) Very well. Go to Nottingham, have the deeds drawn up.”
(Longthorn bows his head in acquiescence.)
Longthorn: “Thank you, my lady.” (Leaves.)
Ghislaine: (Under her breath with contempt:) “The lands will pass to my son and no one is going to tell me otherwise.”
Sherwood Forest.
(Guy walks through the woods to the leper camp and finds his father.)
Guy: “Father?”
Roger: (Turns around, startled, and walks towards his son.) “My son… (stops, realising others are listening.) Come, come with me. (Guy follows his father to the edge of the camp.) You should not have come here.”
Guy: “I needed to tell you something. Longthorn is forcing Mother to give up Gisborne. (Roger frowns in sadness.) You must stop him.”
Roger: “No. That’s no longer my right. You must try and understand.”
Guy: “You would see us thrown out in the streets?”
Roger: (Sympathetically:) “Guy…”
Guy: “I thought you loved us, even when you went to the war. But you can’t love us. If you did, you would never let this happen. If you did, you would fight for us. (Roger steps forward and reaches for him, but Guy steps back.) Leave me be… leper!” (Guy storms off, leaving Roger angry and sad.)
Meanwhile…
(Ghislaine stands pleading with her lover.)
Ghislaine: “If you truly love me, now is the time to show it. Marry me. My lands will become yours and Longthorn’s deeds will be worthless.”
Man: “But I have lands of my own, a child of my own.”
Ghislaine: “And my children have just lost their father. We can be a family together, united. I know you are a good man, Malcolm. You can take care of us now that Roger cannot.“
Malcolm: (We finally see the man’s face. It is Malcolm Locksley. Nodding:) “I had planned on telling Robin in my own time.”
Ghislaine: “As did I with Guy and Isabella, but we no longer have that luxury. Please Malcolm!”
Malcolm: (Resolvedly:) “Of course I will marry you. Go and fetch your priest and we shall join the Houses of Gisborne and Locksley.”

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Gisborne. Early Saturday morning.
(In the village, Ghislaine meets Swain and asks a question with a look.)
Swain: “Yes, I’ve readied an altar in the woods.”
(Ghislaine nods then heads back towards the manor. She then
frowns, seeing Roger sneaking around to the back of
the manor. She follows him quickly inside. A young boy runs to the village.)
Young Boy: “He’s back! The leper! Guy’s father! (Longthorn and Swain stop and turn to the boy running in from behind them.) He’s in their house!”
(Longthorn looks towards the manor.)
Longthorn: (Addresses the gathering villagers.) “Do you hear that? The leper’s back. Risking all our lives again. Come on. (Longthorn steps forward, waving his arms for them to follow.) Come on!”
(Longthorn leads the procession to the manor.)
Gisborne Manor. Main room.
(Longthorn bursts in the front door.)
Longthorn: “Where is he? (Isabella and Guy are sitting in the chairs by the fireplace. Guy stands. Longthorn steps towards Guy, looking around. Guy grabs a burning stick from the fireplace and confronts him.) Out of my way, boy.
Guy: “No, not after what you did to my father.”
(Guy thrusts the stick at Longthorn, forcing him to step back. Guy swings the stick again and Longthorn ducks, then pushes him into the table under the stairs, knocking over two goblets of wine. The alcohol ignites, as does a curtain hanging over the table from the banister. Guy stares at the rising flames. Longthorn steps back.)
Longthorn: “You stupid boy! Look what you’ve done to my-”
(Longthorn’s final words are lost as a sword suddenly rips through his chest. His incredulous expression fixes on Guy before he falls lifelessly to the floor. Guy and Isabella stare at the man holding the sword.)
Malcolm: “Get out!”
Guy: (Glances at him.) “Who are you?”
Malcolm: “This isn’t the time! Get out! (Guy grabs Isabella’s hand.) Get your sister out of here! (Guy pulls Isabella out the door. Malcolm goes upstairs to the master’s chamber and opens the door. He sees Roger and Ghislaine standing together, holding each other’s two hands. Ghislaine is wearing a fine gown and has a few blossoms in her hair. Malcolm steps inside.) Ghislaine, there’s a fire. You must leave now. (Malcolm closes the door. Roger steps forward, alarmed. Malcolm draws his sword.) You were told not to return.” (Malcolm briefly points the sword at Roger as smoke starts to rise between the floorboards.)
Roger: “You expected me to stay away whilst you stole my wife?”
Malcolm: “Your wife? The woman that you abandoned for years?”
(Roger draws.)

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Ghislaine: “Oh, please don’t do this.”
Malcolm: (to Ghislaine:) “Why are you not
leaving? Go, go.”
Ghislaine: “Not without you, both of you.”
(Ghislaine steps
forward but Roger pushes her to the wall, out of the way. Roger and
Malcolm circle each other.)

Roger: “I was wrong… to give up without a fight, and I see it clearly now… how you had things planned from the moment I returned.”
Malcolm: “You brought disease to your family. If you loved them, you would have stayed away.”
Roger: “You know nothing of our love. Perhaps your hold over her wasn’t as strong as you thought.” (Malcolm charges, Roger blocks. They fight.)
Ghislaine: “Malcolm! Malcolm! He is my husband! The father of my children!”
(Ghislaine stretches her hand out towards Malcolm and he stops.)
Malcolm: (Points to himself:) “And so am I! (Roger is stunned.) Our child!”
(Ghislaine looks pleadingly at Roger.)
Roger: “You’re pregnant?!”
(Roger attacks Malcolm. Malcolm blocks and kicks at Roger. They fight.)
Ghislaine: “Stop! (Roger and Malcolm fight until Malcolm throws Roger to the floor. Malcolm has the upper hand. Roger tries to defend himself, his back to the wall. Roger elbows Malcolm. Malcolm kicks him, then punches him several times before throwing him to the stairs at the foot of the bed. Roger crawls up the steps.Malcolm walks towards him, Ghislaine follows. Roger turns over on the steps to face Malcolm, scrambling backwards. Malcolm is delirious with the thought of finishing him, shaking his sword. Roger crawls to the side of the bed.) Please… this solves nothing. (Roger raises his hand in defence. Malcolm holds his sword at his throat. Ghislaine grabs Malcolm’s right arm.) Enough!”
(Without thinking, Malcolm throws his elbow back into her face in intense anger to free his arm. Ghislaine screams and falls back, her head slamming onto the hard floor. Malcolm immediately comes to his senses, looks back at her and drops his sword. Roger sits up. Malcolm goes to Ghislaine, coughing from the smoke. He kneels by her side and checks her.)

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(Roger staggers over, staring in horror. Malcolm looks up at Roger and fights back a sob, as does Roger.)
Malcolm: “She’s dead.”
(Roger holds the point
of his sword at Malcolm’s throat. Malcolm closes his eyes, waiting for
the death he knows he deserves. Roger stares at him, wondering why he no
longer fights, and realises Malcolm loved her just as much as he did. Roger lowers his sword, then drops it and hangs his head.)
Roger: “Go. (Coughs.) My children will be better off without me. (Roger kneels over Ghislaine as Malcolm stands.) And I wish only to spend my last moments with my wife…alone. (Looks up at Malcolm.) Please!”
(Roger picks up Ghislaine’s shoulders and cradles her in his arms, crying. He rocks her and kisses her. Malcolm turns, opens the door and is greeted by a roaring wall of flames which throw him backwards into the room.)
Exterior.
(Guy stands with Isabella, watching and waiting for their parents to come out. The entire manor is engulfed in flames. Guy watches in horror, thinking it’s his fault.)
Late afternoon.
(The manor is nothing but smoking ruins. Guy and Isabella stand in the same place, watching. Swain comes out.)
Swain: “Children! We’ve searched what is left of Gisborne Manor. Your parents… there’s nothing left.”
Guy: “You killed them! All of you. You murdered them.”
(Guy hangs his head, then takes Isabella’s hand and leaves, not sparing the charred remains of Gisborne another glance.)

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Sometime Later. Portsmouth Inn. Afternoon.
(It has been weeks since the tragedy at Gisborne. Guy and Isabella have travelled slowly towards the coast, hoping to catch a ship back to France. Guy has managed to provide for Isabella by undertaking manual labour for rich nobles along the way. Having stopped at an Inn for food Guy is trying to coax his sister to eat.)
Guy: (Imploringly:) “Come on, Isabella you need your strength for the journey ahead. (Isabella closes her eyes and shakes her head, refusing her meal. Softly:) Listen, I know its been hard and I miss our parents too. (Isabella looks to her brother.) But I promised father that I would look after you. We will endure this, I promise you. (Isabella stares for a long moment at her brother, sighs, then picks up her spoon and begins to eat. Approvingly:) Good girl. Stay here and I’ll be back.” (Guy rises from the table and walks over to the bar, trying to gain the attention of the barkeep.)
Barkeep: “Wait your turn, lad. I’ve got my regulars to look after.”
(As the Barkeep walks away to tend to his customers, Guy takes a seat at the bar. A man seated next to him turns and regards Guy a moment.)
Guy: (Annoyed by the man’s staring:) “What are you looking at?”
Man: (Smirks:) “Such hostility in one so young. Take a care with your tone, boy.”
Guy: “I’m not scared of you.”
Man: “Is that so? Well I do admire your spirit. Good for you, boy. Most lads your age would be intimidated by a man in uniform. A soldier no less.”
Guy: (Looking quickly at the man then back at his hands:) “You don’t look like a soldier to me.”
Man: “Ah yes, (Smiling.) but that is my greatest asset. One wouldn’t think of me as a soldier, much less as one of the Prince’s personal guard.”
Guy: “Truly a remarkable disguise.”
(The man laughs heartily at the sarcasm, bangs his hand on the bar and signals the barkeep.)
Man: “A drink for my young friend here! (Turning to Guy:) Your name, boy?”
Guy: “I am Guy of…(hesitates, under his breath.) Gisborne.”
Man: “Gisborne? I believe I knew a Gisborne, fought for the King in France did he not?”
Guy: “He did.”
Man: (Nods:) “A good man, then. (Glances over his shoulder at Isabella seated at the table.) And the girl, your sister? (Guy nods mutely as the barkeep places a tankard in front of him.) So, where are you headed, Master Gisborne?”
Guy: “My sister and I are headed to France, we have family there we can stay with.”
Man: (Sucks air through his teeth and shakes his head:) “I’m sorry to break this to you my dear but, the only vessels headed to France these days are warships.”
Guy: “I’m prepared to work for our room and board.”
Man: “I don’t doubt your willingness, only your chances in succeeding. These aren’t passenger ships with room to spare. Each ship is filled with weapons and soldiers ready to fight and die for their country.”
Guy: “We can’t stay in England. There’s nothing left for us here. Our estate…our parents…it’s all lost.”
(Guy quickly grabs the drink in front of him and takes a long pull from it. The man watches him in silence, thinking.)
Man: “You know, France isn’t the answer. A young, strong-willed lad like yourself would be wasted there. No, what you need is a second chance, right here in England. You need to be shown what it is like to have real power over people. I see it everyday working for the Prince. Bending people to your will. (Guy’s eyes widen at the thought.) There! (Pointing.) Right there is that glint in the eye. That spark of intrigue. (Placing his hand on Guy’s shoulder.) There is more to life than simply existing, Guy. Life is to be taken and beaten and shaped into what you desire it to be. Come with me, Guy and I can show you all this and more.”
Guy: (Looks over at Isabella:) “And my sister?”
Man: “No. Where we’d be going is no place for a woman.”
Guy: (Defiantly:) “I will not abandon my sister. I swore to my father that I’d-”
Man: “Of course not…(tuts) Perish the thought. To leave you sister all alone in the world would be pure cruelty. (Glancing at the girl.) But there is a way of ensuring both your futures.”
Guy: (Curious:) “H-how?”
Man: (Sighing:) “She is a very pretty girl. I’m sure someone would be very glad to purchase her as a bride. (At this, Guy grabs at the man and pins him against the bar. With hands raised:) Do not mistake me lad. The men of which I speak would be of the highest breeding. Squires, Lords, Earls. (Guy’s grip loosens a bit.) She would be set for life, a lady in a house full of servants. (Guy releases the man and turns to look at his sister. The man speaks quietly over Guy’s shoulder:) By finding her a husband you’ll be keeping your word to protect her and be able to pay your own way.”
Guy: (Quietly:) “I cannot sell Isabella.”
Man: “That of course is up to you to decide. But consider my offer carefully. I can give you everything I have promised and more. (The man stands and throws a few coins on the bar as payment.) I leave tomorrow at noon with the Prince, come find me at the camp if you change your mind.”
(The man moves towards the door.)
Guy: “Wait! (The man stops in the doorway.) What is your name?”
Man: (Turns and smiles at Guy:) “My name is Vaisey. Good day to you, Guy of Gisborne.”
(Vaisey turns and exits the inn as Guy stands at the bar. Frowning, Guy turns and heads slowly back to his sister seated at the table.)
Isabella: (Offering her spoon to her brother:) “Guy, you should try this, it’s really quite good.”
Guy: (With an unreadable expression:) “No I…I’ve lost my appetite.”

Exiled (Pt.2)

robinhoodrevisited:

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Gisborne Manor. Several weeks later. Main room.
(Roger nervously sits in a chair by the fireplace. Ghislaine opens the front door and comes in, not noticing her husband at first. She closes the door, turns and is startled to see him. She regains her composure and smiles at him.)
Ghislaine:
“Roger, I did not expect to see you. I was restless, I went for a ride.”
Roger: (Barely looking at her.) “Of course. (A long pause.) And on this ride, did you happen to see anyone? Your lover perhaps?”
Ghislaine: (Stunned:) “How did you know?”
Roger: (Looks at Ghislaine.) “Because I am your husband.”
(Roger stares into the fire. Ghislaine comes over to him and kneels at his feet.)
Ghislaine: “And I have failed you as a wife.”
(She picks up his bandaged hand and puts her forehead to it.)
Roger: “No. (Roger puts his other hand on hers and Ghislaine looks up at him.) It is I who failed you… leaving you alone and returning like this.”
Ghislaine: “No, Roger.”
Roger: “You will never know how grateful I am that you’ve kept my secret…(Ghislaine fights to hold back her tears.)… and allowed me to see out my days with you and the children. And I’m glad you’ve found someone who will care for you when I’ve gone. (He pulls up on her hands. She stands and he guides her back into the facing chair, still holding her hands.) All I ask is that he has the patience to wait until that day.” (Ghislaine makes a pained face.)

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Sherwood Forest. Night.
(Ghislaine
waits in the woods. Her lover gallops towards her on his horse.
Ghislaine smiles sadly as he approaches on foot and hugs her.)
Ghislaine: “I
have done what I thought was right. I have stayed away from you, but
you have no idea how hard that’s been. But you understand I had to care
for Roger. He told me he was infected in France. All he wanted was to
get back home and spend his last days with his family. He made his own
way home, away from his soldiers, so they wouldn’t know.”
Man: “People will know. His affliction cannot be hidden for long.”
Ghislaine: “He is a sick man!”
Man: “He is a leper! If he is discovered, you will all be cast out. (Ghislaine starts to cry. The man pulls Ghislaine into an embrace.) You should not have been put in this position, Ghislaine.”
(In the trees, Longthorn is spying on them. He steps on a twig, alerting the lovers of his presence. He merely smiles gleefully at this revelation, then strides off towards Gisborne.)
Gisborne Manor.
(Ghislaine hurriedly enters the house.)
Ghislaine: “Roger… you must go. (Roger frowns.) No, not for me. For yourself.
Now.”
Roger: “I don’t understand.”
Ghislaine: (Quietly:) “I’m sorry. I thought that I was doing the right thing. You
must leave right away. (Somebody pounds on the door. Ghislaine chokes down a
sob.)
Not already.”
(Swain opens the door. Roger stands. Longthorn follows
Swain in. Guy and Isabella come halfway down the stairs in
their nightclothes.)

Swain: “Sir Roger, I think you know
why we’re here.”
(Ghislaine can barely control her tears.)

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Gisborne. The next morning.
(Roger of Gisborne walks stoically through the village in the mist, the small cowbell round his neck jingling. Swain, Longthorn, Ghislaine with Guy and Isabella follow him behind the church to a freshly dug grave. Roger stands at its foot. The others and the villagers gather behind him, several paces off.)
Ghislaine: (Upon seeing the open grave:) “Oh… (to Swain:) Oh, will you not show him mercy?”
Swain: “I’m sorry. This is God’s will. (Roger looks round, then jumps in the grave and turns to face the people. Ghislaine starts to cry.) Roger of Gisborne, you are a leper…”
Guy: “Mother, please.”
Swain: “… and, as such, are to be cast out from the society of others.”
Guy: “No, don’t let them do this!”
Roger: “Guy! You must act like a man and not a child. Do not shame me.”
(Guy hangs his head.)
Swain: “From this day forward you are deemed unclean. Do you understand?”
Roger: (Nods once.) “I do.”
Swain: “As his wife, you may go with him… or you may declare yourself a widow and be free of your impediment.”
Ghislaine: (Shakes her head. Incredulously:) “Impediment? He is my husband!”
Roger: “Ghislaine, you must set an example for the children.”
(Ghislaine sighs and bites her lip. Roger waits expectantly.)
Swain: “Do you declare?” (Roger nods at her in encouragement.)
Ghislaine: (Fighting back tears:) “Yes. From today I am a widow.”
(Roger is saddened upon hearing her words aloud.)
Swain: “Very well. Roger of Gisborne, I forbid you ever to enter any church, market, tavern, or any assembly of people. I forbid you to drink or eat from any vessel but your own. (Ghislaine breaks down.) I forbid you to touch any child…(Roger looks up, exasperated.) Now you must leave this place.”
(Roger turns around, walks to the far end of the grave, and tries to climb out, but can’t. Guy strides over and offers an arm to Roger. Roger accepts and Guy pulls him out.)
Roger: “Thank you. Care for your mother and sister. You are the man of the house now.
Care for them all.”
(Roger leaves up the hill.)
Guy: “Father…!”
(Guy watches his father go up the hill, his bell ringing faintly. Ghislaine watches him, and a tear falls down her cheek.)