رابین هود و تیر طلایی

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CHAPTER 14 - Robin Hood and the Gold Arrow

Every day, the sheriff’s men brought new stories about Robin Hood.

Prince John heard the stories too.

‘This man Robin Hood only has fifty men,’ he said to the sheriff.

‘You have five hundred men but you cannot catch him. People are laughing at you! What are you going to do?’

‘I have another plan, My Lord,’ said the sheriff. ‘I will have a contest with bows and arrows. The winner will get a gold arrow. I know that Robin Hood will come. Everybody says that he is the best bowman in England. He will win the contest and take the gold arrow. Then I will take him.’

Robin and his men heard about the contest. The sheriff was right — they wanted to go.

‘You will have to stay at home, Robin,’ laughed Little John. ‘We want to win, and we are better than the sheriff’s men. But you are a better bowman than all of us!’

‘Be careful, Robin,’ said Marian. ‘The sheriff is a dangerous man. He knows that you will go. He only wants to find you and kill you!’ ‘I know that,’ said Robin. ‘This is a fine adventure. I will win the contest, but the sheriff won’t catch me …’

‘Then I will come too,’ said Marian. ‘I will wear boy’s clothes again, and my boy’s hat. The sheriff will not know me, and I will play in the contest. Perhaps I will win the gold arrow, not you!’ ♦

On the day of the contest, many people came. Some people played and other people watched. One hundred of the sheriff’s men were there too.

‘The winner of this contest will be Robin Hood,’ the sheriff told his men. ‘He will come to take the gold arrow from me — then you can take him. But do not kill him. Prince John wants to meet him first!’

The contest began. One man was the best.

‘That man is Robin Hood,’ thought the Sheriff. ‘People say he is clever. But we will catch him easily. That big man with him is Little John and the fat man is Friar Tuck. We will take them too. But who is the boy? He is very good with a bow and arrow too.’ The contest finished and Robin Hood was the winner. He went to the sheriff and smiled.

‘The arrow is mine, I think,’ he said. The sheriff smiled coldly and gave him the gold arrow. Then Robin turned away.

‘Take him now!’ shouted the sheriff to his men.

But twenty of Robin’s men took off their hoods and moved behind Robin. A great swordfight began. Robin’s men and the sheriff’s fought for a long time. Marian fought too this time, and she fought well. Many of the sheriff’s men died that day. The sheriff was very angry.

‘Where are Prince John’s men?’ he shouted. ‘They are late, and Robin Hood is winning!’

Then Prince John arrived with fifty men on horses.

‘They are too many,’ called Robin to his men, ‘and they are on horses. Get back to the forest! Marian, come!’

Then Will Scarlet called out, ‘Robin, Marian! They hurt Little John!’

‘Don’t wait for me,’ said Little John. ‘It is my leg. I cannot walk. Go!

Go!’

‘Never!’ said Robin.

With Will and Marian’s help, he put Little John on his back and ran to the forest road. Suddenly a man arrived on a white horse. It was Richard of Lee.‘Quick, Robin, put Little John on the horse and follow me. The sheriff and his men will not look for you in my home!’

So Sir Richard helped his friends Robin, Marian, Little John and Will Scarlet. They stayed at Sir Richard’s house that night. Robin told Sir Richard and his wife about the contest and about other adventures in the forest.

‘You have many adventures, My Lady,’ said Sir Richard’s wife to Marian, ‘but you live dangerously. You cannot go home or visit your father. How will these adventures end? When will you leave the forest ?’

‘One day, King Richard will come home,’ answered Marian. ‘Then life will be better for poor people and Robin and I will go home.’

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