Tool Tax Mystery

A rewrite of one of my old stories. (The old version is called Never forget) Since I wrote the original my writing has got a lot better (not perfect but a lot better than what it was) and I wanted to redo some of my old stories and make them better. I added more into this story

I know Robin Hood BBC was on over ten years ago now, but I used to enjoy it and had lots of fun writing this in lockdown thanks to Covid19.

Chapter One: A New Tax

Lockley Village – Six Years Ago

Dan Scarlett was outside working – busy making a box that Gisborne had asked him to make. His wife Jane was doing some washing. With the four of them they was always something to wash. His oldest son, Will, was only thirteen years old – he was sitting against the wall of their small house busy whittling. His youngest son, ten-year-old Luke, was playing with some of the other children in the fields just outside of Lockley.

"Will," said Dan and Will looked up from his whittling. "Let's see," he said and held his hand out. Will stood up and walked to his father passing the bit of wood to him. Dan looked down and the wood. The pattern on the wood looked simple looking but Dan knew it was hard to do. Dan smiled, Will was good with wood – maybe one day he would be better than him. It should mean finding work would be easier of him "It's good," he said "I might let you put a pattern of the box I am making,"

Will pulled a bit of a face, "But it's for Gisborne," he said

"Don't think about it like that," said Dan at once. "Think of it as something people will want to keep. And, anyway we need to extra money."

Will seemed thoughtful of a moment, "Alright," he said, then he asked "When is Robin coming back?"

Dan place a hand on Will's shoulders and went to his eye level. He looked around just to make sure no one was listening nearby. It seemed almost dangerous to say Robin's name out loud at the moment. Gisborne didn't seem to like it when he was mentioned or the loyalties people still had for him. "You have to be careful what you say," he said in a firm voice. "I hear the new sheriff can be mean. And Gisborne is a friend of his – so watch your tongue." Will nodded. "Go and chop the firewood down the size will you," Will nodded again and went to the pile of wood he and Luke had collect earlier that day and picked up an axe.

"Be careful," said Jane. Dan smiled – Jane always worried the boys would hurt themselves on one of his tools. There was little need to worry – Will and Luke spend their whole lives around them and Dan taught them early about using them safely so they wouldn't lose any fingers.

Dan thought nothing could of wrong, not today at lest.

And nothing did go wrong until ten minutes later when Luke come running back. "Gisborne coming," he said "With guards, lots of them." This was getting a familiar sight at the moment. This could only mean bad news.

Jane stood up "They could be collecting the tax early, Dan, we do not have it,"

Dan looked at his family, "Get into the house," he order "Now," Jane went in followed by Luke, Will looked at him stubbornly "Will, you go inside too and you stay there," Jane come back out and got Will's arm and pulled him inside.

Dan carried on working, he watched as some of the guards went into some of the houses and some of the people were force out. One of the guards come towards him. "Daniel Scarlett," said the Guard.

"Aye," said Dan looking up at the guard.

"You must pay the toll tax," said the guard in a rehearse voice.

Dan frowned, "There is no such tax," he said "There had never been such a Tax."

"There is now," said the guard more harshly then before "Since, this morning by the order of the sheriff. Now, hand over your money,"

Dan took his money bag from his belt "This is all we have," he said "Take it," he handed to the guard who looked inside. Dan knew it wasn't a lot and it was meant for another tax. The money he would get for making the box would be enough to pay the tax in full and have a little extra food to eat. Now it looked like they would go without. A situation there find themselves in more and more since the Sheriff come.

The guard looked inside "You seem a little short," just as Gisborne rode up on his horse. "If you cannot pay the tax today, the sheriff, has ordered your children to go to Nottingham castle where they can work off the money you own," said Guy. He nodded to the guard who walked into the house. Dan hear Jane shout as Will and Luke were dragged out. The guard was repeating what Gisborne had just told him to the boys.

"They are only boys," said Dan at once. "Leave them be," Luke seem to be in shock and Will seemed to be trying to fight off the grip of the guard had on him.

Gisborne watched the drama played out in front of him, all families there acting the same way. "They will work off the money you own the Sheriff," said Gisborne "Trying to do something foolish like recusing your children or seeing them will end in someone being killed – likely your children. Once they have done their work, they will be returned to you." Dan and Jane stood there – they didn't know if this was a lie or not but there couldn't risk it. All they could only watch as Will and Luke were taken away.