Die Verlorene Vögel

(The Lost Birds)

Chapter Three;; Sheriff Got Your Tongue?

Part I

It was quite sad really; we were outnumbered, the guys were stripped of their clothes, all but their underwear, and then we were tied to trees as the other men gathered our few belongings. I myself was tied to a tree behind Allan, which was very inconvenient seeing as I was facing away from what was happening.

"You're making a mistake!" Much tried to persuade them as they looked through our things.

"What? You going to send an army to hunt us down to tear us limb from limb?" I heard one of them ask, "You think we're frightened of the Sheriff? Are we frightened?"

"No..." I heard someone mumble. I suspected it was the big man... their leader.

"No! We are also against the Sheriff!" Much tried again.

"What do you want, a metal?" I snorted at his answer, leaning my head against the tree bark.

"You should listen to him..." I said in a sing-songy voice to the men that had tied us up, unbelievably relaxed for being tied to a tree. From what I could tell, these men weren't going to kill us, but instead steal our things, which in my opinion is much more safer than the gallows I had just left.

"We should be on the same side! We should!" I went completely unnoticed as Much plowed forward, "Master tell him."

When all goes wrong, ask Robin.

There was a pause as I listened for something, anything, but only heard the wind and the birds.

"That rabbit is not-..." I heard Much started.

I tried swinging my head back and forth to see if I could see what was happening, but I was just too tightly tied.

"Don't fidget like that." Allan said from his side of the tree, "I'm shirtless and that rope hurts!"

Stopping with a sigh, I stood there, waiting for the conversation to continue.

"Now would you just shut up?" Allan growled, probably at Much. He had begun to carry on his rant on the not finished rabbit.

"You a noble?" I heard one of the men ask. At who, I didn't have a clue.

"Yes." Robin answered, and then after a long pause, "And no."

It was true. After that little stunt he pulled in Nottingham, there was no way he was going back to Locksley without finding Gisbourne in his own bed.

"Smell like one." One of the men sneered, "Smells lovely. Flowers. Lavender."

"Rose petals..." Much cut in.

"Much. Shut up." I told him. What he was saying obviously wasn't going to help us if not further our humiliation.

"Yeah, you smell too." The man said to Much. Now why in the world would he just go around sniffing people?

"No, I had a bath and he washed. In rose petals." Much went off yet again, stating facts that I'm sure the men didn't care about at all.

"And they reckon they're the same side as us? Think about it. You know any outlaws who take lavender baths?" The last man mumbled.

Before I could hear the rest of what they said, a short man with brown hair and a dirty face came around the tree and looked at me before he sniffed me.

"She doesn't smell... you reckon she's an outlaw John?" He asked, looking around the tree.

There was a pause before the large man, John, came around the tree and looked at me.

"Even if she is we're not taking her." He said, making his way back toward our things.

"And even if you wanted to, I wouldn't." I said, staring down the little man in front of me, "I think I'd enjoy this tree more that you... schwein*."

The outlaw in front of me gave me a dumb founded look, asking, "What did you call me?"

"Sure sounded like swine to me." Allan said from around the tree.

The little man looked me up and down once more before he left back around the tree to shift through the little belongings we had.

Another one of the outlaws finished up a conversation with Robin before John whistled, and I heard our bags being gathered.

So the four of them left with our horses, our food, their clothes... and our pride.

And that's when Will came down from his hiding spot in the trees and cut our ropes free, starting with Much. And in that moment when I waited for Will to get to me, I sent I silent prayer to God. At least one of us hadn't gotten caught.

"Well those were horrible men." Much stated as Will severed his rope.

Robin's rope, on the other hand (or at least what I could see on the other side of his tree) just slid to the ground, which wasn't that surprising really. I figured he would be able to get out of his ropes, but I hadn't known was whether he was smart enough to wait until the coast was clear or not. Even if he had managed to take them by surprise, the rest of us were tied, and Robin would have been greatly outnumbered.

"But...you..." I heard Much say in an incredulous voice as Will came over to Allan and I, "You let me think..."

I lost Robin's words as Will came over, asking if we were both alright.

"Yes.. well, I can't speak for Allan. Apparently my trying to get free rubbed him raw." I smiled, pulling the rope down to the ground and stepping away from the tree.

"Because Much." Robin said as I walked around the tree to see him and Much standing there, "You were right-" Astonishing. "-We should teach them a lesson."

Robin threw a small branch, probably as round as my forearm to Allan, Will, Much and myself, saying, "Gentlemen- Dailen."

"Oh no..." Much said sadly, catching his branch with one hand, "Surely..." He looked down at what little clothing he wore as I chuckled to myself.

Robin apparently found it amusing, because he laughed as well. "Yeah, let's go."

Much to Much's dismay, we started following the outlaws.

"Oh lighten up Much!" I said as I walked by him to catch up with Allan and Will, "You do want your trousers back, right?"

We followed them through Sherwood Forest before we found where they had stopped to camp. They were once again searching through our things (more like everyone else's things; all I had were the clothes on my back) around a fire, with a rabbit roasting over it.

Lucky for us, they had also decided to camp near some cliffs, giving us the same sort of surprise they took on us.

All of us stood up as they looked around for the noise we had made (which had actually been my fault and an accident- I slipped and almost went right off one of the cliffs, causing a stone to shift and fall to the ground). Once we were visible, the four men stared up at us, and I wondered if we looked just as confused when they had found us.

"This is our forest too!" Much called down to the outlaws, almost dramatically, "I think you'll find."

"Take your clothes off." Robin then cried, his bow pointed down at the outlaws. Lucky for us, they were smart and decided not to fight back or flee when we started down.

We made our way down the cliffs, loosing no one, and began to tie the outlaws up, although not to trees, but to themselves after we had gotten them to strip of their clothes.

As Much, Will, Allan and I tried to contain the four of them, John got loose and headed straight for Robin, only to end up with his face and screaming mouth pressed down into the leaves as Robin folded his arm behind him.

Once the outlaws were all tied up and stripped of their clothes, Will and I began to set up camp as the others got back into their clothing.

"You are revolting, you know that?" Much asked the outlaws as he finished getting his bizarre shirt on, "My Master and I fought for five years in the Holy land. For what? So that people like you could runamuck with your lawlessness and your disgusting-" He kicked the wood next to the fire, almost burning me in the process. "-camp! And your snide... your...snide..." Much began to run out of intellectual words right about here, and instead repeated 'snide' a good three times.

"Your snide... your snide..." The blonde outlaw asked, taunting Much with an emotionless expression.

"Dance." Robin said from his place in front our small tent.

"Do what?" The blond outlaw asked with a dumbfounded look on his face.

"Dance." Robin said pleasantly with a smile.

I rolled my eyes at Robin's idea, and put my attention back on the rabbit in front of me. Was that all we were going to eat while here in the forest? Rabbit? Maybe a few squirrel's here and there? I was already starting to miss my vegetable soup.

"Is it done yet?" Allan asked as he came over to the fire, reaching out to touch the rabbit, only to bring his hand back quickly, fanning it in the air.

"It's hot." He stated before he stuck his two fingers in his mouth.

"It's over a fire Allan. What do you expect?" I laughed, turning the rabbit cautiously over the spit.

"Are you going to make anything else?" He asked as he sat by my side, looking at the rabbit greedily.

"Anything else?" I asked, shocked, "We're in a forest. We're outlaws! I can't just march into Nottingham and grab some pork now can it? We don't even have enough money for a chicken!"

"Nah, with your charm I'm sure guys would fall over each other just to give you one of their chickens." Allan said, nodding as he turned to look at me.

I raised my eyebrow at him, saying, "That would be a little strange, seeing as I'm only fifteen."

"Your fifteen?" Allan asked, laughing a crisp laugh that reached his eyes in a handsome way, "I thought you were twelve."

The both of us stopped talking as Robin began to raise his voice, telling the outlaws that they were sorry excuses for men.

"I'm going to stop him." Robin said to Much as the one-sided argument declined.

"You can't stop the Sheriff." Much said slowly and matter-of-factly to Robin, looking at him like he was a bit crazy, "Only the crown can withdraw his license."

"When the King returns he will have his comeuppance." Robin said as he walked toward Much, looking back and forth between him and the outlaws, "Until then we will stop his sadistic punishments. We will stop his insane taxes and give them back to the poor where they belong!"

Robin's voice began to raise as he got ever more enthusiastic about his speech, and if I did say so myself, it didn't sound like a half bad idea. I mean sure we were putting our lives at risk, but at least we were doing something other than just sitting in the woods all day.

"Sure." The blond outlaw said, his face emotionless. I didn't know whether he was agreeing with Robin or just being sarcastic. Most likely the later.

"We will rob him!" He began, looking at Much and myself before turning back to the outlaws with a serious look oh his stubbly face, "And if you dead men had had spines in your backs, that's what you would have been doing for the last five years.

Although, I beg to differ. Many a person had grown a spine to fight against the Sheriff and Gisbourne; my father for example, and look where it got him. But I didn't tell Robin my worries. He had the will to carry those thoughts out until he died.

"Rousing lavender boy." The blond one said, his large face still stone hard.

"Good luck." The short one said.

"Yeah, see ya." The shirtless and bald one mumbled sarcastically. Surprisingly enough, John said nothing. Was he actually thinking Robin's words over?

Robin pulled an arrow into his bow and pointed it to the already arrow filled ground near the blond outlaws feet.

"Oh, that would be a mistake." He told Robin, "I think you'll find."

The four outlaws looked up to the cliffs, and I knew, even when I hadn't look toward the sheer rocks, we were once again surround.

And indeed, as I looked around the forest, more outlaws seemed to appear as out of no where, all with their weapons pointed straight at us. If this was going to happen every day out here in the forest, I wasn't going to stay much longer. Frankly, I wasn't going to be surprised any more.

"You are in no position to argue, dunderhead." Much said, oblivious to the fact that we surrounded and completely outnumbered.

Both Allan and I had already stood up, our hands in the air as I looked around, feeling a bit sad. Here were again, like pigs at the slaughter.

"Oh." Much exclaimed to himself as realization dawned on him, "Look... you've tied us up, we've tied you up, we could call it quits! We could all be on our way, hehehe..."

"Much, I don't think it works that way..." I mumbled to him as the outlaws in front of us untied their ropes.

"Him, I do not like." John growled once he had come free of his ropes, glaring at Much with an animalistic glint in his eyes.

"It's mutual." Robin stated.

"I second that." I grumbled lightly. I had not known Much long by now, but I could already tell he'd be a handful.

An outlaw had come out of hiding and was currently whispering something into John's ear, earning a surprised look to Robin.

"You Robin of Locksley?" John asked curiously, rubbing his arms from the rope rash.

'Not anymore, technically.' I thought to myself.

"Robin, Earl of Huntington." John asked again as he stepped forward after Robin had nodded.

I could see where this was going; money. Ransom. Something along those lines.

"Good." John muttered, nodding his head slowly as he began to turn around. Only to fling himself back around and punch Robin straight across the face.

Or... something like that worked as well.

And so again, we were tied up; not to trees, not to ourselves... we just had our hands tied together as we were pulled toward Locksley by the outlaws. Or at least that was where I thought we were going. As much as Much asked what they were going to do with us, none of them said a word.

And as figured, I was right. After a lovely (note the sarcasm here) walk through the woods, we came onto a hillside that over looked Locksley. Seeing as John knocked Robin clear off his feet, he had to woken up by pouring water on his face as we sat on the hill, awaiting punishment, or whatever we had coming for us.

"Locksley?" Robin asked after he had woken up and sat up, "You brought us home."

John did a quick, painful smile down at Robin.

"It seems that there may be a reward..." Much mumbled from my side, looking down at the grass as Robin glanced at him.

"Twenty pounds." The short outlaw smiled, looking us over as though he could already see the money pouring from our ears.

"You'll take him down." The large blond outlaw started before he started picking us out like ripe and moldy fruit, "See if you could get something for this rabble too."

"Me?" The little outlaw asked, looking to the blond one, "I'm supposed to be dead."

"Yeah, me too." The blond one growled back, "They won't recognize you."

"Well if they do I'll be hanged." The short out argued, giving the taller one a 'of course' look, "John?"

"John can't go! They're going to recognize him, I mean John!"

This arguing was getting none of us any where, so as the outlaws squabbled, I tried testing the knot around my hands. It was tight, but I might just be able to undo it if I tried hard enough.

Unfortunately, I didn't have any time to work on it, because John decided they were all going to go, and began marching us down the hill toward Locksley.

We snuck our way through Locksley toward, would you guess it, the Sheriff and Gisbourne, who had every person from Locksley on their knees. What exactly they were doing, though, I hadn't a clue.

Being hurried as we were, and with my not paying attention as I was curious as to what they were doing to the people, I tripped as my foot caught the edge of a wood fence, falling face first into Allan's back. Lucky for me, Allan didn't tumble over, but instead mumbled an "ow" and "be careful!".

We stopped finally, hidden near a fence. In that moment, I read a women yell, and looked up to see a guard dragging a women out of the crowd forcefully.

"Oh no... no!" I heard John mutter painfully as I looked up to him from my position on my knees. He was staring at the women the guards had, and for a moment I saw a flash of regret in his eyes.

"That is nasty." Much mumbled, "And that is brutish."

At first I didn't understand what was happening, but as I looked closer, I saw another guard approaching the women who had been grabbed, deadly sharp sheers in his hand. Were they..? Surely not. Cutting people's tongues out?

"That is Alice!" John said quickly.


"My wife!"

So what I had seen was right; there was love and admiration behind those weathered eyes of his.

"You're Alice's John?" Will mumbled, standing up behind him, "She thought you were dead."

It finally dawned on me as I realized that women was Alice, and almost immediately my jaw dropped.

"You're Alice's John?" I exclaimed curiously. Alice once talked about a kind man named John; he was the father of her son. So he wasn't dead after all...

"It's you they want!" John yelled, although he kept his voice low enough as he pulled Robin over his shoulders, "We go now!"

But Robin began to talk sense into him; that there was no time to get him over there in enough time.

"-I can save your wife. Put me down."

It seemed like a good deal to me. Alice gets to keep her tongue, and we don't get arrested. Everyone is happy, no?

After a few moments, John grunted as he hefted Robin off his shoulders.

"Untie me. And my bow, quickly." Robin told John after he had been let down. John faltered, so Robin continued, "I am good with a bow!"

"You saw him shoot your feet." Much added hastily.

"Trust me." Robin finished.

With that, John quickly began undoing the knot around his hands as the rest of us undid ours.

Within no time, Robin had strung an arrow in his bow and shot the sheers right out of the man's hand before he shot yet another arrow and broke the contraption mid-air.

I watched wordlessly as the metal fell to the ground. He hadn't lied, that was for sure.

The Sheriff looked around the village before he glared at the villagers, and then sent his guards to search for Robin... which wasn't exactly bright. Did no one see from which way the arrows came?

"Let's go." The short outlaw mumbled, pushing the rest of us back.

"God speed." Robin told us, looking over the village.

"What?" Much asked as we all looked at him, paused in our tracks.

"You have served me well my friend." Robin told Much as he placed his hand on the back of Much's neck, "And I have led you to this. Apologies."

Not just Much.. we were all outlaws now, weren't we?

"Go." Robin told Much and John once Much said nothing, "I will find a way through this."

"The Sheriff will hang you." Much said breathlessly.

"Even if he does," Robin stated, "At least I will not die a dead man."

With that, Robin patted Much's shoulder a single time before he ran off, straight to the Sheriff and Gisbourne. And although we wanted to leave, and were told to, none of us did. We all watched that insane and over-confident man walk straight into the hands of the Sheriff. I couldn't tell whether he was brave or idiotic for doing so.

Chapter three up.

Uhhh, sort of worried about just a single review.

But on that note, I want to thank my only reviewer so far, Bookworm 41!

I'd love at least one other reviewer, if not a few!

Criticism would be wonderful! Is no one reading this because they see the title and think it's German? Please tell me!

But until next time, to any of you that are there.