“The Sheriff he saddled his good
And with three hundred pounds in gold
Away he went with bold Robin Hood,
His horned beasts to behold.”
The sun shone and the birds sang as they merrily rode along. When the Sheriff saw that they were taking the road to Sherwood Forest, he began to feel a little nervous.
“There is a bold, bad man in these woods,” he said. “He is called Robin Hood. He robs people, he—do you think we will meet him?”
“I am quite sure we won’t meet him,” replied Robin with a laugh.
“Well, I hope not, I am sure,” said the Sheriff. “I never dare to ride through the forest unless I have my soldiers with me. He is a bold, bad man.”
Robin only laughed, and they rode on right into the forest.
“But when a little farther they
Bold Robin he chanced to spy
An hundred head of good fat deer
Come tripping the Sheriff full nigh.”
“Look there,” he cried, “look! What do you think of my horned beasts?”
“I think,” said the Sheriff, in a trembling voice, “I think I should like to go back to Nottingham.”
“What! and not buy any horned cattle? What is the matter with them? Are they not fine and fat? Are they not a beautiful color? Come, come, Sheriff, when you have brought the money for them too.”
At the mention of money the Sheriff turned quite pale and clutched hold of his bags. “Young man,” he said, “I don’t like you at all. I tell you I want to go back to Nottingham. This isn’t money I have in my bags, it is only pebble-stones.”
“Then Robin put his horn to his
And blew out blasts three;
Then quickly and anon there came Little John,
And all his company.”
“Good morning, Little John,” said Robin.
“Good morning, Master Robin,” he replied. “What orders have you for to-day?”
“Well, in the first place I hope you have something nice for dinner, because I have brought the Sheriff of Nottingham to dine with us,” answered Robin.
“Yes,” said Little John, “the cooks are busy already as we thought you might bring some one back with you. But we hardly expected so fine a guest as the Sheriff of Nottingham,” he added, making a low bow to him. “I hope he intends to pay honestly.”
For that was Robin Hood’s way. He always gave a very fine dinner to these naughty men who had stolen money from poor people, and then he made them pay a great deal of money for it.
The Sheriff was very much afraid when he knew that he had really fallen into the hands of Robin Hood. He was angry too when he thought that he had actually had Robin in his own house the day before, and could so easily have caught and put him in prison, if he had only known.
They had a very fine dinner, and the Sheriff began to feel quite comfortable and to think he was going to get off easily, when Robin said, “Now, Master Sheriff, you must pay for your dinner.”