little johnAgain I am ashamed at my tardiness in diary entries, but I do have an excuse as I have been away on Robin’s orders to help a most deserving knight. My adventure began with an evening spent in our traditional way, namely finding a passing unfortunate soul to extort money from. Of course, Robin went into extensive detail before we left about how to find someone who constituted an acceptable victim: no women, no husbandmen, no yeomen, no knights or squires who behaved well…the only people he seemed to think were acceptable victims were bishops, archbishops, and of course his nemesis, the sheriff. A lesser man than me might point out that he is not always so selective when he is the one having to find money, but of course I would say no such thing.

Anyway, Much and I set out to find a victim, and came across a most pathetic knight. We showed him our best courtesies, and he willingly came with us as he had heard that Robin was a good man, which at this stage I have to admit amused me as I wondered if he would think him a good man after he had been made to pay us. Robin was most pleased with our guest, who we later learned was named Sir Richard atte Lee, and we shared a delicious meal, but when Robin demanded payment Richard claimed that he was unable to pay. Many have tried this before and been found to be liars, so I checked Richard’s goods, and was surprised to find that he was both trustworthy and broke! He told us a truly pitiful tale of how he had lost his land, as his son had killed a squire in a joust and the knight had sold his land temporarily to pay for his pardon, but could not afford to buy it back.

We may be a hard group of men, but when we heard this tale we were moved to great pity, particularly as the land was being held by the Abbot of York, who is no great friend of ours. We lent Richard lands and goods, and Robin instructed me to accompany Richard to buy back his land. Normally I would resent being assigned to another lord in such a way, but Richard was so pitiful that I eagerly went with him. When we arrived to see the abbot Richard decided to test the abbot’s Christian nature. To be quite frank, I could have told him what the result would be before the test, but decided to let events run their course. Richard pleaded with the monk and other assembled officials, such as our old friend the sheriff, to give him more time, but they all cruelly refused as they coveted his land. Richard then triumphantly displayed the money and shamed them. It was a wondrous display, and far less than those devils deserved! He then happily went away to inform his lady of their salvation, and I returned to the greenwood to tell my fellows of the joyful outcome. I do love it so when adventures end well, although I must admit that something tells me that we haven’t heard the last of this knight…

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