By the time Tuck, Wulfhere and Marian arrived at the castle, the show was over. The ribald rivalry coming from within led little to the imagination as to what had happened. The bawdy songs about the capture of the famous Robin Hood were loud, lewd, drunken and none too clever. Tuck and Marian were furious over the complete absence of the outlaws, but Wulfhere correctly deduced that they had been routed and had to flee or be captured. It was impossible to tell in fact how many had been captured besides Robin. Wulfhere and Tuck had been told to check on Marian at the Orphanage or her nearby apartment and rendevoius at the castle in time for the attack, but they hadn’t planned on just missing her and tracking her through-out the night.
Inside, in the dark, against a cold, stone floor which smelled of urine, Robin awoke to the realization that he was severely beaten. Had they continued to pummel him after they’d beaten him unconscious? He remembered… being descended upon by a vast multitude. He given as good as he’d gotten for as long as he could. They had been expecting him. He knew they would be, but he had played it as a game. He should have been more careful. He had been so cocky. They weren’t going to get Marian a second time. He’d show them. He should have rallied all of Nottinghamshire. They would have come to save Marian, wouldn’t they? Now it was too late. It was all over. Without Robin to rally them, to lead them, they would submit to the sheriff. In fact, now that the sheriff had captured Robin, the sheriff would likely send the mercenaries on their way and leave the people to their meager lives. As for Robin himself, well, he was done for, that was a sure as the daily rise of the sun. Would he face a trial? Would he be tortured? Was he alive because the sheriff thought he could get his money back? Did old Sheriff Brewer really think that Robin had stashed away all the money he’d stolen? Probably not. Robin realized his breathing felt liquidy. He spat. He couldn’t see in the utter darkness, but he could taste the blood. The sheriff was probably planning on what to do with Robin now that he had finally gotten him.
Robin attempted to get to his knees. his legs felt like tenderized meat. Even in the dark, he was dizzy. His head ached. He could feel where it was matted with blood. He tentatively touched a wet patch to the left of his crown and swooned from the odd sensation in his head and the tactual squishiness that met his fingers. He broke his fall with his outstretched hands and realized they were raw and scraped. The sudden pitch in his upper body angle brought about a sudden nausea and he vomited on his hands and knees in the dark.
Sheriff James Brewer was ecstatic. No one had ever seen him so giddy. It was frightening. The sheriff would look wistfully up into the distance and talk longingly of Robin’s summary execution. Then his eyes would refocus and he would engage people around the room on what kind of tortures to subject Robin to first. They would have to start him out slow, they didn’t want to overdue it too quickly, his pain might become to intense to register further torture. He might expire. The sheriff wanted to see Robin weep. He wanted to see Robin lose control of his bowels, of all his bodily functions. He wanted to clear a field big enough for all of Nottinghamshire to gather to witness the humiliation, lest anyone think such behavior might be tolerated. he’d heard of such public tortures in London. Spies or traitors would be disemboweled in front of their families and the countryside would gather and buy souvenirs to mark the occasion.
There would be a public trial where the sheriff, an expert at trials, would explain how Robin had perpetrated these crimes on the people themselves. Which, when you stop to consider that the sheriff was a public servant and the money Robin stole was the public funds, was actually true. The public would be screaming for Robin’s head. Why, the sheriff would find himself in the awkward position of having to protect Robin from the people of Nottingham. He’d seen such things before with his own eyes.