“She poured the water, arranged some bread near enough the embers to scorch but not catch fire, and looked up at Little John. She was so accustomed to his step, to his bulk, that it took a moment to notice his face; and when she did . . . It was, she thought, rather like the moment it took to realize one had cut one's finger as one stared dumbly at the first drop of blood on the knife-blade. You know it is going to hurt quite a lot in a minute.”
“One keeps searching for ease, she did not say, and not finding it, till the memories of no-pain seem only like daydreams.”
“She fell asleep, leaning on his chest, and he edged her a little off a particularly painful bruise, leaned his head back against the tree he had propped them up against, and closed his own eyes. ”
“...and again she wished for Sherwood, and the dappled roof of leaves that never weighed upon her. She pulled her scarf closer around her and thought, I would rather live in a hut in the woods; a hut like the one of my first memories, with a clean-swept dirt floor, and a brown-eyed boy watching me from behind his mother's skirts as I watched him from behind mine.”
“Oh,' she said, too bone-weary to pretend: 'I would far rather that I love you as I saw yesterday I do than that I had gone on worshiping you as I did not long since.' And she turned away hastily, and did not see that Little John would reach out to her; and half-running, went to Tuck's cottage, where she could pull on her half-dry clothes, and become a proper outlaw again. At least, she thought, fighting back tears, like this I am Cecil, with a place among friends, and a task to do. I am someone. I wonder if perhaps if I am no longer Cecil, I am no one at all.”
“Little John, watching her standing next to her brother, half-glowering in the old Cecil manner and half-comforted by Robin's words, saw for a moment what it had been like for her as Will's litter sister. Some of what she was good at, and some of what she was bad at, as his pupil, came clear to him in that moment; and something else came clear to him too, but he set it aside so quickly that he allowed himself not to recognize it for what it was.”
“I don't remember this earlier,' said Tuck.
'No?' said Robin in a neutral voice, and Tuck was too busy to pursue it, but merely bound it up and told him it was time for him, too, to try to sleep. Robin never had to tell anyone of his meeting, weaponless and with an armful of dead branches to break up for firewood, with one of Guy's men. The next day, when the burying began, no one questioned the body of another mercenary.”
“I have a mastery of the art of worrying that is a burden to me if I may not use it. --Robin”
“Her betrothed is a lout, her father is a boor; and now her brother is trailing around looking like a thunderstorm about to burst. Men are not sensible creatures.'
'Thank you,' said Robin.”
“The man paused and added with a grin, "He also wishes your porter's head on a silver plate for not opening the gate at once upon his herald's declaration of his visit. This tale of threatening brigands is all very well, but can't I see he's the sheriff?”
“Robin: Golden arrow? And what would we do with a golden arrow? Give it to Alan for a lute string? I could hang it around my neck on a chain, perhaps, and let it stab me in the ribs when I tried to sit.
Marian: And your honour as an outlaw?
Robin: My honour as an outlaw concerns staying alive; and presenting my neck anywhere near the Sheriff of Notingham, who feels it wants lengthening, runs directly counter to that honour.
Marian: The sheriff will be gravely disappointed.
Robin: That's the best news I've heard all week.”
“Golden arrow? And what would we do with a golden arrow? Give it to Alan for a lute string? I could hang it around my neck on a chain, perhaps, and let it stab me in the ribs when I tried to sit.”
“Robin: I'm sure you've learnt to bake, but you have not learned to handle Much. The phrases that you need my lady, are "No", "No you can't", and "No, get out of here before I throw something at you".”
“Little John: I would come too. He might want knocking in a stream to cool his anger.
Much: I will come too, to fish him out again, and to reassure him that not all of us have this queer craving for hurling folks in water.”
“You should not be so sensitive. Sensitive people suffer a lot in life.”
“He's not going to leave here without her," Jack's gaze was steady, yet sad as he stared at the two of them. "He won't be separated from her again, and he'll kill you if you try to stop him. You can't go William. This has to happen," Jack”
“I would die for you and not think twice about it. I won’t, I can’t risk losing you. I need you to stay with me.”
“Suddenly he jumped from his boulder as if he'd had a marvellous idea. "But that's not important! I remember what I came down here to ask you. I've never ridden a centaur before. Mind taking me for a spin around the block?"
He put his fingers to his temples and intoned, "I predict you're going to say yes."
FYI, centaurs hate being taken for a ride, either literally or metaphorically. Nevertheless, I managed a forced smile. "I would be ... delighted. Yes."
"Oh yeah!" Apollo crowed triumphantly. "Who has two thumbs and the gift of prophecy?" He jerked his thumbs at himself. "This god!”
“On almost all issues, citizens could not identify the stands of the candidates--as intended.”
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