340 THE STORY OF ROBIN HOOD
like Robin, but without a bow. At this sight Robin jumped from his horse, which he tied to a thorn, and called to the friar to carry him over the water or it would cost him his life.
The friar said nothing, but hoisted Robin on his broad back and marched into the river. Not a word was spoken till they reached the other side, when Robin leaped lightly down, and was going on his way when the friar stopped him. •' Not so fast, my fine fellow,' said he. ' It is my turn now, and you shall take me across the river, or woe will betide you.' So Robin carried him, and when they had reached the side from which they had started he set down the friar and jumped for the second time on his back, and bade him take him whence he had come. The friar strode into the stream with his burden, but as soon as they got to the middle he bent his head and Robin fell into the water. ' Now you can sink or swim as you like,' said the friar, as he stood and laughed.
Robin Hood swam to a bush of golden broom, and pulled himself out of the water, and while the friar was scrambling out Robin fitted an arrow to his bow and let fly at him. But the friar quickly held up his shield, and the arrow fell harmless.
' Shoot on, my fine fellow, shoot on all day if you like,' shouted the friar, and Robin shot till his arrows were gone, but always missed his mark. Then they took their swords, and at four of the afternoon they were still fighting.
By this time Robin's strength was wearing, and he felt he could not fight much more. ' A boon, a boon!' cried he. ' Let me but blow three blasts on my horn, and I will thank you on my bended knees for it.'
The friar told him to blow as many blasts as he liked, and in an instant the forest echoed with his horn; it was but a few minutes before ' half a hundred yeomen were racing over the lea.' The friar stared when he saw them; then, turning to Robin, he begged of him a boon also, and