THE STORY OF ROBIN HOOD 349
his crown and singing as he passed through the greenwood.
Suddenly at the turn of a path Robin and his archers appeared before them.
'By your leave, Sir Abbot,' said Robin, seizing the King's bridle, 'you will stay a while with us. Know that we are yeomen, who live upon the King's deer, and other food have we none. Now you have abbeys and churches, and gold in plenty; therefore give us some of it, in the name of holy charity.'
' I have no more than forty pounds with me,' answered the King, 'but sorry I am it is not a hundred, for you should have had it all.'
So Robin took the forty pounds, and gave half to his men, and then told the King he might go on his way. 'I thank you,' said the King, ' but I would have you know that our liege lord has bid me bear you his seal, and pray you to come to Nottingham.'
At this message Robin bent his knee.
' I love no man in all the world So well as I do my King' ;
he cried, ' and Sir Abbot, for thy tidings, which fill my heart with joy, to-day thou shalt dine with me, for love of my King.' Then he led the King into an open place, and Robin took a horn and blew it loud, and at its blast seven-score of young men came speedily to do his will.
' They are quicker to do his bidding than my men are to do mine,' said the King to himself.
Speedily the foresters set out the dinner, venison, and white bread, and the good red wine, and Robin and Little John served the King. l Make good cheer,' said Robin, ' Abbot, for charity, and then you shall see what sort of life we lead, that so you may tell our King.'
When he had finished eating the archers took their bows, and hung rose-garlands up with a string, and every