THE BOOK OF ROMANCE - online children's book

King Arthur, His Court and Knights in the Age of Chivalry, by Andrew Lang

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in gold as payment for his stay, and told her if he cost her more, she was to let him know of it. Then she began to bleed him, and for long Robin said nothing, giving her credit for kindness and for knowing her art, but at length so much blood came from him that he suspected treason. He tried to open the door, for she had left him alone in the room, but it was locked fast, and while the blood was still flowing he could not escape from the casement. So he lay down for many hours, and none came near him, and at length the blood stopped. Slowly Eobin uprose and staggered to the lattice-window, and blew thrice on his horn; but the blast was so low, and so little like what Robin was wont to give, that Little John, who was watching for some sound, felt that his master must be nigh to death.
At this thought he started to his feet, and ran swiftly to the Priory. He broke the locks of all the doors that stood between him and Robin Hood, and soon entered the chamber where his master lay, white, with nigh all his blood gone from him.
'I crave a boon of you, dear master,' cried Little John.
' And what is that boon,' said Robin Hood, ' which Little John begs of me ?' And Little John answered, ' It is to burn fair Kirkley Hall, and all the nunnery.'
But Robin Hood, in spite of the wrong that had been done him, would not listen to Little John's cry for re­venge. ' I never hurt a woman in all my life,' he said, ' nor a man that was in her company. But now my time is done, that know I well; so give me my bow and a broad arrow, and wheresoever it falls there shall my grave be digged. Lay a green sod under my head and another at my feet, and put beside me my bow, which ever made sweetest music to my ears, and see that green and gravel make my grave. And, Little John, take care that I have length enough and breadth enough to lie in.' So he loosened his last arrow from the string and then died, and where the arrow fell Robin was buried.
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