THE STORY OF ROBIN HOOD 333
was an ell long, and had a head of silver and peacock's feathers. And clothing himself in white and red, and with a hundred men in his train, he set off to Sherwood Forest.
On the way he passed an open space near a bridge where there was a westling, and the Knight stopped and looked, for he himself had taken many a prize in that sport. Here the prizes were such as to fill any man with envy; a fine horse, saddled and bridled, a great white bull, a pair of gloves, a ring of bright red gold, and a pipe of wine. There was not a yeoman present who did not hope to win one of them. But when the westling was over, the yeoman who had beaten them all was a man who kept apart from his fellows, and was said to think much of himself. Therefore the men grudged him his skill, and set upon him with blows, and would have killed him, had not the Knight, for love of Robin Hood, taken pity on him, while his followers fought with the crowd, and would not suffer them to touch the prizes a better man had won.
When the westling was finished the Knight rode on, and there under the greenwood tree, in the place appointed, he found Robin Hood and his merry men waiting for him, according to the tryst that they had fixed last year:
' God save thee, Robin Hood,
And all this company.' ' Welcome be thou, gentle Knight,
And right welcome to me.'
' Hast thou thy land again ? ' said Robin,
' Truth then tell thou me.' • Yea, for God,' said the Knight,
' And that thank I God and thee.'
' Have here four hundred pounds,' said the Knight,
'The which you lent to me ; And here are also twenty marks For your courtesie.'