Not By A Long Shot,
Meanwhile in Nottingham Otto and Fritz walk their horses into the feverishly buzzing town, with a newly acquired 500 crowns in their possession the possibilities are endless. While they soon began to enjoy the pleasures of the tavern barmaids, one Marian of Knighton walked into the castle to look for Guy.
She had first looked at the Loxley manor but he was not there, and the only other place he could have been was in the castle, she walked into the great hall where she soon found Vaisey.
"Ah…Marian I was wandering when you would show up, surprising though because lepers usually tend to stick to themselves." He mocked,
"My Lord Sherriff I was looking for Guy but I couldn't find him, I thought he might be here, I couldn't find him yesterday, and he is still missing today." Marian explained,
"Yes you're right he is a bit tardy to the party isn't he?" Vaisey asked,
"I was wandering if you had any idea where he might be." Marian continued,
"Start expecting him back in about a week or more, I have sent him out on an assignment long distance relationship, you see the thing is he has to travel long distances, so he won't be back any time soon." Vaisey explained, continuing to taunt her,
"Well is there a reason why he couldn't tell me where he was going and when he was going?" Marian asked,
"Of course there's a reason." Vaisey replied,
"And what is that reason?" Marian asked, getting tired of the run around she was getting,
"That reason my dear leper friend is because it is none of your business, what Guy does, where he goes, or what I have told him to do." The sheriff answered cruelly,
"Forgive me I was unaware that his departure was of such urgent business." Marian apologized fakely,
"Yes well go be a good girl and play separated lover until he decides to come back somewhere else." The sheriff shooed,
"Thank you for your help, good day my Lord." She said, as she turned and left, happy to be away from him she couldn't understand how Guy was able to put up with him,
In the tavern Otto was getting fed up with Fritz's drunken behavior with the barmaids, he was a decent man although he committed crimes that he wasn't proud of. Looting and robbing was one matter, but behaving inappropriately around the opposite sex was a completely different story, Fritz noticed his brothers unhappy expression.
"You're not still skulking over that nobleman are you dear brother?" He asked, his German accent clearly detectable,
"Fritz we did him a bad turn, now I have no problem with looting or stealing but selling your fellow man as a slave is just wrong." Otto replied,
"You always did have too many scruples for your own good didn't you Otto." He said,
"And you never cared about anyone…not even when our mother was lying on her death bed did you even bat an eye to show you cared about her passing." Otto reminded,
"I told you never to go there again…you leave our mother out of this." Fritz warned,
"Yeah I'll leave our mother out of this, because if she was here she would be ashamed of what you've become, she was always afraid something like this was going to happen to you." Otto agreed, as he got up and walked out of the tavern,
If it was in his power he would find the man they had sold and rescue him, but he had no idea which mine the wagon had stopped at, and England was a large place. And even if he did find the right mine how was he to get the man back, because Fritz wouldn't exactly approve of using the money to buy someone that they had just robbed and sold.
Back at the mine site Guy was working out in the open carrying the baskets of dirt under the conditions of the blistering heat, he had no idea just how hot it could get at midday, but he soon found out. The strenuous activity was new to him as he couldn't remember the last time he had worked so hard, in the hot sun, without the option of a drop of water to quench his thirst. After he lifted the basket's full of dirt out of the mine he carried them to a wagon which then carried the dirt further away and dumped it.
Sweat now lined his face in small beads, the common result of physical labor in unaccommodating conditions, but in this case the only thing that drove him was the thought of revenge on the very people who had done this to him. He wouldn't normally find himself in situations where he had become connected with the people he worked alongside, but unfortunately he had become connected with the only slave that could speak English.
And as Guy had said, when he finally made his way out of here, he was taking her with him, although he would have to leave her in the vicinity of Nottingham because he didn't want the sheriff on his back for the next week. But if it meant that he could leave this hell hole at that moment he would gladly accept the sheriff riding on his back for a whole week.
Two men stood watching him as he continued backwards and forwards carrying the dirt, he was guessing that they were the same two he had beaten up earlier. They stood in the shade laughing at each other trying to entice Guy into another fight, but he decided it was time to listen to Djaq; they threw their water bottles around carelessly spilling it everywhere, this time they were succeeding in their taunts.
On one of his trips to the awaiting wagon, he was carrying two large baskets of dirt on his shoulders, and when he was within a few feet of his dumping location, one of the men from in the shade extended his foot into Guy's walking space. He then tripped and fell heavily to the ground, the dirt being emptied all over the open ground, the man then showed himself and stared down at Guy.
He flicked his head up instantly with a seriously evil glare that would have spelt the man's death, there was no way he could get used to this kind of treatment; he had to stand up and fight. In all of his previous situations if there was a man he didn't like he would simply use the sheriff's power to see to it that, that man suffered any way he wanted.
Guy didn't want this man dead, he wanted him alive, oh so very alive, because he would enjoy the pain he inflicted when he was back in his rightful ranking, as Vaisey's Leftennant. Just seeing Marian again would mean everything to him, because even though he knew Marian doubted his love, he was completely head over heels for her. He was realizing it was probably better to have told her where he was going.
"You better get up, and start cleaning up your mess slave, because if Charles sees you here, it won't end very well…I mean have you seen him use his whip Carlos?" The man asked,
"You bet Malvir I've heard that he has killed more men with that whip than the mine has taken through its many collapses." Carlos answered,
"So there you have it…get up." Malvir sneered,
So Guy rose cautiously to his feet, causing to the dirt to fall off of him, he stared straight into the eyes of the man who had tripped him.
"Now you get back to work." Malvir ordered, so Guy went to clean up the mess, but he was then grabbed by the collar and turned around,
"Charles isn't the only boss on this site so you start calling me sir, or I'll see to it that you get more than a few days of hunger." He warned, "Do you understand?"
"Yes…Sir." Guy replied, gritting his teeth with disgust,
"Now that's better." Malvir taunted, as he patted Guy three times on the cheek, it took Guy everything inside of him, to not knock him out on the spot,
Malvir then left after he was pleased with himself snickering with Carlos on the way, Guy was tempted to hurl a rock at the man's head, but he managed to control himself, and instead he started to clean up the dirt spill. There was no doubt about it he had to escape because if he didn't he would certainly die, due to something he had done to kill those men.
As the day dragged on by, Guy was severely dehydrated he had never felt like this before, his vision was blurring and the more he strained to see, the worse it got. He welcomed the afternoon as it brought the cool air with it, but by that time he was exhausted, and so were the rest of the slaves, but they didn't stop working until it was well into the afternoon.
When Charles came to tell them they could get something to eat, Guy was too weak to pick himself up off the ground, and Djaq along with the others barely made it up the ladder without falling back down. Djaq collapsed beside Guy; she could hear his heavy breathing above her own.
"We…should get into the cabin where we are to sleep tonight…I heard Charles saying something about what he does to those who break curfew." Djaq said, her accent making her sound that much more alien,
"I…can't." Guy said, he was just too weak to continue,
"You can't…I am a woman and I can sustain more that you can." She said, trying to push Guy into picking himself up,
"Yeah I woman who has spent most of her time on the battlefield, or else you wouldn't be here you are a prisoner of war." Guy said, his words to heavy to pronounce correctly,
"And you are a man who spends his life waiting on this sheriff of Nottingham surely you see some action in your day that amounts to my days in the Holy Land." Djaq reasoned,
"Perhaps…but you spent your day underground, I spent my day in the sun…so you had it easier." Guy protested,
"I had it easier…does that look like I had it easier?" Djaq asked, as she showed Guy her hands in the dim light, they were covered in blisters from swinging a pick all day,
Guy then rose to his feet in defiance but he was shaky; as Djaq was right they had both sustained the same amount of labor, only he wasn't wiling to go on, but when he thought about the men who did this to him, it sparked hope. He then extended his hand to Djaq who gladly accepted it.
"That is better…for a moment then I wasn't sure if I was going to lose the only other man here with the burning desire to escape." She confessed,
"I'm not ready to give up…not by a long shot." Guy assured,
"Good then let's go we only have a few more minute before Charles pulls rank on his curfew." Djaq warned, as they both walked shakily towards the cabin