Chapter 9

Don't Hold Your Breath,

30 minutes later, Djaq was closer to Robin, and Robin was closer to the mine, but in the back room of O'Conner's house, he stood breathless. His whip hung by his side as drops of blood dripped off the end creating a pool on the floor, Guy was resting his full body weight on the handcuffs that held him, too weak to support himself.

His back was criss-crossed with bleeding whip lines, and they stung painfully, his jaw ached and a split in the corner of his lip caused a small amount of blood to run down his face, and the back of his shirt that was torn apart was stained with the sticky substance. The handcuffs had cooled now and all that remained was the burns it had created on his wrists, but he wasn't finished yet, Charles hadn't succeeded yet.

He then lifted his head and stared through the top of his eyelids at the man who stood over him, showing nothing but defiance.

"When I escape mark my words I will kill you and Malvir." He vowed,

"I wouldn't hold my breath if I was you." Charles sneered,

"No I wouldn't either if I was you because when you hold your breath it will be because I am strangling you." Guy agreed,

"You have spirit…I will enjoy breaking you." Charles said, as he placed the handle of his whip under Guy's chin as if he was examining livestock, but Guy pulled his head away defiantly, "But for now it's late, and I need my rest, get him out of here and give him a new shirt." He ordered,

And so Guy was released and dragged back to the cabin, the door swung open and Guy was dropped to the ground with an audible thud, and a shirt was soon dropped on top of him. When the door was closed and the men left, the Saracen's soon surrounded Guy and lifted him up enough so they could get him to his mattress.

They removed what was left of his shirt and laid him on his stomach, they soon muttered amongst themselves and work began. A cloth was brought as well as a water bottle, and they soon began cleaning the blood from Guy's wounds, and he grimaced on the inside, some leftover bread was then brought and it was placed on his back where it was then soaked in water.

The bread would help with infection, as well as cool the wounds creating little comfort, when Guy looked around he noticed that Djaq was not among them.

"Where is Djaq?" He asked, a nearly pointless question as no one else could speak English,

The Saracen that tended to him replied in a foreign language, and if it wasn't for the attempt he had made on the King and needing to understand the language, he wouldn't have a clue what he was saying. But he had studied the language to an extent, and so he knew what was said, or partially what was said, but it appeared that she had seized an opportunity for escape and was successful.

"God speed Djaq." He said in his mind, wishing her luck in her journey,

He didn't know when but he drifted off into a deep sleep some time in the middle of the Saracen man using his blood stained and broken shirt for a bandage. He was surprised he had actually fallen asleep through the pain, or maybe he was a little at peace knowing that Djaq had made it to freedom, and was that much closer to Robin and a rescue.

But he did know that when he woke up, he was in a world of hurt and that everyone was already up and around, which surprised him because it couldn't be that late already. He rose to his knees stiffly, cautious of the newly formed scabs on his back, and peered out the window, to find that it had to be at least 6:00 o'clock in the morning.

Breakfast had already arrived and was sitting on the table in the standard basket like it had been delivered in the previous morning. He then rose to his feet, and staggered towards the table, where everyone appeared to be waiting for him before they began to eat, which also surprised him. When he stepped over the six foot long bench that was already occupied with two men, he seated himself in the middle.

"How you feel today?" A man asked, stuttering as he attempted to pronounce the foreign words,

"Much better thank you." Guy replied,

"Djaq escape last night get help." He continued,

"I know I heard someone saying that last night, as I do understand a bit of your language." He explained,

"You protect her last night even though you know what it meant?" He asked,

"Yes because they could have done far worse to her if they found out she was a woman than what they have done to me." Guy admitted,

"I only other here that speak your language." He said,

"You're the one who tended to my wounds last night aren't you…I am Guy of Gisborne what's your name?" He asked,

"I Mohammed Djaq tell us look after you when you get back." He answered,

"When we get out of here you must come to Nottingham with me so I can see to it that you are looked after." Gisborne insisted,

"You help us?" Mohammed asked,

"Yes all of you, I will give you some money and then send you on to Quirkleys where you will be safe until you decide on where you want to go." Guy explained,

"That kind of you…thank you."

"It's the least I can do after all that you've done for me…now shall we eat?" He asked,

"Nou sa la." Mohammed said, before he bowed his head, and Guy interpreted that to mean pray,

So he bowed his head also even though the prayer wasn't to the god that he believed in, if he believed in one at all, but he would change his mind if god would get him out of here in one piece,

Their meal was eaten more civilizedly, even though all they had was a loaf of bread, Guy was perhaps the only one who ate slowly, because his jaw ached with every movement. Mohammed was a different kind of slave he acted like he actually was from a significant bloodline.

He had never thought of them that way before, if there was one thing to learn from this experience, it was that Saracen's were people too. And it made him feel worse inside than he did already fro the treasonous act he had engaged in years ago, and this wasn't going to help his dream status any either.

By the time Guy had made it halfway through his loaf of bread, the door burst open and Malvir along with Carlos grabbed at the slaves and dragged them outside. When they were out in the open Guy played on the beating he had received the other night and acted as if his spirit had been broken and that he was weak by making Malvir hold him upright, which made Charles feel a greater sense of power.

"I have noticed that another one of you has gone missing, see what happens when we have an instant martyr, you get spirit and willfulness…you perhaps know something about this recent escape do you?" O'Conner asked, as he pointed the handle of the whip in Guy's direction, it was then that he slipped from Malvir's hold and fell to the ground,

"All right perhaps one of you lot know what happened to the pretty boy?" He asked as he looked at the other slaves, who stood like tin soldiers, starring at Charles as if his words were alien,

"Right not going to get anywhere this way…so pick up your garbage and get down into the mine." He instructed, but no body moved,

So instead he pointed towards Guy and gestured for them to carry him into the mine, so they then picked him up and lead him towards the ladder. When they were safely in the tunnel Mohammed turned to Guy in a curious manner because he was now acting as if there was nothing really wrong with him.

"Why did you pretend?" He asked,

"Because this way he will not try and find out where Djaq went because, I appear to be to weak, and you appear to be unaware of what he was saying, and we need as much time as possible for her to get to Robin." Gisborne explained, as he grabbed the pick he was handed by Mohammed,

"But you are weak." He protested,

"Yes but not that weak." Guy agreed,

And while they continued to work the mine Robin's group of weary travelers were within meters of the road sign the cart driver told them of. But as they neared a solitary rider came racing up from the direction of Maribel and turned onto the road to Nottinghamshire.

Robin stopped his horse and waited for the rider to approach, when he was within hearing range Robin held up his hand and ordered for her to stop.

"Get out of my way I need to get to Nottingham." She ordered,

"You're Saracen." Much said,

"How nice of you to notice; now get out of my way." She said cruelly,

"If you're a slave from the mine we can help you, my name is Robin Hood…what's your name?" He calmed,

"Djaq and how do I know you are who you say you are?" Djaq asked suspiciously,

"He is telling the truth he is Robin Hood." Marian replied, Djaq then turned to look at her, and it was then that she found out it was Marian,

"You are Marian." She said,

"Yes that's right why?" Marian asked,

"Gisborne has told me about you." Djaq replied,

"Is he all right?" Marian questioned,

"I am not sure last night I saw a chance at escape so I took it, but before I left Gisborne protected me from Charles, as we were caught trying to escape." Djaq explained,

"Protected you what was going to happen?" Robin asked,

"Charles was going to torture every one of us until he found out who it was who came up with the plan, but Guy stepped forward." She replied,

"So then what happened?" Will asked,

"He was then taken to the back room of the house, while we were dragged back to our quarters, and later we new he was being beaten." Djaq answered, as Marian grew more horrified by the minute,

"Gisborne told Charles who he was but he didn't believe him, and he was forced to work out in the sun all day without food or water, Gisborne swore he would kill him…we were talking one night and that was when he told me about you and Marian." She explained, as she addressed Robin,

"Robin there is no time to waste we have to get to him now." Marian interrupted,

"How long did it take for you to get here?" Robin asked,

I have been traveling since early morning." She replied,

"Then we better hurry because we still have a long way to go." Robin agreed, as he spurred his horse again, and they all began to move hastily towards the mine,

Sometime later in the mine Gisborne hacked a chunk of dirt off the wall that came off to easily, it was also very wet which concerned him. He placed his head close to the wall and listened carefully, he then heard the familiar sound of slow moving water, they were digging next to an underground spring, he had been right all this time.

"Stop everyone stop digging now." Guy ordered,

"What wrong?" Mohammed asked,

"We have been digging closer and closer to an underground spring everyday if we keep digging the whole mine will be flooded." Gisborne replied,

"How do you know this?" He asked,

"Just place your ear next to the wall right here and you will hear water." Guy explained, as he pointed towards the specific spot,

"You're right we must do something." He agreed, but they didn't have to do anything because Charles soon came down into the mine,

"Why have you men stopped digging?" He demanded,

"We will not dig this mine anymore it is too dangerous." Guy replied,

"I say what you do and you don't do." Charles sneered,

"I am still the boss of my own life." Gisborne retorted, barring his teeth in the process,

"It appears you didn't learn much from last night."

"I learnt more than enough…I learnt that I will never take orders again." He sneered, as he dive on Charles grabbing him by the neck,

The soon began to struggle, Charles had his hands around Guy's neck and Guy was doing the same, Guy kicked at his knees causing him to forced backwards in order to keep upright. He then slammed him up against the ladder with an audible thump, but then Guy was forced backwards, only he planted his feet and stood his ground.

Charles then struck Guy in the face, and caused him to fall of balance, but Guy directed a blow to his chest, and they once again struggle in a stationary position. Charles used his elbows to knock Gisborne's hands off him, and when he had he pushed him backwards, but Guy stumbled backwards and hit his back on the support of the mine.

This caused a chain of events that soon found Charles being clubbed over the back of the head with the end of a pick, and the support falling on top of Guy. This also allowed tons of dirt to fall from the roof and wall to block a part of the tunnel leaving Guy trapped on the other side pinned down by the heavy wooden beams that had fallen across his chest.

It occurred to him just before he passed out, that the wall had fallen away uncovering the spring that he had warned Mohammed about. He could hear the water draining into the blocked part of the mine, and if he wasn't dug out any time soon then he would drown here in the mud, because he could soon feel the cold water reach him.

That was all they needed, because Mohammed soon ordered the remaining slaves to grab their picks and follow him out of the mine. When they had reached the surface they soon found that all the men on the mine site were standing close by the mine's opening.

They soon hurdled towards the men wielding their weapons, the men were soon caught unaware and barely had time to draw their swords before they were ambushed by the slaves. Picks and swords soon went flying through the air in all directions, and it wasn't long until the men they had attacked were soon lying flat on their backs in the dust.

They soon looked up to see a group of riders coming, and it wasn't long until they distinguished one of the riders to be Djaq, so they ran towards the fence. By the time they had made it the riders on the other side had slowed to a stop and the slaves were striking the lock on the gate with their picks trying to break it.

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