When Marian had gone, Robin saddled his best horse. He rode east for three days. On the third day he saw the sea in the distance. He galloped towards it.
He came to a small village of about twenty little houses. Fishermen sat outside the houses and mended their nets.
Robin jumped off his horse and unsaddled it. He patted its nose and then sent it off into the woods – if Prince John was following him, the horse must not show his enemy where he was.
Robin walked up to one of the fishermen.
`Can you help me, sir?` He said. `I am a fisherman, like you. But a scoundrel attacked me in the harbour, and took all my money! I have nowhere to sleep tonight!`
The man put down his net, and looked Robin up and down.
`There are scoundrels in our little harbour, and all good men fear them,` he said. `Very well – come in, and I will ask my wife to make you something to eat.`
In the morning, the fisherman and his wife were talking to a sea captain.
`Soldiers on horseback are galloping all over the village!` said the captain.
`I don’t know who they are looking for, but they are Prince John`s men, all right. I don’t like the look of them. I am setting sail tonight.`
`Do you need another fisherman on your boat?` asked Robin. `I am strong, and a good sailor.`
`Then I will take you on,` said the man. `Come with me.`
The men on the boat soon found out that Robin was not a good sailor.
`He doesn’t even know how to put up a sail!` laughed one, as he watched Robin pull at the ropes.
But Robin learned quickly. And on the third day, the sailors were pleased that he was on the boat.
`Pick up your oars! Row, as fast as you can! We are being followed by a pirate ship!` cried the captain.
Robin didn’t pick up an oar – he picked up his bow and arrow. He saw that the pirate ship was moving through the water very fast. Its captain stood at the front of the ship with his sword in his hand.
Robin fitted an arrow into his bow, and raised it to his shoulder. He fried the arrow – and the pirate captain fell into the sea. Robin fired more arrows, and the other pirates soon followed their captain.
The men from Robin`s boat jumped onto the pirate ship and searched it.
The captain cried out, `Gold! Lots of gold!` He jingled some coins in his hand. `Half of it is for you, Robin! You may not be a good sailor, but you are the best archer I`ve ever seen!`