"Ay, but he will return. His deer are not yet to be slain by your arrows, child. When you are Ranger at Locksley, in your father's stead, who shall then say you nay?"
"My father does not shoot the King's deer, except those past their time," answered Robin, quickly. "He tends them, and slays instead any robbers who would maltreat or kill the does. Do you think I could hit yon beast, father? He makes a pretty mark, and my arrow would but prick him?"
[Illustration: ROBIN AND HIS MOTHER GO TO NOTTINGHAM FAIR
The road wound in and about the forest, and at noon they came to a part where the trees nigh shut out the sky.]
The clerk glanced toward Mistress Fitzooth. "Dame," said he, gravely, "do you not think that here, in this cool shadow, we might well stay our travelling? Surely it is near the hour of noon? And," here he sank his voice to a sly whisper, "it would be well perhaps to let this temptation pass away from before our Robin! Else, I doubt