Place: Toronto Forest
Little Schanke shook Nick Hood awake. "Hey buddy, you want a
chance to see your lady love?"
Nick growled, then woke up realizing the sun had set. "Who?"
"Maid Natalie! She's to be the maiden-of-honor at the Lord
Commissioner's daughter's wedding." Little Schanke shook his
head. "Myra said the whole town's getting ready for it. It takes
place at midnight."
Nick nodded thoughtfully while gathering up his bow and arrows.
"I will go to see her, but Maid Natalie can never be mine."
"Because I'm an outlaw. It isn't the life for her, she deserves
better than me." Nick once again bemoaned his fate.
Little Schanke made a non-committal noise. Nick stared off into
space for a minute, then snapped out of it.
"The Sheriff Lacroix of Toronto, he'll be there won't he?"
"Of course, everyone will be there."
"Then I really don't see why we shouldn't attend. On such a happy
occasion, the rich's pockets may be a little looser."
"The orphans mouths will be full tomorrow!" Little Schanke
A band of a few of Nick Hood's merry men accompanied him to the
Shire. On the way they ran across a young man laying in the road.
His clothing was torn and he had an old guitar grasped in his
"Hello, what's this?" Nick Hood knelt beside the young man. "Who
The young man opened his eyes. "I am Vachon-a-Dale."
"Why are you lying about, littering the road?"
"I shall tell you my sad tale."
"Why don't you sing it?" Nick Hood asked.
"My heart's too heavy to sing of this story of pain and loss."
Vachon-a-Dale sat up. "I met a young, virtuous maid a few months
ago while traveling. We saw each other and fell in love. Her
father, the High Commissioner wouldn't let his daughter have
anything to do with me, a humble musician, and agreed to let her
marry Inca, an evil relative of mine. She marries him tonight, So
I will lay here until the sun comes, where upon I will turn to
Nick Hood sighed, this tale of love had touched his broken heart,
Little Schanke rolled his eyes.
Nick Hood stood straight up. "I'll tell you what good man, if I
help you, will you join my band of merry men?"
Vachon-a-Dale looked confused. "What do merry men do?"
"We rob the rich to give to the poor, search for a cure for
people who burn in sunlight, and fight evil. Often we make a fool
of Sheriff Lacroix of Toronto. If you agree to join us, we'll get
you and your love together."
Vachon-a-Dale considered this a moment. "I'll do it!"
Nick Hood turned to Little Schanke, "Away to the woods and gather
all the men and make sure you get Friar Stonetree. We've a
wedding to crash."
Less than an hour later, about forty monks were walking towards
the church led by Nick Hood.
The men went up to the balcony to await their signal while Nick
Hood and Friar Stonetree went towards the front.
Nick Hood spotted the beautiful Maid Natalie being escorted down
the aisle by his arch enemy, Sheriff Lacroix, who was being the
best man. It took all his strength not to snatch her from this
place and take her into his forest home.
The Lord Commissioner came down the aisle next with his daughter,
the fair, but unhappy-looking Maid Tracy.
She was almost physical handed over to the Inca.
The priest began his monologue. When he came to the part, "Who
among you objects to the union of this woman and this man," Nick
Hood stepped forward.
The elderly priest squinted at him. "Why? On what grounds?"
"On the grounds of true love!" Nick signaled to his merry men.
The merry men threw off their monks robes and began to descend
onto the crowd below.
Vachon-a-Dale hooked a rope onto the chandelier and swung down to
the front. The fair Maid Tracy threw herself into her true love's
"Marry me?" he asked.
"Yes!" Maid Tracy exclaimed.
In ten minutes flat Nick Hood's merry men got the royal guards
under control. Little Schanke had a pointed, wooden stake to Sheriff
Lacroix's heart. "Go ahead buddy."
Nick got into the place of best man while Friar Stonetree stepped
behind the pulpit. "Who gives this woman?"
Nick Hood raised his hand. "I and my merry men, on the grounds he
promises to protect her from all evil."
Vachon-a-Dale agreed heartily with a, "I will!"
Friar Stonetree nodded gravely. "Does anyone object?"
Sheriff Lacroix opened his mouth, but Little Schanke threw a
small clove of garlic in, shutting him up.
Friar Stonetree continued, but Nick didn't pay any attention. He
just looked past them, staring into the eyes of the beautiful
Their eyes didn't leave each other until Friar Stonetree said, "I
now pronounce you man and wife!"
The crowd let up a cheer, slightly encouraged by the merry men.
Sheriff Lacroix glared. "This isn't over Nicholas Hood!" he said
as Little Schanke led him away.
The crowd began to leave the church to celebrate in the streets.
The beautiful Maid Natalie held out her hand to Nick Hood, who
took it and kissed it fondly before offering her his arm.
"Gee, I wish a certain man of Toronto Forest would come and carry
me away." Maid Natalie raised her eyebrows at him as he led her
down the aisle to the door.
"Ah Maid Natalie, someday, when I am cured, King Richard is back
on the throne, Sheriff Lacroix is out of my life. When I can give
you the kind of life you deserve," Nick Hood promised.
"Nick Hood, someday you'll see what I deserve is you." Maid
Natalie sighed. "But, I'll wait, forever if I have to."
They stepped out into the street to celebrate the with the newly-