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Stealing Home

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Robin, chapter 4

The constable recalled what he could of his pride, did his best to tidy the clothes he had left, brought himself upright, and knocked on the quaint cabin door.

ROBIN-- [answering the door; innocence personified]  Ah, Sheriff.  What a pleasant surprise. [the sheriff himself is too distraught to respond] Come in.  Come in!  Grandma's out fetching water for tea, but she'll be back in a moment.  We've some excellent scones and jam you have to try, and nothing goes with them like hot tea.

SHERIFF-- [recovering his wits; coldly]  No. [holding up the foreclosure and eviction notices] No, I just came to deliver these.

ROBIN-- Those?  Why, Sheriff, after all I've done for you today, you'd have me homeless?

SHERIFF-- After all you've done for me today, I'd lock you in jail, if I weren't already serving these.

GRANDMA-- [appears behind the sheriff, whom she is slightly taller than; snatches the papers from his hands, and begins folding them]  But you aren't.  [she makes a paper airplane and sets it sailing]

SHERIFF-- It doesn't matter if you read those or not, once I've delivered them.

GRANDMA-- But you haven't.

ROBIN-- Unless you'd like people to know how you were fooled by a "little girl".

GRANDMA-- And beaten by one.  [Robin taps the sheriff several times in various tender places with her handy staff; try as he might, Wulf cannot defend himself]

SHERIFF-- You--you little, red hoodlum!  [Grandma raps him on the head for this]

GRANDMA-- [gently guiding the sheriff away from the cabin] Now, it was nice seeing you, Mister Wulf, but it's getting late.  Don't you think you should be headed home?

ROBIN-- [placing a pink and yellow, flowery bag over his shoulders]  Before you go, take some scones and jam.  [the pair escort him back to the path he came in on; the closer they get, the more the sheriff shakes his head and drags his heals; Robin's hens follow, clucking]

SHERIFF--  [desperate] Isn't there some other way back to Notsbury?

ROBIN-- Of course, and it's quicker, too, but familiar territory's best.  We wouldn't want you to get lost.

GRANDMA-- [shooing him along] Your safety's important, so it's back the way you came with you.  [he hangs his head and leaves, all hope gone]

Soon afterwards, the Sheriff and his men began a habit of hanging about Notsburry market, often making inquiries into the business of a certain redheaded girl.  Using various tricks and disguises, that selfsame Robin was able to continue to sell her wares for a time, but it seemed unwise to continue her performances.  Eventually, Robin's ruses were exhausted, and she realized she could no longer go to the market.

So Robin saved her house (but lost her job), and Harold Wulf kept some of his dignity until, somehow, the story of his jaunt in Sherman's Forest was told about town.

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