"(...) Oh, no, he does that, I'm not saying he doesn't. He robs from the rich and gives to the poor. Mind, that's practically everyone on our way, with the King's taxes the way they are... I mean, everyone's on the breadline, scrabbling to feed and clothe themselves
You know what doesn't help with that? Some rich kid with a Messiah complex, all dressed in green because it goes with his eyes, nicking a purse of gold from a toff and then dumping it on some random village.
You know what happens then? Well, first off, everyone waves Robin Hood bye-bye, and then they help themselves a little riot, because if you're a starving peasant with a gold piece, and you know everyone in your village has also just been given a gold piece, you might be tempted to start doing a little bit of wealth distribution on your own account.
So an hour later, most of the village is as poor as ever, only a couple of then now have got a broken rib, or a cracked head, or a severe attack of the Deaths, and the strongest or most violent has got a purse of gold coins. Now, if he's the strongest it's possible he might not also be the brightest. So, like a snot, his next move is to tail a cart into the nearest town, roll into a merchant's, more likely a tavern, and give it the old 'Hello, my good man, I'm a stinking peasant what would like to buy lots of ale at this silk purse of gold I perfectly normally have' (?)
At which point either he gets beaten up himself or they keep him talking, send their messenger for me, and I've got to arrest him, haven't I?, 'cause I'm presented with the baffling case of the penniless peasant with a purse of gold that looks uncannily like the purse of gold Guy of Gisbourne reported nicked last week.
(...) So I don't want to arrest him but... well, maybe I do, if he's beaten up all his neighbours, but maybe he hasn't because maybe he is a she, in which case it's perfectly possible Robin Hood gives her the whole lot to start with because he took a fancy to her, and she says 'Why, thank you, good sir Robin' -for an hour or so-, heads into town to buy a dress and it ends the same way.
Anyway, if I can't avoid arresting them, I arrest them, and I try to stop them getting killed and if I do, they end up in prison. Meanwhile, of course, I confiscate the stolen goods.
And I don't pocket it, because I happen not to be bent, actually, but nor do I take it back to the injured party myself -oh no!, because I can't be trusted with that job-, that is a job for -oh, goodness me!- His Majesty's Collector of Taxes.
So Guy of Gisbourne gets back maybe a quarter of what he lost and the rest is split between King John and the Tax Collector's backpocket.
So what's he actually done, Robin Hood? He's robbed from the rich... and given to the King!
And on the way he's left the poor injured, dead, imprisoned and, on at least two occasions to my certain knowledge, in the family way. Well done, Robin Hood!"
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