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10. The Adventure with Midge the Miller's Son
WHEN THE four yeomen had traveled for a long time toward Sherwood again, high noontide being past, they began to wax hungry. Quoth Robin Hood, "I would that I had somewhat to eat. Methinks a good loaf of white bread, with a piece of snow-white cheese, washed down with a draught of humming ale, were a feast for a king."
"Since thou speakest of it," said Will Scarlet, "methinks it would not be amiss myself. There is that within me crieth out, `Victuals, good friend, victuals!' "
"I know a house near by," said Arthur a Bland, "and, had I but the money, I would bring ye that ye speak of; to wit, a sweet loaf of bread, a fair cheese, and a skin of brown ale."
"For the matter of that, thou knowest I have money by me, good master," quoth Little John.
"Why, so thou hast, Little John," said Robin. "How much money will it take, good Arthur, to buy us meat and drink?"
"I think that six broad pennies will buy food enow for a dozen men," said the Tanner.
"Then give him six pennies, Little John," quoth Robin, "for methinks food for three men will about fit my need. Now get thee gone, Arthur, with the money, and bring the food here, for there is a sweet shade in that thicket yonder, beside the road, and there will we eat our meal."
So Little John gave Arthur the money, and the others stepped to the thicket, there to await the return of the Tanner.
After a time he came back, bearing with him a great brown loaf of bread, and a fair, round cheese, and a goatskin full of stout March beer, slung over his shoulders. Then Will Scarlet took his sword and divided the loaf and the cheese into four fair portions, and each man helped himself. Then Robin Hood took a deep pull at the beer. "Aha!" said he, drawing in his breath, "never have I tasted sweeter drink than this."
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