"Then art thou indeed that famous outlaw? Right gladly will I dispute
with thee the passes of the merry wood. Have at thee!"
They took their lath swords, dumped their other traps on the ground,
struck a fencing attitude, foot to foot, and began a grave, careful
combat, "two up and two down." Presently Tom said:
"Now, if you've got the hang, go it lively!"
So they "went it lively," panting and perspiring with the work. By and
by Tom shouted:
"Fall! fall! Why don't you fall?"
"I sha'n't! Why don't you fall yourself? You're getting the worst of
"Why, that ain't anything. I can't fall; that ain't the way it is in the
book. The book says, 'Then with one back-handed stroke he slew poor Guy
of Guisborne.' You're to turn around and let me hit you in the back."
There was no getting around the authorities, so Joe turned, received the
whack and fell.
"Now," said Joe, getting up, "you got to let me kill you. That's
"Why, I can't do that, it ain't in the book."