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Authors: Linda Weaver Clarke

Tags: #sweet romance, #equality and justice, #historical romance, #freedom, #love story, #robin hood

The Rebels of Cordovia

BOOK: The Rebels of Cordovia
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THE REBELS OF CORDOVIA

 

 

By Linda Weaver Clarke

 

 

Copyright © Linda Weaver Clarke, 2013. All rights
reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in
any form without permission in writing from the author. Recording
of this work for the handicapped is permitted.

 

Red Mountain Shadows Publishing

Cover Design by Serena Clarke

Smashwords Edition

 

The Rebels of Cordovia

By Linda Weaver Clarke

www.lindaweaverclarke.com

ISBN: 9781301842667

 

Names, characters, places, and incidents are
the product of the author's imagination, and any resemblance to
actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is purely
coincidental.

 

 

ALSO BY LINDA WEAVER CLARKE

 

The Adventures of John and Julia Evans

(Mystery/Adventure)

Anasazi Intrigue

Mayan Intrigue

Montezuma Intrigue

Desert Intrigue

 

A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho

(Sweet Romances)

Melinda and the Wild West

Edith and the Mysterious Stranger

Jenny’s Dream

Sarah’s Special Gift

Elena, Woman of Courage

 

Non-Fiction Ebooks

Writing Your Family Legacy

Reflections of the Heart

 

 

Dedication

 

I dedicate this book to my “two greatest fans”
who have read my books: To my daughter Alaina Clarke Ragasa for
encouraging and inspiring me to write another novel when I felt I
was all done and didn’t think I had another book in me. To my
daughter Serena Clarke, for creating a beautiful book cover and
believing in me. Thank you, my dear daughters!

Prologue

 

There was a time when life was easy, neighbors
cared about one another, and charity reigned in the kingdom. Most
everyone in the villages had integrity. A shake of the hand was as
good as a signed document.

All of that changed when a controlling dictator
took over and began to rule. He wasn’t like the last ruler who
allowed the people to express their grievances. He didn’t treat his
people with equality. Furthermore, his kingdom was getting into
greater debt because of spending more than they had and borrowing
from other kingdoms. To compensate for this, he began raising taxes
to pay for his mistakes. Food prices were rising and wages were
not. He had even outlawed muskets so he could have better control.
This outraged the people to no end. They had no way of defending
themselves against evil men.

Everyone murmured and they were no longer happy.
Some began talking about the heroes of the past, heroes who fought
for their rights. They talked about the legend of Robin Hood who
had helped the people centuries ago in England. How they wished to
have someone like that to defend their rights! Whether or not the
legend was true, the people were stuck with a dictator who made
laws that crippled the people’s free agency and took away their
rights.

The little country of Cordovia was in the hands
of a tyrant who cared very little about the people. Those who tried
fighting against the new laws were thrown in jail. Some were there
for months and others for years. What could they do? Their hands
were tied.

The youth were different, though. They felt the
need to rebel, to fight for freedom of speech, freedom to worship
as they pleased, and the right to choose their own leader. Equality
among men was a new concept and they were willing to fight for
it.

A group was formed called “Robin’s Rebels.”
Though the people laughed about the similarities to the legend of
Robin Hood, it was not named after the legend.

Robin was a young woman who had decided to fight
for the rights of the people. She was not about to let another day
go by without fighting against the tyranny of King Rupert and his
men.

Chapter 1

 

An arrow flew through the air with great speed
and precision. It struck a plump yellow pear hanging from a limb,
snapping it from its stem, and pinning it to the trunk of a tree
beyond.

Robin Marie grinned as she ran toward the arrow.
She had been waiting for the pears to ripen and couldn’t wait to
sink her teeth into the succulent fruit. She yanked the arrow from
the tree bark and slid off the juicy fruit.

“Mmmm!” she hummed as she bit into the delicious
pear.

Robin was a dark haired beauty. Her rich wavy
black hair softly lay upon her shoulders and back. Her long
eyelashes accentuated her large chocolate brown eyes. She was a
graceful woman but she wasn’t helpless by any means.

She had learned archery and how to fight with a
sword in her youth. Her father had secretly taught her to defend
herself on a daily basis, telling her that one day she would use
her talents to fight for the rights of others.

She never questioned her father how he knew so
much about fighting. He had taught her to ride bareback and in
archery her arrows always found their mark. She prided herself for
not being a defenseless female but her father had warned her to not
allow others to know their secret. When she had questioned him, he
told her there would be a day when she would use her defenses to
help others, but until then it should remain secret.

The day finally arrived that he had predicted.
When her father found out what she was planning with her group of
rugged men and few women, he warned her to keep her anonymity. She
needed to blend into the crowd and be unnoticed. How could she and
her rebels make a difference in the kingdom if she was in jail?

Robin smiled as she remembered the day her
father had given her the little speech, just a few months
before.

“Let everyone think the name Robin’s Rebels is
after the legendary Robin Hood,” her father had said. “Besides,
most everyone calls you by your middle name except your family.” He
smiled affectionately. “Remember, Robin Marie, you must hide your
identity. Act like other women in public… you know what I mean…
gentle and defenseless.”

Robin nodded with a smile playing at the corners
of her lips. She understood what he was saying.

He looked her up and down and rubbed his scruffy
beard. Robin’s shapely figure was one thing she had to hide. “Uh…
you need to… Uhm…” He waved his hand down her figure.

Robin laughed and gave a nod. “I understand,
Papa. I’ll take care of it.”

He smiled as he handed her a black mask that had
two holes for her eyes and it came down to the top of her nose.
“This will hide your identity. Your mother has sewn some clothes
for you to wear. It will make fighting your opponents much
easier.”

With a smile she hugged her father.

When her mother handed her the clothes, Robin
kissed her and said, “Don’t worry about me. My little group of
defenders will be just fine. This is something we must do.”

Her mother nodded and wiped a concerned tear
from her cheek. “You’re too beautiful to look like a boy, dear.
You’ll have to rub some dirt on your face.”

Robin smiled. “I’ll do that, Mama.”

She took the clothes into her bedroom and tried
them on. They fit perfectly. Robin had taken a piece of cloth and
wrapped it around her bosom to hide her figure. It worked
perfectly. She giggled as she looked at herself in the mirror. Her
leggings were brown and her shirt was green with brown trim, which
extended to her thigh. After a moment, she frowned. Her hair. She
needed to do something with her long hair. She quickly secured it
upon her head in a bun. Then she tied on her mask and put on a
tight fitting hat to cover her hair. Looking in the mirror, she
smiled at herself. What she saw was a young boy standing in front
of her. Perfect!

Now it was time to meet with her group of
defenders. They needed a plan. She had rounded these young men up
from her own town of Charlottesville. It had been a slow procedure,
but she was looking for those who had a strong conviction about
their freedom. She wanted those who were willing to fight for it
and who wanted to put an end to the tyranny of King Rupert.

After rounding up her group of two-dozen men and
women, they talked about their grievances. They talked about a
father or brother who had been imprisoned over ridiculous things
such as speaking out against a new law. No one could say how he or
she felt anymore. Another man was jailed for defending his
daughter’s honor from a lawman.

Polly, one of the women in Robin’s group, was
put in jail for assaulting one of the king’s men. When she did not
have enough money to pay her taxes, the tax collector gave her a
lecherous grin and told her that he could accept another kind of
payment. She had slapped his face when he touched her. Polly ended
up with a weeklong sentence in prison, even after she paid her
taxes.

That made Robin angry. She and her band of men
and women were going to defend their community and fight for their
rights. They would also replace the king with another leader. One
thing for sure, they were not going to have another king. The
people would choose their leader.

Robin pursed her lips as she looked at the half
eaten pear in her hand and shook her head. A few months had passed
since then. She hoped she and her band of rebels were making a
difference in the community. By not allowing the tax collector to
deliver the taxes to the king, Robin’s Rebels were sending a
message of rebellion to him.

 

***

 

Daniel folded his muscled arms across his chest
as he leaned against the tree trunk. He watched his men practice
their archery and sword techniques. He nodded in approval. They had
come a long way since he had rounded up this group of men to fight
against King Rupert. They were strong young men who were willing to
fight for their family, their freedom, and their country. They
called themselves the “Freemen” because they were going to free
Cordovia from this oppression. He had recruited fifty men, but he
needed more to fight against King Rupert.

There was one thing in his favor. The king had
decided to dissemble his army because he couldn’t pay their wages
any longer. Since the other kingdoms were asking for the money he
owed them, he needed to pay back his debts. So that was one of the
areas the king thought he would cut back on. That was a grave
mistake. Rebel groups were popping up in every town and
village.

Daniel was an imposing
figure, over six feet tall. He was twenty-six years of age with a
square jaw and green eyes. He had broad shoulders, wavy auburn
hair, and his arms were tanned from long hours in the sun.
His white shirtsleeves were rolled up above his elbows
, exposing muscles rippling along his arms. His shirt was
unbuttoned at the top, revealing the top of his muscled chest. It
was evident that his father had taught him the value of
work.

Daniel’s men had great respect for his
leadership. They often joked around with him, saying how the ladies
seemed to love a rogue, especially those who were fighting
oppression. That comment often made him smile. Did women really
love a rogue? Was it true?

He tucked his thumbs
behind his belt as he stood watching his men. He had a slight smile
on his face as he thought about the small group of men in
Charlottesville
called Robin’s Rebels. They had
been making a name for themselves lately and people were taking
notice. Daniel had heard about the great deeds they had done in
Charlottesville and he was impressed. He wanted to recruit them
but, according to Miles, they were not interested in joining
him.

Miles was his second hand man and only stood
five feet tall. What he lacked in height, he made up for with
stamina, perseverance, and enthusiasm. He had inquired of Robin’s
whereabouts and had finally gotten the group’s attention. A meeting
place was arranged. After making known his intentions to the group,
they laughed in his face and said they were not interested. A woman
had pointed to a young man with a mask over his eyes and told Miles
that he was their leader and they did not need another.

Daniel shook his head in amusement. Miles
had told him that their leader was quite intelligent and his
strategy in each attack against the king was impressive. But the
build of the leader himself was not so impressive. He was a slender
young man with no muscle whatsoever. Miles had said that he doubted
the leader could defend himself in battle. He was the brains and
his men were the brawn. This made Daniel laugh.

He figured that it would not take much to
convince the small group to join with him. He needed more men and
Robin’s two-dozen rebels could do very little on their own. He was
sure of it. Adding their group to his would make seventy-five
men.

BOOK: The Rebels of Cordovia
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