The archers, having previously determined by lot their order of precedence, were to shoot each three shafts in succession.
``Sith it be no better,'' said Locksley, ``I am content to try my fortune; on condition that when I have shot two shafts at yonder mark of Hubert's, he shall be bound to shoot one at that which I shall propose.''
Hubert, who, as victor in the first trial of skill, had the right to shoot first, took his aim with great deliberation, long measuring the distance with his eye, while he held in his hand his bended bow, with the arrow placed on the string.
"But I have seen you, Johnston, and you, Samkin Aylward, and one or two others who are still with us, shoot as well as the best.
"Yet I have seen Johnston shoot these twenty years, and I will not flinch from it.
I take it unkindly of thee, Samkin, that thou shouldst call all eyes thus upon a broken bowman who could once shoot a fair shaft.
It was the archer's contest for the golden arrow, and twenty men stepped forth to shoot. Among them was a beggar-man, a sorry looking fellow with leggings of different colors, and brown scratched face and hands.
The first target was to be placed at thirty ells distance, and all those who hit its center were allowed to shoot at the second target, placed ten ells farther off.
The trumpet sounded again, and the archers prepared to shoot. Rob looked to his string, while the crowd smiled and whispered at the odd figure he cut, with his vari-colored legs and little cape.
“Admit it!” repeated the agitated Judge; “I here give thee a right to shoot deer, or bears, or anything thou pleasest in my woods, forever.
“There’s them living who say that Nathaniel Bumppo's right to shoot on these hills is of older date than Marmaduke Temple’s right to forbid him,” he said.
"If ye handle yew bow and apple shaft no better than ye do oaken cudgel, I wot ye are not fit to be called yeomen in my country; but if there be any man here that can shoot
a better shaft than I, then will I bethink me of joining with you."