AWWWWWWW! roared Gimli, advancing on
the pack. Eowyn would rescue the elf; it was his job to
buy her enough time.
Who wants to be first? He swung the heavy,
knotted ropethe remains of his bondsaround his head.
Come on, fight!
One of the men drew a pair of knives and
Schhhhum! A single arrow, slicing down through the foliage,
buried itself between his eyes. The startled man frowned, staggered
forwards, and dropped like a stone, his weapons falling from his
Thank ye, laddie! Gimli shouted to his unseen comrade.
Then he charged, whirling his rope; and the thick knots, propelled
by dwarven muscle, hit the next man full in the face. The wolf-man
stumbled; Gimli struck again, bringing him to his knees, and again,
laying him out cold. He dropped the rope and picked up the dead
mans knives. Who is next?
One of the wolf-men turned and fled.
You! cried the dwarf, brandishing the blades
at the larger of the two who remained. I will take you
The big wolf-man, intimidated by the dwarfs relentless
advance, looked to his companion for support; but other man, relieved
by his own reprieve, was already backing away.
Divide and conquer, muttered Gimli. Forget
him, he shouted, I have chosen you.
Reluctantly, the wolf-man drew a battle axe.
Aw, growled the dwarf. Now that is cheating!
The pair circled; and Gimli, unused to knife work, realised that
he was hesitating. Aw, bugger this! he cried, and
The wolf-man swung, badly misjudged the dwarfs height,
and missed; Gimli, safely past his enemys guard and quicker,
despite his armour, stabbed.
With a gasp, the wolf-man, dropping his weapon, clutched at his
Gimli swept up the battle axe. Never challenge a dwarf
with his own steel, laddie, he cried. Now
But the wolf-man lay, still and white, upon the ground, staring
upwards with sightless eyes. Grunting, Gimli leaned down to close
Suddenly the mans arms flew out and his body stretched,
his back arching and his hips rising high, twisting and turning,
as a terrible soundlike wood splitting beneath a bladecame
up from his vitals.
Blood spattered his shirt and breeches.
The rope, Lord Gimli! yelled Osgar, whohaving
shot his last arrowhad rushed down from the flet. He scooped
up the knotted cord and threw it to the dwarf. Is there
Bind him, my Lord! cried the man. Bind him
now, whilst he is still weak! He ran back to Gimli with
a second length of rope.
By the gods, muttered the dwarf, what a sight.
The wolf-man was changinghis skin, ripped by his own nails,
was falling in ribbons about his face and neck, and dark fur was
sprouting from the bloody flesh; his jaws, working furiously,
were growing longer and broader, crammed with cruel teeth; and
foaming red-flecked spittle was flying from his snarling mouth
Now, my Lord, now! cried Osgar; and man and
dwarf pounced, Gimli slipping a hastily-tied noose over one of
the flailing arms, Osgar doing the same to a clawed foot. Over
here, cried the man, and battling with the wolf-mans
growing strength, the pair dragged the shrieking, writhing, blood-soaked
creature to the foot of one of the trees and, passing the ropes
around its trunk, bound him as tightly as they could.
Will that hold him? asked Gimli, doubtfully, as the
werewolf, in its determination to escape, began to gnaw at its
I do not know, my Lord, muttered the man, desperately
searching for more rope. I do not know!