Whoa! cried Arthur, bringing the elfs horse
to a standstill.
High above him, a jet of fire, blasting at the rocks, had just
exposed the position of the dragons lair. Arthur watched
it, memorising landmarks and judging distances, until the flames
Well, he said, patting the horses neck, now
we know where to find the beast. Lets hope that your master
proves as easy to track down.
It was the horse, however, who found the elfresisting
all of Arthurs attempts to guide it, it picked its own
way through the maze of criss-crossing paths, and brought him
straight to the foot of the dragons hill.
The elf, who seemed to be expecting him, greeted Arthur with
(what he supposed was) an elven gesture of respect, placing
one hand upon his heart and bowing his head.
I see that you have escaped the whirlwind, your Highness,
I haveSir Elf, Arthur replied, and
saw a hint of amusement flit across the creatures flawless
But, after glancing at Sir Bors, whothough not much of
a fighterhad always proved himself a shrewd judge of character,
and seeing that the man appeared to have befriended the elf,
he decided that it was time to make some sort of apology. On
reflection, he began, awkwardly, II feelthat
is, I think may have been a littleerhasty
in my earlier judgement
As I recall, your Highness, said the elf, lightly,
you risked your life to drag me from the whirlwinds path.
I am in your debt.
Well, said Arthur, be that as it mayif
you still intend to rescue your Lady, I offer you my sword.
The Lady is Lord Legolas wife, Sire,
said Sir Bors.
I see, said Arthur.
And sheershe was able to inform us,
Bors continued, that she is as yet unharmed.
Arthur saw the elfLeg-a-lasshoot the knight
a look of gratitude, and wondered what secret Sir Bors might
be keeping from him. Whats your plan? he asked.
I intend, said Legolas, tying a length of flimsy-looking
rope to a ridiculously elegant arrow, to climb up there,
and ask the dragon to set my wife free.
Ask? said Arthur, incredulously.
Beg, if necessary. Legolas fitted the arrow to
And if that doesnt work?
Then I will have to think of something else. The
elf planted his feet, and drew his bow, taking careful aimand,
though Arthur had always considered the bow a commoners
weapon, he found himself admiring its obvious power.
Right, he said.
Then the elf loosed and, as the arrow flew silently up the
hillside, it seemed to Arthur that it was following the
contours of the rock, seeking a suitable targetuntil,
suddenly, it buried itself deep in a crevice. He had to admit
that it had been a phenomenal shot.
Then Legolas grasped the rope, and Arthur understood how he
intended to use it. That will not hold, he said.
It is an elven arrow, said Legolas, cheerfully,
and elven rope. And he began to climb.
Arthur waited until the elf had gone a good thirty yards without
falling to his death before he motioned Bors to follow. This
wife of his had better be beautiful, he muttered, under