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Part 3

Eowyn hesitated.

In battle she would obey Legolas’ orders without question, but this was something different—some natural or unnatural calamity—and, just as Legolas was trying to protect her by telling her to flee, so her instinct was to go back and protect him.

She had never heard him cry out in fear before.

And she never wanted to hear it again.

She made another attempt to dismount—though the mare was panicking behind her, and even Brightstar seemed jittery—but, as she swung her leg over, she heard Legolas shout, “Bado, Brightstar, BADO,” and the horse obeyed him, taking off at a gallop with Eowyn sprawled across the saddle.

For a few terrifying moments she thought she would fall, and be trampled by the mare, but—somehow—she managed to get her foot over the cantle, and back into the stirrup, and then she was riding again, using her hands and her legs to bring Brightstar under control—

Until the sky went black.

Clinging to the saddle as she sped onwards, Eowyn looked up, above her head—and could not make sense of what she was seeing.

The pass had become a tunnel.

But, as her eyes became accustomed to the darkness, she quickly realised that the ‘roof’ was not only moving but also covered in glittering scales.

Can it be?

She had never expected to see another fell beast—had believed them all slain—but the horses’ terror convinced her that one of them, at least, must still be alive.

Well, she thought, grimly, not for long.

Tearing her eyes from the creature’s belly, she looked ahead, her mind searching for an opening, her hand briefly touching her sword.

To left and right the banks were growing less steep. The pass was opening out; she knew she must strike now.

She drew her weapon, and prepared to attack, but the beast sprang forward, landing in front of her as she thundered out onto the plain, rising onto its hind legs, flapping its wings, and roaring, sending a spurt of flame high up into the sky.

That, she thought, will take some killing.

Then Brightstar reared up beneath her and, sword still in hand, she fell from his back.


Bado ... Go!