Nasty little buggers, said Gimli.
Eowyn looked from Legolas to Haldir, and back again. We
must carry on, she insisted. The knight has
already gone in therealoneto rescue his lady. And
he has the djinn.
Legolas, though worried by this new development, could not
help smiling. To rescue his lady, melmenya?
Why else would he be so determined? She re-sheathed
her knife and stood up. I am not afraid.
You have never been attacked by goblins, melmenya.
Thank the Valar.
They come at you like ants, said Gimli, helpfully,
flowing along the ground, and pouring down the walls.
Are we even sure that the knight came in here?
asked Haldir, attempting to decide the matter rationally. There
were no obvious tracks outside.
Because they had been covered with fresh snow,
Gimli swept his torch back and forth across the tunnel floor.
There are footprints here, he announced.
They are faint, but they are fresh. He straightened
up. We are not under any obligation to rescue this knight.
We know that he is no friend of the Colony
You are only saying that because of me, Gimli,
Eowyn interrupted. You have never run from a fight
in your life!
but he has, the dwarf continued, saved
the lives of at least two of our people in the past few days.
He had seen how goblins treated women, and what he wanted
was to take Eowyn out onto the plateau, find her shelter, and
leave her there, where she would be safefrom the weather,
from men and, especially, from goblins. He was certain that
his fears for her were not based on any underestimate of her
fighting skills, but on a sound grasp of the risksbut
he also knew that insisting she stay behind could open up a
gulf between them that he might never be able to close.
If they were going to carry on, then Eowyn must go with them.
Still, he hesitated, reluctant to make the final decision
Everyone turned towards the scream of terror that came rushing
through the stale air of the tunnel.
Well, then, said Gimli. That has decided