You are the knight, Legolas whispered, freeing
himself from the others grasp.
And you are an elf, the man replied, shoving
Legolas into the shadows. Keep low, Elf, he hissed,
and be quiet!
Out in the cavern, the goblins had begun chanting, Fight!
Fight! FIIIIIIGHT... Then a cheer went up.
Eowyn, thought Legolas, must have landed a blow...
He grasped the knights shoulders. Where is the
The man looked confused.
The brass lamp you found on the Plain of Shadows,
the elf insisted. Where is it?
I dumped my pack back in the tunnels. The lamp was in
Legolas swore. Then, You are here to rescue your lady
Do you have a plan?
The man looked across the Great Cavern. Thats
my daughter, he said, over there, fighting with
that other woman
Your... Good. Then I say we both wait for an opportunity,
cut our way to them, and run like wargs.
He did not sense that Eowyn was in any immediate danger, and
he would have preferred to wait until the goblins had scattered
and the cavern was quieter before he attempted a rescue, but
the knights daughter was likely to lose the fight, and
he had no idea what the goblins would do to a loser...
I have two companions, he told the man, not
far behind me. If we can wait a few moments, they will greatly
improve the odds. Cautiously, he rose to his full height
and, keeping to the shadows, scanned the walls of the cavern,
looking for alternative routes of escape. Over there,
he whispered, near the Goblin Kings throne, there
are more women, locked behind bars.
We cannot do anything for them, said the
knight. Well be lucky to get away with Gudyth and
Another cheer went up from the goblins.
Silently, Legolas hopped onto a boulder.
From there, he could see Eowyn clearly, wrestling with the
knights daughter. She was stripped down to her shift,
and the mud-soaked fabric was clinging to her, moulding itself
to the slender curves of her body and the graceful lines of
her lightly-muscled limbs... She looked like an elemental being,
emerging from deep in the earth and, althoughif he had
had the arrowshe would have shot every last goblin in
the mine for imprisoning her and forcing her to fight, Legolas
was so proud of her spirit.
His eye travelled round the crowd, and came to rest on the
monstrous figure of the Goblin King. He was leaning forward
in his stone chair, urging the two women on with a rhythmic
slapping of his great warty hand...
And dangling from his other hand was the djinns lamp.