Eowyn frowned. How could anyone abandon such a sweet
little She stopped herself, aware that the elflings
huge eyes were fixed upon her. He is so wet, Lassui,
she said. We had better get him home straight away.
Melmenya! Legolas shook his head, smiling fondly.
We cannot just take him home.
Why not? That is what the note says.
He is not a Yuletide gift, my darling.
But we cannot leave him here!
No. Absently, Legolas picked up the childs
waterskin and pulled out the cork. But we must make some
effort to find his parents. He handed the skin to the boy.
Melannen took a drink, then offered it to Eowyn. Would
you like some?
Thank you,she raised the skin to her lipsMelannen!
You speak Westron!
The child nodded.
You clever boy! She gave him a little hug;
then she took a sip, and handed the skin to Legolas.
Melannen smiled up at her, proudly.
Legolas, meanwhile, having drunk from the waterskin, re-corked
it, and put it back in the childs basket. Come, melmenya,
he said. We will follow Melannens footprints back
to wherever he came from and, with luck... He saw the
disappointment on Eowyns face, and laid a gentle hand upon
It is getting so late, Lassui, she pleaded, andohhh...
There is still enough light, my darling. And we must make
Eowyn covered her mouth and, yawning again, nodded reluctantly.
Goodness, said Legolas. You are making me feel
They scrambled to their feet, and Legolas picked up the basket
and, with Melannen walking between them, holding their hands,
they traced the trail of little footprints through the snow-covered
Forest, tramping beneath the tall, dark pines until they reached
a frozen stream, which they followed eastwards, gradually climbing
up flights of snowy stepspausing now and then to admire
the delicate icicles fringing the sides of the gorgeevery
step taking them farther and farther from the Doro Lanthron road.
At last they came to a stone bridge.
Across there? asked Eowyn, doubtfully.
The child nodded.
That is where his footprints lead, melmenya, said
On the northern bank the trail left the stream, and wandered
back into the woods, and they continued to follow it, through
the frosty undergrowth, until, as the light began to fail, they
came to an abrupt halt at the foot of a sheer wall of rock.
There, the elflings footprints turned east and skirted
the cliff, then suddenly turned again, and disappeared into a
Did you really come through there, Melannen? asked
The boy nodded, vehemently. Yes, Lady Melmenya.
Legolas and Eowyn looked at one another, startled. Then they
It is Lady Eowyn, said Legolas, but
I am sure, he added, bending down to the child, and pretending
to whisper, that she will let you call her Gwanur Eowyn,
if you like. And I am Gwanur Legolas.
The laughter had raised their spirits and, without further ado,
Legolas led them into the passage, and they followed its twists
and turns until, after a few minutes, they came to the other end,
stepped out into the open, and found themselves looking down into
a little valley. Snow-covered houses dotted the hillside, lining
the road that wound along the valley bottom until they clustered
together in a little town. Here and there, chimney smoke curled
up into the dusky sky and lights already shone invitingly.
Where are we? asked Eowyn.
I do not know, melmenya. I had no idea that there were
settlements this far out. Is this where you live, Melannen?
The boy nodded, pointingbeyond the townto the dense
Forest that covered the other side of the valley. Over there,
By the time they reached the town, darkness had fallen, and the
clear night sky was filled with twinkling stars. It is too
late to go any further tonight, Lassui, said Eowyn. Perhaps
there is an inn we can stay at.
They found one in the market placeThe Two Waysa
big, half-timbered tavern with a row of latticed windows filled
with light and laughter, and a heavy, panelled door from which,
when Legolas opened it, the mingled smells of mulled ale, and
woodsmoke, and roasted meat spilled out into the street.
Welcome, welcome! cried the landlord, rushing from
behind the bar. Strangers are always welcome! And
its a long time since we saw any of the fair folk in these
parts! Here, my Lady,he pulled out a chair for Eowynsit
beside the fire and let me fetch you a drinka tankard of
hot mulled ale is just what you need on a cold night like this.
Eowyn sat down, and patted her lap, and Melannen climbed onto
Legolas smiled at them. Then, Thank you, landlord,
he said, nodding politely to the regulars as he followed the man
to the bar, but the boy will have mulled apple juice
Of course, sir.
and we would all like some foodpease pudding,
With butter and mint sauce, sir, said the landlord,
and fresh-baked bread.
Perfect. And two rooms for the night, if you have them.
Ill get the wife to make them up. Take your seat
sir,the landlord gestured towards the firesideand
Ill bring your ale over, and your food, too, when its
When their supper was finished, they thanked the landlord, said
goodnight to his other guests, and took Melannen up the narrow,
creaking stairs to his attic bedroom.
It was small but cosy, for the landlords wife had lit the
fire and made up the bed with a warm quilt, and had found a tiny
nightshirt for the boy to wear. Eowyn asked her to fetch some
hot water andwhilst Legolas sat beside the fire and amused
them by making hand shadow puppets on the wallshe helped
the elfling change out of his still-damp clothes, which she hung
over a chair to dry, and to wash his hands and face, and put on
Now, she said, into bed!
She pulled back the coverlet.
The elfling climbed in. Wheres Niben? he asked.
The toy rabbit, melmenya, said Legolas, making a
shadow-rabbit, which peered at the elfling, took fright, and scampered
Of course. Eowyn rummaged through the childs
basket. Ah, here he is... She turned, holding the
toy up in the firelight, only to find that the elfling had already
fallen into reverie.
Smiling, she laid Niben on his pillow. He must have been
so tired, Lassui, she said, carefully arranging the
quilt around his shoulders, and kissing his forehead. Sleep
tight, she whispered.
Then she and Legolas, hand-in-hand, tip-toed from the room, quietly
closing the door behind them.
Their own room, on the floor below, was large and draughty, but
the landlords wife had lit the fire and aired the bed, and
had provided them with flannel night clothes. Legolas held a thick
nightshirt against his chest. What do you think, melmenya?
Does it suit me?
Eowyn shook her head. No. She sat down heavily.
You look tired.
No... It is just... It has been a strange day. Do you think
we will find Melannens parents?
Legolas draped the nightshirt over a chair to warm. I do
not know, melmenya, he said, kneeling down to unfasten her
jerkin. I think it unlikely that they live in the Forest.
He slid it off her shoulders.
He pulled off her boots. Because: why would anyone with
such a well-situated home abandon a child?
I think it strange, said Eowyn, unlacing her leggings,
that he managed to walk so far without being found. And
did you hear what the landlord saidthat it was a long time
since he had seen any elves?
Yes. I pressed him on that but he was adamant: he has never
heard of any elves living in the Forest. Of course, he added,
elves are not seen when they do not want to be.
He fetched the warmed nightshirt, and Eowyn slipped out of her
tunic, and put it on. Legolas pulled back the quilt and she climbed
Oh, she cried, it is freezing!
The elf laughed. Just a moment. He undressed quickly
and, naked, climbed in beside her.
I win, said Eowyn, snuggling close.
Legolas wrapped his arms around her, and hugged her closer. Better?
He shifted his hips.
He laughed and kissed her forehead.
Then he kissed her mouth.
And Legolas, still holding her close, moved his hips again, and
Eowyn moved hers, andAh,he pushed himself
Lassui,it was so beautifuloh,
my love... she whispered. And she closed her eyes,
smiling, and let his thrustsdeep, deep and strongdrive
her closer, and closer, and closer, until, Ah,
she wailed, and her smile turned to astonishment as her body arched
And Legolas felt her climax envelop him; and his own body, in
swift response, spiralled helplessly into sweet release. Melmenya,
he groaned. Ai! Ai, meleth nín!
Good morning, melmenya.
Eowyn pushed herself up on her elbows.
Legolas was sitting beside the fire, stirring up its embers,
which were beginning to crackle merrily. The landlords
wife has brought you some hot water, he said, and
I have asked her to prepare us some breakfast.
Eowyn yawned. Melannen, she said.
I have been to see him, and he is still resting.
We must get him dressed.
Legolas smiled. We must get you dressed, first.
Eowyn pushed back the quilt, climbed out of the bed, and padded
over to the wash stand. How long do you think it will take
us to walk to the Forest? She washed quickly.
Two hours, perhaps. Here, melmenya. He picked up
her tunic, which had been warming by the fire, and held it for
her to slip on.
Oh, that is better!
To Eowyns disappointment, when they reached the elflings
room they found him already up and dressed, standing by the window
with his toy rabbit. Look, Gwanur Eowyn, he said,
showing her the frosted panes.
Oh, yes! She crouched down beside him. It is
beautiful, Melannen! Look, Lassui, she said, tracing one
of the crystals with her fingertip.
Like a faery Forest, said Legolas.
They ate a hearty breakfast of porridge, eggs, and bread and
butter; and then, whilst Legolas paid the landlord, Eowyn spoke
quietly to the mans wife.
Here you are, my Lady, said the woman, moments later,
handing Eowyn a bundle of coarse brown fabric. Its
old, but its still sound, and it should do the job.
Thank you. Eowyn reached for her purse.
Oh no, my Lady, said the woman. Please have
it. Mine have long grown out of it.
Thank you very much, mistress. Come Melannen, this will
keep you nice and warm. She unfolded the thick brown worsted
and wrapped it round the elflings shoulders, fastening it
beneath his chin with a large wooden toggle. The heavy cloak bunched
in stiff folds about the boys legs, and parts of its hem
brushed the floor. He looked like a particularly stout, blond
Melmenya, said Legolas, smiling fondly, he
is an elf. You do not need to be so protective.
But Melannen was beaming up at his new Gwanur as though she had
just given him a riding cloak of fine silk velvet.
Outside The Two Ways tavern, the market was already bustling.
Eowyn took Melannen by the hand and the trio spent a few moments
walking up and down the rows of stalls, buying bread and cheese,
some rosy apples, andas a special treatthree slices
of spiced yule cake.
The stalls were hung with garlands of spruce and holly, and decorated
with strings of glass baubles, and with stars of woven straw,
and many were selling seasonal giftsscented salves and beeswax
candles, boxes of sweetmeats, nuts, and exotic fruits.
Whilst Legolas and Eowyn were carefully stowing a bag of peppered
almonds in Melannens basketwhich Legolas had volunteered
to carrythe elfling wandered over to the next stall.
Good morning to you, young sir, said trader, hanging
a toy bear from a hook in the stalls pitched roof.
Melannen studied the wooden creaturesmartly dressed in
a blue shirt, a flowered waistcoat, and grey leggingsand
frowned. He looks like a man, he said.
Watch, said the trader and, unseen by the elfling,
he pulled a cord, and the bear suddenly leaped up and down, waving
its arms and legs.
Oh! Gwanur Eowyn, cried Melannen, in amazement, Gwanur
Legolas! Look! Look!
Legolas and Eowyn hurried to his side.
It jumps! said the boy, pointing excitedly.
Laughing, Eowyn gave him a little hug. Would you like one
of your own, Melannen? she asked. Then your Gwanur
Legolas can show you how it works. The boy smiled up at
her. Which would you like?
Besides the bear, there were several men, an oliphaunt, and a
big striped cat to choose from.
The bear, said Melannen. The bear
with clothes on.
They left the market square, turning east at the crossroads,
and followed the narrow lane through a huddle of grey stone cottagespast
a blacksmiths forge, and a cabinet-makers workshop,
where they paused to look at the frosty spiders web stretched
across the windowthen out onto the common, where cattle
and horses, their breath steaming, were waiting patiently for
A little further on, where the road crossed a bridge, they came
upon a handful of boys sliding excitedly across a frozen stream.
Melannen turned to watch them.
Eowyn squeezed his hand. We must press on, she said.
We can spare a few moments, melmenya, said Legolas,
if he would like to try it.
Eowyn looked up at the elf in alarm, and mouthed, No.
But the biggest of the boys had already seen them, and came running
along the snowy bank. Does the little un want a go,
Do you, Melannen? asked Legolas. The elfling nodded.
Yes, please, he replied to the boy. Just one.
Come on then, said the boy, taking the smaller child
by the hand. Melanners avin the next go,
he shouted to his friends.
Legolas wrapped his arm around Eowyn and they watched as the
elfling attempted to slide, fellLegolas held Eowyn backwas
briefly coached by the other childrenwho mimed various techniquesand
then, on his second attempt, slid gracefully across the full width
of the stream.
Melannen threw up his little hands in triumph.
Some of the others cheered, and some laughed, good-naturedly.
Come on, Melanner, said the big boy, yer Dad
said jus one go.
You were right, Lassui, Eowyn admitted, softly, as
the children tramped back to the bridge. It is justhe
is so small...
I know, melmenya, said Legolas, gently, but
a child must always be permitted the chance to learn. Thank you,he
handed the boy the bag of spiced almonds he had bought in the
marketto share with your friends.
Thank yer, sir. The boy bowed, clumsily. Then, eyeing
the elf shrewdly, he added, Melanner says yer takin
im inter the Forest.
Yer dont want to go in there, sir.
The boy shrugged. Its aunted, he said.
And he ran back to his friends.
It was midday by the time they reached the Forest. There, the
road dwindled to a narrow trail, and patches of pale light, filtering
down through the frosty branches, fell like jewels upon a covering
of smooth, unblemished snow.
No human has set foot in here for years, thought Legolas,
and he remembered the childs warning.
He stopped, and listened intently.
All around him, the trees were creaking under their snowy burden,
squirrels were scampering across the Forest floor, deer were browsing
on the sparse undergrowth, but he could sense no sign of Silvan
elvesno songs nor laughter, nothing to suggest their presence.
Perhaps, he thought, they have chosen to fade...
Perhaps that is why the humans believe this Forest is haunted
Well, said Eowyn, who else is hungry?
Melannen, who had been listening with Legolas, looked up at her,
a frown of surprise on his little face.
Legolas laughed, hugging his beloved. We elves to do not
hunger like humans, melmenya, he said, but, since
you are hungry, now would be a very good time to eat. Come,
Melannen, help me... Handing Eowyn the basket, he led
the boy to a fallen tree, sheltered from the worst of the weather,
and, together, they cleared the dusting of snow from its broad
Then Legolas turned back to Eowyn and, with a deep, sweeping
bowMy Lady?offered her a seat.
Melannen clapped his hands, bouncing up and down and giggling
Thank you, said Eowyn and, after curtseying to both
of her elves, she sat down, setting the basket beside her.
How far is your parents house, Melannen? asked
Eowyn removed the baskets cloth and spread it out on her
makeshift table, then lifted out a loaf of bread and broke it
into three, handing the smallest piece to the elfling and the
largest to Legolas.
Thank you, said the elf.
Do you not know, Melannen? asked Eowyn, carefully
unwrapping a piece of cheese.
The elfling shook his head.
Legolas crouched down beside him. Who put the note in your
basket? he asked. The child said nothing. Was it your
Ada? Melannen shook his head again. Your Nana, then?
Legolas glanced at Eowyn.
She shrugged, helplessly. Would you like some cheese, Melannen?
They finished their mealparticularly enjoying the yule
cakeand continued on their way, following the lonely trail
deeper and deeper into the Forest. Every few minutes, Legolas
would stop, and he and Melannen would listen, carefully, then
turn to Eowyn, and shake their heads.
After an hour or so of fruitless searching, Legolas grasped Eowyns
arm and the couple fell back a little, still carefully watching
the elfling, who was stamping along, trying to leave deep
footprints like his Gwanur Eowyn.
If we do not find his parents soon, melmenya, said
Legolas, softly, we will have to turn back. Melannen and
I could spend the night out here with no discomfort, but you...
No, I want to get you back to The Two Ways before dark.
Lassui! Eowyn shook her head. Do not treat
me like a
Her protest was cut off by a sudden waila cry of desperate
anguishthat echoed around themand whether it had been
made by a man, or an elf, or a beast, or even by a tree, none
of them could have said, but its effect upon Melannen was terrible.
Nana! he cried. Nana! NANA!
And he ran off into the woods.
Melannen! cried Eowyn. Melannen, come
back! Oh, Lassui,she turned to the elfLassui!
Fetch him back! Please. Go after him!
No, melmenya, said Legolas, taking her by the hand,
we will both go after him.
They left the track, following the elfling through the trees,
until the faint trail disappeared completely, and it became harder
and harder to be sure which way he had gone.
Oh, where is he, Lassui? asked Eowyn, anxiously.
Snow fell down from the branches above her.
Legolas pulled her into his arms. Hush, Eowyn nín.
He closed his eyes, listening intently. Then, This way!
On they hurried, across deep-drifted snow, Legolas walking easily,
Eowyn labouring, her feet sinking deep.
Go on, Lassui, she panted. I am holding you
But Legolas put his hand to her waist and, supporting her, led
her on. It is not far now, melmenyaI can hear him,
just up ahead. Yes, look!
They found the elfling, standing in a tiny clearing, staring
up into the trees.
Eowyn struggled to his side. Melannen, she cried,
grasping his shoulders, you must never, ever, run
away like that! The child threw himself against her, sobbing.
Sweetheart? What is wrong?
Legolas, catching her eye, nodded upwards.
Eowyn scanned the trees until, perching in the largest, she spotted
the remains of an elven house, its broken walls and exposed beams
barely visible amongst the branchesand then she realised
that the snow-covered bushes all around her were the remnants
of a garden.
We must go up there, Lassui, she said, softly, just
to make sure...
The stairs were still in place, spiralling up the tree trunk.
Legolas went first, carefully searching each room until he was
certain that the elflings parents were not lying in the
ruins, then he beckoned to Eowyn, who brought up Melannen, clinging
tightly to her hand.
Are you sure that this is your house, nadithen?
asked the elf, crouching down beside the boy.
Still uncertain, Legolas looked up at Eowyn.
Show me your room, she said, gently squeezing the
Melannen led her through the broken doorwaysplintered,
it seemed, by several blows from an axeacross the roofless
sitting roomits floor and walls blackened by fireup
a short flight of steps, and into a tiny bedchamber, where the
carved window frames were still draped with fragments of frozen
This must have been a lovely room, murmured Eowyn
and, stooping down beside a little couch, she picked up a battered
picture book, opened it, and spelled out the name written inside
its cover. Melannen.
The boy sniffed. I can help you practise your reading if
you like, Gwanur Eowyn, he said.
Eowyn hugged him tight.
Come melmenyaMelannen, said Legolas, gently.
We will go back to the town.
Pages from Melannen's
It was a long, weary tramp back to the town.
As soon as they left the Forest, Eowyn asked Legolas to carry
Melannen and, within moments, the child had fallen into fitful
reverie, his little head resting upon the elfs shoulder.
What do you think happened in that house, Lassui?
asked Eowyn, softly.
An Orc attack, replied Legolas.
Melannen sighed, and shifted into a more comfortable position.
Eowyn waited until the elfling had settled again before continuing.
That makes senseif his parents knew that it was coming,
they would have tried to send him to safety. But there have been
no Orcs reported in this region, Lassui. Not recently.
The damage was old, melmenya.
That is what I thought, too. But Melannen cannot have been
wandering the countryside forhow long? Months?
Years, said Legolas. The beams were well-weathered.
How can that be?
Legolas shook his head.
Well, there was nothing to suggest that the parents did
not survive, said Eowyn, thinking aloud, so I think...
I think that we must take Melannen home with us, now, and send
someone back to investigate more thoroughlyOrodreth, perhaps,
and Camthalionyes, if Melannens parents are still
alive they will be looking for him, and Orodreth and Camthalion
will find them.
By the time they reached the town, darkness had fallen and the
market square was filled with excited merry-makers. Some of the
stall holders had lit braziers, and were selling mulled wine and
yuletide pies, or were roasting chestnuts.
Legolas and Eowyn, making straight for the tavern, worked their
way through the milling crowd.
Suddenly, there was a wooooosh, and a sharp crack,
and a burst of coloured stars filled the sky before twinkling
down to earth.
Melannen raised his head. Fireworks, he said.
Would you like to watch them? asked Eowyn.
The child nodded, but his eyes were bright with tears.
Oh, do not be afraid, Melannen, said Eowyn, gently
rubbing his back, your Gwanur Legolas and Iwe
are going to take care of you.
They watched the fireworks, and the dressing of the Yule Tree,
and they ate hot pies, and Melannen tried a few sips of mulled
wine, and Legolas and Eowyn did their utmost to reassure the elfling,
and to make him feel safe but, later, back in the taverns
warm parlour, the child sat quietly on Eowyns knee, his
little lip trembling.
Do not get him a separate room tonight, Lassui, said
Eowyn, hugging the boy. Let him stay with us...
Legolas leaned down, and kissed her forehead.
The landlords wife put them in the same room as before
but, this time, she had a small bed brought in, and made it up
for Melannen and, whilst Legolas stoked the fire, Eowyn helped
the elfling undress, and wash, and get into bed, and tucked him
in with his toy rabbit.
Can we have a story, melmenya? asked Legolas, laying
down the poker.
A story? Eowyn frowned. What sort of story?
Oh, I do not know... What sort of story would you
like to hear, Melannen?
One about Gwanur Eowyn, said Melannen, with a sniff,
when she was an elfling.
Good idea, said Legolas. Tell us about when
you were an elfling, melmenya.
Well... Eowyn pulled a chair up to Melannens
bed and sat down. There was the time that Eomer and I climbed
onto the roof of the Golden Hall. She smiled down at the
boy. Eomer is my brothermy big brotherand,
when we were young, he and I were always getting into trouble
Melannen managed a little smile.
We lived, Eowyn continued, in a great Mead
Hall, known as the Golden Hall
Because its roof gleams in the sun, like gold, Melannen,
said Legolas, sitting on the end of the childs bed, and
all its wall hangings are woven with golden threads, and all the
carvings on its doors and its pillars are gilded. Your Gwanur
Eowyn comes from a strange country called Rohan, the land of the
Who is telling this story?
You are melmenyaI am sorry. Why did you climb up
onto the roof?
To see the oliphaunts, said Eowyn, as though the
answer were obvious. Theodredthat was my cousin, MelannenTheodred
had told me that a herd of oliphaunts had come to live on the
downs. I was sure that if we climbed up onto the roof we would
Melannen sniffed. And did you?
No, said Eowyn, stroking the boys hair.
Because Theodred was just teasing. There were no oliphaunts.
And Eomer knew it, but he climbed up with me anyway. And then
I got my skirts caught and, however hard I tried, I could not
get them loose, and Eomer wanted to cut me free using his hunting
knifebut I would not let him ruin my gown.
How did you get down? asked Legolas.
I... She hesitated.
You are blushing, Eowyn nín!
I took my gown off. It was Eomers idea. I had to
climb down, and run back to my bedchamber, wearing nothing but
my shift and boots.
She looked down at the elflingand smiled, for his eyes
were already closed in healing sleep.
Lying awake, staring up at the firelight dancing on the ceiling,
Legolas heard the creak of bedsprings, and the patter of little
feet, and he lifted the covers and let a small person climb up
over him, and snuggle down between himself and Eowyn.
Next morning they rose early. And, whilst they were breakfasting
on porridge, toast and strawberry jam, the landlord of The
Two Ways secured them a ride on the cart that delivered milk
to the houses on the western slopes of the valley.
Now, Melannen, said Legolas, lifting the elfling
onto the back of the cart, this is going to be an
Eowyn climbed up beside the boy. Yes, she said, arranging
his heavy cloak around his shoulders, it will be lots of
fun. She gave him a little hug and, when he clung to her,
she looked up at Legolas, and the elf sat down with them, and
pulled them both into his arms.
The carter shook his head, smiling at his passengers antics.
Then, with a click of his tongue and a smart jerk of the reins,
he signalled to his ponies, and they pulled away.
Slowly, the little cart meandered up the hillside, stopping at
each dwelling so that the lady of the house could come out with
a cloth-covered jug and hand it to the carter to be filled with
creamy fresh milk from one of the churns.
And, without exceptionafter passing the time of day with
Legolas and Eowynthe women would ask the carter to wait,
and would run indoors, and return with a gift for Melannenwith
sweetmeats, or cake, or with a pair of woollen mittensand
the boy would thank them, shyly.
And, for the rest of their days, the women of the valley would
delight in telling their families and friends of the unexpected
visit they had received from the beautiful elven couple and their
adorable little son.
The carter left them near the foot of the cliff and, after waving
him off, the trio quickly retraced their earlier path up to the
rock wall, and found the passage.
In moments, they had crossed to the other side.
Niben! cried Melannen, suddenly. I have
lost Niben! He hung his little head.
Oh, sweetheart, said Eowyn, crouching down beside
him, do not worry. Your Gwanur Legolas will find him.
Did you have him when you got off the cart? asked
He must have dropped him in the rocks, Lassui.
Wait here, said Legolas. I will go and look
The elf ran quickly through the narrow pass and, to his immense
relief, immediately found the stuffed rabbit, lying spreadeagled
on the ground, at the foot of the cliff.
As he stooped to pick up the toy, his gaze swept across the valley...
The narrow road still ran the length of the valley bottom; the
Forest still spilled down the slope at the far side; small holdings
still peppered the landscape; but the town, in which he and Eowyn
and Melannen had spent the last two nights, was nowhere to be
Legolas ran back to the others.
Eowyn was waiting for him at the mouth of the pass. Lassui!
Oh, Lassui, she cried, wringing her handsand
little Melannen, standing behind her, holding on to the skirts
of her jerkin, looked just as worried.
Sweet Eru, what is it? asked Legolas
Our wedding! She grabbed his outstretched arms. We
have forgotten our own wedding!
Legolas swung Melannen up onto his shoulders and they hurried
backacross the stone bridge, along the frozen stream, through
the Pine Forestto where they had first found the elfling.
There is still time, melmenya, said Legolas, trying
to sound reassuring. It has only been two nights, which
makes today the twentieth. Aragorn and Eomer are not arriving
until late this afternoon, and the ceremony is not until tomorrow
evening... He whistled for the horses.
But how could we have forgotten?
Arod and Brightstar emerged from the trees, looking none the
worse for their two days of freedom.
That is not the only strange thing, melmenya. As
Legolas lifted Melannen onto Arods back, he told Eowyn about
But how could it disappear?
I have no i
Oh gods! Eowyns hands flew up to her
mouth. My gown!
Legolas laughed. That is the least of your worries, melmenya,
he said, giving her a little hug. If there is one person
in Middle-earth you can rely on, it is Valaina. She will have
everything in hand. He helped her mount Brightstar.
Yes... Yes, of course, you are right. She gathered
up the reins. Then, Your father!
Now he will take some soothing, Legolas admitted.
But leave him to me, melmenya.
They galloped down the Doro Lanthron road, reaching the city
by mid afternoon and, leaving the horses in the care of the stable-elves,
they quickly climbed the main staircase.
Melannens eyes were as big as saucers. Do you really
live here, Gwanur Legolas? he asked, as the elf set him
down on the walkway. He ran to the wall and, standing on tip-toe,
peered out across the city, pointing excitedly at the guard house,
the market flet, and the new public gardens. Elves!
he cried. Gwanur Eowyn! Look! Lots and lots of elves!
Lord Fingolfin was waiting in their private chambers.
Suilad, hîr nín, he said, rising
and greeting Legolas and Eowyn formally, hand on heart, e
suilad, hiril nín. Then, noticing Melannen, hiding
behind Eowyn, he bent down to the childs level, and added,
E suilad, hîr dithen.
At Eowyns gentle urging, Melannen stepped forward and,
head bowed and blushing, returned Fingolfins greeting.
Legolas ruffled the boys golden hair. Well done,
nadithen. He smiled at Fingolfin. Good afternoon,
my Lord. Please accept my profound apologies for missing our meeting
the other day.
Our meeting, Lord Legolas?
To discuss your kind offer to stand as my Guardian at the
wedding. I am afraid I was detained. But I hope that you are still
I think you will find, said Fingolfin, tactfully,
that that particular meeting is arranged for today, my Lord.
For now, in fact.
Frowning, Legolas turned to Eowyn.
What day is it, my Lord? she asked.
The eighteenth day of Girithron, my Lady, replied
Are you sure?
But we were gone for two days.
I... I do not understand, my Lady.
No matter, my Lord, said Legolas, taking control.
You and I have much to discuss, and we will be far more
comfortable in the study. Galathil,he called to a
servantwe will have mulled cider and caraway cake
in the study, and I am sure that Lady Eowyn and Master Melannen
will have the same in the sitting roomno, make that apple
juice for the boy. We will talk later, melmenya, he added,
Eowyn led Melannen into the sitting room. Well, she
said, setting his basket on the sideboard and handing him his
toy rabbit, first, we will need to find you some clean clothes
Clutching Niben to his chest, the elfling turned full-circle,
admiring the garlands of evergreens that draped the elegant beams,
the spangled curtains at the windows, and the hundreds of tiny
white candles that glittered on the mantelpiece and in the hearth.
then, Eowyn continued, we will have to
bathe you, and find you a chamber of your own There
was a knock at the door. Come in!
Miriel, Eowyns elven ladys maid, stepped inside,
holding the door open for the seamstress, Valaina, who entered
carrying a large bundle carefully wrapped in white cloth. Good
afternoon, my Lady, said the elleth with a deep curtsey.
Are you ready for your fitting?
Oh, said Eowyn, yesI had almost forgotten!yes,
You can look now, Melannen.
The elfling, who had turned his back and covered his eyes,
for good measure, turned, and slowly lowered his hands.
His Gwanur Eowyn raised her arms. What do you think?
Instead of the suede jerkin and the leather boots that she had
worn on their adventure, she was dressed in an elegant gown of
rough-woven silk the colour of pale, sparkling wine. Its scooped
neck and deep hem were embroidered with bands of creamy buttercups
and tiny red pimpernels scattered over a lacework of blue briars,
and its wide, translucent sleeves were edged with delicate pale
Oh, Gwanur Eowyn, said Melannen, you look like
Ah, said Legolas, turning towards the door, that
will be the March Warden. Come in!
Haldir entered, greeting Legolas and Fingolfin formally. I
have selected the Guard of Honour for your wedding, he said,
handing over the list.
Thank you. Legolas scanned the names. Fine,
he said, but that is not why I sent for you, Haldir. There
is something else I need you to do.
Pouring the March Warden a goblet of cider, Legolas described
how he and Eowyn had found Melannen, sitting in the snow beside
the Doro Lanthron road, how they had retraced his steps, along
the stream and through the rocks, and had found the little town
I had no idea that there was a settlement up there,
Nor had I, replied Legolas, and he went on to explain
how, the next day, they had searched the Forest and found the
ruined house, but no sign of the childs parents.
So you want me to make a thorough search, said Haldir.
Exactly, said Legolas. But do not go yourself.
I suggest you send Camthalion and Orodreth.
May I make a further suggestion? asked Fingolfin,
who had been deep in thought since first hearing Legolas
I would be grateful for it, my Lord.
Speak to Berryn, March Warden, he said, referring
to the colonys cartographer. He has mapped that region
and will know the town. And, if he is willing to go, he will be
a useful addition to the search party.
Of course, said Legolas.
Do you want me to send them out now, asked Haldir,
or to wait until after the wedding?
Legolas leaned back in his chair, lacing his fingers together
with a sigh. Just between us three, he said, I
am worried for Eowyn. I am afraid that she is losing her heart
to the boy. It is easily done.
He seems an excellent little fellow, agreed Fingolfin.
If she must part from him, continued Legolas, the
sooner it happens, the better. So send them straight away, Haldir,
with permission to return for the ceremony. They can continue
the search afterwards, if need be.
His meeting over, Legolas went to join Eowyn and Melannen in
the sitting room
No, my Lord! cried Galathil.
Legolas, his hand frozen on the door handle, turned in surprise.
Lady Eowyn is trying on her wedding dress, my Lord.
Ahyesthank you. He knocked. Is
it safe for me to come in, melmenya?
Just a moment!
Legolas sharp elven hearing caught the soft sounds of rustling
fabric, and running feet, then silence.
Then the door opened, and Melannen smiled up at him. Gwanur
Eowyn and the sewing lady are hiding in the bedchamber,
By the time Eowyn re-emergeddressed, once more, in her
jerkin and bootsLegolas had taken out the gaming board and
he and Melannen were setting up the pieces.
Eowyn smiled at the charming scene. I am going to invite
your Father to tea, Lassui, she said.
Thranduil arrived with his bodyguard in tow.
Eowyn nodded to Thorkell bogsveigirstanding beside the
door, all dark and brooding, with his arms folded across his leather-clad
chestand handed him a glass of nettle tea and a plate of
Ridiculous! cried Thranduil.
Ada! Legolas inclined his head, indicating with his
eyes the child sitting beside him, who had heard and understood
every word the Elvenking had spoken.
Perhaps Melannen would like to see the new gardens,
said Eowyn. I could ask Hentmirë...
But the elfling had immediately jumped up, and scooped up Niben
and, to everyones surprise, was holding out his little hand
to Thorkell bogsveigir.
Thranduil sighed. Yes, he said, take the child
to the gardens for half an hour.
The Beorning set down his glass and plate, dusted the crumbs
from his fingers and, with only the slightest hesitation, took
Melannens hand and let the child lead him from the room.
That man, said Thranduil, shrinks from nothing.
I am not making him the heir to the Woodland Realm, Ada,
said Legolasand, knowing that Eowyn would not want to hear
the truth, he found her hand, and squeezed it gentlythis
is just a temporary arrangement, until his parents are found.
And who are these parents, I should like to know,
said Thranduil, that they send their son into the wilderness
with nothing but a cloth toy and a piece of parchment to protect
him? I am not suggesting that he should not be taken care ofof
course he shouldbut I am cautioning you against showing
him so much personal favour. What is to stop these scoundrels
pursuing their advantage and demanding compensation from the Lord
and Lady who, they will say, having no children of their own,
have kidnapped their boy?
They are elves, Ada, said Eowyn, coldly. Good,
decent people. Their eyes met, and the look that passed
between them conveyed an intimate understanding of skulduggery
on his part, and a refusal to be intimidated by majesty on hers.
They are not Haradrim. And nor are they Elvenkings!
Melmenya! Legolas clamped a hand to his mouth but
was unable to stop his body shaking with laughter. Ada,
he said, once he had regained his composure, it is already
settled. We rescued Melannen and we will take care
of him until his parents are found. He is a fine little boy, a
credit to the elves who raised him. I know that they did
not abandon him lightly, and I know that they will be too overjoyed
at finding him safe to ask for anything more.
But if anyone should ever question our motives, he
concluded, we will simply publish the letter.
When Thorkell bogsveigir did not return with Melannen after half
an hour, as ordered, Legolas and Eowyn went to look for them.
They found the Beorning in the public gardens, leaning against
the flet wallarms folded across his chest, as usualwatching
the child build a snow-castle with two elflings and a tiny dwarf.
It seemed a shame, he said, to drag the boy
Eowyn came up on tip-toe, and kissed his cold cheek. Thank
you, Uncle Thorkell.
Can I go back into the warmth now?
Whilst the trio sat before a cheery fire, eating a supper of
cheese tart and roasted vegetables, the servants cleared out the
cloakroomwhich Eowyn had decided would make the perfect
bedchamber for Melannen, because it was snug and warm, with its
own lavatory and washbasin, and a little bay window with a view
of the citythen brought in a bed, two chairs, and a chest
Miriel, meanwhile, found the boy a nightshirt, slippers, and
a little dressing robe and, for the morning, a clean tunic and
Then Eowyn bathed the boy, and put him to bed, and she and his
Gwanur Legolas sat with him, telling him stories, until he fell
Legolas sat in bed, watching Eowyn, at the dressing table, brushing
her hair. Melmenya...
That is a beautiful smile.
You are going to warn me of the dangers of growing too
fond of him.
If you think that I need to.
Eowyn laid down her hairbrush and turned to the elf. I
do not love him as I love Meldon, Lassui, she said, smiling
at the memory of her doubles child, truly, I do not.
But I am very, very fond of him. And it is wonderful to be able
toto have the chance to spend this time with him.
Come here, melmenya. Legolas held out his arms. I
will love you, he whispered, kissing her tenderly, until
the End of Days and, however it may happen,his hand
moved lightly, stroking, through the sheer silk of her nightgown,
her gently curving bellywe will have a child one day,
I promise. The Valar have promised.
He was so beautiful in the pale moonlight, so slender, yet so
well-muscled, and he smelled so fertile, like a Forest in the
rain, that Eowyn wanted more than their usual lovemakingshe
desperately wanted his child.
Now, Lassui, she whispered. Please let
it be now.
And she felt his weight settle upon her, and his hard thigh gently
nudge her legs apart, and his warm, thick penis press into her
aching body, andthough the healer had told her that it was
hopelessshe could not stop herself hoping, and
Oh! she cried.
Oh, dear gods, please!
Do you love Gwanur Eowyn? asked Melannen.
Silently, Legolas closed the sitting room door and tip-toed across
the room. The elflingstill in his nightshirt and slipperswas
kneeling on the fireside rug, talking to his cloth rabbit.
So do Iand Gwanur Legolas and Gwanur Thorkell.
So there is no need to be scared, continued the boy,
because they will take care of us until they find Nana and
Legolas retraced his steps, waited a few moments, then noisily
opened the door. Melannen? Are you there?
A little face popped up from behind the couch.
Shall we go and wake your Gwanur Eowyn, nadithen?
Now, hissed Legolas.
The two elves ran across the bedchamber. Legolas grabbed Melannen
round the waist, lifted him onto the bed, and bounced him up and
Yaaaa! cried the elfling. Yaaaa, yaaaa!
Oh! Eowyn awoke with a start. Oh, you two!
It took a surprisingly long time to wash and dress and when,
at last, everyone was ready, it was time to join Hentmirë
The trio crossed the walkway to the womans house.
Look, Melannen, said Legolas, a robin.
The elf held out a hand, and the bird fluttered down, and sat
upon it, tilting its head to regard the elfling with a beady eye.
The boy laughed, and clapped his hands together, and the robin,
untroubled by the noise or by the sudden movement, hopped onto
his arm, then onto his shoulder, and up onto his head.
Ow, said Melannen, giggling, and wriggling under
the birds tiny claws, ow!
Now, now, mellon dithen, said Legolas. He
reached out, and gently held a finger against the birds
legs, and the robin hopped back onto his hand; the elf lifted
it into the air, and let the bird fly back to its branch.
Melannen rubbed his head.
No harm done, said Legolas, tousling the elflings
And Eowyn, her heart glowing, took both elves by the hand, and
led them indoors, before they could get into any more mischief.
Legolas and Eowyn spent the rest of the day preparing for the
arrival of their distinguished wedding guests, leaving Melannen
with Hentmirë, who took the boy to the pleasure gardens (where
they played with snowballs), and then to the market (where they
each had a bowl of thick lentil soup and a baked apple from one
of the kiosks), and thenin her carriageto the stone
quarries (where Gimli fed the boy again, on honey cakes, and showed
him how to use a mallet and chisel).
The following morning, at breakfast, Hentmirë presented
Eowyn with a gift. We saw it yesterday, in the market,
she said, and the colour suited him so well, I just had
to buy it.
Eowyn opened the cloth wrapping. Oh, Hentmirë,
she cried, it is perfect! Thank you! What do you say, Melannen?
Thank you, said the elfling, dubiously.
Now, said Eowyn, raise your arms.
Melannen, reconciled to his fate, lifted his little hands high
above his head.
Smiling, Eowyn leaned in, and kissed his forehead, before wrapping
the embroidered sash around his middle and folding its ends over.
Lower them,she adjusted the knotthere!
I, said Legolas, looking up from his desk, wore
short tunics until my coming of age.
But you, said Eowyn, have a father who is a
stickler for ancient tradition. Melannen has two GwanursGwanursis
Two Aunts who want him to look,she hesitated,
carefully rejecting like a prince and choosingnice.
And I am sure that he will look nice, melmenya,
said Legolas, laying down his pen and regarding the boy. Turn
around, Melannen; let me see the front.
Raising his hands again, which made his floor-length robe ride
up on his chest, the elfling slowly turned full-circle. Hentmirës
gift was of the palest silver-blue brocade, and fitted him perfectly.
Legolas smiled. Yes, he looks very nice,the
boy turned again, and Legolas noticed his hairbut,
melmenya, he cannot wear warriors braids.
A single braid, down the back.
Of course. Come Melannen, said Eowyn, back
to the dressing table. She held out her hand.
Legolas shot the elfling a sympathetic smile.
Ah! Good, said Faramir, unconsciously reaching for
Legolas shoulders and guiding him towards the Council Chamber,
I was getting worried.
This is only the rehearsal, said Legolas. I
do not need to run away until tomorrow.
The elf grinned.
Very funny. Now comeyour bride-to-be is waiting.
A moment, Faramir. Legolas held out his hand, human
fashion. Before we go in, I want to thank you.
It has been my pleasure, said Faramir, embracing
the elf, though, by the time you have placated your father,
Legolas, I think you may regret having asked me to meddle
in your wedding arrangements.
I do not mean that, said Legolas, though I
am, of course, grateful for all you have done these past few weeks.
No, I mean for sending Eowyn to me.
Ah, said Faramir, now that requires no thanks.
In fact, it is I who should be thanking you for
taking care of her for me. No one could be happier for you both
than I am. He gave the elfs hand a final squeeze;
then, gesturing towards the double-doors, he asked, Are
When the rehearsal was over, Legolas and Eowyn took Melannen
down to the clearing beneath the city and, in the Banqueting Hall,
which had been hung with velvet and garlanded with winter roses
for the occasion, they received their guests of honourAragorn,
Eomer, and King Shamash of Kuriwho, after taking refreshments
with the happy couple, were shown to their accommodation by Lords
Fingolfin and Caranthir, whilst their retinues were quartered
by Captain Golradir and his palace guards.
After supper, the ladies and Melannen retired to Legolas and
Eowyns chambers to enjoy Eowyns last night of freedom,
whilst Legolas and his friends made themselves comfortable in
the Banqueting Halllounging around the ring-shaped table,
laughing, joking and telling tall tales; toasting nuts and sweetmeats;
and drinking wine and dwarven ale.
By the way, Legolas, said Aragorn, pouring the elf
a glass of fragrant red, there is something I want to discuss
with youand Faramironce the wedding festivities are
Thank you. Legolas raised the glass to his friend
before taking a drink. Something regarding the colony?
A cheer went up at the far side of the HallGimli and Eomer,
it seemed, had persuaded King Shamash to join in a drinking game.
Aragorn smiled; Legolas shook his head.
Not directly, said the King. He took a handful of
walnuts from the silver dish in front of him. But it may
draw settlers into the Daw Valley
Is that the region just north of the Doro Lanthron road?
I have a particular interest in that area, said Legolas.
It is where we found Melannen.
I see. Well, this is nothing, really. The people of the
valley have petitioned me for the right to hold a daily market,
said Aragorn. They claimquite rightly, I thinkthat
both Eryn Carantaur and Caras Arnen are too far to travel. My
concern is that a permanent settlement will soon grow up around
the market place.
But, Aragorn, said Legolas, frowning, there
is already a thriving market town in that valley. At least, there
was when Eowyn and I stayed there, two days ago!
Later, Legolas joined Eowyn in their chambers and, after checking
on Melannen with herwatching her press a final goodnight
kiss to his little brow, and whisper, You were a very good
boy today, sweetheart,he escorted her across the walkway
to Hentmirës house.
Aragorn is convinced, he said, that there is
no town in that valley.
Which is exactly what you said when you came back with
Yes, Legolas admitted, but I must have been
mistaken, melmenya. We spent two nights there.
Two nights that, apparently, did not exist either...
Well, we will know more when Orodreth returns.
I shall miss you tonight, said Legolas, knocking
on Hentmirës door.
It will soon pass, Lassui,Eowyn smiledand
we have done it before.
With one or two small lapses, said Legolas, if
I remember rightly.
Eowyns smile turned into a wicked grin. Goodnight,
my darling. She came up on tip-toe to kiss his cheek. And,
if you should get lonely during the night,Hentmirës
companion opened the door and she lowered her voice to a whisperjust
imagine what you will be doing this time tomorrow!
Knowing that he would not be able to sleep, Legolas climbed the
stairs to their private garden.
The flet was covered with snow, and the plants, clustered together
in their pretty pots, sparkled in the moonlight with a dusting
of fine frost; but the bed, protected from the weather by its
canopy, looked warm and inviting.
He sat down and, gazing up at the stars, sang softly,
A Elbereth Gilthoniel,
silivren penna míriel
o menel aglar elenath!
He broke off at the sound of running feet.
We dreamed it! Eowyn bounded onto the flet.
Melmenya, your feet are bare!
She had draped a fur rug over her thin nightgown, but her breath
was steaming and her body was pinched with cold. Legolas swept
her up and held her tight. Oh, Eowyn nín! You should
not have come out like this.
We dreamed it, Lassui, Eowyn persisted, clasping
her arms about his neck. The drinkdo you remember
how we drank from Melannens water skin, and immediately
felt tired? Legolas carried her down the stairs. I
think we fell asleep, and dreamed the whole thing. That is why
no time had passed when we got back.
Legolas smiled, fondly. And when did we wake up?
When I remembered our weddingor perhaps a little
But why would we wake in a different place, melmenya?
Well, perhaps we had already walked a while before we fell
And we forgot that, too?
It is possible... Eowyn frowned. Do you
think that, if Master Dínendal were to examine the drink,
he could tell what it was?
Legolas pushed open Hentmirës door. I do not
know, melmenya, he said, manoeuvring her through the doorway.
You are not convinced.
No. He carried her into Hentmirës guest
Well, for one thing, we both had the same dream.
He set her down on the bed.
Yes. Because of our bond. She drew up her legs.
Legolas wrapped her in the coverlet. And Melannen?
We do not know for sure what he thinks happened.
Legolas kissed her forehead. Then I will ask him in the
morning. Just for you.
I will be coming over, said Eowyn, to help
him wash and dress.
And there is no point in my trying to dissuade you, is
Legolas smiled. Good night, melmenya.
Eowyn arrived early. Good morning, Lassui! She beamed
up at him. Can I come in?
This feels strange, said Legolas.
I know. I do wish we had arranged the ceremony for this
morning. It is going to be torture waiting all day.
The elf gave her a quick brotherly hug. There is still
much to do, he said. What is that?
She was carrying a small bundle. Clothes for Melannen.
Lord Lenwës wife sent them. Everyone wants to
make him welcome, Lassui. She crossed the lobby and knocked
on Melannens door. Sweetheart?
There was a thud, and then the sound of running feetAre
we quite sure that he is an elf? asked Legolasand
Melannen opened the door.
Hanging from the boys little hand was the jumping bear
they had bought him, from the Yuletide Market beside The Two
Ways tavern, in the town that did not exist.
Later that morning
Galathil showed King Thranduiland his bodyguardinto
the sitting room.
Ada! Legolas greeted his father joyfully. I
am so pleased to see you.
Yes, it has been all of ten hours, said the Elvenking.
Legolas smiled. This is such a strange time for me, Ada.
He gestured towards one of the chairs and Thranduil sat down.
Thorkell bogsveigir took up his usual position, by the door.
Eowyn and I have believed ourselves married for more than
a year, Legolas continued, taking the seat opposite his
fathers, so this ceremony,he shruggedit
calls into question matters that we have already decided, and
asks us to make commitments that we have already made. Itas
I saidit is strange.
In the longer term, Lassui, said Thranduil, carefully
arranging his elegant sash, you will not regret having had
these months to reflect, and make absolutely sure that Eowyn
The door opened and the lady herself entered. Thorkell bogsveigir
stepped aside to let her pass.
What are you doing here? asked the Elvenking,
I will not be staying, Adabut Melannen has lost Niben.
That boy! Thranduil sighed. And could you not
have sent a maid?
Eowyn looked under one of the chairs. Míriel would
not have known whereah, here he is. She held up the
cloth rabbit; then, grasping its tiny paw, she made it wave to
her future father-in-law.
Melmenya! Laughing, Legolas rose and, wrapping an
arm around her waist, escorted her to the door.
Is there any news from Orodreth, Lassui? she whispered,
No, not yet.
You will send for me, when he arrives?
All this business with the child has deranged Eowyn,
said Thranduil, as the door closed behind her.
She is good with the boy, muttered Thorkell bogsveigir.
Berryn and Camthalion arrived at midday and were immediately
brought before Legolas and his father.
Legolas sent for Eowyn.
Is there any news? she asked, rushing into the sitting
My Lady. Camthalion bowed. Yes, we have found
out who the boys parents are.
Melmenyahere. Legolas guided her to a chair.
Please go on, Camthalion. He stood beside his love,
resting one supportive hand upon her shoulder.
The boy disappeared on the afternoon of the eighteenth,
said the elf. His parents immediately raised the alarm
But have you brought them here? asked Eowyn, desperately.
We missed them, my Lady, said Berryn, gently. He
took a step towards her, stretching out his hand, thenrealising
that his sympathetic gesture was inappropriatehe let the
hand fall, but Eowyn rewarded him with a lovely smile. They
are out with one of the search parties, maam, and no one
knows exactly where.
Orodreth has ridden to Doro Lanthron, said Camthalion.
It is their most likely route, Berryn explained.
Across the valley, through the rockseither where you
found the pass, my Lord, or further eastand then along the
Just a moment, said Thranduil, imperiously. Are
you saying that there is a sizable elven settlement in that Forest?
Yes, your Majesty, said Berryn, bowing; then he glanced
at Legolas for permission, before continuing, I did not
have time to see all of it, sire, but I would put the settlement
at about fifty to sixty dwellings, whichat three to four
persons per dwellingwould suggest a population of one hundred
and fifty to two hundred elves. There was a central meeting hall,
but no sign of a palace or of any other public building. We spoke
with the edair
Green elves, said Thranduil.
But we saw no sign of them, Ada, said Legolas.
Three days ago, that Forest was empty, apart from the remains
of Melannens house, and whatever made that terrible sound,he
frownedand the Orc spoorthe house had certainly
been attacked by Orcs at some time in the past
But what about the note? said Eowyn, suddenly. Please
look after this child, it said. Who put it in Melannens
basket, Lassuiwho wrote itif not his parents?
When Legolas could not answer, she looked to the others, one
The shining elf, perhaps, said Thorkell bogsveigir.
All eyes were suddenly on the Beorning.
It is just something the boy told me, he explained,
sheepishly. A tall, shining elf said that he was to wait
for two nice people who would take care of him, his mother and
father, and all of his friends... Thorkell cleared his throat.
At least, that is what he said when we wereermaking