Her little hand touched his face.
The elven healers pronounced him beyond saving. "Let him
make the journey with dignity."
But she fetched a human healer andtogetherthey
cleansed and dressed his wounds. She applied the salve with her
own sweet hands.
And whenat lasthe awoke, she was there: sitting beside
him, pale and tired, andohso beautiful.
It healed his spirit just to look at her.
Five days later
"You are recovering your strength, my lord!"
Haldir turned, startledhe had been concentrating so hard
on walking that he had not heard her footfallsand the sudden
movement made him dizzy. But the White Lady ran forward, slipping
beneath his arm and supporting him on her shoulders.
"Your people have remarkable powers of healing," she
said, "but perhaps you have done enough for today!"
She smiled up at him.
She guided him along the walkway, to a small door at the rear
of the Great Hall, which led directly to the Royal apartmentsfor,
as the representative of both Elrond and Galadriel, he had been
treated as an honoured guest, and lodged with the Royal Family
All the while, he was marvelling at her strength.
"Would you like one of the guards to help you to bed, my
lord?" she asked. "Or my brother? Or perhaps Prince
Haldir shook his head. "I am almost myself again, now, my
lady." In truth, he had not needed her assistance beyond
that first moment, but he had enjoyed her attention.
"Well. If you are sure..." She allowed him to remove
his arm from her shoulders. "Let me open the door at leastthere."
She stepped aside. "If there is anything more you needpleasejust
send one of the servants to fetch me. And, if you would like some
comp" She stopped in mid sentence. "If you would
like me to send Prince Legolas, or one of your other comrades,
to sit with you"
"You admire Prince Legolas," he said.
What a foolish thing to say! But she had already mentioned
the elf twice. And given him his proper title. "He
is a great warrior."
"He is Lord Aragorn's right hand."
"The Crown Prince of Mirkwood."
"That is hard to believe..."
"He is so modest; so unassuming," she said. "Always
anticipating the needs of others."
"Indeed," said Haldir, softly.
She followed him to the bed and helped steady him as he sat down.
"You do look tired, my lord," she said. "Can I
bring you some wine?"
"That would be most welcome," Haldir admitted, "if
I am not keeping you from your duties."
The White Lady smiled. "My duties are few, my lord,"
she said, pouring out a measure of strong, red wine. "Neither
my uncle nor my brother believes that I should be burdened with
anything more than a woman's responsibilities." She
handed him the goblet.
"Yet I heard," said Haldir, "that you fought most
bravely in the Glittering Caves, defending the women and children
when the orcs broke through."
She blushed. "Who told you that, my lord?"
"I believe it was Prince Legolas himself."
"Oh..." Her blush deepened. "He, perhaps, exaggerated..."
"I do not think so." Haldir twisted the knife in his
own entrails. "He is not given to exaggeration. He regards
you very highly."
"I think you are mistaken, my lord." She turned her
"I am sorry, my lady," said Haldir. "I am prying;
please forgive me. And, pleaseif there are no others to
claim your time at present, will you sit with me a while?"
"I shall be glad to." She took the seat beside his
bed. "Lord Gimli has told me much about the Lady Galadriel,"
she said, "but I should like to hear more about the Golden
Wood itselfif you are not too tired, that is. My brother
passed through it once, but he is resolutely silent on the subject."
"Perhaps you will visit Lothlorien yourself one day,"
"Lothlorien..." she said, experimenting with the strange
language, "Loth-lorien. How beautiful it sounds. So different
"How so, my lady?"
"'Rohan' suggests a people who are rugged, a land that is
spare, where life is pared to the bone," she said. "Lothlorien
"You will escape your cage, Eowyn."
She seemed surprised by his sudden intimacy, perhaps affronted
by his use of her name, but he persisted. "You are a rare
and precious being, Eowyn," he said "and one day some
elsome mansome very fortunate manwill
claim you for his own. And he will see the strength and courage
in you andfar from trying to restrain youhe will welcome
that steel in the companion of his spirit."
She swallowed hard. "How strange that you should say all
The door flew open, admitting four feet five inches of pure energy.
"How are you feeling laddie? We hear you have been walking!"
"Gimli!" The Prince of Mirkwood, like some divine
being in a silver tunic, caught the dwarf by the shoulders and
held him back.
"Good evening, Prince Legolas, Lord Gimli," said the
White Lady, smiling as she rose from her seat. "I shall leave
the patient in your capable hands." She turned to Haldir.
"Good night, my lord."
"Good night, my lady."
The moment had passed. So he let her leave.