Will she listen to you? asked Eomer.
Haldir, gazing intently at the patch of grass before him, did
She will not listen to me, continued Eomer, and,
though I know Legolas wants to stop her as much as I do, he,Eomer
sighedhe will let her have her head. Sowill
she listen to you? Can you persuade her to retract
How can you ask that of me?
I am desperate.
We are all desperate! Haldir pushed the man aside
and strode away, along the sloping bank, through the tangle of
thorny bushes, far from the cavalcade, far from the lovers at
the rivers edge.
Eomer drew his sword and followed, hacking at branches to left
and right. So you will stand back, and let the woman you
love die, he cried, because she likes to pretend
that she is a man, and he is too far under her thumb
No! Haldir turned on the king. That is not
how it is! He ran his hand through his silvery hair, leaving
it in wild disarray. If she were mine, I would throw her
over my horse and gallop away with hergallop day and nightuntil
I was sure she was safe.
Andby the Valar!how she would hate me for it!
She would hate me, Eomer
So let us thank the Valar that she belongs to Legolas.
For he is made of braver stuff than you or I. His love for her
is pure. And he will never force her against her will.
You make it sound likerape, muttered Eomer.
What else would it be? To say to a woman, You
have not the right to decide your own fate, as any man or elf
may do, you must accept whatever I decide for youand I value
my own desires above your honour.
Then what can we do? cried Eomer.
They stood side-by-side, in silence, watching the Great River
flow by, swift and unstoppable.
Then Haldir sighed. We can return to the others and play
our parts, he said. We can make sure that Legolas
and Eowyn havewhat may betheir last precious hours
And we can pray to our gods that she is victorious tomorrow,