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legolas decides


Part 10

“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 there—alone—to 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.” He shuddered.

“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,” said Eowyn.

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.”

Legolas sighed.

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 safe—from 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 risks—but 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 it.”