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gimli's plan


Part 20

Fool,” growled Gimli, assessing the entire situation with a single glance.

He and Haldir had reached the Great Cavern just seconds too late to stop the knight—or to join his attack—and the dwarf could see that the odds against the man were overwhelming...

But he had an idea.

He grabbed Haldir by the arm. “Give me your bow,” he said.

The elf, who had been about to plunge into the fight, hesitated.

“Quickly!” Gimli insisted.

Haldir handed over his weapon.

“Now cut me a yard or so from your cloak.”

Working deftly, using elven rope, the dwarf bound his axe to the bow, the bow to the long wooden stave he had been carrying in the tunnels, and the stave to his unlit torch.

Haldir handed him the length of cloth. Gimli draped it over his head, and knotted it under his chin.

“We would be safer if we could wet ourselves down,” he muttered, pulling out his tinderbox and removing the lid. “Get ready.” He struck a spark and lit the torch. “DOWN!” he roared, lifting the flame up to the ceiling.

With an ear-splitting bang, a sheet of fire surged through the Great Cavern.*


Encircled by a hoard of armed goblins, Legolas heard Gimli’s warning shout, grabbed Eowyn, and pulled her beneath the mud.

Moments later, the pair re-emerged, gasping for breath and covered from head to foot in ooze. Holding Eowyn close, Legolas scanned the cavern.

Most of the goblins had been caught in the blast and were either dead or injured; the Goblin King, though still alive, sat smoking on his throne.

“Come, melmenya,” said the elf, “this is our chance.”

Leading Eowyn by the hand, he hurried her up the side of the pit, through the ring of burned goblins, and past the stunned Goblin King, pausing only to extricate the djinn’s lamp from his blackened fingers and retrieve their weapons from his pile of booty.

“There is a tunnel,” croaked Eowyn, pointing with her sheathed sword, “over there. I have been watching; the goblins seem to avoid it.”

Legolas signalled to the others, and they followed. Gimli had freed his axe and was clearing a path for Haldir and the knight, who had gathered up Gudyth and were carrying her between them.

In the comparative safety of the tunnel mouth, the group paused for breath. “Now, melmenya,” said Legolas.

Eowyn rubbed the lamp.


* See here!