There, said Haldir.
He was pointing, through a ragged line of trees, across the
vast, white expanse to a low hill far in the distance. Eowyn,
shielding her eyes against the glare, peered in the direction
of his hand, and was disappointed, for she could see
nothing but snow...
It had taken them a day and a half to find the place.
They had started out from Eryn Carantaur in a festive mood,
and had spent a convivial night with Haldirs friends at
the little farmstead close to the Doro Lanthron road, but when
they set off again, early that morning, something had changed.
Everybodys spirits seemed low.
Even Gimli was silent.
Her bag lay open: spread out, as though someone had searched
it roughly, then tossed it aside. She picked it up and, with
a heavy heart, felt for the djinns lamp.
He is not here, she said.
I am so sorry, melmenya, said Legolas.
He and Gimli had also dismounted, and were crouching beside
her, examining a set of tracks which, although more than a day
old, could still be read.
Someone beat us to it, said Gimli.
A horseman, said Legolas. He entered the
clearing from the east,he nodded towards the Mountains
of Shadowpaused here for a while, to examine the
bag, then left, travelling north-west. He rose gracefully,
and wrapped a comforting arm around Eowyns shoulders.
What shall we do? she asked, scanning the plain
as though the mysterious rider might still be visible.
Legolas glanced at Haldir.
He had been planning, once they had recovered the djinn, to
spend a few hours finding out more about the strange stories
Eowyn had told them on the previous day, and now he was considering
sending the March Wardenwith Gimli, if the dwarf were
willingto investigate, whilst he and Eowyn went after
But somethinga tiny, niggling sense of forebodingmade
him decide against it.
We will follow his trail, melmenya, he said. And,
when we find him, we will offer him a generous reward for a
lamp that has so much sentimental value for us.
He is heading for the Caras Arnen Road, said Eowyn,
some time later.
Legolas had been thinking exactly the same thing, and he had
been struck by the efficiency with which the man was navigating
his way across the plainfor he was sure, now, that it
was a Man.
He is like, he thought, one of Master Eldacars
Haldir rode up beside him. This route will take us past
Ayleths cousins farm. Perhaps we should stop therehe
glanced at Eowynand spend the night under his roof.
There was a note of anxiety in the March Warden's voice which
Legolas recognised; it seemed that Haldir was feeling
the same unease as himself.
Yes, he replied. That is a good idea.