Ozwell found his guests various places in which to lay out
their bed rolls, but insisted that Eowyn should sleep in the
only bed, whilst he spent the night on the settle. Sometime
in the early hours of the morning, she awoke from troubled sleep,
and looked across the tiny dwelling. She could not tell whether
Legolas, lying on the near side the fireplace, was awake or
in reverie, but Gimli, at the farther side, and Ozwell, on the
settle, were both snoring loudly, and Haldir was nowhere to
She slipped out of bed and, wrapping herself in the quilted
coverlet, sat down beside Legolas; the elf drew her into his
arms. You are worried, he said, softly, that
if the traveller sells the lamp to some passing stranger, we
will never find the djinn.
Eowyn snuggled close. Legolas had a way of making her feel
that no problem was insurmountable, and she realised that it
was her faith in him that had been keeping that fear in check.
Now you mention it, she said, I am. But I
have also been wondering about the travellers mission.
His mission, melmenya?
He is obviously searching for the man and woman on horseback,
she replied. So who are they? And why is he looking for
them after such a long time?
Legolas was silent for a while. Then he said: Perhaps
something has happenedan illness in the family, for instanceand
he needs to tell them.
But why does he not know exactly when they passed by?
Well, said Legolas, kissing her forehead, you
are a clever woman, melmenya, so I do not doubt that you have
thought of an explanation.
Something prevented him from looking sooner.
Eowyn pulled away, and turned to face him in the firelight.
Do you remember the stories Lord Caranthir told me?
Yes. I have been thinking that the tracks leading out
of Mordor must belong to the traveller.
Exactly! she said, excitedly. Now, suppose
someone was holding him prisoner in Mordor. He might easily
have lost track of the days, and not known whether three or
four years had passed. And he said that the man and the woman
were riding one horse. Could it be that they escaped
from whoever was holding him captive?
Legolas did not reply.
You are not convinced, she said.
He drew her back to him, and kissed her again. I am
convinced, he said, with a smile in his voice, that
your wildest speculations often prove right, melmenya.
Eowyn sighed. We must travel faster, Lassui, she
said, laying her head on his shoulder. We must catch up
with this traveller.
Haldir and I have both been thinking exactly the same
thing, he admitted. There is certainly something
worrying about this man and his mission.