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legolas and eowyn


Part 5

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 be seen.

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 traveller’s 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 happened—an illness in the family, for instance—and 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.”

“Such as?”

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’.”