Can it be true? asked Eowyn, as they descended
No, said Legolas. It is a cruel ruse, melmenya,
meant to terrify their victims and discourage them from fighting
back, and it must be stopped. He approached Haldir and
Sighard, who were still eating. Buckle on your sword,
Master Sighard. We leave immediately.
The man leaped to his feet and, filling his mouth with a last
spoonful of stew, gathered up his sword and greatcoat, whilst
his wife wrapped a loaf of bread and some cheese in a cloth,
and stuffed the parcel into his saddle bag.
Eowyn, standing in the shadow of the staircase, remembered
the ring she had found outside the wise womens hut, and
brought her hand up to where it lay, inside her corslet. Lassui...
Legolas sent Haldir to fill the water skins. What is
I... Suddenly fearing that he might take it from
her, she changed her mind. Nothing. It can wait.
Legolas took her hand. You know that there is no one
I would rather have fighting by my side, he said, quietly.
But the weather is deteriorating, my darling, and I know
you will feel the cold more than we will. If you would rather
go home with the boy
Never! You know that I will stay with you,
He kissed her forehead.
As they watched Sig-lad run off into the woods, Sighard reassured
his wife that the boy, travelling in the opposite direction,
would be safe from the reivers. Then he embraced her, and bade
her farewell but, as they drew apart, Mother Cynwise appeared
behind them, tottering through the doorway.
Oh, no, Nana, said Haldir, taking her gently by
the arm. You must stay here, with Mistress Edyð, until
The old woman refused to budge.
Briefly lucid, she fixed her sightless eyes on Legolas, and
cried, Beware the sword in your heart, Legolas of Eryn
Carantaur! Remember! Beware the sword!