Brego; A Horses Tail~Part 4 - The Road to The Deep
Two and a half days of uneventful traveling had passed since leaving Edoras, as we made out way tediously slowly through the mountain passes. Not that this was a bad thing - in a number as small as ours, with women and children, the elderly and ill, I doubt much could have been done to save ourselves, this far away from Helm's Deep at least.
Lord Aragorn had of course been riding with the King's men, so our pace seldom rose above a walk. I often wlked beside Arod as my new master spoke with his friends, and we would spend the time reminiscing, remembering old times; our youths across the plains; games and tricks we had played on each other, as well as Eosso!; the times we had ridden victoriously from battle back to the city, to be greated by cheering crowds. So many memories...for we were nine then, 'middle-aged' by the accounts of some men. Of course, what they really meant is that they thought we were half way through our working lives. And this in turn, was of course complete rubbish. We horses can live up to forty if we are given half a chance, and we ca normally work until we are at least 30. But man will believe what he wants to believe.
We didn't talk all the time though - sometimes, we just listened. And we learnt a lot. We knew nothing of the reason for the coming of these strangers to our lands, ans while I was glad, I was also curious. So from what they spoke, we could unravel a little of the mystery. It seemed obvious, for example that there had at one point been a lot more of them. As far as we could make out, it had been Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli and Aragorn, then two Halflings. What Halflings were I hadn't a clue, but I gathered they were dear to my master.
It was about midday, and Arod was aalking in front of me, Gimli on his back, while the Lady Éowyn lead.
Ahh, Éowyn. Such a fair woman. So understanding of the control man had over us horses, of power. It was plain for all to see that she desired more. Well, to all but her brother, Uncle and late cousin that is. I could almost hear her heart calling, screaming to be let out, to be given a chance to prove herself worthy, to defend her people in battle. But she felt she was caged, trapped in an over-protected world. I felt for her - but the time was drawing nigh, when prove herself she would....
Yet for now, Gimli chatted away, much to her amusement.
"It's true, you don't often see dwarf women. In fact, they're so alike in voice and appearence, that they're often mistaken for dwarf men! Which has led to the belief that there are not dwarf women, and that dwarves simply spring out of rocks in the ground!" he chuckled. Éowyn laughed with him - she was bent double with mirth! I loved to see her like this - just for a moment, she was free from any burden, and just, well, for lack of a better word, happy.
She turned to glance, grinning at Lord Aragorn.
"It's the beards." he mimed at her, which only made her laugh even more.
"Which is of course ridic-" Gimli continued but was cut short when Arod spooked and bolted. Gimli stayed in the saddle for a couple of strides, but soon landed with an almight 'UMPH!!!' on the floor. Éowyn gasped, and struggling not to giggle, she ran to help him up. Aragorn laughed after her, and as she turned to face him, her golden hair caught the shining rays of the early spring sun, and surrounded her in an angelic glow. The White Lady of Rohan.
Later that night, Lord Aragorn was sat keeping watch while the others slept - well, at least I thought Legolas was sleeping. Its so hard to tell with Elves, they just seem to lie there with their eyes open. Quite unnerving to watch really, let me tell you.
I had been untacked, but was tied by means of along strong rope to a cart. He appeared to be watching the grasses flickering and dancing in the whistling winds. Yet as he sat puffing intently on his pipe, I could sense that his eyes were veiwing something else. A dream maybe, or a special time - I couldn't tell, for his face gave little away. For the three hours he was on watch, he was almost motionless, save for reaching to hold tightly in his hand a beautifully intricate silver and crystal pendant around his neck. It was very, well, 'Elvish' necklace, is the only way I can describe it - that is, from what I could grasp from Legolas. Delicate and pure and fair; but old, and wise and strong. I knew immediately that this pendant was very specail to my master. Then, I did not know why - but in time, I would learn much o the past.