Gonli and the Dwarves walked back to camp with a tree stump on their shoulders, and the story to tell Gordon fresh in their minds.
‘What if Gordon has too many questions that we can’t answer?’ asked Rimli.
‘If you leave all the talking up to me, then we should pull it off, and I’m sure Keiwick won’t leave us hanging,’ said Gonli.
‘I still don’t think it’s right,’ said Rimli, ‘what has that Orc ever done to us? Or to Keiwick?’
‘He does not belong in our Company!’ said Gonli,’ Orcs are the enemy, no matter what they say. And don’t let the Orc brainwash you, young Dwarf, you follow fellow Dwarves, they are the only people you can trust. Now where’s the campfire? We should be in sight of it by now.
York-ie ran from the trees and through the fields, despite his wounds. He ruanning with speed so he might reach the campsite before Gonli and the others. If he could tell his story first, he might have a chance of convincing Gordon. His anger swelled inside him, hating Keiwick and the others more with each long stride.
‘Were is the camps fire?’ York-ie asked himself. ‘I shouldss be able to sssee it now.’ York-ie continued over the hills and finally reached the river’s bank. He wandered the area, searching for camp, but he found no sign of it until his foot stepped into a pile of ash and charred wood inside a stone ring. He looked around realizing that the camp had been abandoned. Most all the supplies laid in the grass, along with bags and sacks. He searched further and found arrows pricked in the ground, and both weapons of Dwarf-made skill, and those of Goblins. York-ie wandered down the hill, and there he found Goblin bodies still warm, and to the left he spotted small dark bodies lying under the shadow. He took a closer look; he found that some of the Company had fallen in the battle. Sadness and fear gripped York-ies’ heart. Sadness for those who had fallen, but yet fear for himself, that Keiwick and Gonli would blame the death of the Dwarves on him. He knew he must find Gordon quickly.
He gathered weapons that had been left behind, and; he threw them in a pile. Most were chipped and broken in two or even three pieces. He took those that were in good condition and fastened them to his belt. He carried as many weapons as he could hold, ending up with ten knives of fair size and strength, three swords, and one axe that hung on his back. He scanned the area one last time so as not to miss anything, when suddenly voices were heard just over the dip of the hill. York-ie hid under the tall grass and peered out, waiting.
Dark figures appeared, short and wide, they moved slowly to the top of the rise, they sometimes bent over and pick things up, only to toss them down again. At that moment one of the shapes turned to the side, and by the help of the moon-light York-ie saw a beard falling from the face of the figure, he knew it was Gonli’s band. They searched the same places York-ie had seen, and they saw the bodies of their fellow Dwarves. York-ie could not see them, but he heard much weeping and threats of revenge. They all returned to York-ies’ sight, and sifted through the pile of broken weapons, and then stood in a circle talking. From the best of York-ies’ hearing, they said:
‘Those Goblins from the Mountains! They have hunted us down!’ cried a Dwarf.
‘Yes, but where have they taken the Company? That is the real question,’ said Rimli.
‘I would think they are taking them back to the Misty Mountains, back into their caves and pits of darkness,’ said Gonli. ‘And that is where we will look for them, if they are still alive. We will not waste time here; we must leave now!’
The ten ran off with their weapons close at hand. York-ie stood from hiding and watched them as they walked out of sight, into the night.
‘Foolsss, they will nevers find them. They can’tss not track them down. Though I can- and I will.’ York-ie bent down to spot the tracks, he followed them to the east. The Dwarves went more southeast thinking the Goblins are going straight home, though York-ie knew the Goblins must be at the Mountains by morning, so they may find shade from the sun. York-ie ran with swift speed to the Misty Mountains, in hope of saving his friends.