The Elf From America-Part Twenty Two – Inside Orthanc

by Dec 2, 2002Stories

The hobbits explained the missing pieces and riddles of their story to the foursome. Emilie had heard the story many times before in the book so she didn’t speak much. Her thoughts were elsewhere. Aragorn also explained what had happened to them since the breaking of the Fellowship. They decided to find Gandalf.

“The afternoon is drawing on. You can enter Isengard now if you wish Strider, but it is not a pretty sight,” Merry told them.

They exited the tunnel and found Gandalf along with Theoden and his men. Gandalf had made a decision to enter Orthanc to speak with Saruman.

“Those who wish to come with me may, but beware! Do not speak or jest. This is not the time for it.”

Gimli was determined to accompany Gandalf. He said he wished to see if they looked alike. Elenya walked to Legolas’s side and asked, “Will you come?”

“If you will,” he answered.

Elenya decided to go along with Gandalf and the others. She followed behind Eomer as they climbed the flight of twenty-seven stairs through the only entrance to the tower. Legolas stood behind Elenya. Merry and Pippin followed reluctantly feeling unimportant and not wanted. They reached the top, and Gandalf stood before the door of Orthanc and called out for Saruman. The door was unbarred, but Elenya couldn’t see anyone. She heard a voice though.

“What do you want?”

The Worm!

“Go and fetch Saruman, Wormtoungue!” Gandalf ordered. “Don’t waste our time!”

Just then, she listened closely. Another voice spoke a low and melodious voice. He was placing a spell on them. She was unaffected of course for she was not of true blood of Middle Earth. His voice seemed wise and reasonable to the others. All she could hear was the poison vaporous voice of the Istar who caused so many deaths at Helm’s Deep. When everyone else spoke, they seemed harsh and foul-mouthed compared to Saruman’s. On some of the people in the room, the spell lasted only as long as he spoke. On others, it lasted longer, and they smiled. She watched the gaping mouths wanting to speak and lash out irrationally, but knew she shouldn’t.

“Will you give me no peace?” Saruman spoke.

Then he appeared standing at the rail. She could not tell what color his cloak was. It changed every time she blinked or moved her eye.

“Like and unlike,” Gimli muttered thinking of Gandalf and Saruman.

Saruman spoke to Theoden in what seemed kind words of wisdom to him, but to Emilie they were foul words of stinging poison. She glared every time she looked at him.

“Despite the harm you have done to me,” Saruman said to Theoden, “I will still save and help you from the ruin that draws near. I alone can aid you now.” Snake!

Saruman’s eyes fell upon her, and he spoke, “Why do you not speak fair one? And why should a beauty like you as well as one so wise take company and travel with such as these?”

She stepped forward and said in a loud voice, “What do you mean by such as these? There are none greater than Gandalf the White and Aragorn son of Arathorn however you may try to convince me. I have not spoken for Gandalf told me not to speak of the anger that has been storing inside my heart against you for so long. Your words may seem like honey to the tongues of others but not to mine snake! Nothing you say or do will ever hurt me. The strongest spell called out of the depths would not turn my anger or fury against you!”

Saruman looked as though he would lash out but said, “Peace! You are very young still and independent. Quick to ear and not to heart. You shall understand in due time and will rebuke yourself for not joining my company.”

“Oh you think so?” she stood bravely. “Never! I will not part company from the Prince of Mirkwood, from the White Rider, from Aragorn son of Arathorn, or even from Gimli son of Gloin’s side though you may try to tempt me!”

Eomer watched her in wonder. But Saruman’s words next to hers seemed too great.

“You are but a girl still and have not grown in full years. The words of my mind have not even begun to enter your head.”

Legolas stepped forward, “Let her alone wizard! Your words should not be with her!”

“I see the Prince of Mirkwood cares for the girl greatly. No matter. My business is not with you for the moment. Let me speak with my friend the king.”

That was the simple part she took part in. He did not know her mind. She had heard all of his advice that sounded like great words of wisdom to others, but not to her and not to Gandalf and not to Theoden. Theoden did not give into Saruman’s foul tempting and neither did Gandalf.

“You have become a fool, Saruman, and yet pitiable,” Gandalf said. “You may have had time to turn away from evil and be of good service, but you chose not to. Stay then in Orthanc! But you will not easily come out again. Not unless the dark hands of the East stretch out to take you. Saruman!” he cried. Emilie listened as he raised his hand, “I am Gandalf the Grey whom you have betrayed. I am Gandalf the White who has returned from death. You have no color now, and I cast you from the order and from the Council.” Gandalf raised his hand, and said, “Your staff is broken.” Emilie heard a crack and saw the staff split and land at Saruman’s feet. “Go!”

Saruman retreated back into the door of Orthanc. They were finished with him for now. But Emilie watched as a heavy shining ball hurtled down from above. It passed close to Gandalf’s head, but fell on the stair of which he stood. The rail cracked and splintered under the balls touch. It rolled down the steps and fell into a pool. Elenya watched Pippin run after it and saw him pick it up. Uh oh! She knew it was thrown by Grima Wormtongue, but his aim was bad because he could not decide whether he wanted it thrown at Saruman or Gandalf. Pippin walked to Gandalf’s side with the ball still in his hand.

“Here, my lad. I’ll take that! I did not ask you to handle it,” he said to Pippin as the hobbit walked up the stairs with the ball in his hand. He looked as though he were carrying a great weight. “I will take care of this,” Gandalf said wrapping it in his cloak. “It is not a thing Saruman would have wanted cast away.”

Gandalf had broken the spell of Saruman. She could see that as the men of Rohan saluted him with joy.

“Well that is done,” said Gandalf. “Now I must go tell Treebeard what has happened. For us things have not gone badly. Strange are turns of fortune! We could not have found more precious treasures in Isengard rather than the thing Wormtoungue threw down at us.”

Elenya suddenly heard a shrill shriek come from the tower window above them.

“I think Saruman thinks so too,” she said to Gandalf.

As they returned to the ruins of the gate, Emilie saw Treebeard and a dozen other ents appear out of the shadows. Legolas, Gimli, and Aragorn gazed at them in wonder. They were certainly ‘cool’in her terms. She did not know how to describe them other than the fact that they were similar to trees but with arms, faces, and voices. Treebeard addressed Legolas and Elenya first of all.

“So you have come all the way from Mirkwood Prince?” he said to Legolas. “A very great forest it was.”

“And still is. But we never tire of seeing new trees. I should dearly love to Fangorn’s woods. I scarcely passed beyond the eaves of it, and I did not wish to turn back.”

“Nor did I,” Elenya answered.

Treebeard’s eyes gleamed with pleasure, and Elenya smiled. He said, “I hope you have your wish.”

“I will come if I have the fortune. For I have made a bargain with my friend that we will visit Fangorn together.”

“Is that the she-elf by your side?”

“Elenya may accompany us if she wishes, but my friend is not an elf but the dwarf Gimli son of Gloin.”

Gimli bowed low, but the axe slipped from his belt and fell to the ground. Emilie rolled her eyes.

“Hoom hm! Ah now,” Treebeard said eyeing the dwarf. “An axe bearer! I have good will to elves, but you ask much. Tis strange friendship.”

Elenya spoke, “His axe is not for chopping trees. But he is very skilled when it comes to chopping off orcs necks. Forty two he defeated at Helm’s Deep with his axe alone.”

“Nether the less,” Legolas spoke. “I shall not journey into Fangorn without him.”

“Hoom hm! Come now! That is a better story. And who might you be fair one? For I do not know your face or have not yet heard your name,” he asked turning to Elenya.

“My name is Elenya,” she spoke. “And I do not come from Lorien, Rivendell, or Mirkwood. I come from far away.”

Treebeard then made a glance to the west and spoke softly and slowly as if in deep thought. “Far away. So far that the eye can not see nor the the foot could ever travel to or the strongest boat ever make such a journey. No matter. You are still welcome in my woods if you travel in such good company.”

She smiled.

“But come now. The day is drawing on. Things are going hastily. But there are fist new things under the Sun or Moon that I have seen many a long, long day. I shall not forget them. I have put their names into the Long List. Ents will remember it. Ents the earthborn old as mountains, the wide walkers, water drinking and hungry as hunters, the Hobbit children, the laughing folk-the little people, they shall remain friends as long as the leaves are renewed. Fare you well! But if you hear news in your peasant land, in the Shire, send me word! You know what I mean,” he said to Merry and Pippin, “word or sight of the Entwives. Come yourselves if you can.”

“We will,” said Merry and Pippin together, and then they turned away. Treebeard looked at them long and was silent shaking his head thoughtfully. He then said to Gandalf, “So Saruman would not leave? I didn’t think he would.”

“His heart is black and rotten still,” Elenya interjected.

“He still has the key to Orthanc. He must not be allowed to escape.”

“Ents will see to that. Saruman shall not set foot beyond the rock without my leave. Ents will watch over him. Leave it to the Ents. Until seven times the years in which he tormented us have passed, we shall not tire of watching him.”


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