3. More Trouble
“It is an elfling sitting assignment. I am the March Warden of the Golden Woods for the Valar’s sake, not an elfling minder.” He snarled, tossing in another tunic and turned to the small chest for additional breeches and small cloths.
“Haldir, it is for the Lord and Lady’s daer sell, hardly some elfling.
After what happened to the Lady Celebrian, it is understandable they would want the best warriors under their most capable leader. Does not Lord Elrond send either his ionnath or Lord Glorfindel when she travels from Imladris?” Orophin reasoned calmly and looked over at Rumil who merely shrugged.
“It’s something more than that, I know it. They are punishing me and I do not know why.” He continued to mutter beneath his breath.
“I wonder why you are so angry? Do you think it just might have something to do with the fact that you have had some trouble lately in maintaining an even temper and your judgment just might be compromised somewhat as a result? That you may have been a little reckless when you were on the fences and could have placed the other members of your patrol in some danger as a result?” Orophin added.
Haldir’s hand froze over the basket where he had just withdrawn a supply of extra bowstrings. He turned towards them his face suddenly white and drawn tight. “Who has said anything to them?”
“Who?” Rumil asked puzzled.
“The Lord and Lady! Who has been spreading tales?”
“I don’t think anyone has been deliberately saying anything, but you are a fool if you do not think your manner hasn’t been noticed. The Lady has expressed concern over how tired you have been. She asked me straight out when was the last time you stood down from duty and I had to tell her. You know no one can lie when she asks a question.” Rumil responded.
Haldir sank down on the bed stunned. “She knew?”
“Yes, she called me up to the royal talan last month and started asking me questions about when you last had a leave from duty, whether you had sought the company of an elleth and relaxed and why you were scheduling your self back to the fences repeatedly without the required period of rest.”
“She knew.” Haldir repeated weakly then looked at Rumil. “What did you tell her?”
“That it had been a year since your last real break and that I knew of no elleth that found favor in your eyes. I couldn’t tell her why you are driving yourself and she cares enough about you that she will not seek her way into your mind to search for the answer unless she has no other choice. It is my belief that she hopes this trip to Imladris will give you the time to reflect and seek your own answers. It offers you the opportunity to relax a little. While the duty is not onerous it could still be dangerous, as you well know. The yrch are unpredictable and do not act in any rational manner.”
“She knows.” Haldir repeated in a dazed voice.
“You already said that, several times in fact.” Orophin commented dryly.
Haldir’s shoulders slumped with weariness, his hair falling forward to cover his face. “I knew this last assignment was not right, that I was a danger to the others but I thought I could handle it if I was careful.”
Both brothers reached out their hands and gently squeezed a shoulder.
“You are not invincible muindor nin, nor are you without those that care. I believe the Lady said that a healer trained in Imladris would be travelling back with you. Perhaps he will be able to provide some assistance if you feel comfortable in asking.”
“Somehow I think that is not very likely.” He added gloomily.
“Well, you could ask Lord Elrond….”
“Of course I could! Just what a powerful elf lord would want to hear when his beloved sell is about to be escorted on a dangerous journey through the Red Horn Pass. Her escort is under the command of a workaholic nut case.”
“Well, at least you acknowledge it will be a dangerous journey and not an easy stroll,” grinned Orophin.
Rumil studied his discouraged older brother. “Haldir, stop thinking about this as if you will have problems. Simply look at it as an opportunity to slow down and deal with a less complicated set of problems for a while. Let me handle the duty roster assignments for the next two rotations and let Linhir lead the patrols for this next one. Rodyn can handle the one after that. They both are ready for command as you well know and you need to have someone available with known ability that can relieve you. You are going to have to delegate responsibility at some point. This time is as good as you will ever get with the fences being relatively calm.”
“You know that makes sense, Haldir,” added Orophin.
Haldir straightened up and studied his brothers and then nodded. “Very well, but I have no intentions of discussing this with anyone in Imladris, so do not mention it again.”
Looking at each other they finally agreed, with one proviso, Haldir had to get some rest and he had to spend the evening with the group that gathered in the grove each evening. Better yet he should seek the company of one or more of the elleth who would be delighted to spend time with him.
“This is a joke, right?” Haldir glared at them.
“No, muindor, it is not. You will do this or we will go to the Lady and you will find yourself in the Healing Talan, like it or not.”
daer sell- grand daughter
muindor nin-my brother
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