13. It Is About Time!!
‘Dan swung down from his mount and moving to its head, gently rubbed its nose. He watched his brother grimace as he too dismounted and stretched grateful for the chance to relieve a cramped hip wounded in their earlier encounter with the yrch.
At Glorfindel’s frown, ‘Roh grinned. “It is nothing, ‘Fin, we managed to dispatch five of the beasts before they knew what hit them. The three that escaped our ftrst encounter took a little longer to track down and eliminate.”
‘Dan nodded in agreement. “We should be able to reach ada without any further problems with yrch.”
Glorfindel set the sword aside and slowly rose to his feet, his face grim. “You deliberately engaged them knowing your ada and the Lady Rellas were nearby and that if you failed to kill them all, you risked all of our safety?”
The two brothers looked at each other in surprise before ‘Dan turned his attention back to the older elf. “There was never any real danger ‘Fin. The two of us have fought greater numbers before. We both agreed that they posed a greater danger if they returned to their lair when we saw one carried the Lady ‘Rellas’ saddle. They would have returned with greater numbers to search for the rider. We thought it best to remove that possibility.”
Glorfindel stood silently as he considered that bit of information. Finally he glared at ‘Roh. “You were wounded.”
‘Roh grinned. “I have received worse in mock battles. A few moments of walking eases the stiffness and the wound is already healing.”
Glorfindel shook his head in exasperation and turned towards the other warriors lounging about in small groups. “We had best see about retrieving your ada and the Lady ‘Rellas from their hiding hole. The sooner we are on our way back to our valley the happier I will be.” With a wave of his hand they all prepared to move out.
‘Rellas sat looking over the small pile of their remaining supplies. “I do not believe there is anything here worth taking with us.”
Elrond turned from the mouth of the cave and glanced about. “Perhaps the extra tunics? They remain undamaged. Whoever they belonged to might want them back. And the ropes and arrows?”
‘Rellas frowned, “Do you think they really will want them? Will we not be able to replace all of them once we reach Imladris hiren?”
The elf lord nodded, “I will replace what ever was lost including the boots, but if anything has special meaning to our unknown benefactor, he will certainly appreciate getting them back. The arrows should be saved. We may have need of them before we reach home.” He smiled at ‘Rellas before continuing. “I know I intend to cherish a certain tunic and length of deer hide after we leave here.”
She laughed softly. “Very well I will pack them along with the arrows in one of the saddle packs.”
Elrond returned his attention back to the cave opening and with gingerly care, continued to make mental sweeps of the area seeking their rescuers. He finally stopped and with a groan settled himself down beside ‘Rellas and closed his eyes.
‘Rellas noted his white face and grew concerned. “Your headache has returned?”
“I am sorry, hiren, we have little water so I cannot brew anymore of the healing tea. I could climb down and get some…”
“No, ‘Fin will be here soon with the others. They will have what is needed and we need not risk possible detection by the yrch.”
“As you wish, but it would not hurt to eat some of the lembas. You have not had anything this morning and you need your strength for our climb. If they get here early enough this afternoon, they will want us up and out of here so that they can see to your wounds and then let you to get a night’s rest before we leave first thing in the morning. They will want to be sure you are well enough to travel.”
Elrond looked at her strangely. “Have you been in touch with ‘Fin?”
“No, but is only logical that they will want to get you to safety and out of the reach of danger.”
He grimaced wryly. “It is strange to be needing healing instead of providing it. I cannot remember when I was last a patient instead of a healer.”
“It will serve to remind you how they feel and hopefully improve your bedside manner, hiren.”
He looked at her through narrowed eyes before smiling when he saw the teasing light in her eyes. “I suppose it never hurts to be reminded occasionally of one’s attitude when dealing with someone in pain.”
She grinned mischievously then turned serious as she handed him a piece of lembas. “We have just a sip of water to share until they do get here. Should we have it now or later?”
“Now I think, and when we have finished, I will sleep for a while. You are right, they will want to get on our way as soon as possible and I still tire easily.”
‘Rellas nodded and handed him the nearly empty water skin and waited for him to finish his portion. Having finished both the lembas and the water she helped him settle down and covered him with one of the bag covers. “There, hiren, I will keep watch and wake you when they arrive.”
He nodded and once more closed his eyes, his face strained and white.
‘Rellas sat back on her heels and watched him with concern. It was obvious his headache was worse then it had been earlier in the day and she knew he had been trying to contact his comrades with his mental calls. He needed a skilled healer and she had only basic skills more suited to simple battle wounds, not his kind of head injury.
Once she was sure he was sleeping she quietly finished packing the small bundle of tunics and arrows and moved it over to the cave entrance. After coiling the rope and laying it on top, she sat down and leaned her head back against the rock wall next to it. Closing her eyes, she waited for some sign of their rescuers.
It was late afternoon when ‘Rellas finally heard the sound of a rope being lowered followed by a small cascade of falling rock from above the entrance. Startled she grasped a piece of firewood from the nearby small pile and moved back to the opening to insure that it was their friends and not an enemy seeking them.
“Ada? ‘Rellas?” Elladan dropped to the small ledge and hung there, only the slender elvish rope keeping him safely in place. He grinned at the startled look on her face and at the improvised club she held. “You were not jesting, this is a small hole in the wall. Where is ada?” He accepted the hand she offered and swung into the cave ducking his head under the low ceiling. Untying the rope he pulled it in three quick jerks and it was withdrawn back up.
“I am here ion nin.”
“It is good to finely see you ada. We feared you lost to the river.” ‘Dan embraced his father then studied his father’s strained face. Looking to ‘Rellas he lifted an eyebrow questioningly.
“He had a blow to his head.” She explained all that she had observed of Elrond’s symptoms since she had found him. “The wound on his thigh is healing nicely, but he has had severe headaches and I have not had the proper herbs or other medicinal teas that could help.”
“We suspected that was the case and I have something here that should provide some relief. I will have ‘Roh send down a water skin and if you can get a fire going I will examine ada to see just what we need to do to get him… and you…out of here.”
“In case you had not noticed,” the dry voice of Elrond interrupted them, “I am quite conscious and able to explain what I need before I climb out of here.”
‘Dan and ‘Rellas looked at each other and grinned before continuing their discussion. “He will need someone to climb up along side because he is still having problems with his leg strength.” ‘Rellas pointed out.” He may need assistance to keep from striking that hip against the wall.”
“How about you, hiril? Will you need assistance? What about your hurt?” Elladan queried as he mentally informed ‘Fin and ‘Roh as to what he had found and what he needed.
“I should be able to make the climb safely with a rope tied to my waist and the help of someone pulling from above. Most of my injuries were bruises, and though most colorful, now cause little discomfort.”
“I must reluctantly agree with ‘Rellas.” Elrond said. “I still tire easily and do not wish to contribute to a longer stay here because of foolish pride. Once we begin the actual climb, a rope and a steadying hand will be most welcome.”
‘Dan nodded. “’Fin and the rest of our warriors are scouting the area and setting up a camp once the area is secured. We should be able to have you both out of here in a short while. Once you have had a decent meal and got cleaned up, we will address your wounds and let you both get a good night’s rest.”
‘Rellas sighed, “A bath and clean clothes sounds wonderful.”
‘Dan laughed. “It should be easy to provide you with both, hiril nin. Now if you can get a fire going I will see if we will have any difficulty in getting ada out of here.” He turned back to the cave entrance as the rope once more was lowered with a water skin; a small leather bound case and another wine skin tied together on its end. “Well ada, we will brew a strengthening tea, but how about a small swallow of miruvor while we wait?”
Elrond smiled and sighed. “I think I can be persuaded!”
Above ‘Fin and ‘Roh both chuckled. Elrond may be injured but he was the old Elrond.
Ion nin-my son
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