37. Bright As A Jewel
"Alqualondë." I heard a voice in the distance; it was Gimli. "The Elf thought you might still be alive. I've come to take you to the healers' tents. They'll fix you up." His smile almost broke through my despair.
I mewed piteously, though not of my own volition. When he picked me up, I felt such pain. My eyes burned and I could not decide why. I could not see out of the left one. I could only feel pain in my paw and in my eyes. I blinked a number of times, but naught happened with the left. But that was not my only worry. Something niggled at my heart; some important thought battled my pain and sorrow.
Why was I so sad? I could not remember. A wound is nothing. Denethor had many by the time he was twenty; one little one should not fell one of Berúthiel's descendants, should it? 'Nay, there is something I must remember,' I thought as the stout Dwarf moved forward.
"Have you seen Pippin, Cat?" The Dwarf asked, conversationally.
'Pippin!' I yelped. The Dwarf looked at me in surprise. Nothing mattered but that Pippin be found and alive and rescued! 'Gimli,' I mewed, 'Pippin fell under a huge troll. He needs help.' The Dwarf only stared at me, aghast. 'Gimli, truly! I saw him fall! Please, you must help me find him. I can smell him. He is near; I know it. Put me down.'
"Your paw is destroyed, Cat. Even if I put you down, you couldn't walk a step. Sniff away, or whatever it is you do, and I will take you where you tell me to go."
I nodded my head a little northwards of where the Dwarf was standing. 'Somewhere over there. Oh! Look, there's a troll. Mayhap... Nay, it does not smell like Pippin. Is there another nearby?'
The Dwarf nodded. "There are at least three, but we'll take our time and find him. I'm not letting you go anywhere till we do." A large smile lit the Dwarf's face and I smiled back.
'Thank you.' Another ten steps or so. 'He is close; he really is. Is there...? Oh yes!'
'It's a wee foot, Cat. I believe we have found our friend. Now, I'm going to put you down for a moment, so I can pull him out.'
'Warriors. There are plenty of them about. They can help you, Gimli. Well, plenty that can still walk. Call them, Gimli, and hurry. He could be dead already.'
"Settle yourself, Cat. I will get him out of there." He put his fingers to his lips and gave a great piercing whistle. Many soldiers close by looked up, nodded at his motioning, and came towards us.
"We have a brave warrior trapped under this troll. I could move it myself, but I thought I would share the honor of saving this hero's life with one or two of you. Any of you think you might like to help me move it?"
Beregond ran up. "Is that Pippin?" he asked in horror. "It was my life he saved. I will move it, even if I die trying."
"You will not be dying for you have a Dwarf to help you. We will get it moved. Enough talk. Now, let us get on this side and on my count, we push."
The Dwarf and the Man arranged themselves on the troll's side and, on Gimli's shout of three, pushed with all their might. The troll moved a bit. "Balrog's breath," Gimli swore. "Beregond. Get yourself over near his foot and next time I push, you pull." The guard nodded and moved forward. Two of the Tower Guard moved forward. The Dwarf scowled and they stopped. "Not enough work for one Dwarf. Don't need them helping," he muttered. Gimli began the count again and the troll moved. Beregond pulled hard and Pippin popped out.
'Is he breathing?' the Cat cried piteously.
"That he is. And none too crushed by the look of it. Mahal helped him. Look a wee bit of a depression under him. That saved him. His eyes'll be sparkling bright as a jewel in no time, Cat. Mark my words."
A/N - I took a wee bit of latitude with Gimli's saving Pippin. Forgive me. In the book, of course, Gimli finds Pippin's foot sticking out from under the troll and pushes this great troll off the lad, all by himself. Seemed a bit too easy. So I've got him being magnanimous, which I know he would be, and accepting some help from Beregond, if only to assuage the guard's feelings of guilt that Pip was crushed for his sake. I rarely take liberties with Tolkien, but I hope you will grant me this one instance.
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