*gives three cheers for Sút* You've almost got me feeling very, very sorry for Dwarven men, except that they are, in the end, equal to such strength and fortitude. Though I find Veylin's musings a few paragraphs down to be revealing. While the circumstances for females of Dwarves and Men are very different, I still see tiny threads of similarities running through them.
She did not have the menfolk she deserved. Well, Veylin, she could if she wanted.... *g*
The conversation at Maelchon's was so realistic in tone. I also enjoyed the little snippets of Veylin's Dwarven biases: ...the Elf looked past her, at Veylin, the smoothness of his face as inscrutable as any beard... and She had endured so much, and was not Khazâd. How much more could she bear? (We're a tougher lot than you might think, Veylin!) It all adds up into deeply realistic and believable characters - wonderful, wonderful.