26. Scene XX.ii
The Lay of Leithian Dramatic Script Project
TINUVIEL AT BAY: A CACCIA OF BELERIAND
--Hope doth flame brightly, yet
absent further fuel, like straw outburneth swift, to let
dark despair return, as the sun forever shall be set--
[The Hall of Morning. It's very dim -- only a bit of discreet artificial illumination, with some scattered white light coming through the prisms overhead from the not-quite-full moon. Luthien is pacing, arms tightly folded around her, but stops as the camera nears and sits down heavily on a bench with a tense expression.]
Luthien: [decidedly, gloomy]
That leaves me one option. Of course that only makes it more hopeless than before . . . But then, that isn't really so, is it? It always was hopeless -- I was just wrong about it. As usual.
[shivers again, rubbing her arms]
Well, if I can't get my cape back, I can take whatever I need in exchange. It's worth at least a horse and some heavy clothes, I should think.
[shaking her head]
By rights I could take anything I wanted, for the purpose of rescue, but I've no idea what besides my cape would help. --Well, Finduilas' dress won't, that's for certain.
[Starts to pull hers out of the sleeves, but stops when she hears something outside. Stands up at once, looking alert]
No, I really don't think we should send to any of the others until it's all --
[The sons of Feanor come the rest of the way around the curve of the ramp and stop when they see her, very surprised]
Curufin: [surreptitiously taking his hand off of his knife]
Your Highness? What are you doing here all alone in the dark?
Are you lost?
Luthien: [hiding her disappointment]
Thinking, my lords. I like to do that, sometimes, up high. --One might ask the same of you--?
Celegorm: [ignoring her question]
I'm glad to see you've taken my advice and gotten some decent clothes for yourself. Much better.
There was an affair tonight that Finduilas talked me into going to. Hence all this.
Well, good for you! Good to get out and enjoy yourself.
[looks around for anyone else]
--But surely they didn't throw you out, what?
No -- there were too many people there and it got rather overwhelming.
Was my son there, did you notice?
He was still there when I left, but I've no idea if he's there now, my lord.
My lord, I've been looking to ask you for -- for a long time, now: do you know when I will be able to get my cape back?
[Throughout the following exchanges she watches them both closely for any sign of guile]
Curufin: [shrugging apologetically]
I'm afraid it's rather out of my hands at the moment, though I assure you I'll certainly check on the progress of the researchers for you. --But you don't really need it, anyway, correct?
Whether I need it or not is irrelevant: it's mine.
Curufin: [carefully, as to a child]
I don't believe that anyone has challenged that, your Highness.
But no one seems to know who's got it, or where it is, and it's extremely valuable to me, at least.
Nargothrond is a very large place, with a great number of people in it.
So I have noticed. How is that relevant?
I meant, my lady, that these things take time.
[glances around, worried and torn]
Well, my lords, I suppose you would prefer to have the peace and quiet to yourselves, for your own conversation, so I'll bid you good evening and return to my own apartments now.
Oh no, you can't go gettin' lost again -- we'll take you that way and make sure you're home safely.
I'm not lost, I just don't know where everything is. --No one's ever taken me through it all and explained how it connects up, or drawn out maps for me. I remember some of the plans that Finrod showed us, but those weren't complete and changes have been made since then.
A lamentable oversight, I'm sure -- one of our people would be able to remember it all from the first, and so we forget that it might not be that easy for an outsider, and fail in our duty.
What a backhanded insult!
But I don't want to be an inconvenience to you . . .
Not at all, my lady.
Well, if it isn't any trouble--
Good! That's settled.
[takes her arm and leads her down the circular causeway]
Impressive place, what?
But you need to see it properly in the morning. Perhaps you'd like to come up and see it tomorrow?
[Curufin looks around suspiciously one more time to make sure no one else is about]
Curufin: [catching up to them]
Of course it's nothing to compare with Formenos, but for Middle-earth Nargothrond isn't bad at all. --Not that it couldn't stand improvement.
That's true of most things, though, isn't it?
And this is one that could have gone far worse. There's still a chance.
So would you be so kind as to show me how the layout of the City goes? And perhaps I'll even be able to remember it, with your capable instruction? Then I'll be able to feel a bit more at home here.
Well, this, right here's the southernmost vertical shaft that goes all the way through all the levels--
No, there's one more farther south than this, you're forgetting about.
But that's only an air-shaft, Cur, not a proper access . . .
[they go out of sight, the sons of Feanor correcting each other. No one arrives to rendezvous with Luthien as the scene fades to darkness]
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