3. Scene II
The Lay of Leithian Dramatic Script Project
TINUVIEL AT BAY: A CACCIA OF BELERIAND
Confident of their confirméd vic'try now,
the sons of Feanor count o'er their spoils,
the full-achieved, as bold they do allow,
and the newer prize that's taken in their toils --
[The royal apartments, now occupied by Orodreth's household, and with a much less "lived-in" look to them -- though not cluttered before, it's clearly not a place belonging to an artist-architect-strategist-explorer-linguist-loremaster-musician, now -- merely a central location for government. Curufin and Celegorm are once again making free of the place, but the feel is very different when they come in and sprawl in the chairs by the fireplace. Orodreth is trying to work at the table, despite their presence. Huan is, once again, apparently dozing on the hearth.]
I never get over how nice these digs are. Cousin Finrod certainly didn't stint himself. You've done well by the move, hey, Orodreth?
Orodreth: [flat voice]
I don't recollect that you were lodged in the kennels prior to and including this summer. If you wanted improvements you'd only to make them. That is, after all, what everyone else did.
Curufin: [ignoring this, continuing discussion with Celegorm from outside]
I wonder if they're really betrothed, or if she's only saying that to make it sound more respectable?
Yes, clearly that's of the most tremendous and pressing concern to Her Highness.
Celegorm: [ignoring this too]
I doubt it -- he wasn't wearing any rings but the signet, and she's certainly not got one either.
Well, naturally -- where would he get any silver to make one? Not that he'd know how in any case. And even if she supplied both of them, it would be too obvious -- no chance of keeping it secret if she started wearing a ring all of the sudden.
I didn't get the impression she was trying to be secret about it, myself, but rather that she thought it was no anyone else's concern but their own. --Is that even a custom of Middle-earth originally? It could well be something our parents' generation came up with, back home. I wouldn't know about that myself, of course: I was never the one interested in "was" and "might have been" and "could be" --
--What's the matter with you? Weren't we boon companions before, always with the merry jest and the shared glass and the riding to the hunt and the cheer of good fellowship, Orodreth?
Well, yes, but that was before you led a revolution against my . . . House -- we were all equals, in those days.
Curufin: [sweetly poisonous]
And now you are ruler, my lord --
Now I am Regent, my lord -- a mere placeholder, and no more. When are you going to tell her? Or are you planning on waiting for her to get tired of waiting first?
Curufin: [colder still]
I thought we had reached an understanding in which you, and your House, were not going to interfere with us, and ours. Is that not so? Or am I mistaken, Lord Regent?
Orodreth: [sardonic smile]
My concern is the well-being of this City, and its realm, and its people. Apart from that, and outside of that, is not my concern. How you rule the affairs of your own household, so long as you do not risk Nargothrond by it, is your own business.
[goes back to scanning and occasionally signing parchments. The brothers exchange Looks.]
Curufin: [going back to their conversation]
Dark-elf or not, it's unbelievable that any of our Kindred, however distant, could fall so far--
Orodreth [shaking his head]
The daugher of Melian, a Dark-elf? Do you actually believe your own -- talk? --My lord.
Celegorm: [with the exasperated tone of someone going over something for the nth time]
Even if he wasn't a mortal, can you imagine anyone -- and of royal blood! -- being so lost to propriety as to strike up a relationship with a chance-met stranger of no estate and think it feasible that an alliance of blood and honor should be undertaken between them? Doesn't she, at least, understand that marriage is a binding not simply of individuals but of houses and traditions, that there are all kinds of implications for everyone else around them, and that no one, not least a scion of a ruling House of the Eldar, can act on their own whims without regard for these facts?
Orodreth: [as if observing to himself, aloud]
Oh no, it isn't as though anyone else in that family has ever run into someone in the woods by accident and spent time with them exclusively and not told anyone about it nor consulted with others nor sought advice before making it final and fait accompli, now, is it?
[nonplussed silence from the brothers]
--One might, in fact, consider it practically a family tradition . . .
You know, I don't care for your tone at all -- my Lord Steward of Nargothrond.
Orodreth: [not looking up from the scroll he is reading]
And unless you're interested in taking over all the mind-numbingly tedious tasks of management which now fall to me, with far less assistance, and in which you've never shown the least bit of interest heretofore, -- that fact is signally irrelevant, my lord cousin. --Unless your brother is perchance planning on forgoing some of his own sport to take up the slack . . . ?
--It's good we understand each other, isn't it?
[offhand, to his brother:]
Pass me that lute, will you?
[testing the strings, to Orodreth:]
Whose is this? Finduilas'? She shouldn't leave it tuned up, it'll ruin the frame, you know.
--Have you not your own chambers, my lords?
Yes, but they're not so nice as yours.
[There is a brief staring contest, before Orodreth shakes his head in disgust and gathers up all his parchments and writing equipment in angry, exasperated gestures.]
If anyone's looking for me, I'll be working in the privacy of my own old office.
[leaves with his portfolio and scribe's case while Curufin plays a cheerful little syncopation on the strings, discordantly out of tune]
I don't think our cousin likes us very much any more.
You did notice that he wasn't absolutely committed without reserve on the matter of noninterference?
I guess we aren't going to tell him about the Letter, are we? --How's that coming along?
Curufin: [smiling in anticipation]
Almost there. I've still got a few phrases that need work, and there are a couple of legal technicalities I want to be sure of before I send it off. I'll have the final draft done for you to look over in a few days.
The one bad thing is, we won't be able to see Elwe's face when he gets it. I wish there were some way to scry that scene!
True, alas. That would be -- amusing.
Ah well, if wishes were horses then -- beggars -- would ride, indeed--
[They exchange grins. On the tiles Huan, head on paws, gives a soft worried whine.]
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