39. Scene XXX
The Lay of Leithian Dramatic Script Project
TINUVIEL AT BAY: A CACCIA OF BELERIAND
Conscience belated in full weight returning as of boulders,
Lord Celegorm seeks to shift this burden from his shoulders--
[The royal apartments. Curufin is rummaging through chests and caskets, having covered the table with boxes and their contents. Opening yet another he takes out a handful of gold chains and links, and jingles them before tossing them casually into a pile with other ingots and piecemetal. Celegorm enters looking distraught, shuts the door hard behind him]
Celegorm: [looking around warily]
Is this place secured?
Of course -- always. What's the matter?
I went to visit the Princess again.
Things didn't go well?
I've ruined it. I -- I don't know what came over me -- I've ruined everything.
You didn't tell her!?!
I didn't need to, she'd already guessed. I -- I frightened her, Cur. I rushed her -- rushed at her, not like I was a person but like some damned unreasoning brute of a two-year-old colt just turned loose with the herd--
And did you get your jaw kicked in for it?
Close enough. Now she won't even let me apologize to her.
I don't understand! I'm Eldar -- not some animal, or Man hardly better than animal -- how could I be overcome, how could my reason be overthrown by passion in such a -- a counter-productive way? Because things were going so well -- she really seemed pleased to see me, to talk to me, --right up until I terrified her!
Well, there's always 'Brim -- I think he's intoxicated with her, too. . . perhaps we should steer that way, eh? I don't think he's ever done anything incautious in his life--
No! -- No, I think we should stick with our original plan.
Curufin: [dawning realization]
You've fallen for her. Hah!
[Celegorm scowls at him]
She can't really prefer Survival Boy to you, can she? Obviously old Shadows is right and she's under a spell. But who could put a spell on one of the Kindred? Even if she is a Dark Elf. Could he have been an Enemy agent after all...?
Celegorm: [uncomfortable with this self-deception now]
She's hardly that -- and he's as shallow and obvious as they come. That's not Morgoth's style at all in turning double-agents. He's not twisted, just insane.
Are you really in love with her? Not just the illusion going out of control and the act taking on its own reality? I mean, I know all the advantages and reasons -- I thought of them myself -- but she's hardly the equal of one of us, regardless of the almost-blasphemous lineage she claims.
Act? The act was -- that it was ever an act. How can I begin to describe what it is about her -- that queenly way of going and the flashing look in her eyes when she gets angry -- she -- she glows almost, like silver hot in the mold, and she stands there in that ratty old dress of hers with her hair chopped off like a slave's, and -- laugh not, but I tell you it's as though one of Them stood there, as though Varda walked in disguise, standing an arm's length away. --And yet she seems so approachable, with that cute little half-skip in her walk and that quaint old-fashioned accent of hers . . . Don't tell me you're unaffected by it, little brother! Everyone watches her -- no one can help it!
She's aesthetic enough -- or would be if she took care of herself -- and the kingdom she will inherit should any, ah, tragic accident befall Elwe is more than charm enough for anyone. But the fact that you feel this way obviously means that you're meant for each other. "Soul mates" and all that.
Only she doesn't know it, somehow--
She hasn't thought about it carefully. I'm sure that once I've talked things over with her and forced her to look at facts, to think carefully about the realities -- the impossibilities -- of her obsession, then she will realize how flattered, and and how honored, she is, and ought to be, that you've stooped to notice her. You know that I can make anyone see reason, you mustn't worry that I can't deal with this, too. Now -- sit down and tell me what happened, exactly, so I know what I have to work with . . .
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