6. Scene IV, Part 2
The Lay of Leithian Dramatic Script Project
Houseguests from Hell, or, 'So, what exactly do you two do around here, anyway?'
THE SOJOURN IN NARGOTHROND FROM THE LAY OF LEITHIAN
retold in the vernacular as a dramatic script
(with apologies to Messrs. Tolkien & Shakespeare)
SCENE IV, Part 2
[Silence; no one dares to speak]
Well. I'm glad -- I saw what we saved.
[he is breathing hard and his fists are clenched on his knees, and they wait tensely; then he shakes it off and begins wrapping the collars around his arms and replacing the weapons with perfectly steady hands.]
[it's clear from this that Beren's mission is no secret to him at least]
[the Ranger Captain smiles slightly at a well-learned lesson]
[Beren carefully says nothing. Realizing]
Forgive me -- that was not what I meant to say --
[the shadow is gone between them]
[The Steward nods. His eyes are haunted and his confidence is vanished.]
[the Steward looks at him gravely]
Would it please you to keep this?
[He offers, again correctly point-inward, Belegund's knife]
My sword-brother, heart-brother, my kinsman is honored in your remembrance of him. If it would mean anything to you . . .
[The Steward takes the knife and bows deeply. He fastens the sheath to his belt before replying.]
[He leaves them]
It seems very strange to us.
[long pause -- not hostile but filled with mutual regret and incomprehension -- broken by the entrance of Lord Gwindor, sans the Princess, but with a couple of other citizens of Nargothrond as Beren once again tries to finish breakfast.]
[blushes and goes on self-consciously]
-- Finduilas is still there, but she wanted me to make sure that Lord Beren was being properly looked after.
[she turns his chin to better see his face; again Beren is amused rather than offended by Elven foibles, fortunately.]
He looks almost like a person, doesn't he?
[narrows his eyes at Gwindor, who somehow manages to look both hangdog and stiff-necked at once.]
Pah, what am I saying? This is Nargothrond. If a whale sneezes in Brithombar Harbor, everyone knows about it in the Caves by nightfall -- even if it didn't happen. As the King well knows.
To tell you about it I would have to remember it, and I will never, ever visit that country again.
[Beren raises his eyebrows; the Rangers look affronted on his behalf.]
[before Beren can correct him]
I know, I know, 'preferable.' What's out there that's not in here? Explain what's so amazing about the wilderness.
[thinks for a moment] I saw this thing once: pine needles after the winter like a red pelt around the roots, patched with sun and snow in spots of white. --All of the sudden they leapt up and danced away before my eyes.
[Beren nods; the court folk frown, smile, discuss amongst themselves]
[Beren nods again]
[SQL Stops reading out here]
[to the subsequent odd looks]
It's a saying--? Which I guess you don't use. I'm afraid I don't know what it means, either.
[catches the Captain's sleeve and draws him down to whisper:]
Sir, I understand you're set to guard me. Would you please disarm me, or else send all these folk away, because I swear I'll savage the next person interrupts my meal --
[Chagrined, the Ranger and the other veterans leap to attention and hurry away.]
[He drags his companions away]
[He sets to in hopes of clearing his plate without other incident]
[debates, then continues:]
Then there's the fact that you scarcely need a guard -- were you not so polite, I've no doubt you'd hold your own against the throng. Nothing seems to daunt you -- though after your experiences, not so surprising.
--I'm afraid that's a word I don't know. 'Time --'?
[Beren drops down from the alcove and walks beside the Ranger Captain, not quite as though he owns the place, but certainly as quietly as the Elf.]
[A small group of people are seated near the fountain, Celebrimbor among them, discussing something that the son of Curufin is demonstrating by means of an elaborate diagram in the air. Ignoring the Nargothronders, who drop the discussion and stare at him, Beren plunges his hands into the spill and drinks that way.]
[keeps the straight face for a second, then grins]
[Beren shrugs; Celebrimbor snorts and turns away in dismissal]
[gets a Look]
See, I wouldn't have done that if you were one of us, on account of not wanting my head shoved in the water. Unless it was summer and not raining.
[a small chime sounds]
That's the summoning -- you should see this, as you slept through the last five.
[steers Beren towards a large and complex artifact of crystal and metals and lights which is in subtle motion -- think Myst & sequels, only more so. A crowd has already gathered around it in expectation.]
[gets uncomprehending stares from bystanders]
Don't you always know where the sun is, and the stars, as we do not?
[The Measurer achieves its zenith and the full carillon rings out, interrupting them. Constellations appear, the Moon and Sun rise and sail past, flowers open, animals and birds come out and make their circuits, ships cross before them, towers rise and fly banners, horsemen ride over their bridges, and finally the stars come out once more before it all folds away again to its quiescent state, and the satisfied crowd moves off.]
I'm still not quite happy with that last, but I've not thought of anything better to end it with.
[The inventor's expression goes from affront to confusion]
[dismisses him from consideration again, goes back to his seminar]
[Beren shrugs it off]
Would it please you to tour the rest of Nargothrond, or as much of it as we'll have time for?
Your pardon, milord -- I spoke too soon. The King summons us to council.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.