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Old 07-18-2004, 06:04 PM   #389
Vice of Twilight
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: on a mountain
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Shield Morning of Dec. 24; Liornung & Argeleafa

Liornung tripped merrily here and there, humming softly under his breath and doing nothing in particular. He paused a moment by the horses to stroke them and whisper to them in the Rohirric tongue, and then he would move on to rummage through his pack to make sure nothing was lost. At last he sat and picked up his fiddle and began to lightly play a little tune. Argeleafa had in the meantime awoken and came hesitatingly towards him. When he looked up at her and smiled she gained in confidence and stood before him, and said, "Liornung, I would beg the favor of speaking with you alone for a moment."

"Why, yes, most gracious lady of song and dance," he said, standing once again, "though I have never seen you dance." She smiled faintly at him; there was no doubt about his mood today: he was most happy and cheerful. He offered her his right arm, and she took it, and he continued the tune he had been playing as he led her apart from the group. At a safe distance where they would not be heard, he laid his fiddle gently down and studied her face intently. Her cheeks were flushed and her eyes were bright, and she seemed eager, yet she also seemed anxious. Liornung could hardly suppress a chuckle, for he knew what she desired to speak about.

"Liornung, you have always seemed to be very intelligent, and dare I say wise," she said. He laughed and bowed low, and while she did not seem annoyed by this it seemed to disturb her, and she grasped his arm, saying, "Please stop a moment and listen. What I have to say, or rather ask, is very serious."

Liornung held back the playful remark that sprang to his lips and let his face fall into an expression grave and somber. After all, she did seem to consider her question very serious, and as he reflected on it he supposed it was. "You no doubt heard the conversation last night," she said, "and heard how Bellyn asked me what I thought of Ędegard, and how I answered, and how he told me he should try to turn my 'maybe' into a 'yes.' I will tell you truthfully, Liornung, that I do not think I am unwilling to say 'yes' next time I am asked that question, but I do not know if it would be wise."

"And why not?" said Liornung, very, very gravely, though inwardly he was roaring with laughter.

"Because I know nothing about Ędegard, save that I think him very kind, and very good."

"I should think that would be enough."

She seemed confused at this. "Well... I... you see, I want to go about this concern as my mother would have wished. That is, I should like to know more about him before I consent to his... attentions."

"What a modest little thing you are," said Liornung. "Do you mean consenting when he asks you to wed him?" She blushed violently but nodded. He smiled. "Leafa, you think he is good, and I think he is good, and the company thinks he is good, and from the stories of his past he has told us he has always acted in a good way; also he loves you deeply, and you have few doubts left that you love him as well. What more do you wish?"

"I... don't know," she said, and then cried out, "What is his home like?"

"How hard you try to be proper! Your mother would wish you to marry a man you knew about, a man you knew was good and would care for you. In other words, she would want you to be careful. I will tell you about his home. His home is Rohan, and Rohan is his home. And he is good, and he would take care of you, which is what you need. Again I say, what more do you wish?"

"But it seems too easy!"

The laughter that he had held within him burst forth, and he took her hands, gazing mirthfully into her face. "Little girl, little girl!" he said. "For you are a little girl. If it is easy is that not good? Would you enjoy to hear that he was in fact a tyrant, that he was a rogue, because that would be hard? Aren't you glad that he is good and kind, that he will take care of you? Lassie, if he asks you to wed him say 'yes' without hesitation. Tell him you will marry him; it will make you both happy."

"Perhaps I will," said she, "but I should like to consider it more."

"Persist in foolishness as long as you wish," said Liornung. "As long as you follow my advice in the end you will be all right. Shall we return?" She nodded silently and he picked up his fiddle again and began to play and sing a little song as they went back to the others.

"As I was walking one morning
not intending to go very far
I came to where the waves lapped
against a little hill by the shore.

And there was a lad there
and he walked to and for
and stern and fair were his features
as he stood on the hill by the shore.

He turned and smiled at me
and then I could not ask for more
for dearly I loved him at that sight,
the lad on the hill by the shore.

He sat beside me and spoke
of things of ancient lore
and of many things he told me
as we sat on the hill by the shore.

We sat together till evening;
with each minute I loved him more
and I wished he loved me too,
the lad on the hill by the shore.

When night came he took my hand
and said love for me he bore.
Happier I have never been
than there on the hill by the shore.

And then he said he could not stay
and I would never see him more
and down the path he went away,
away from the hill by the shore.

His words were true, my heart he broke,
and never did I see him more
I had hoped to stay a little while
with the lad on the hill by the shore."

Last edited by Nurumaiel; 08-25-2004 at 04:26 PM.
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