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Old 06-14-2004, 02:31 PM   #306
Vice of Twilight
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: on a mountain
Posts: 1,139
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Liornung cast his eyes over their company as they sat for their lunch, and he smiled in deep fondness. Rarely had he met such interesting personalities, such kind and open personalities. At least kind. Argeleafa was not open to them. Not yet. And they could all sing, too. A trace of smugness crept into his smile then. All of the company had sung at least once... except Nethwador. In truth he had never heard Nethwador even speak. Liornung had made friends more or less with all the members of the company except Nethwador. He had half-ignored the boy. It was difficult to make friends with him, though. He was fond of Bellyn and Amroth, but of the others he was suspicious.

But it was no matter. Liornung had been in the company of the suspicious before.

He drew forth his fiddle from his pack and smiled at Bellyn, who was sitting close to him. She looked up into his face and returned the smile, the expression on her face half-questioning as she wondered if he would sing again. Liornung gestured to Argeleafa; shyly she came to him. Liornung smiled smugly again. This was the way he was meant to be... seated upon the grass with people gathered about him, looking earnestly up into his face and hoping for some show of his music. He set his fiddle on his knee and held it as one might hold a lute. "Well, lassies, have you ever heard a fiddle played in such a manner as this?" His fingers sought out the strings and placed themselves upon them. The bow lay untouched on the ground beside him. He ran the nails of his right hand down over the four strings of the fiddle. "See, I can play like a lute, only it brings a more careless, airy, childish sound. Listen." He began strumming an amusing little tune and soon began to sing.

"Oh there's an old man upon the road
panting under his weary load!
Mamma, mamma, mamma dear,
let the old man come in here.
La-dee-dally, mamma dear,
let the old man come in here."

"Oh there's a poor dog in the evening late.
By his thinness I fancy he hasn't ate.
Mamma, mamma, mamma dear,
let the poor dog come in here.
La-dee-dally, mamma dear,
let the poor dog come in here."

He stopped and was delighted with the laughter of the two girls. "It's an old song I used to sing when I was a child," he said, "and some children of Rohan sing it even now. It's very long and about all the unfortunate people the boy in the song sees. It begins with the old man in the morning and ends with the dog in the evening. Out of the goodness of her heart the mother lets them come in and at the end the house is full. I'll sing you the whole song someday, but I cannot now. It is very long and it has been many years since I last sang it. I would have to bring it back to my memory."

Ędegard, not too far away, was chuckling over the song and Liornung heard. He looked over the rest of the company to see if any others had enjoyed his song, and his eyes fell on Nethwador, who had been listening intently and gazing at Bellyn. He suddenly felt an urge to befriend this lad. He had a nephew who he fancied would someday be a bard, and he enjoyed teaching him in his spare time. Perhaps Nethwador would enjoy learning the art of the fiddle. Gesturing, he called softly, "Mellon... Nethwador! Come here and sit with us and I will teach you to play the fiddle."
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