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Old 07-01-2006, 08:39 AM   #64
Feanor of the Peredhil
La Belle Dame sans Merci
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Feanor of the Peredhil is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Feanor of the Peredhil is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Feanor of the Peredhil is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
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"Come lad, catch up. We're nearly there." Degas called over his shoulder to Feo and grinned. He had sight of buildings on the horizon and thought them to be, though was unsure, buildings in the care of or belonging to Lin's family. Feo rode a dozen or so yards behind Degas, looking at the world wide-eyed. All that was left of his sickness was a barking cough when he did too much, and Degas kept him calm, though it was harder than most anything to keep the boy sitting still once he had the energy to move.

Feo trotted his sweet-tempered pony up next to Degas. It had taken all of about thirty seconds once they had left the inn for Feo to become comfortable with Degas. Degas tried to sound gruff and distant, but he mostly failed, and Feo learned quickly that if he pretended that Degas was tough and unapproachable in front of anybody, Degas would laugh and play games during much of the ride when there was nobody looking. He couldn't, of course, be seen as a soft noblemen, willing to take in stray children and treat them as his own younger siblings... he must appear distant! He grinned at his own bad illusion. What was the point? The world knew perfectly well that he was about as firm as pudding... they merely took their cues from him and pretended that he was tougher than he really was. It was all a game to him, and he knew that Feo understood it as such.

"Degas, what happens to me when we get there?"

"I'd recommend that you run off as soon as you're able."

"You'd leave me alone?"

"Shall I put it clearly? If I'm drawn and quartered, I assume that you'd prefer not to be seen associating yourself with me. Am I right?"

Feo's eyes widened and he grinned, showing the gap where a tooth had recently been. Riding in the sun, dozens of freckles had suddenly appeared to complete the image of a rascal. "You can be sure, lord, that if you are met with bad favor, I will deny ever having known you."

Degas laughed aloud, fascinated by this boy child. His speech had hints of education, most especially when he was joking back and forth, and he adopted many of Degas's words quickly, but when he spoke fast, or nervously, it carried far less annunciation. It was as though he chose not to reveal most of what he knew. Degas wondered why. Feo seemed more comfortable with an uneducated drawl than anything else, though he was clearly confident with other words. It was much like Degas speaking Westron and Rohirric; he was comfortable with both languages, and knew them well, and only a well trained ear could catch a lilt in his voice born from interchanging them so frequently, but he would always prefer Rohirric. He wondered if Feo considered both forms of speech in the way that Degas thought of the languages that he had mastered and decided that it would be a good thought for a rainy day.

"That's a boy. Self-preservation." He laughed and reached across the distance between mounts to clap Feo on the shoulder.

"So what's it I'm keepin' myself safe from?" He spoke as though he and Degas were old friends of the same age, and Degas liked his attitude. Travelling became lonely, and Degas was used to the silence of the road. It was more fun to sing with an audience, and having somebody to banter with as he rode did not upset him him in the least.

Degas was comfortable enough with the lad to be candid. He decided to tell him straight what their errand was. It was unfair to drag him along without warning, and Degas was surprised that Feo had not asked before why they rode. "I've been sent to tell a noblewoman's father and brothers that she's been kidnapped and it's my fault. On top of that, I plan to ask their permission to court her."

Feo looked as though Degas had told him that he meant to ask Lin's father to hand over his estate and work as his servant. "You mean t'tell me that yer gonna tell 'em you lost ther girl and when you find 'er agin, you wanna handfast with 'er? You've gone crazy!"

"Perhaps I have. We'll see what their reaction is. I have visions of being thrown into the ocean... she tells me her brothers are seafarers."

"That would be a proper adventure!" Feo's eyes lit up. "Do they battle pirates?"

"One could guess, perhaps, that they have done so. Why not ask them when we arrive? If you like it there, and they are willing, you could stay on with them for a time and work for your keep. They might teach you to sail." Feo's eyes took on a dreamy quality and Degas knew that his guess had been right.

"So that's where we're goin'? Up ahead?"

"So it would appear."

"Think we'll get there fast?"

"Fairly quickly, I would think. Our mounts are tired though, and an extra few minutes will not harm my errand, and will help our dear friends that have done well to carry us so far."

"So we have t'wait?"

"A bit longer, yes. Our four-legged friends have been kind to us. We must return the favor."

"But then I'll meet these sailor brothers?"

"Yes, I believe you will."

"And I get to see you drawn and quartered?"

"You sound so enthused about it."

"I sound what?"

"Excited. You sound as though it would be enjoyable to watch."

The talk continued thusly until Degas and Feo reached the walls of Farlen's land and the pair were greeted by a rather strong looking man with a good natured face.

"Greetings, my good man," Degas spoke politely. "I have business with Lord Farlen, and with his sons... it is important that I speak to them quickly."

"I can see you to Farlen's home, but you will perhaps have to wait. Farlen is at field and his sons are an hour's ride or more from home. I will see to it that they are found. Please, follow me."

Degas dismounted and motioned for Feo to stay ahorse, taking his reins and guiding both mounts behind the man that led. He schooled his face into one of business, trying not to let the world see his pure terror at the prospect of reactions to his news.

Last edited by Feanor of the Peredhil; 07-03-2006 at 05:48 PM.
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