Chapter 22

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Chapter 22

              

    The rest of the journey to Helms deep was very quiet and darker for me. I hung my head down and stayed hidden in my hood. We were riding at a medium speed, no one was talking but there were the sounds of the cries from the wounded soldiers who were being taken with us.

    It was not long until the walls of Helms deep were in our sight and Theoden told us to increase our speed. I rattled Hasufel’s reins and he sped up, but I wasn’t as fast as everyone else as I wanted to stay close to the back of the herd. Some of the men kept looking over at me, like one of the men I spoke to in the morning, but I did not look at them back. I kept my head straight and low so I could just see the horse in front of me and no one else. The gates began to open and it could be heard from where we were, which about fifteen foot was from helms deep’s entrance. Theoden led the way through the open gates and up the long steps up to the centre of Helms Deep. I guided Hasufel through the narrow passages and eventually we all gathered around as the King got off his horse.

   I saw Eowyn but she went straight to her uncle. I dismounted Hasufel and untightened his saddle so it was a little more comfortable. I heard Gimli talking to Eowyn and I knew he was telling her about Aragorn. I took Hasufel’s harness and guided him up a bit but I looked back at Eowyn. I don’t know why I did, but I looked out an inch from my hood so I could see her and so she could see me. She had tears building up in her eyes and I could only look at her for a second before turning away and looking ahead of me but down at the ground.

    I took another step and stopped as I met a pair of feet. I looked up slightly to see the bottom of Legolas’s hair but I looked back down and away from him. I slowly guided Hasufel around Legolas and I felt him reach for me but I carefully lifted my arm away from him and held the harness with two hands. It might have been a little harsh but I just wanted to be alone.

    I soon found the stables where some horses were being kept and I went to a large pen where I found a grooming kit. I smiled and took off his harness and untied his saddle, placing it on the side. I took the hose off the floor and turned on the water supply which I then soaked Hasufel’s back and face. He neighed calmingly and I rubbed in some soap into his fur, massaging his muscles and making him feel relaxed. He truly was a beautiful horse and very loyal. I got the brush and began to comb his hair between his ears and my eyes met with his. I could see there was sorrow in his eye and an essence of loss, but he blinked back his emotion and I smiled caringly at him. 

    When I was done grooming him, I put down all the grooming things and sat on a heap of hay. Hasufel came and kneeled down beside me, nudging my hand to give him some fuss. I gave in and stroked his long nose, and I did that for a few hours. I just sat there, on the hay, stroking Hasufel until I felt myself fall asleep.

  

    When I woke up next it was to the sound of a man clearing his throat. I opened my eyes quickly and looked around, a little panicky as I couldn’t remember where I had fallen asleep. I rubbed my eyes quickly and saw the young man from breakfast standing at the entrance of my pen. I got up slowly and stroked Hasufel as he did the same, and cleaned myself of hay and dirt from of the hay.

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