viernes, 19 de diciembre de 2008

The Hope of the North: Dwarves 13

Fróin started to move. ‘We walk for Dale now. Then we’ll go into Lake-town and will try to find out if anybody saw that rider. We’ll see after that.’

Everyone followed suit. And there they went, the four dwarves, each with their pack and their walking stick, walking down the Lonely Mountain. It was a sunny morning, and Oi, for now, wasn’t feeling as anxious as he had been earlier. Only a few days in the past years had he been out, to get some exercise, out of Erebor, and even that had been within the purposes of his job, to collect news from the dwarves that lived in Dale and purchase some writing materials and parchment. However, he had never been further away than that.

‘Master Himli, how long will it be to Lake-town?’

‘That depends. We’ll have to see what we find in Dale later today and decide how long to stay. Then, we’ll get some boats to go down the river to the lake, which will take a couple of days.’ He saw Oi’s apprehensive look. ‘Never been on a boat, eh? It’s not my favourite means of transport either, but it’s sensible to use them whenever possible. There will be so much walking to do after Lake-town that you’ll end up wishing we found rivers flowing our way all the time.’

Fróin waited up and joined the conversation. ‘For now, just enjoy it, lad. If I remember correctly, Thorin took ten days from Lake-town to the Front Gate because they did not know the way.’

Himli nodded. ‘That’s right. All credit to them and the hobbit for finding the correct path. If it had been me, I would still be walking around tripping over stones, looking for cracks of the wall.’

Oi tried to remember and then asked: ‘And wasn’t it at this time of year when they came?’

Fróin raised his eyebrows in realisation. ‘Well, yes, that’s correct. The Secret Door could only be opened on Dúrin’s Day, at the end of October. So I guess that, yes, they’d be exactly around here 76 years ago to the day.’

Oi felt goosebumps on his skin and stopped. ’Seventy-six years... October 2941... That’s when I was born. My birthday’s in three days.’

The rest stopped and looked at him. Himli shrugged. ‘Neat coincidence. So what?’

Gimfur, who was walking behind, joined them now. ‘The lad has a point, my sires. When he was born, Thorin the Restorer arrived here, and now he’s leaving on a mission looking to enhance the glory of his people. How about that?’

Fróin looked at him curiously. ‘Are you meaning to read something into this? I hadn’t figured you as superstitious, master Gimfur.’

Gimfur looked at everyone with his typical straight face. ‘It’s just a good omen. What’s wrong with that? It can’t hurt, can it?’ He took Oi by the shoulder and resumed walking, with Himli and Fróin each side of them. ‘Seventy-six years ago, Thorin came all the way from my homeland to re-found the kingdom that was his by right at the other side of the known world. Why did he do it? Who knows? The yearning had been there for generations, but no-one had done it. Until one day he was the one who put a foot on the road and never looked back. Maybe the last drop that filled the cup of his desire was a good sign on a fine morning like this. Rejoice in it, lad. Maybe you were born for this quest after all.’

Oi, again, not for the first time in the last two days, felt his head swimming. He, a figure ‘meant’ to go down in history? Someday someone sitting at his desk would be painstakingly filling parchment with ink to tell his story?

Himli’s voice made him snap out of it. ‘Nice work, master Gimfur. Look at him. Now he thinks he’s Dúrin reborn!’

Oi’s face went red and everybody laughed. It’s funny how sometimes the gloom turns cheer (and the other way round) on the smallest of details. Sunshine in October, a glorious new page of your life to write, when all is promise, and a good sign to start it all off. What could go wrong? They all started marching at a good pace now.

Himli spoke again. ‘Hey, we should sing something. Come on, what could we sing?’

And, without waiting for an answer, he started in his booming voice:

As we leave, our way to weave,
as we go marching on,
we take our pack, food in our sack,
as we go marching on.

The sun is high, our eyes descry
the paths we tread so swift.
A farther place, for us to race,
the paths we tread so swift.

As warm today as yesterday
as we leave house and home.
Far away, and there we’ll stay
til home away we long.

Our needs are few, just me and you
walking past the hills.
We feed our bellies, eating jellies
til we’ve had our fill.

So long, at last, we leave and fast
as we go marching on.
Returning then, I can’t say when
as we go marching on.

As we go marching on!

[Poem by Pi]

No hay comentarios: