The ship speeded down the river much faster than I would have expected. Sometimes I wondered if elves weren’t really Vulcans, banished to Middle Earth for their inappropriate behavior. But this theory didn’t hold much water either seeing as how Vulcans wouldn’t be very advanced yet. Which left me with my other theory… Elf magic (as Sam was so fond of calling it) propelled their ship forward with unnatural speed.
We caught up with the Fellowship less than 20 minutes later. We were someway downstream, precisely where I had calculated we would be… Actually we were off by about half a mile, but it was close enough.
They rowed to the side of the river to meet the lord and lady, but were quite surprised to see us. Most of them were able to hold their tongues in the presence of the royal couple, but Sam wasn’t quite able to restrain himself.
"What are you doing here?!" He exclaimed as soon as we had gotten off the boat.
"We came to see you off, but you were already gone so we caught a ride." I explained very briefly.
"Well. Isn’t that… Nice?" Aragorn mumbled, "You aren’t still planning on coming with us, are you?" He asked, eyeing our packs suspiciously.
"What? No. We understand you hate us and don’t want us anywhere near you." I said bitterly, glaring at him.
Aragorn looked taken aback for a second. He recovered his composure, "I would not go as far as to say I hate you. Your antics are sometimes even amusing to watch." He told us, "However you cannot come with us for it would be too dangerous for maidens."
I rolled my eyes, turning away from him and towards Merry and Pippin. "Well old chaps. See you round." I said.
Katy turned also, "Stay away from orcs." She told Pippin.
"Of course we will!" Pippin said cheerfully. He had been quite glum to leave without saying goodbye, "You know me and Merry, we won’t go looking for trouble with orcs."
Galadriel invited us all to eat. As the servants offered us all beverages, Katy and I were very proud of ourselves for not taking any ale. Although we had to continuously remind each other that we really needed to stay sober for our plan to work.
Galadriel and Celeborn then gave everyone presents, she even had a couple extra daggers aboard her ship which she gave to us seeing the forlorn looks on our faces. We brightened immediately.
Soon it was time for the Fellowship to head off again. We bid them all farewell, except for Legolas, Sam, Aragorn and Gimli who had all wanted to get rid of us anyway.
"We must now go back to the golden woods." Galadriel told us after speaking to her husband. The servants were already making ready to set off again. "Unless you have anything else you need to do before we launch?" She asked, a twinkle in her eye.
Katy and I eyed each other, trying to think of some excuse, "Uh yeah… There was this.. Um… We have to…" I stammered.
"We have to go to the bathroom." Katy said rather abruptly.
I nodded eagerly in my agreement, "Yeah. The bathroom, all that good elvish… Um.. Water." I agreed, "We’ll just be off over… There!" I said, picking a seemingly random direction.
Galadriely nodded knowingly, "We will depart in ten minutes." She told us. Then laughed, "Unless you prefer to take a different route."
We stared at her uncertainly for a moment. It was clear she knew of our plan, was this her way of approving? We decided it was and smiled, "Thank you!" I called as I ran off to use the ‘bathroom.’ "For everything!" Katy agreed, close beside me.
We could hear the lady’s bell-like laugh as we disappeared into the trees, working our way back to our boat.
"There’s no going back now." I reminded Katy as we neared where we had hidden our boat.
"Yup. We’re sure we want to go?" Katy asked.
I rolled my eyes, "I wouldn’t have hidden this boat here the other day if I wasn’t sure… Why, aren’t you sure?" I asked, beginning to sound more and more unsure every moment.
"Oh yes, quite sure." Katy agreed sounding even less convinced than me.
We walked in silence for a few more minutes. Finally I spoke up again, "Well, this is nice, isn’t it? All the trees, the river… I wonder if we can catch fish in it?" I said trying to get my mind off what we were going to do if we caught up with the rest of the Fellowship.
"Oh yes, very nice." Katy agreed, "And I wouldn’t know, I didn’t think to bring a fishing pole."
I smiled and started to dig around in my pockets. Finally I withdrew my hand with a downcast look, "I didn’t bring mine either." I admitted.
Katy laughed, "Why, what else did you bring?" She asked.
I dug in my pocket as we continued to walk, "I don’t know, here’s a battery. And some keys… I’m not sure what that one goes to. Oh look! Gum. When did I buy gum? Pencil shavings? Hey! A quarter!" I continued announcing small items found in my pockets until we came upon our boat about six minutes later.
"Hey look, Katy! A boat!" I declared upon seeing our poorly hidden craft.
Katy rolled her eyes, "Of course it is, we hid it here the a couple days ago, remember?" She asked.
"Oh, yeah. I thought maybe a ‘boat god’ or someone had left one here for us…" I sighed.
Katy rolled her eyes again, "Whatever, at least we can take our packs off now." She said.
"Yes, off with the packs!" I exclaimed and proceeded trying many different maneuvers to remove my pack by myself. After a good minute of twisting squirming and rubbing against tree branches, I finally allowed Katy to help me and helped her back.
We loaded them into the boat, and shoved off climbing into the boat ourselves as it began to float. We started down the river silently both preoccupied with whatever thoughts we were thinking; be it ‘I like bananas’ or something more relevant.
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