Forgotten Allies: part ix
"How did I get here? Somebody pushed me. Somebody must have set me
off in this direction and clusters of other hands must have touched
themselves to the controls at various times, for I would not have
picked this way for the world." - Joseph Heller
The gentle swaying of the train as it rumbled up the tracks lulled
Kate into an almost relaxed state. Almost, but not quite. She was
Gandalf and Elrond had left London immediately following Kate's
discovery of the forged documents. Through contacts that Gandalf had
in the Resistance movements, he and Elrond had secured passage into
France. From there they would try and discover the fate of Elrohir,
Elladan, and Colin.
Kate and Legolas had spent a long week waiting for their journey to
begin. Most of the days were spent raiding her father's closets and
altering pants. Over the course of the week, she'd grown to despise
Legolas's height. Sewing did nothing to take her mind off her
troubles. At first Kate thought that nothing could be worse than
going into German occupied France. However, she quickly realized
that it was the *waiting* to leave that was the actual torture.
Taking action calmed her nerves more than any amount of soothing
words Legolas said to her.
To counteract her mood, Legolas had begun answering her questions
about the past. The ritual began easily enough. Kate had been
hemming up a pair of pants when she fumbled with the needle and
pricked her finger. Instead of letting out a flurry of curses, she'd
looked at Legolas and asked, "What did the city of Gondor look
like?" And so the questions came every time Kate's mind became
cluttered with worry.
Once their journey had gotten underway, they had little privacy and
no opportunity for questions. First they had taken a transport ship
to Spain. Then they had spent the past few days taking the train
across Spain into France. Today they would leave Vichy France and
cross the border into German territory. Before nightfall, they would
be in Paris.
As the train stopped at a small French village, the other passengers
sharing their compartment gathered their belongings and left the
train. For the first time since their trip had begun, Kate and
Legolas were alone. Knowing she wouldn't be getting any rest until
they were in Paris, Kate sat up in her seat and looked out the
window. She could feel the knots forming in her stomach the closer
they got to the border.
"What did Aragorn look like?" she asked.
Legolas glanced at her. He stretched his legs out in front of
him. "He was tall."
"Taller or shorter than you?"
"Shorter. But you still would have had to take out the hems on your
father's pants for them to fit him," Legolas said with a grin.
"His hair was like yours. Dark brown. And he kept it in the style of
men at the time," Legolas said. "Rather ragged and somewhat longer
compared to the neat short appearance met wear now. His shoulders
were broad. And he carried himself like a king, long before he wore
a crown. I sensed the air of royalty about him the moment I met him."
"When did you meet?" she asked, as she closed her eyes and tried to
imagine this man. This distant ancestor.
"It was in my youth. I had barely passed coming of age before the
last years of the third age. It was some 10 years before the War of
the Ring. I was patrolling the borders of my father's realm when I
came upon him in the forest. I was eager to defend my homeland, and
he was just as eager to defend his life."
Legolas smiled as he recalled the incident. "Mirkwood was a
dangerous place then and we were not hospitable to strangers. But it
was his speaking Elvish that caught me off guard. There were few
mortals who could speak Sindarin, the tongue of my people, and he
spoke it with the distinct accent common in Rivendell. It was only
after I lowered my bow that I could sense the commanding presence of
his spirit. His spirit carried a strength of will that isn't felt
often among mortals." Legolas turned to Kate. "I felt the same
strength of spirit within you the moment we met."
"Strength?" she asked, incredulously. "I'm not strong. I'm
terrified. We haven't even gotten to German territory and all I want
to do is turn and run back home."
"I fought beside Aragorn in many a battle. No matter how dire the
situation, his courage never faltered. You carry the same blood
within you. Despite your fear, you will not run," Legolas said.
"I'm not a warrior," she reminded him.
"Every night in London, you faced the planes that dropped the bombs
upon your city. You were not armed. You had no hope of defeating
them or even protecting yourself against them and yet you stood
squarely to meet them. You are a warrior," Legolas said.
"I do not feel like one," Kate said, as she squirmed in her seat,
tired of the stiff traveling skirt she'd been wearing for days. "Nor
do I look like one."
"The way your enemy will underestimate you will be your greatest
"Ah, so I'm suppose to beguile them with my feminine wiles?" she
"Putting forth the effort isn't necessary. You will beguile both
enemy and ally alike with just your presence," Legolas said, matter
Before she could respond, the train came to a stop and she looked
out the window. They had reached the border.
Footsteps echoed down the corridor of the train and the door to
their compartment opened. A German officer stepped inside and held
his hand out impatiently. Legolas reached into his coat pocket and
handed over his passport. As the soldier took it, Kate's heart began
pounding in her chest and a thousand worries rushed through her mind
at what would happen if the forgery was discovered. Legolas regarded
the soldier with an air of indifference as his passport was
examined. After a moment, he handed it back to Legolas. Kate let out
the breath that she hadn't realized she'd been holding, and handed
her own papers over to the German. He read them over closely. "You
are both from England?" he asked.
Kate nodded. "We're traveling to Paris on business. Our letters of
intent have been approved by the German authorities. It's all been
taken care of."
"I shall be the judge of that," the German said, reading over the
After what seemed like an eternity he handed the papers back to Kate
and left the compartment. Kate slumped back into her seat, exhausted
by the encounter.
"The first confrontation with the enemy is always the hardest."
"That's easy for you to say," Kate said.
A half-grin of amusement spread across Legolas's face. "You handled
it better that my first confrontation with an orc,"
Her eyes caught his and she waited for him to continue. "My hands
were shaking so badly I could scarcely notch the arrow to the bow,"
Legolas said, but he did not mention that he was still a child when
the attack upon his homeland forced him into action.
Kate held her hands out. No matter how hard she tried, she could not
keep them from trembling. It was sometime later, after the train had
started up again and the border was left behind that her nerves
calmed enough to let her enjoy the passing scenery. The pastoral
countryside became more populated the closer they came to the city.
It was just after lunchtime when the train pulled into Paris. Kate
grabbed the case of paintings and Legolas took their suitcases and
they made their way down the platform through the crowds of people.
Besides passengers, the station was crawling with German soldiers.
Several people had been stopped and were handing over their
passports for inspection. Kate looked at the exit, it seemed an
eternity away and between them and the exit stood what seemed like
an entire company of German soldiers. As they took the first steps
towards the exit, Legolas began talking, "Did I tell you why Gimli
harbored such ill feelings towards me when we first met?"
Kate looked up at him in astonishment. This hardly seemed the time
for stories. Legolas smiled at her, insistently, until it dawned on
her what it was doing. Legolas's smile was for the benefit of the
German's. If they were smiling and laughing, they couldn't possibly
seem suspicious. She smiled at him.
"No you didn't," Kate said, as she took his arm and began the long
walk through the station.
"I was in charge of patrolling the forest and we found a company of
dwarves wandering aimlessly through our woods, without our
permission," Legolas said. "Gimli's father Gloin was among them."
"What did you do?" Kate asked, holding onto his arm a little tighter
than necessary as they walked past a German soldier.
"I had a bit of fun with them, which probably wasn't the best thing
to do, given later circumstances. We lured them deeper and deeper
into the forest by our fires and food," Legolas said, and laughed.
Kate moved over slightly to allow a woman and her baby room to walk
passed them. The ticket counters were to the left, and a long line
of people waiting to purchase tickets snaked through the station.
Several German soldier's walked by.
"Then we took them to see my father. For the darkness was spreading
beyond Mirkwood, and my father wished to know why dwarves would dare
to pass through his realm. Dwarves had not done so in centuries,"
A German soldier accidentally bumped against Legolas. "Excuse me,"
the soldier said. Legolas nodded and kept walking. The exit was only
"But the dwarves refused to tell us of their quest," Legolas
said. "And on the night of a great feast, they escaped."
"I had heard parts of the story from Gandalf and in the Red Book,
though that version is slightly different than yours," Kate said, as
they stepped out of the train station and into the sunshine.
"Yes, but did you know the feast was held in honor of Gandalf, who
had come to see to their release?" Legolas asked. "They were to be
released immediately. Gandalf thought it best, not to let them know
their bumpy ride down the river in the barrels was wasted."
Kate looked at him and laughed.
Once out of the train station, they quickly disappeared into the
city streets. The city of Paris was as bustling and busy as ever. If
it weren't for the German soldier's patrolling the streets and the
swastikas hanging from the signs of German controlled buildings,
Kate would never have guessed they were at war. Much to Kate's
relief, the walk to the hotel was a pleasant one.
Before they had left London, Mrs. Schneider had taken care of all of
their arrangements. Kate and Legolas would be staying at the L'Hotel
du Seine. Upon arrival, they would be given further instructions on
whom to contact.
The hotel was not a large one, but it was cozy. Kate immediately
felt at home as she walked into the small lobby.
"Bonjour," the woman said from behind the front desk.
"Bonjour, Je'mapelle Kate Elessar. J'ai reservations," Kate said, in
what she knew was horrible French.
The front desk clerk smirked. After checking them in she reached
behind the desk and pulled out a small envelope and handed it to
Kate. "C'est pour vous, mademoiselle."
"Merci," Kate said.
It was a letter from Mrs. Schnieder. The letter said:
Klaus Ramelow is expecting you tomorrow at 2 p.m. A car will pick
you and your companion up tomorrow at 1:30.
Kate folded the letter and put it into her pocket.
"What do we do now?" Legolas asked.
"We wait," Kate said.
With nothing to occupy them for the moment, Legolas and Kate retired
to their own bedrooms to refresh themselves after their long
journey. Kate let out a deep sigh of relief as she locked the door
to the bedroom, as if all the horrors of the world could be held
back by that one act. She flopped down on the bed and felt safe for
the first time since leaving London. Instead of drifting off to
sleep, her mind began to wander and she thought of Gandalf and
Elrond and wondered where they were amid the city of lights.
#1. Pardon my french. 4 years of french and what do I have to show
for it.It's horrible.misspelled and altogether inaccurrate, feel
free to educate me.
#2. I don't know how someone would get to France from England during
WW2. I searched high and low for some sort of info on the
topic.couldn't find any.
#3. Next chapter will be only about Elrond and Gandalf. Sorry. I
hate it myself when people flip back and forth right when things are
getting interesting.I'll just try to write really fast so you won't
have to wait for long.
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