One Hundred and Ten Days

by Linaewen

Chapter 15

Though he was eager to be on his way again, it was a few more days before Boromir was pronounced well enough to travel by Olwen and Bran. As he regained his strength, he spent the time helping Bran and Olwen in any way he could. His wounds had healed, but he was under strict orders from Olwen to not overreach himself in any way; the wolf bites had gone deep into the muscle and it would be a while longer before he was free of pain. He would have a few scars to remind him of the ordeal, but they would not be his first.

By the time he felt strong enough to move on, he had been with Bran a month. It was now mid-October, and he was anxious be off. One evening he announced that he would be leaving the next day. Bran and Olwen looked at each other and nodded. They had sensed he was ready.

"Well, young feller, it's been a treat to have you with us, even for such a short time," Bran said, leaning across the table where they sat, and clapping Boromir on the shoulder. "Been a long spell since we had a fine young man about the place, what with our young ones up and gone their own ways. Mighty glad I found ye that day, or things might've turned out different!"

He held up a hand as Boromir started to speak.

"And don't go sayin' anything about bein' grateful or about repayin' us. 'Twas a duty to a sick man and our pleasure besides!"

"You have been very kind to me," said Boromir with a smile. "I would repay you, if I could, and if I thought you would accept it."

"Well, we won't, and that's that," replied Olwen, with a nod of her head for emphasis. "We'd do more if we could, too. An honor, it is, to help a noble man on such a quest as yours."

"I have spoken of the dream that was given me," said Boromir, "and of the city I am seeking. Have you any advice for me on how to find this place where Elven lords dwell? Have you any knowledge of it?"

Bran puffed on a pipe thoughtfully.

"Rivendell, eh? Or Im..Imladris, or whatever that name was in yer dream. Can't say I ever heard of a place by that name."

Boromir tried to hide his disappointment, but he was unsuccessful. Bran took the pipe from his mouth and pointed it at Boromir, as if to chide him.

" Now, don't go lookin' downhearted, son! Didn't say I knew nothin' about it, did I? I ain't heard that name, is all. But I have heard somethin' about Elves, and an Elvish country, for what it's worth."

"Tell me what you can," said Boromir eagerly.

"Well, seein' as how yer not from these parts, ye likely don't know that north o' here is what they call the Great East Road. I never been up that way, but I know the road is there, and I heard tell that it'll take ye west, all the way to the Sea. That's the way the Elves go, when they leave our land. Or so they say."

Boromir nodded. He knew of the road, from the maps Faramir had given him.

"Now, I hear tell that there's a place where lots of Elves live, don't know what they call it, but I suppose that could be this Rivendell place. Don't know where it is, fer sure, but I was thinkin', it makes sense that this Rivendell would be near this road somewheres."

Boromir nodded again. He had thought the same, but refrained from saying so; he did not want to sidetrack Bran. Boromir hoped that he had more information to provide than just speculation. He made an effort to remain patient.

"And there's another thing," Bran continued. "There's two rivers outside my front door. The one ye were followin' when them wolves attacked ye, that's the River Hoarwell. It comes from up north and passes by right out front, where my pier is and my little boat. Cross it, and yer in what they call the Angle. 'Tis a wooded area that goes north to the road and beyond. The other river joins the Hoarwell just south 'o here, comin' from the mountains. It's called the Loudwater."

"Get on with it, man!" interrupted Olwen, with a twinkle in her eye. "Yer wearin' out his patience with yer long-winded tale!"

"All right, all right!" laughed Bran. "I was gettin' to it." He cocked an eye at Boromir and leaned forward. "That there river, the Loudwater. In these parts it's also been called the Elf Lord's river. And why would they call it that, if an Elf lord didn't live nearby somewhere?"

Bran leaned back in his chair.

"Still, I never seen any Elves come through here, but that don't mean they ain't around."

Boromir considered this information carefully. Perhaps it was just a story, but it made sense. He himself had speculated that the northern dale he sought would be found in this area. That the Loudwater should be known to some as the Elf Lord's river was promising. Perhaps it served as a boundary to the Elvish land. In that case, he was definitely on the right track. If he crossed the Hoarwell into the Angle, and followed the Loudwater to the East Road, he could take the road eastwards to the mountains. The closer he got to the area, the more likely he would find someone who knew how to reach Rivendell. He had no doubt he would find it eventually. Had it not been foretold in his dream? He just hoped he would find it before the coming of winter.

Boromir looked up to find Bran and Olwen looking at him expectantly.

"Your information is very helpful," he told them. "I know what my course will be now. If I may prevail upon you to ferry me across the river, I will go on from there, following the River Loudwater -- the Elf Lord's river -- until I reach the Road. I am certain I will find my way to Rivendell after that."

Bran was obviously pleased that he had been of some help. He laughed and waved his hand towards his wife.

"Well, then, now that's settled, let's have us some supper. I've worked up a powerful hunger! Olwen, me dear, we await yer pleasure."