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"And where am I to be? Am I to stay with the column? As a serving maid or some such?" The anger in Théodred's voice sounded very much like tears. "Am I to leave my friend alone on such a dreadful ride, and him with no friend to help him?"
"What is the Lady Indis? A toy? What is Éomund? A pet? Nay, Théodred, he will be well tended. You have naught to fear for him." Yet his father knew it was fear for Boromir that made the lad so outspoken. "You, my son, will stay in your own tent and wait for the dawn to come. I would have you ride at my side."
"I must go, Father. Please."
"I deem it too dangerous, my son. Do not let your concern for your friend o'ershadow your duty. You are to stay with me and the column. I have spoken."
Indis took pity on him. It would be most difficult to ride with the soldiers for two full weeks. "My Lord, might you reconsider? Boromir and Faramir would be most pleased to have your son with them."
Théoden King looked long at her. Was she devising some plan? Nay. "Théodred, go to the cart with Boromir."
Théodred hung his head, disconsolate, and rode off.
"The men of Rohan are now suspicious of their own allies?" Indis asked.
Théoden King grimaced. "Aye… and nay. I have told you it is dangerous. Would you have me put my own son into danger?"
"'Twould seem to be more dangerous staying with the column than with a small party riding at night. This column has already been attacked. If your son stays here, and pretends to be near to the Steward, he courts trouble."
'The Steward. Well, she is not so compliant as I thought.' He smiled. "Where will you meet us? When the column enters the Pelennor or once we have entered the city?"
"Nay. I know of a hidden door into Minas Tirith. We will stay out of sight at all times, traveling at night. Once we cross the Pelennor, we will enter and disappear into the bowels of the city until we hear of your arrival. I will not come forth, even if Prince Adrahil himself comes, until I hear your horns."
Théoden King smiled, laid his hand on Indis' shoulder and spoke. "You are quite the woman, Indis of Húrin. I beg you be careful. I will allow Théodred to accompany you, though I do not lightly send my son with you."
"I will take good care of him, my Lord, and I will be careful. As should you be. The assassin might consider his state and afear your might, leading to a rash act. Guard yourself well."
Théoden King nodded, then, noting Théodred had ridden no further than a stone's throw, motioned the lad back to him. "You may ride with Boromir. You are a knight of the Mark. I place Faramir and Boromir under your protection."
"Thank you, Father." His face beamed. "I will not fail you."
"I know, my son," Théoden King leaned over and hugged the lad, then turned his horse and rode to the front of the line. Théodred and Indis rode towards the cart. Éomund sat in silence, pondering the road ahead, then clicked and his horse moved forward.
Soon after, voices were lifted in song as the Rohirrim marched towards Minas Tirith.
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