Zu Jarl, später, auf dem Weg nach Minas Tirith:
He’d followed the scarce hints which those who’d killed the orcs had left. The more he thought about it, the more a pattern emerged from what he’d seen. They were not the only ones with an eye on the intruders. Others were patrolling this road and these woods, too. And they came from… he concentrated and chose a direction. Yes, he’d been right. There they were, scanning the ground for tracks. Strange short men… He skirted around them in a wide arch. Where had they come from? Ah… there… the hints were almost intellegible now and he had to use all his stealth to avoid guards as he climbed the shoulder of a hill and looked down on a village. For a while, he took in what he saw. The movements of the villagers, their noises and the smells from their fires, although those burned low. He didn’t dare go nearer, for he was aware of a guardsman not far off. Instead, he decided to show himself. These were enemies of the orcs, so they were on the right side, weren’t they?
The small guardsman gave a start and pointed his weapon at him, asking something with strange words that rumbled like rolling stones through Jarl’s mind and triggered a memory. „Greetings to you“, he tried to say in that same language. The small guard was obviously puzzled and asked something again. „Slowly“, begged Jarl, and when the man repeated the words, he understood part of them. „Yes, I am of the horse-men who ride to war to kill gorgun“, he said.
„You need not seek a way here, nor will you find any gorgun or other enemies among us“, said the guard. „Return to your brethren. One of ours is on his way to speak to your people. We can help you. You need not seek a way“, he repeated. Jarl closed his eyes and mouthed the words the man had spoken till he felt sure he’d understood. He nodded his thanks. „We never teach our words to those that are not us“, said the man, still puzzled. „Where did you hear them?“ „My forefather came out of the far west and brought with him words like this“, he answered. „He taught them to his son, and he to his, and so on. That was a long, long time ago. It was a game to me as a child, to play with my father as he taught me hunting. He’d name the things we saw and I’d remember. But never have I met anyone who understands.“
The guard looked him up and down and started to laugh. All his body seemed to laugh with him. Jarl was pretty sure that what he had wanted to say was not what the man had heard. He had to chuckle himself. „I like your laughter, strange cousin,“ said the guard. „Did none of yours ever go back to where they came from?“
„My great-aunt did. Tall and blond was she, and the most gifted in our family concerning woodlore. None could read the wind like she, none could understand the earth and running water without words. She went into the far west and never was she seen again. My grandfather went after her, once, to learn whether she had met her fate or found her heart’s desire. She had wished to leave behind the quarrels of the Rohirrim and the Dunlendings. He never found a trace of her, great tracker though he was.“
„She was wise, your aunt.“
Jarl leaned back against a tree and closed his eyes for a moment, listening to the sounds of the village. „I believe she was.“ He looked at the guard. „When this war has been fought I’d like to return by this road. Do you think I would be welcome to spend a few days here?“ The man gave his slow-rolling laughter again and Jarl couldn’t tell if it was because of something he’d said. „You’ll be welcome, strange cousin, “ said the man. „But leave now, and remember not to tell your brethren of this place, or else you will not find us again.“ Jarl nodded and smiled. „Until then,“ he said and vanished into the bushes.