Chapter Two

Three days did Beren hunt them, but having nothing wherewith to devise a trap (and indeed he did not lie to Melko saying that he had cunning in such contrivances) he hunted in vain getting nothing better than a bitten finger for all his labour. Then was Tevildo scornful and in great anger, but Beren got no harm of him or his thanes at that time because of Melko's bidding other than a few scratches. Evil however were his days thereafter in the dwellings of Tevildo. They made him a scullion, and his days passed miserably in the washing of floors and vessels, in the scrubbing of tables and the hewing of wood and the drawing of water. Often too would he be set to the turning of spits whereon birds and fat mice were daintily roasted for the cats, yet seldom did he get food or sleep himself, and he became haggard and unkempt, and wished often that never straying out of Hisi1ome he had not even caught sight of the vision of Tinuviel. Now that fair maiden wept for a very great while after Beren's departure and danced no more about the woods, and Dairon grew angry and could not understand her, but she had grown to love the face of Beren peeping through the branches and the crackle of his feet as they followed her through the wood; and his voice that called wistfully "Tinuviel, Tinuviel" across the stream before her father's doors she longed to hear again, and she would not now dance when Beren was fled to the evil halls of Melko and maybe had already perished. So bitter did this thought become at last that that most tender maiden went to her mother, for to her father she dared not go nor even suffer him to see her weep. "0 Gwendeling, my mother," said she, "tell me of thy magic, if thou canst, how doth Beren fare. Is all yet well with him?" "Nay," said Gwendeling. "He lives indeed, but in an evil captivity, and hope is dead in his heart, for behold, he is a slave in the power of Tevildo Prince of Cats." "Then," said Tinuviel, "I must go and succour him, for none else do I know that will." Now Gwendeling laughed not, for in many matters she was wise, and forewise, yet it was a thing unthought in a mad dream that any Elf, still less a maiden, the daughter of the king, should fare untended to the halls of Melko, even in those earlier days before the Battle of Tears when Melko's power had not grown great and he veiled his designs and spread his net of lies. Wherefore did Gwendeling softly bid her not to speak such folly; but Tinuviel said: "Then must thou plead with my father for aid, that he send warriors to Angamandi and demand the freedom of Beren from Ainu Melko." This indeed did Gwendeling do, of love for her daughter, and so wroth was Tinwelint that Tinuviel wished that never had her desire been made known; and Tinwelint bade her nor speak nor think of Beren more, and swore he would slay him an he trod those halls again.

Now then Tinuviel pondered much what she might do, and going to Dairon she begged him to aid her, or indeed to fare away with her to Angamandi an he would; but Dairon thought with little love of Beren, and he said: "Wherefore should I go into the direst peril that there is in the world for the sake of a wandering Gnome of the woods? Indeed I have no love for him, for he has destroyed our play together, our music and our dancing." But Dairon moreover told the king of what Tinuviel had desired of him -- and this he did not of ill intent but fearing lest Tinuviel fare away to her death in the madness of her heart. Now' when Tinwelint heard this he called Tinuviel and said: "Wherefore, 0 maiden of mine, does thou not put this folly away from thee, and seek to do my bidding?" But Tinuviel would not answer, and the king bade her promise him that neither would she think more on Beren, nor would she seek in her folly to follow after him to the evil lands whether alone or tempting any of his folk with her. But Tinuviel said that the first she would not promise and the second only in part, for she would not tempt any of the folk of the woodlands to go with her. Then was her father mightily angry, and beneath his anger not a little amazed and afraid, for he loved Tinuviel; but this was the plan he devised, for he might not shut his daughter far ever in the caverns where only a dim and flickering light ever came. Now above the portals of his cavernous hall was a steep slope falling to the river, and there grew mighty beeches; and one there was that was named Hirilorn, the Queen of Trees, for she was very mighty, and so deeply cloven was her bole that it seemed as if three shafts sprang from the ground together and they were of like size, round and straight, and their grey rind was smooth as silk, unbroken by branch or twig for a very great height above men's heads.

Now Tinwelint let build high up in that strange tree, as high as men could fashion their longest ladders to reach, a little house of wood, and it was above the first branches and was sweetly veiled in leaves. Now that house had three corners and three windows in each wall, and at each corner was one of the shafts of Hirilorn. There then did Tinwelint bid Tinuviel dwell until she would consent to be wise, and when she fared up the ladders of tall pine these were taken from beneath and no way had she to get down again. All that she required was brought to her, and folk would scale the ladders and give her food or whatever else she wished for, and then descending again take away the ladders, and the king promised death to any who left one leaning against the tree or who should try by stealth to place one there at night. A guard therefore was set nigh the tree's foot, and yet came Dairon often thither in sorrow at what he had brought to pass, for he was lonely without Tinuviel; but Tinuviel had at first much pleasure in her house among the leaves, and would gaze out of her little window while Dairon made his sweetest melodies beneath. But one night a dream of the Valar came to Tinuviel and she dreamt of Beren, and her heart said: "Let me be gone to seek him whom all others have forgot"; and waking, the moon was shining through the trees, and she pondered very deeply how she might escape. Now Tinuviel daughter of Gwendeling was not ignorant of magics or of spells, as may well be believed, and after much thought she devised a plan. The next day she asked those who came to her to bring, if they would, some of the clearest water of the stream below, "but this," she said, "must be drawn at midnight in a silver bowl, and brought to my hand with no word spoken," and after that she desired wine to be brought, "but this," she said, "must be borne hither in a flagon of gold at noon, and he who brings it must sing as he comes," and they did as they were bid, but Tinwelint was not told. Then said Tinuviel, "Go now to my mother and say to her that her daughter desires a spinning wheel to pass her weary hours," but Dairon secretly she begged fashion her a tiny loom, and he did this even in the little house of Tinuviel in the tree.

"But wherewith will you spin and wherewith weave?" said he; and Tinuviel answered: "With spells and magics," but Dairon knew not her design, nor said more to the king or to Gwendeling. Now Tinuviel took the wine and water when she was alone, and singing a very magical song the while, she mingled them together, and as they lay in the bowl of gold she sang a song of growth, and as they lay in the bowl of silver she sang another song, and the names of all the tallest and longest things upon Earth were set in that song; the beards of the Indravangs, the tail of Karkaras, the body of Glorund, the bole of Hirilorn, and the sword of Nan she named, nor did she forget the chain Angainu that Aule and Tulkas made or the neck of Gilim the giant, and last and longest of all she spake of the hair of Uinen the lady of the sea that is spread through all the waters. Then did she lave her head with the mingled water and wine, and as she did so she sang a third song, a song of uttermost sleep, and the hair of Tinuviel which was dark and finer than the most delicate threads of twilight began suddenly to grow very fast indeed, and after twelve hours had passed it nigh filled the little room, and then Tinuviel was very pleased and she lay down to rest; and when she awoke the room was full as with a black mist and she was deep hidden under it, and lo! her hair was trailing out of the windows and blowing about the tree boles in the morning. Then with difficulty she found her little shears and cut the threads of that growth nigh to her head, and after that her hair grew only as it was wont before. Then was the labour of Tinuviel begun, and though she laboured with the deftness of an Elf long was she spinning and longer weaving still, and did any come and hail her from below she bid them be.gone, saying: "I am abed, and desire only to sleep," and Dairon was much amazed, and called often up to her, but she did not answer. Now of that cloudy hair Tinuviel wove a robe of misty black soaked with drowsiness more magical far than even that one that her mother had worn and danced in long long ago before the Sun arose, and therewith she covered her garments of shimmering white, and magic slumbers filled the airs about her; but of what remained she twisted a mighty strand, and this she fastened to the bole of the tree within her house, and then was her labour ended, and she looked out of her window westward to the river. Already the sunlight was fading in the trees, and as dusk filled the woods she began a song very soft and low, and as she sung she cast out her long hair from the window so that its slumbrous mist touched the heads and faces of the guards below, and they listening to her voice fell suddenly into a fathomless sleep.

Then did Tinuviel clad in her garments of darkness slip down that rope of hair light as a squirrel, and away she danced to the bridge, and before the bridgewards could cry out she was among them dancing; and as the hem of her black robe touched them they fell asleep, and Tinuviel fled very far away as fast as her dancing feet would flit. Now when the escape of Tinuviel reached the ears of Tinwelint great was his mingled grief and wrath, and all his court was in uproar, and all the woods ringing with the search, but Tinuviel was already far away drawing nigh to the gloomy foothills where the Mountains of Night begin; and 'tis said that Dairon following after her became utterly lost, and came never back to Elfinesse, but turned towards Palisor, and there plays' subtle magic musics still, wistful and lonely in the woods and forests of the south. Yet ere long as Tinuviel went forward a sudden dread overtook her at the thought of what she had dared to do and what lay before; then did she turn back for a while, and she wept, wishing Dairon was with her, and it is said that he indeed was not far off, but was wandering lost in the great pines, the Forest of Night, where afterward Turin slew Beleg by mishap.' Nigh was Tinuviel now to those places, but she entered not that dark region, and regaining heart pressed on, and by reason of the greater magic of her being and because of the spell of wonder and of sleep that fared about her no such dangers assailed her as did Beren before; yet was it a long and evil and weary journey for a maiden to tread.

Now is it to be told to thee, Eriol, that in those days Tevildo had but one trouble in the world, and that was the kindred of the Dogs. Many indeed of these were neither friends nor foes of the Cats, for they had become subject to Melko and were as savage and cruel as any of his animals; indeed from the most cruel and most savage he bred the race of wolves, and they were very dear indeed to him. Was it not the great grey wolf Karkaras Knife-fang, father of wolves, who guarded the gates of Angamandi in those days and long had done so? Many were there however who would neither bow to Melko nor live wholly in fear of him, but dwelt either in the dwellings of Men and guarded them from much evil that had otherwise befallen them or roamed the woods of Hisi1ome or passing the mountainous places fared even at times into the region of Artanor and the lands beyond and to the south. Did ever any of these view Tevildo or any of his thanes or subjects, then there was a great baying and a mighty chase, and albeit seldom was any cat slain by reason of their skill in climbing and in hiding and because of the protecting might of Melko, yet was great enmity between them, and some of those hounds were held in dread among the cats. None however did Tevildo fear, for he was as strong as any among them, and more agile and more swift save only than Huan Captain of Dogs.

So swift was Huan that on a time he had tasted the fur of Tevildo, and though Tevildo had paid him for that with a gash from his great claws, yet was the pride of the Prince of Cats unappeased and he lusted to do a great harm to Huan of the Dogs. Great therefore was the good fortune that befell Tinuviel in meeting with Huan in the woods, although at first she was mortally afraid and fled. But Huan overtook her in two leaps, and speaking soft and deep the tongue af the Lost Elves he bid her be not afraid, and "Wherefore," said he, "do I see an Elfin maiden, and one most fair, wandering alone so nigh to the abodes of the Ainu of Evil? Knowst thou not these are very evil places to be in, little one, even with a companion, and they are death to the lonely?" "That know I," said she, "and I am not here for the love of wayfaring, but I seek only Beren." "What knowest thou then," said Huan, "of Beren -- or indeed meanest thou Beren son of the huntsman of the Elves, Egnor bo-Rimion, a friend of mine since very ancient days?" "Nay, I know not even whether my Beren be thy friend, for I seek only Beren from beyond the Bitter Hills, whom I knew in the woods near to my father's home. Now is he gone, and my mother Gwendeling says of her wisdom that he is a thrall in the cruel house of Tevildo Prince of Cats; and whether this be true or yet worse be now befallen him I do not know, and I go to discover him -- though plan I have none." "Then will I make thee one," said Huan, "but do thou trust in me, for I am Huan of the Dogs, chief foe of Tevildo.

Rest thee now with me a while within the shadows of the wood, and I will think deeply." Then Tinuviel did as he said, and indeed she slept long while Huan watched, for she was very weary. But after a while awakening she said: "Lo, I have tarried over long. Come, what is thy thought, 0 Huan?" And Huan said: "A dark and difficult matter is this, and no other rede can I devise but this. Creep now if thou hast the heart to the abiding place of that Prince while the sun is high, and Tevildo and the most of his household drowze upon the terraces before his gates. There discover in what manner thou mayst whether Beren be indeed within, as thy mother said to thee. Now I will lie not far hence in the woods, and thou wilt do me a pleasure and aid thy own desires an going before Tevildo, be Beren there or be he not, thou tellest him how thou hast stumbled upon Huan of the Dogs lying sick in the woods at this place. Do not indeed direct him hither, for thou must guide him, if it may be, thyself. Then wilt thou see what I contrive for thee and for Tevildo. Methinks that bearing such tidings Tevildo will not entreat thee ill within his halls nor seek to hold thee there." In this way did Huan design both to do Tevildo a hurt, or perchance if it might so be to slay him, and to aid Beren whom he guessed in truth to be that Beren son of Egnor whom the hounds of Hisilome loved. Indeed hearing the name of Gwendeling and knowing thereby that this maiden was a princess of the woodland fairies he was eager to aid her, and his heart warmed to her sweetness.

Now Tinuviel taking heart' stole near to the halls of Tevildo, and Huan wondered much at her courage, following unknown to her, as far as he might for the success of his design. At length however she passed beyond his sight, and leaving the shelter of the trees came to a region of-long grass dotted with bushes that sloped ever upward toward a shoulder of the hills. Now upon that rocky spur the sun shone, but over all the hills and mountains at its back a black cloud brooded, for there was Angamandi; and Tinuviel fared on not daring to look up at that gloom, for fear oppressed her, and as she went the ground rose and the grass grew more scant and rock-strewn until it came even to a cliff, sheer of one side, and there upon a stony shelf was the castle of Tevildo. No pathway led thereto, and the place where it stood fell towards the woods in terrace after terrace so that none might reach its gates save by many great leaps, and those became ever steeper as the castle drew more nigh. Few were the windows of the house and upon the ground there were none -- indeed the very gate was in the air where in the dwellings of Men are wont to be the windows of the upper floor; but the roof had many wide and flat spaces open to the sun. Now does Tinuviel wander disconsolate upon the lowest terrace and look in dread at the dark house upon the hill, when behold, she came at a bend in the rock upon a lone cat lying in the sun and seemingly asleep. As she approached he opened a yellow eye and blinked at her, and thereupon rising and stretching he stepped up to her and said: "Whither away, little maid -- dost not know that you trespass on the sunning ground of his highness Tevildo and his thanes?" Now Tinuviel was very much afraid, but she made as bold an answer as she was able, saying: "That know I, my lord" -- and this pleased the old cat greatly, for he was in truth only Tevildo's doorkeeper -- "but I would indeed of your goodness be brought to Tevildo's presence now -- nay, even if he sleeps," said she, for the doorkeeper lashed his tail in astonished refusal.

"I have words of immediate import for his private ear. Lead me to him, my lord," she pleaded, and thereat the cat purred so loudly that she dared to stroke his ugly head, and this was much larger than her own, being greater than that of any dog that is now on Earth. Thus entreated, Umuiyan, for such was his name, said: "Come then with me," and seizing Tinuviel suddenly by her garments at the shoulder to her great terror he tossed her upon his back and leaped upon the second terrace. There he stopped, and as Tinuviel scrambled from his back he said: "Well is it for thee that this afternoon my lord Tevildo lieth upon this lowly terrace far from his house, for a great weariness and a desire for sleep has come upon me, so that I fear me I should not be willing to carry thee much farther"; now Tinuviel was robed in her robe of sable mist. So saying Umuiyan* yawned mightily and stretched himself before he led her along that terrace to an open space, where upon a wide couch of baking stones lay the horrible form of Tevildo himself, and both his evil eyes were shut. Going up to him the doorcat Umuiyan spoke in his ear softly, saying: "A maiden awaits thy pleasure, my lord, who hath news of importance to deliver to thee, nor would she take my refusal." Then did Tevildo angrily lash his tail, half opening an eye -- "What is it -- be swift," said he, "for this is no hour to come desiring audience of Tevildo Prince of Cats." "Nay, lord," said Tinuviel trembling, "be not angry; nor do I think that thou wilt when thou hearst, yet is the matter such that it were better not even whispered here where the breezes blow," and Tinuviel cast a glance as it were of apprehension toward the woods. "Nay, get thee gone," said Tevildo, "thou smellest of dog, and what news of good came ever to a cat from a fairy that had had dealings with the dogs?" "Why, sir, that I smell of dogs is no matter of wonder, for I have just escaped from one -- and it is indeed of a certain very mighty dog whose name thou knowest that I would speak." Then up sat Tevildo and opened his eyes, and he looked all about him, and stretched three times, and at last bade the doorcat lead Tinuviel within; and Umuiyan caught her upon his back as before. Now was Tinuviel in the sorest dread, for having gained what she desired, a chance of entering Tevildo's stronghold and maybe of discovering whether Beren were there, she had no plan more, and knew not what would become of her -- indeed had she been able she would have fled; yet now do those cats begin to ascend the terraces towards the castle, and one leap does Umuiyan make bearing Tinuviel upwards and then another, and at the third he stumbled so that Tinuviel cried out in fear, and Tevildo said: "What ails thee, Umuiyan, thou clumsy-foot? It is time that thou left my employ if age creeps on thee so swiftly."

* Written above Umuiyan here is the name Gumniow, enclosed within brackets.

But Umuiyan said: "Nay, lord, I know not what it is, but a mist is before mine eyes and my head is heavy," and he staggered as one drunk, so that Tinuviel slid from his back, and thereupon he laid him down as if in a dead sleep; but Tevildo was wroth and seized Tinuviel and none too gently, and himself bore her to the gates. Then with a mighty leap he sprang within, and bidding that maiden alight he set up a yell that echoed fearsomely in the dark ways and passages. Forthwith they hastened to him from within, and some he bid descend to Umuiyan and bind him and cast him from the rocks "on the northern side where they fall most sheer, for he is of no use more to me," he said, "for age has robbed him of his sureness of foot"; and Tinuviel quaked to hear the ruthlessness of this beast. But even as he spake he himself yawned and stumbled as with a sudden drowziness, and he bid others to lead Tinuviel away to a certain chamber within, and that was the one where Tevildo was accustomed to sit at meat with his greatest thanes. It was full of bones and smelt evilly; no windows were there and but one door; but a hatchway gave from it upon the great kitchens, and a red light crept thence and dimly lit the place. Now so adread was Tinuviel when those catfolk left her there that she stood a moment unable to stir, but soon becoming used to the darkness she looked about and espying the hatchway that had a wide sill she sprang thereto, for it was not over high and she was a nimble Elf. Now gazing therethrough, for it was ajar, she saw the wide vaulted kitchens and the great fires that burnt there, and those that toiled always within, and the most were cats -- but behold, there by a great fire stooped Beren, and he was grimed with labour, and Tinuviel sat and wept, but as yet dared nothing. Indeed even as she sat the harsh voice of Tevildo sounded suddenly within that chamber: "Nay, where then in Melko's name has that mad Elf fled," and Tinuviel hearing shrank against the wall, but Tevildo caught sight of her where she was perched and cried: "Then the little bird sings not any more; come down or I must fetch thee, for behold, I will not encourage the Elves to seek audience of me in mockery."

Then partly in fear, and part in hope that her clear voice might carry even to Beren, Tinuviel began suddenly to speak very loud and to tell her tale so that the chambers rang; but "Hush, dear maiden," said Tevildo, "if the matter were secret without it is not one for bawling within." Then said Tinuviel: "Speak not thus to me, 0 cat, mighty Lord of Cats though thou be, for am I not Tinuviel Princess of Fairies that have stepped out of my way to do thee a pleasure?" Now at those words, and she had shouted them even louder than before, a great crash was heard in the kitchens as of a number of vessels of metal and earthenware let suddenly fall" but Tevildo snarled: "There trippeth that fool Beren the Elf. Melko rid me of such folk" -- yet Tinuviel, guessing that Beren-had heard and been smitten with astonishment, put aside her fears and repented her daring no longer. Tevildo nonetheless was very wroth at her haughty words, and had he not been minded first to discover what good he might get from her tale, it had fared ill with Tinuviel straightway. Indeed from that moment was she in great peril, for Melko and all his vassals held Tinwelint and his folk as outlaws, and great was their joy to ensnare them and cruelly entreat them, so that much favour would Tevildo have gained had he taken Tinuviel before his lord. Indeed, so soon as she named herself, this did he purpose to do when his own business had been done, but of a truth his wits were drowzed that day, and he forgot to marvel more why Tinuviel sat perched upon the sill of the hatchway; nor did he think more of Beren, for his mind was bent only to the tale Tinuviel bore to him. Wherefore said he, dissembling his evil mood, "Nay, Lady, be not angry, but come, delay whetteth my desire -- what is it that thou hast for my ears, for they twitch already." But Tinuviel said: "There is a great beast, rude and violent, and his name is Huan" -- and at that name Tevildo's back curved, and his hair bristled and crackled, and the light of his eyes was red -- "and," she went on, "it seems to me a shame that such a brute be suffered to infest the woods so nigh even to the abode of the powerful Prince of Cats, my lord Tevildo"; but Tevildo said: "Nor is he suffered, and cometh never there save it be by stealth." "Howso that may be," said Tinuviel, "there he is now, yet methinks that at last may his [life] be brought utterly to an end, for lo, as I was going through the woods I saw where a great animal lay upon the ground moaning as in sickness -- and behold, it was Huan, and some evil spell or malady has him in its grip, and still he lies helpless in a dale not a mile westward in the woods from this hall. Now with this perhaps I would not have troubled your ears, had not the brute when I approached to succour him snarled upon me and essayed to bite me, and meseems that such a creature deserves whatever come to him."

Now all this that Tinuviel spake was a great lie in whose devising Huan had guided her, and maidens of the Eldar are not wont to fashion lies; yet have I never heard that any of the Eldar blamed her therein nor Beren afterward, and neither do I, for Tevildo was an evil cat and Melko the wickedest of all beings, and Tinuviel was in dire peril at their hands. Tevildo however, himself a great and skilled liar, was so deeply versed in the lies and subtleties of all the beasts and creatures that he seldom knew whether to believe what was said to him or not, and was wont to disbelieve all things save those he wished to believe true, and so was he often deceived by the more honest. Now the story of Huan and his helplessness so pleased him that he was fain to believe it true, and determined at least to test it; yet at first he feigned indifference, saying this was a small matter for such secrecy and might have been spoken outside without further ado. But Tinuviel said she had not thought that Tevildo Prince of Cats needed to learn that the ears of Huan heard the slightest sounds a league away, and the voice of a cat further than any sound else.

Now therefore Tevildo sought to discover from Tinuviel under pretence of mistrusting her tale where exactly Huan might be found, but she made only vague answers, seeing in this her only hope of escaping from the castle, and at length Tevildo, overcome by curiosity and threatening evil things if she should prove false, summoned two of his thanes to him, and one was Oikeroi, a fierce and warlike cat. Then did the three set out with Tinuviel from that place, but Tinuviel took off her magical garment of black and folded it, so that for all its size and density it appeared no more than the smallest kerchief (for so was. she able), and thus was she borne down the terraces upon the back of Oikeroi without mishap, and no drowziness assailed her bearer. Now crept they through the woods in the direction she had named, and soon does Tevildo smell dog and bristles and lashes his great tail, but after he climbs a lofty tree and looks down from thence into that dale that Tinuviel had shown to them. There he does indeed see the great form of Huan lying prostrate groaning and moaning, and he comes down in much glee and haste, and indeed in his eagerness he forgets Tinuviel, who now in great fear for Huan lies hidden in a bank of fern. The design of Tevildo and his two companions was to enter that dale silently from different quarters and so come all suddenly upon Huan unawares and slay him, or if he were too stricken to make fight to make sport of him and torment him. This did they now, but even as they leapt out upon him Huan sprang up into the air with a mighty baying, and his jaws closed in the back close to the neck of that cat Oikeroi, and Oikeroi died; but the other thane fled howling up a great tree, and so was Tevildo left alone face to face with Huan, and such an encounter was not much to his mind, yet was Huan upon him too swiftly for flight, and they fought fiercely in that glade, and the noise that Tevildo made was very hideous; but at length Huan had him by the throat, and that cat might well have perished had not his claws as he struck out blindly pierced Huan's eye. Then did Huan give tongue, and Tevildo screeching fearsomely got himself loose with a great wrench and leapt up a tall and smooth tree that stood by, even as his companion had done.

Despite his grievous hurt Huan now leaps beneath that tree baying mightily, and Telvido curses him and casts evil words upon him from above. Then said Huan: "Lo, Tevildo, these are the words of Huan whom thou thoughtest to catch and slay helpless as the miserable mice it is thy wont to hunt -- stay for ever up thy lonely tree and bleed to death of thy wounds, or come down and feel again my teeth. But if neither are to thy liking, then tell me where is Tinuviel Princess of Fairies and Beren son of Egnor, for these are my friends. Now these shall be set as ransom against thee -- though it be valuing thee far over thy worth." "As for that cursed Elf, she lies whimpering in the ferns yonder, an my ears mistake not," said Tevildo, "and Beren methinks is being soundly scratched by Miaule my cook in the kitchens of my castle for his clumsiness there an hour ago." "Then let them be given to me in safety," said Huan, "and thou mayest return thyself to thy halls and lick thyself unharmed." "Of a surety my thane who is here with me shall fetch them for thee," said Tevildo, but growled Huan: "Ay, and fetch also all thy tribe and the hosts of the Orcs and the plagues of Melko. Nay, I am no fool; rather shalt thou give Tinuviel a token and she shall fetch Beren, or thou shalt stay here if thou likest not the other way."

Then was Tevildo forced to cast down his golden collar -- a token no cat dare dishonour, but Huan said: "Nay, more yet is needed, for this will arouse all thy folk to seek thee," and this Tevildo knew and had hoped. So was it that in the end weariness and hunger and fear prevailed upon that proud cat, a prince of the service of Melko, to reveal the secret of the cats and the spell that Melko had entrusted to him; and those were words of magic whereby the stones of his evil house were held together, and whereby he held all beasts of the catfolk under his sway, filling them with an evil power beyond their nature; for long has it been said that Tevildo was an evil fay in beastlike shape.

When therefore he had told it Huan laughed till the woods rang, for he knew that the days of the power of the cats were over. Now sped Tinuviel with the golden collar of Tevildo back to the lowest terrace before the gates, and standing she spake the spell in her clear voice. Then behold, the air was filled with the voices of cats and the house of Tevildo shook; and there came therefrom a host of indwellers and they were shrunk to puny size and were afeared of Tinuviel, who waving the collar of Tevildo spake before them certain of the words that Tevildo had said in her hearing to Huan, and they cowered before her. But she said: "Lo, let all those of the folk of the Elves or of the children of Men that are bound within these halls be brought forth," and behold, Beren was brought forth, but of other thralls there were none, save only Gimli, an aged Gnome, bent in thraldom and grown blind, but whose hearing was the keenest that has been in the world, as all songs say. Gimli came leaning upon a stick and Beren aided him, but Beren was clad in rags and haggard, and he had in his hand a great knife he had caught up in the kitchen, fearing some new ill when the house shook and all the voices of the cats were heard; but when he beheld Tinuviel standing amid the host of cats that shrank from her and saw the great collar of Tevildo, then was he' amazed utterly, and knew not what to think. But Tinuviel was very glad, and spoke saying: "0 Beren from beyond the Bitter Hills, wilt thou now dance with me -- but let it not be here." And she led Beren far away, and all those cats set up a howling and wailing, so that Huan and Tevildo heard it in the woods, but none followed or molested them, for they were afraid, and the magic of Melko was fallen from them. This indeed they rued afterward when Tevildo returned home followed by his trembling comrade, for Tevildo's wrath was terrible, and he lashed his tail and dealt blows at all who stood nigh. Now Huan of the dogs, though it might seem a folly, when Beren and Tinuviel came to that glade had suffered that evil Prince to return without further war, but the great collar of gold he had set about his own neck, and at this was Tevildo more angry than all else, for a great magic of strength and power lay therein. Little to Huan's liking was it that Tevildo lived still, but now no longer did he fear the cats, and that tribe has fled before the dogs ever since, and the dogs hold them still in scorn since the humbling of Tevildo in the woods nigh Angamandi; and Huan has not done any greater deed. Indeed afterward Melko heard all and he cursed Tevildo and his folk and banished them, nor have they since that day had lord or master or any friend, and their voices wail and screech for their hearts are very lonely and bitter and full of loss, yet there is only darkness therein and no kindliness. At the time however whereof the tale tells it was Tevildo's chief desire to recapture Beren and Tinuviel and to slay Huan, that he might regain the spell and magic he had lost, for he was in great fear of Melko, and he dared not seek his master's aid and reveal his defeat and the betrayal of his spell. Unwitting of this Huan feared those places, and was in great-dread lest those doings come swiftly to Melko's ear, as did most things that came to pass in the world; wherefore now Tinuviel and Beren wandered far away with Huan, and they became great in friendship with him, and in that life Beren grew strong again and his thraldom fell from him, and Tinuviel loved him. Yet wild and rugged and very lonely were those days, for never a face of Elf or of Man did they see, and Tinuviel grew at last to long sorely for Gwendeling her mother and the songs of sweet magic she was used to sing to her children as twilight fell in the woodlands by their ancient halls.

Often she half fancied she heard the flute of Dairon her brother, in pleasant glades' wherein they sojourned, and her heart grew heavy. At length she said to Beren and to Huan: "I must return home," and now is it Beren's heart that is overcast with sorrow, for he loved that life in the woods with the dogs (for by now many others had become joined to Huan), yet not if Tinuviel were not there. Nonetheless said he: "Never may I go back with thee to the land of Artanor -- nor come there ever after to seek thee, sweet Tinuviel, save only bearing a Silmaril; nor may that ever now be achieved, for am I not a fugitive from the very halls of Melko, and in danger of the most evil pains do any of his servants spy me." Now this he said in the grief of his heart at parting with Tinuviel, and she was tornin mind, abiding not the thought of leaving Beren nor yet of living ever thus in exile. So sat she a great while in sad thought and she spoke not, but Beren sat nigh and at length said: "Tinuviel, one thing only can we do -- go get a Silmaril"; and she sought thereupon Huan, asking his aid and advice, but he was very grave and saw nothing but folly in the matter. Yet in the end Tinuviel begged of him the fell of Oikeroi that he slew in the affray of the glade; now Oikeroi was a very mighty cat and Huan carried that fell with him as a trophy.

Now doth Tinuviel put forth her skill and fairy-magic, and she sews Beren into this fell and makes him to the likeness of a great cat, and she teaches him how to sit and sprawl, to step and bound and trot in the semblance of a cat, till Huan's very whiskers bristled at the sight, and thereat Beren and Tinuviel laughed. Never however could Beren learn to screech or wail or to purr like any cat that ever walked, nor could Tinuviel awaken a glow in the dead eyes of the catskin -- "but we must put up with that," said she, "and thou hast the air of a very noble cat if thou but hold thy tongue." Then did they bid farewell to Huan and set out for the halls of Melko by easy journeys, for Beren was in great discomfort and heat within the fur of Oikeroi, and Tinuviel's heart became lighter awhile than it had been for long, and she stroked Beren or pulled his tail, and Beren was angry because he could not lash it in answer as fiercely as he wished. At length however they drew near to Angamandi, as indeed the rumblings and deep noises, and the sound of mighty hammerings of ten thousand smiths labouring unceasingly, declared to them. Nigh were the sad chambers where the thrall-Noldoli laboured bitterly under the Orcs and goblins of the hills, and here the gloom and darkness was great so that their hearts fell, but Tinuviel arrayed her once more in her dark garment of deep sleep. Now the gates of Angamandi were of iron wrought hideously and set with knives and spikes, and before them lay the greatest wolf the world has ever seen, even Karkaras Knife-fang who had never slept; and Karkaras growled when he saw Tinuviel approach, but of the cat he took not much heed, for he thought little of cats and they were ever passing in and out. "Growl not, 0 Karkaras," said she, "for I go to seek my lord Melko, and this thane of Tevildo goeth with me as escort."

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