Kili's Journal, 6th Entry (Translated from Dwarven Runes)

The first thing I asked when I woke, was "What happened?"

"You got gorged by a boar, laddie," Balin said.

I was in my own bed and Balin and Fili were looking over me. Hilda's dog Trotter was laid on top of the woolen blanket at the bottom of the bed. Balin's answer helped me to recall some of what happened.

"Mam's livid," said Fili.

"Aye, she called thee a reckless fool," Balin said.

"You've been sleeping for two days. Mam and Hilda have been looking after you," Fili said, stroking Trotter's head. "This one has hardly left you alone."

To say I left terrible would have been an understatement. "Is Uncle Thorin back yet?"

"No, and there's been no news of your uncle, either I'm sorry to say," Balin said. "I have to go, laddie, but I'll let your mother or Hilda know you are awake."

Balin left. I was really hoping that it was Hilda and not my mother, who I saw first. I was unsure of why that was, and it was not because I knew that my mother would have some serious words to say to me when she did come up to see me, and I wasn't looking forward to it. Fili stayed with me until Hilda arrived. I could not help the grin that crossed my face when she entered, despite the pain I was in. Before leaving, Fili patted my shoulder.

"I'll see you later," he said and left.

Hilda helped me to sit up, which was quite painful and I felt nauseated for a good while after.

"How are you feeling?" Hilda asked.

"Like an oliphant has trampled me," I replied.

"You were lucky," Hilda said, sitting down in the chair beside my bed. "It looks a lot worse than it is."

I felt like swearing, but it was hardly Hilda's fault, and I really had no one but myself to blame for the condition I was in.

"Do you remember what happened?" Hilda asked, after a few minutes.

"I'm starting to remember some of it," I replied. "Could I have some water, please? My throat is really dry."

Hilda poured me a mug of water from the pitcher which was on the bedside table and handed it to me.

"Thanks," I said. "The last thing I remember was a loud crashing in the bushes and the wild boar came rushing out. I was trying to reach for an arrow and to load my bow. Guess I wasn't fast enough and it is partly my fault. I should have had a boar spear."

"I need to check the wound, make sure that it is healing properly," Hilda said.

It was then that I realised that I was only wearing the bandage and trousers. It was one thing to have my mother or one of the men take a look, but Hilda? Hilda must have seen the look on my face.

"It's nothing to be embarrassed about," Hilda said. "I did help your mother see to you when you was first brought back."

I think it was then I began to realise that I'd begun to fall for her and that the observations people had made, weren't that far off from the truth. But did Hilda feel the same way? And was it even appropriate? I don't ask that question because of her being a hobbit, (though some would say that was a valid reason not to proceed, especially those fur-faced old bats who complained in the mead hall the other night) but because she had recently lost her family and the timing wasn't right, so I didn't say a thing about it and tried to think of something else as she worked.

"It looks much better than it did and I don't see any signs that it is infected," Hilda said. She washed the wound and for once, I was glad that I was in pain, because it took my mind off the thing I didn't want to think about. After she finished washing and drying the wound, she put on a fresh bandage.

"Do you feel up to playing a game of Hnefetafl?" she asked when she'd finished.

I thought about it but decided I was in too much pain to concentrate on the game. "Not really, but please stay a while. I could do with the company," I answered. And so we talked.

"You play the fiddle?" Hilda said, pointing to the instrument laid on the desk.

"I do, but badly. Fili is a far better musician than me," I replied.

"I'd like to hear you play sometime," Hilda said.

"I shall probably be playing it at the Yule feast, if I feel up to it," I said.

Trotter stretched and rolled on to his back. "Fili mentioned that he has hardly left me alone since the accident."

"He fusses over people when they are ill," Hilda said. "He used to do it with the animals on the farm as well. I don't think he likes it when people are sick and it's his way of trying to help."

I thought back to the way he had shown us where Hilda was at the farm. "He saved your life, you know. He found us and led us straight to you. If it had not been for him, we would have missed you completely."

We talked for a while, until I mentioned that I began to feel hungry.

"I'm sorry. I should have thought to bring you something, but when Balin told me you had woken up, I was in such a hurry to get over here, that it didn't cross my mind. I shouldn't be too long."

Hilda went out of the room and I waited a few minutes until I was sure she was gone. I wanted to see if I could get out of bed and I knew that if someone was with me, they wouldn't let me try it. The pain excoriating but I was able to get up, even if I had to do so slowly. I walked over to the window that looked out over the paddock. It was snowing again and the animals were inside the stable. I watched the snow fall, thinking about Uncle Thorin. After a while, I heard footsteps coming up the stairs, and, thinking it was Hilda, I stayed where I was. It was only when the door opened that I realised it was mother, instead, and she was not pleased to find me out of bed.


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5