Disclaimer: Lord of the Rings is not mine.


Northeast

"The Uruks turned northeast!" Legolas called to the others. "They're taking the Hobbits to Isengard!"

"Saruman," Aragorn said to himself. Then, realizing what the Elf had actually said, added, "Wait." He knelt down and began to draw in the dirt.

Gimli struggled up behind him, panting heavily. "Whatcha drawing, Laddie?" he asked, grateful for the rest.

"A map," the Ranger said. "Legolas! Get back here!"

"Aragorn! We cannot waste time!"

"This is important!" Aragorn assured him.

Reluctantly, Legolas ran back the half-mile he had traveled in the time since Aragorn had stopped. "What?"

"Okay. Here's the Anduin River."

"Right," Gimli nodded.

"We've been going this way. Roughly north-by-northwest."

"Right," the Dwarf agreed.

"We should be about here."

"Right."

"Isengard is here."

"Wonderful," Legolas interrupted. "Let's go."

"But Isengard is directly north. Why did the Uruks turn northeast?"

"Maybe your map is messed up," Gimli suggested.

"My good Gimli," Aragorn looked up, rather annoyed. "One does not live in Rivendell a good part of their life and not know what a map of Ennorath looks like. Isengard is here, I assure you."

"Well," Legolas suggested. "Maybe we're not there. Maybe we went further than we thought, and are over here, more west."

"So we have to turn back and go the other way?"

Gimli shrugged. "Why not?"

"You're trying to tell me the Uruk-Hai don't know their own way back to Isengard?"

Legolas thought for a moment, then nodded. "They did seem rather . . . unintelligent."

"You don't need to be so polite, Laddie," Gimli said. "They were downright stupid."

Legolas nodded. "All right, they're stupid. We still need to follow them, because they still have Merry and Pippin. And now we've wasted ten minutes talking about nothing!"

Aragorn shrugged. "No. We've merely given Gimli time to catch his breath, sparing ourselves the trouble of having to wait for him later."

"Hey!" Gimli objected.

"Let's go!" Aragorn called, leaping to his feet. "Northeast it is! Let's hunt some Orc!"