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days he could descry in the west the long grey rides of Ered Lmin that in those r egions marched

north and south, fencing off the far coastlands of the Western Shores. To those hills in all his journeys Tuor had never come. Now the land became more broken and stony again, as it approached the hills, and soon it began to rise before Tuor's feet, and the stream went down into a cloven bed. But even as dim dusk came on the third day of his journey, Tuor found before him a wall of rock, and there was an openi ng therein like a great arch; and the stream passed in and was lost. Then Tuor was dismayed, and he said : "So my hope has cheated me! The sign in the hills has led me only to dark end in the midst of th e land of my enemies." And grey at heart he sat among the rocks on the high bank of the stream, keeping watch through a bitter fireless night; for it was yet but the month of Slim, and no stir of spring had co me to that far northern land, and a shrill wind blew from the East. But even as the light of the coming sun shone pale in the far mists of Mithrim, Tuor heard voices, and looking down he saw in amazement two Elves that waded in the shallow water; and as they climbed up steps hewn in the bank, Tuor stood up and called to them. At once they drew thei r bright swords and sprang towards him. Then he saw that they were grey-cloaked but mail-clad under; and he marvelled, for they were fairer and more fell to look upon, because of the light of their eyes, than any of the Elven-folk that he yet had known. He stood to his full height and awaited them; but when th ey saw that he drew no weapon, but stood alone and greeted them in the Elven-tongue, they sheathed the ir swords and spoke courteously to him. And one said: "Gelmir and Arminas we are, of Finarfin's peop le. Are you not one of the Edain of old that dwelt in these lands ere the Nirnaeth? And indeed of the k indred of Hador and Hrin I deem you; for so the gold of your head declares you." And Tuor answered: "Yea, I am Tuor, son of Huor, son of Galdor, son of Hador; bu t now at last I desire to leave this land where I am outlawed and kinless." "Then," said Gelmir, "if you would escape and find the havens in the South, alre ady your feet have been guided on the right road." "So I thought," said Tuor. "For I followed a sudden spring of water in the hills , until it joined this treacherous stream. But now I know not whither to turn, for it has gone into dar kness." "Through darkness one may come to the light," said Gelmir. "Yet one will walk under the Sun while one may," said Tuor. "But since you are o f that people, tell me if you can where lies the Gate of the Noldor. For I have sought it long, ever since Annael my foster-father of the Grey-elves spoke of it to me." Then the Elves laughed, and said: "Your search is ended; for we have ourselves just passed that Gate. There it stands before you!" And they pointed to the arch into which the water f lowed. "Come now!

Through darkness you shall come to the light. We will set your feet on the road, but we cannot guide you far; for we are sent back to the lands whence we fled upon an urgent errand." "But fear not," said Gelmir: "a great doom is written upon your brow, and it sha ll lead you far from these lands, far indeed from Middle-earth, as I guess." Then Tuor followed the Noldor down the steps and waded in the cold water, until they passed into the shadow beyond the arch of stone. And then Gelmir brought forth one of those lamp s for which the Noldor were renowned; for they were made of old in Valinor, and neither wind nor water could quench them, and when they were unhooded they sent forth a clear blue light from a flame impriso ned in white crystal. 2 Now by the light that Gelmir held above his head Tuor saw that the river began t o go suddenly down a smooth slope into a great tunnel, but beside its rock-hewn course there ran long flights of steps leading on and downward into a deep gloom beyond the beam of the lamp. When they had come to the foot of the rapids they stood under a great dome of ro ck, and there the river rushed over a steep fall with a great noise that echoed in the vault, and it pas sed then on again beneath another arch into a further tunnel. Beside the falls the Noldor halted, and bade Tuor farewell. "Now we must return and go our ways with all speed," said Gelmir; "for matters o f great peril are moving in Beleriand." "Is then the hour come when Turgon shall come forth?" said Tuor. Then the Elves looked at him in amazement. "That is a matter which concerns the Noldor rather than the sons of Men." said Arminas. "What know you of Turgon?" "Little," said Tuor; "save that my father aided his escape from the Nirnaeth, an d that in his hidden stronghold dwells the hope of the Noldor. Yet, though I know not why, ever his n ame stirs in my heart,