In the parlor, I found Faramir talking to Lady Silwen, answered their queries, and told them I needed to find a good smithy or foundry. “With your permission, my lady, I will have a plaque made and installed, discreetly stating that this is now our embassy—or do you think that premature, my lord?”
“An excellent idea!” he agreed, as she nodded. He continued, “However, considering that he must have figured out that you had a hand in her disappearance from his house, I think it wise to assign you an honor guard.”
“I hardly think—“ I began, but he held up a palm to stop my protest.
“My lord, I am loath to have an incident occurring in the city that might result in the consequences of your injury or death,” he said formally. “Not only because we do not want such things to happen to any ally, but especially not when we would have to answer to your kinsman Gimli Glóin’s Son, or your father King Thorin, or our king. This is not negotiable, Prince Dalfinor. I must insist.”
I hesitated, thinking, before answering as formally, “I do not wish to make your task as Steward more difficult, Lord Faramir, and I can certainly understand your point of view. I am still becoming accustomed to my change in rank, which among my people is seen differently than among yours. The notion of a bodyguard—call it what you will, that is the intent—would be greeted by incredulous jeers by any Dweorg. Spending all my time within these walls would prevent me from discharging my duties. I must point out that even a bodyguard cannot protect against a spear or arrow from ambush—my lady was felled by a dart— nor from poison, nor from a curse, nor a dozen other perils. But I will compromise: so long as Jerenmir Goldtrader has not been called to account for his vile treatment of his sister, I will go armed and armored outside this house, and I am willing to have one of your guards attend me if any of the Rohirrim staying here do not accompany me. I will defend myself and my friends if we are attacked; I do not give up that right. But that Man has much to answer for, and I wish to know, Lord Steward, what is being done on that score.” I folded my arms and waited for his reply.
“I appreciate your reasonable attitude, my lord. I too am in the midst of adjusting to many changes. May I suggest a minimum of five guards?”
I shook my head. “Do you wish to make me a more obvious target? Or to give the illusion that I am in custody? Until others of my people reach this city, or that Man is in gaol or dead, I will accept one guard, and delegate what I can to others. You still haven’t answered my question.”
He took a deep breath. “There is a difficulty. Other than Lady Silma’s evidence, should she be willing to prefer charges—and we will ask Master Kinfinning to make a deposition as to her physical injuries—we really have little evidence in this matter. There were no eyewitnesses to her abduction. Our courts will not accept hearsay evidence, and it would be…awkward for the existence of the tunnels to be widely known, even if you are willing to so testify. We need some inescapable, overt action on his part in order to arrest and accuse him.”
“I will not encourage her to prefer those charges,” put in Lady Silwen.
I stared at her, stunned. “By all the Powers, why not?”
“My lord, you would have to be a citizen of the city, and a member of our highest ranked class of Men, to understand.” In her distress, she was clemching and unclenching her fists on the fabric of her skirt. “Rank has its perogitives.”
“To abduct, brutalize and torture his own sister?” I exclaimed.
“Please, hear me out! Reputation is important here!”
“I don’t care about his reputation, or mine. She must be safe!”
“I don’t mean his, or even yours!” she shot back. “I’m thinking of hers! Please listen to me!”
“I am listening,” I grated.
“She was involved in a scandal years ago, when she left my son,” Lady Silwen said.
“I don’t care, nor did I ask.”
For the first time during this conversation, she smiled briefly. “And that speaks well of your delicacy. The true circumstances were not bruited abroad, and I am not sure of all the details myself, although I surmise much. The House we married into was…old and dwindling, morally as well as in power and influence. My husband was not a good Man. Our son was worse, although I was not permitted much contact with him as he grew up. He became perverted and cruel.” Her eyes swam with unshead tears.
“This is too distressing for you!” I said.
“And it is too private for me to hear,” Faramir added, beginning to rise.
“No, my lord Steward! I know I can rely on your discretion. Lord Dalfinor is correct that Jerenmir must be stopped. For the rest of my life I will endure my guilt at not helping her then; I am still amazed that she has forgiven me. But he is even viler than my son, if possible. When Silma realized she must leave him to save her own life, I ignored her appeals, and so did Jerenmir and—forgive me, Lord Faramir—Lord Denethor. She ran away to some tiny village, and it wasn’t until after my son died that she dared to return. Later she married Master Clerk, who sounds a most worthy Man.
“I was in what amounted to exile from Court in Arnach until this war. When I came back to the city, I had lost all—my estate, my servants, even my little dog. I came here to throw myself on her mercy, and beg houseroom. To my shock, I found she had just written to me, asking for the same thing, until she could arrange other lodging for Rill and Rhylla. In that conversation, we realized that Jerenmir had tricked both of us into believing that the other lived here, and deliberately estranged us. He had lied to her, saying that she could not divorce my son, and forcing her to pay him to defray the costs of her running away as fees he had to pay your father.”
“That is not part of our law!” he declared.
“Nay, but what did either of us know of that?” she countered. “I don’t know the contents of my son’s will, but I imagine Jerenmir—who, may I remind you, has been in charge of that office for the last fifteen years—arranged matters to suit himself. In fact, if we could figure out how to get into the secret hiding-place the Men of our House have always used for such things, we might just find an earlier copy, with different provisions. I know roughly where it is; my late father-in-law showed me before his death. I simply don’t know how to open it. That is fraud, is it not?”
Faramir smiled grimly. “It is indeed, my lady. In fact, I believe that he was being investigated, very quietly, even before the siege began.”
“From what Silma said while we were tending her, he called on Melkoth as upon a patron Vala,” she said very quietly.
Faramir’s eyes narrowed, and I sucked in my breath. The Steward said grimly, “If that could be proven—“
“I can tell you that the hidden room where we found her was lined in sheets of cork,” I said.
“Ėowyn mentioned that. She said that you muttered something about cork’s absorbant qualities.”
“I don’t understand,” Lady Silwen said.
“It is an excellent substance for absorbing liquids and sound,” I explained. “The room also contained what looked very like a sacrificial alter, instruments of torture, shackles, and many dark stains. I think that Silma had been inside it before, for she had hidden a tiny, very sharp knife in a crack. That is what she had used to saw through her bonds. I inferred from what she did not say that had she ever been in there long without hope of rescue, she would have ended her agony with it.”
We looked at each other. “My poor Little One!” she whispered, ignoring the tears streaming down her face. “My lords, you cannot mean her to live in terror right next door to that filth!”
“If we roused public opinion against him—“ I began.
Faramir interrupted, “Do you advocate mob justice?”
“Certainly not!” I replied. “But if folk knew what he was—“
Both of them were shaking their heads. Lady Silwen said wretchedly, “’Tis what I began to say to you, Lord Dalfinor. If this became known, not only would they condemn him, they would also condemn her. She is, after all, his sister. She knew about the room. She did not prefer charges, but fled. All folk will remember is that she fled from a marriage to an ancient, honored and Exalted House, that there was a scandal. They will think that she has brought these charges in an attempt to get revenge for who-knows-what, jealousy perhaps, since he is so wealthy and she is not. Her reputation will be completely ruined, and public opinion will be against her as well. I talked to my staff, and one and all had a nasty bit of gossip about him to tell me. He is rumored to be a blackmailer, and I can tell you that that is true.” She reddened but lifted her chin. “I will not tell you how I know—that is confidential—but I do know it. Can you not find some way to get rid of the Man? But publicly will not do!”
“That is unfair and unjust!” I cried.
They both nodded.
Lady Silwen said, “Forgive me for being more direct than I otherwise might be. I know that you are fond of her. If there is another scandal involving her, it might so damage your credibility, and Lord Gimli’s, as the relationship between your people and ours.”
My jaw ached from clenching my teeth until I mastered my rage. “I must thank you for your timely reminder of my duty, Lady Silwen,” I said quietly and, I hope, civilly. “And of the many things I must needs learn of your society, Lord Faramir. I will not rush next door and cut him down where he stands, I pledge you—unless he does aught to endanger anyone who are under my protection, including the dog and the cat.”
“Thank you, Prince Dalfinor,” Faramir replied.
I wondered if I would ever become accustomed to that title; I doubted it. However, that was unimportant besides larger issues.
“My lady, I appreciate your frankness, even while I deplore the necessity,” I continued. “I hope you will both forgive my anger at the situation, and if I have erred by your customs, I apologize.”
“That is not necessary, my lord,” she said graciously.
“I hope you will not object to my occasionally asking how the investigation progresses?” I inquired, and Farmair nodded.
“Certainly. Oh, and you might want to send a note to Master Tergarion, who has a foundryworks down in the Fourth Circle,” he said. “Give me as a reference, and my suggestion that he come here as soon as possible to make arrangements with you as to the plaque. He does good work, and will be glad of it; the larger yard he had on the Pelennor was destroyed by his own hand, lest the orcs use it against us, so I know he would be glad of the work. In fact, I could take the note for you, since I have to go down to the House of Keys anyway, to consult Lord Húrin about something.”
I thanked him, Lady Silwen allowed me to use some plain stationary from the desk, and after I had written and sealed the note and Faramir had left, I noted that I would also need to find a good stationer.
She had sat quietly while I took care of that, and as I looked up, putting my slates in my pouch, she said, “I wonder, Lord Dalfinor, if you would have the time now to see over the rest of the house with Master Samno and me, and discuss which rooms you will wish to use soon? If you wish any changes made, we should arrange for them. I would suggest that although nothing major has been changed here for at least a century, we wait to consult Ambassador Gimli and to see what new styles will become fashionable under our King. It still seems amazing to me that we will have a King, after so long!”
“That would suit me very well, my lady,” I said, rising. “It still amazes me that my father is now King of our people!”
“There is no clear line of succession, then?” she asked as I gestured her to precede me. “I thought that it was your grandfather or uncle who had died.”
“Actually, it was my greatsire, but I don’t believe my father ever thought of succeeding him, or at any rate, not for many years. After all, Dáin was only about 150—no, 157 his next birthing-day. Father is 98, so, barring accident or war, his reign should be long.”
Both of them looked startled. Master Samno, who had joined us in the hall, coughed and asked, “Your pardon, Lord Dalf, but how old are you?”
“I am but forty-eight,” I replied. “I really should not have been away from home by myself for so long, but I confess to have found it very interesting. Our folk live to be between 100 to 200 years, on average, but we Anfangrim, as the Elves call us, are descended from Durin the Deathless, the head of our oldest clan, and often live longer.”
“What does Anfangrim mean?” asked Silwen as we went up the stairs.
”In Westron it would be rendered as Longbeards; that form refers to our entire clan. It is a great compliment to say, ‘May your beard every grow longer,’ to one of us—unless it is one of our women, of course.”
“Are many of your women likely to come here?” she asked. “I thought we should begin at the top of the house and go down.”
“Very sensible. No, our women rarely travel unless their family is moving to a new colony. After the fall of Khazad-dûm, our clan was widely scattered, and many ills befell all my people,” I said with a sigh. “Then we were scattered again after the Kingdom under the Mountain fell to Smaug—but we are building that up again, thanks to the aid of the Great Burglar Bilbo Baggins. Gimli means to establish a new colony in the Glittering Caves, so we will no doubt be having many discussions with the Rohirrim, and now that Gandalf has slain the Balrog, perhaps someday Moria will be reestablished and regain its true name.” We reached vast attics, some divided into rooms for storage and for servants, at the top of the house.
An hour later, we had completed the tour and initial discussions, and I went to the library again to write up my notes for Gimli. Lady Silwen had excused herself to speak to Mistress Samno on some domestic matter.
To my surprise, a short, bulky man rose to his feet from a chair and bowed. “Prince Dalfinor? I am Tergarion. The Lord Steward brought me a note from you.”
I bowed. “I am honored that you would respond in person so quickly, Master Tergarion. No one told me that you were waiting here; I apologize. It is a trifling commission, I’m afraid, and if you don’t do that kind of work, I hope that you will recommend someone to me.”
“You require a plaque?”
I nodded. “My cousin Gimli Glóin’s Son has been appointed Ambassador to the new King’s court, and I am his assistant. Lady Silwen is kind enough to allow us the use of this building as our embassy, and I wish to establish its presence. We need a plaque, not a sign, cast if possible of brass, which I have noticed seems to be the preferred metal for such things here, and I have roughed out a design, incuding both kinds of script.” I handed him a sketch.
“That should look right handsome, my lord—I mean, Prince—I mean—pardon, I’m not much used to titled folk,” he said awkwardly. “The Steward and the highest nobles mostly delegate their commissions through servants.”
“Until recently, I was plain Dalfinor Redglass,” I told him frankly. “Now I suppose the proper usage would be Lord Dalfinor—but I earnestly hope, Master Tergarion, if you ever allow me to work in your workshop, that you will call me Dalf.”
He stared at me. “Work in my workshop?” he repeated.
“Gimli has promised the King that our people will remake your Great Gates,” I told him. “Some of our folk are even now on the way with mithril and other materials. We will need forges and smiths to help us, aye, and foundrymen as well.”
“You have seen true-silver?” he asked eagerly.
“I have worked in it a little. Your Great Gates were alloyed with traces of it,” I told him. “But we intend to make something stronger, although of course if possible we will restore as much of the ornamentation as we can, and copy what we cannot.”
The foundryman rose to his feet and bowed deeply to me. “Lord Dalfinor, if you will do that, so that no other Man loses his son as I did mine—“ He stopped to clear his throat.
“He fell in the defense?” I asked.
“Aye. A fine draughtsman, though I say it, and would’ve had the works after me, had he lived. If you will do that, you may have my foundry! I managed to store a deal of equipment and stock in some warehouses on the First and Second Circles, and I can pledge you the support and aid of every master, journeyman, and apprentice in our Fellowship. If need be, we can call on our craft-brothers in other cities and towns as well.”
“You may need to discuss this with the rest of your guild,” I began, but he laughed.
“I am the First Forgefire of the Ironsmiths, so I may speak for them. Why, you should have seen all the long faces at our last meeting! We were all sitting around with faces like wet days, knowin’ that the King will be askin’ us to fix those gates, and it as far beyond us as Valinor is to ordinary folk! And we will see mithril close up! What a wonder!”
“I shall enjoy working with you,” I said, and meant it. “I will attend you at your foundry as soon as I can, but it may be a day or two, perhaps longer.”
“At your convenience, my lord. At your service and your family’s—is that right?”
“Very right! And I am at yours!” I told him heartily.
“Now, if you want to show me where you want this plaque, I'll take this down and begin on it.”
“Master Samno will show you. I am afraid I cannot go out just now.” I felt silly saying this, but he nodded.
“Of course, my lord, busy as you are.” He got to his feet.
“We have not talked of the fee—“ I began.
“An' we aren’t going to, neither!”
“No! When Lord Faramir come (and I’ve known him, and Captain-General Boromir too, since they was pages), and give me your note, it so happened my wife was there, bringin' me a message from our married daughter. Once I told her what it was about, she says to me, she says, 'Terg, if the Dwarves aim to make our city safe again by a-fixin' those Gates, don’t you charge him so much as a tin-piece for that plaque, or I’m leavin' you!’ I wouldn’t have anyway, mind, but I’m of no wish to lose a good wife! No, my lord, we’ll say no more about it, if you please.”
“That scarcely seems fair,” I objected.
“Small enough, small enough. We’re that grateful, Lord Dalfinor, for havin' a King that understands certain work requires them as is fit for it. We don’t know how to do such, nor will we, rare as ‘tis, but we are fit to help, and we will. You’re savin’ our honor as a guild, my lord, you and your folk. Now I’ll be about my business and let you to yours, my lord.” Bowing again, he departed.
To my dismay, it was a day and a night before I was allowed to rise from my bed, and Master Samno carried me down to the sofa in the library. I was wearing a soft green robe over my nightrail, and Rhylla had loosely tied back my hair. She and Lord Dalf fussed around with cushions and a knitted throw, but finally she sat with her knitting in a corner and he drew up a chair beside me, carefully propping the sword against the arm at the other end of the sofa, near my feet.
“Did Lady Ėowyn explain to you about that?” he asked, nodding at it.
“Aye, although it seems fantastic to attribute such things to a sword.”
“There are many famous enchanted blades, my lady. They are a historical reality, including three others that I have recently seen. You saw two of them yourself.”
“Mayhap I should rather say, a sword that I would have in my possession,” I corrected myself. “I have? Where?”
“Aragorn bears Andúril, forged from the shards of Narsil, the blade borne by Isildur. Gandalf wields Glamdring, another ensorcelled blade. And while it is not enchanted in quite the same way, my father now holds Durin’s Axe. I wish that you would take this more seriously,” he said soberly.
Ėowyn had almost wearied me with the subject, but I found myself saying, “I will try, my lord.”
“We are informal tonight,” he said, smiling.
“What did I miss while I was abed, Dalf?” I asked.
He smiled again. “I will tell you, O Healer, once you admit that her surmise might have some basis in fact. Are not your bruises fading faster than the norm?”
I honestly had not thought about it, but looked down at my wrists. “She stressed that I should bear it with me, and devote daily time to mastering its use as a weapon,” I said. “Does she really believe it has such powers?”
“She kept it by you from the moment we found you. What do you think?”
“They are more faded than I would expect,” I admitted. “But why should it have a bond with me?”
“Mayhap it recognizes a kindred spirit within you. You are not convinced, are you?”
“Surely it would respond to any woman,” I demurred.
“Why not experiment with it? If you have proof that you have such a bond, would your feelings towards it change?”
“Why not call it by a more accurate word, Dalf—my attitude. Aye, I think I might. But I must think about this. I wonder if I could persuade it to extend healing to patients?”
Dalfinor threw back his head and laughed.
I glared at him. “Is that so funny?”
“Nay, I wasn’t laughing at you, Silma! It was delight. I should have known that one so compassionate would think of applying it in that way.”
Feeling myself blush under his look, I said, “I was not the only one! So did Ėowyn.”
He nodded and changed the subject before I could. “You asked what you missed. For one thing, you missed my cousin. He and Legolas arrived yesterday, and leave tomorrow morning at first light. I don’t mind telling you that I am relieved that he approved the plans that Lady Silwen, Master Samno and I have made!”
“Please, tell me about them! No one else would, and I am eaten up with curiosity,” I begged.
Smiling, he took out a large sheet of paper and showed me what I quickly realized were neat diagrams of each floor of the house, as well as another of the exterior. “I had not realized that that this is so extensive a property, that it actually includes the building on the opposite side from your brother’s residence.”
“Oh, that’s right—I had forgotten. My first husband’s great-great-grandfather won it from a previous owner in a game of Merielles. The man was completely bankrupted, but such a compulsive gambler he wouldn’t stop playing until he lost even his cloak, and it winter. It’s mostly been kept closed off for the past century,” I said.
“That accounts for all the dust we kicked up, walking through it,” he smiled. “I am not sure what Lady Silwen intends to do with it—she had forgotten about it, too—but certainly we can utilize it for housing the Dweorg who will be working on the Gates, at least to begin with, once it is cleaned. Erragol and most of his men are moving from the parlor to the Rohir camp on the plain tomorrow, to greet them when they arrive; Ull, Rill and Wilmet will move upstairs to Rill’s old room. So, once the parlor is set back to its former use, we can utilize that for a main reception room, and Gimli can use the small room behind it for an office. She will allow us to use part of the cellar for a workshop and planning-area, but we won’t be doing any large works there; Master Tergarion will rent us space in his foundry and warehouses down closer to the Great Gates. She and I spent most of the time visiting various shops and Fellowship guild halls to commission things we will need. We will pay for the cost of refurbishing and the furniture scaled to our size, including in the bedrooms up on the third and fourth floors.”
“Which one will Lord Gimli be using?” she asked.
“For the near future, he will be housed at the Citadel with the rest of the Fellowship, although Legolas believes that the Hobbits will not be comfortable there.”
“Why not?” I asked. “Surely there is no lack of comforts!”
“There is no lack of grandeur there,” he corrected me. “Please don’t be offended, Silma, but for example, the great hall of the thrones, all that black and white marble, all those tall statues looming, are impressive but cold. The scale is too vast. Even in the other rooms I have seen, the furniture, while elegant, is too high. Halflings are smaller than I am. They are used to homes called burrows delved into banks, with rounded rooms. Even those few homes that are freestanding are rounded, and like their clothing, filled with color. And up so high above the city? They will not be at ease there. I would not be surprised if they asked to move elsewhere.”
“They would be welcome here!” I said, and then sighed. “Forgive me; I spoke impulsively. It is not my invitation to make, but Lady Silwen’s and yours.”
“She regards you as co-mistress here, if not mistress indeed,” he said, but I shook my head.
“I gave that up when I ran away.”
“Well, we both felt the same way, but Legolas doesn’t think they would accept. After all, other than Pippin, they don’t know us. I would think it most likely that they would want to go to the guesthouse that he occupied with Gandalf during the siege. Besides, there is Rimbor.”
My dog lifted his head and wagged his tail at mention of his name.
“What about him?” I asked.
“Legolas told me that he thinks it was Merry who once told a tale about how Lord Frodo came to fear large dogs. He would never have a dog of his own for that reason.”
“My Browntail is a good dog,” I protested, and then remembered how swiftly he had killed one of our abductors.
Clearly Dalf had perceived what I was seeing in my mind’s eye, for he leaned forward and took my hand in his warm clasp. “They cannot harm you,” he said. “They will not harm you. Ever!”
“Which is why there is a guard of honor in the kitchen right this minute?” I asked.
He muttered something in Dwarvish under his breath and tugged at his beard with his other hand. “Rhylla, I suppose?”
“No, Lily told me. She was so busy flirting with him that she was late bringing me my daymeal. But I can see why they cannot be endangered.”
“Faramir told me that he is being investigated,” Dalfinor said. “This is only temporary, Silma! Soon he will answer for his crimes, and you will be perfectly safe!”
“You don’t know what he is like,” I whispered. “How sly and vindictive he is, how powerful in twisty, sneaky ways. And cruel….he is so cruel!”
“What did he do to you?” he demanded.
I shook my head, not looking at him.
Unwillingly I found my gaze meeting his, as he put a finger to my chin and tilted my face up. “What?”
“Whatever he has done to you, however you fear him, I swear to you that you will never be in his power again from this hour. By Durin’s Axe itself, I swear this!”
My eyes filled with tears. For a prince of the Dweorg to make such a pledge on my behalf, that my father’s son should have so earned his disgust and enmity, that I should feel the tangle of emotions I felt—how had it come to this?
I had struggled to push aside thoughts of the future, but they persisted in surfacing. Lady Silwen would prosper under their rental of her home (for it was not mine—mine lay in ruins five Circles below). Prince Dalfinor would flourish at the Court and in his own lands; I could easily imagine him succeeding his father and living to a hoar old age, long after my life was done. How was there room for one plain woman, no longer young, with neither looks, nor fortune, nor rank, who had not even a tin piece in her pouch? How would I earn my way for myself and Rimbor? And once Jeren’s crimes were made public, who in the city would be willing to hire me for anything whatsoever? I would have to go elsewhere, but where? Despite Lothlíriel’s kindness, I did not fool myself that I would be welcomed into the castle of Dol Amroth, and I had cut myself off from the Houses. As angry as Ėowyn had indicated her brother the King of Rohan would be with her for her masquerade as Dernhelm, I doubted he would welcome me to his realm in the time between now and his sister’s wedding to Faramir. Would Faramir allow me to be a clerk or servant in his household? But what if he went to Rohan, if the King decided not to continue having a Steward in Gondor? I winced at the thought of how I might be treated by citizens of all ranks, because of my connection with Jeren.
“Silma?” Dalf was asking anxiously.
It would be most ungrateful of me to say any of this to him. Rimbor whined, rose and nosed at my leg.I tried to smile at them, and at the concerned look on Rhylla’s face. “I am overwhelmed, “I said truthfully. “Tell me, did I imagine I heard boys’ voices earlier, when Master Samno brought me down?”
His look told me he understood that I was changing the subject, but he sat back and said ruefully, “Ah, that is something I did not have a chance to tell you. About the time you were befriending Rhylla and her brother, I...encountered three boys at the Houses, and they incurred a debt to me. To repay it, they must perform a few tasks for me, and while that had to be interrupted while I was in Cormallen, that has now been resumed. So you will be seeing and hearing Severion, Marfel, and Caic.”
“Oh, I recall them from the Houses, I think.”
“Aye.” He seemed depressed by the thought, and I wondered why Rhylla suddenly grinned. She hastily straightened her face as he glanced at her in annoyance.
“Would you like me to fetch a light repast?” she asked brightly.
Presently she brought in a tray of little cakes, ale for him and light wine for me, and as we ate and drank, we chatted of other subjects. He particularly asked me about protocol for the King’s coronation, and from that we spoke of the organization of the various Fellowships, and the Conclave’s factions. I reminded him that my knowledge of current alliances was outdated, and probably so was Lady Silwen’s, but he wanted to gain an understanding of their historical differences, to compare with what Master Tergarion had told him. He was describing their initial plans for the Gates when my eyes grew heavy and I slid into sleep.