I nicked her cheek with the tip of my sword. Her reaction was merely a wince before her eyes fluttered open and looked at me. Two little pools glittered in her shadowed face. Still did I not know her feelings or thoughts. I bade her to stand and we recommenced our journey.
I had found on her person a small book, a diary of some sort, I supposed, though it was filled only with rows and rows of meaningless scribble.
"Here, you!" I laughed, striking her across the shoulder with the book. "Don't you know how to write? You know there's naught on these pages but silly lines?" She stumbled when I hit her but otherwise she did not react. I opened the book again and saw that what had been nonsense before had been replaced somehow by perfectly regular, perfectly foul Sindarin. I don't like such tricks as these. I took up my whip then and gave her six lashes, and I felt an invigorating spray of blood and shredded hair. I gripped the copious tresses that yet remained on her and pulled her to her feet. Two of her tears spilled to the ground as I did so.
It occurred to me then that the respect she must surely hold for me after I captured her twice has probably been deepened by fear and awe. These tears were likely because she feared she had disappointed me. I petted her and told her, "You must think of a way to please me." She said nothing, possibly too ashamed to speak, so I looked at her diary again. Sindarin makes my stomach ache and I had need several times to spit as I read. I understood little, but one word I took to be a name was littered throughout the book; Inwë.
"Who is Inwë?" I asked her. She bowed her head, did not respond, so again I asked, "Who is Inwë?" I was making ready to whip her again when I became aware of a terrific commotion from the Crebain overhead. Several were dashing at one another and even as I watched, two fell from the sky to lie dead on the ground. Many birds fled, and it was some time before the skirmish subsided, at which point only three of the creatures remained, circling above. As we have finally entered upon the Mithram Spur, but are at least a day from Seregost, I hope these crows are yet my allies.