The scouts have come back at last,’ said an Orc close at hand.

‘Well, what did you discover?’ growled the voice of Uglúk.

‘Only a single horseman, and he made off westwards. All’s clear now.’

‘Now, I daresay. But how long? You fools! You should have shot him. He’ll raise the alarm. The cursed horsebreeders will hear of us by morning. Now we’ll have to leg it double quick.’

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