Life of a Bounder, Part XI
“Hullo, my friends! ’tis Maedhroc, at your service. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to catch up with my correspondence, but since my initial foray into the Tomb of Elendil, it seems like it’s been a never-ending run with barely time to stop and smoke a little leaf from time to time. Where to begin?
I suppose it should be Rivendell, where I was given the singular honor of attending a ceremony of no small significance.
Lord Aragorn (yes, yes, I know, but I’m convinced now) invited me to attend as thanks for my part in delivering the elfstone needed. I notice with some amusement that there are more hobbits there than men.
While in Rivendell, I decided to do some sightseeing.
By the order of Lord Elrond, I was allowed into Imlad Gelair, a kind of “secret valley within the secret valley,” usually only accessible by elves or elf-friends. I must say, while I was touched, I’m also a bit overwhelmed at all these important personages treating me with such kindness. I’m just a Bounder, after all. But I did make sure to dress for the occasion.
I also had a reunion with some old friends whom I hadn’t seen for far too long. They seemed a bit reluctant to catch up on old times, tho.
Of course, it wasn’t all vacation in Rivendell. A Bounder’s work is never done, least of all mine. Lord Elrond asked me to find a gift for his daughter, the Lady Arwen, left by Lady Celebrian before she sailed to the West, which was hidden in a vault somewhere in the Trollshaws. Fortunately, the entrance to the vault was well-marked.
Well, that’s handy!
From there, I found myself helping a hunter track down a most peculiar, rather smelly, and unprofitable beastie. My friend Galadhalion told me about this fellow; I’m surprised to see they’re still chasing each other after all this time.
What “we”? There’s only the two of us here, thanks to Wistan’s conveniently turned ankle.
What ARE you going on about, you weird little man?
He eventually managed to scramble up a cliffside and get away, after sicking an orc on me. Little pest!
Before heading back out to the wilderness, Gandalf asked me to have a chat with Mr. Frodo, who was feeling a little moody. I told him what news I had of The Shire, such as the restoration of the Quick Post, and rousting “the ghost of the Old Took” from the Great Smials … but he didn’t seem much interested.
He rather surprised me with what I thought was a strange question.
“Adventurer?” I’m no adventurer, Mr. Frodo. I’m simply a keeper of the peace. Someone has to do it, after all!
From there, it was back out to the wilds. You may remember Longbough, the treeherder I spoke of in a previous letter? He asked me to join an expedition to help him destroy a huorn whose heart had turned black with hate. It was a sad job and a hard one — trees get mean when they’re mad — but we managed to put the poor creature down.
Not too long after that, I found myself in Angmar again (Wardens are always on the go!), where I confronted several … creatures … of a most unwholesome cast.
Um, Miss? You may wish to put on some clothes before you attempt to wage war upon the Free Peoples. Also, why does it look like you’re attempting to flourish the words “Root Vegetable”?
Upon returning to the Shire, I found myself with more coin in my pocket than I ever expected to see in my lifetime. And so I did something I once thought I would never do … I bought myself a lovely little burrow in the Southfarthing.
My old gaffer lives right up the road in Michel Delving, and I still visit him often and stop in at the Mathom Society House, or pop in to the Bird and Baby for a little something when I can. But these days, after so many harrowing experiences on the road, I find myself thinking that one of the most pleasant things in the big old world, is to relax on the porch with a good pipe full of leaf and watch the twilight come rolling in.
There’s more, much more to tell you, but the hour draws late and I must return to Angmar come the morrow, so I’ll draw to a close here. I hope this finds you safe and well.
Your Friend In the Shire,
Honourary Shirriff Maedhroc Thornhollow”