A Battered Notebook: 27 Chithing Hevensday
The return home has been more eventful than I had ever imagined. As I write these words, the candle has burned down to a pool of wax and I can hear the birds singing outside. I had hoped to slink back into town and take up my old position as Third Watcher, perhaps endure a verbal reaming from Nessya but when I arrived she was gone. A letter waited for me, a simple note that left me as acting Captain of the Bree Watch. While it is not official, it would take the Mayor and the council to swear me in, it has left me in a position of leadership.
And the Watch needs it now more than ever, we are underseige by those who wish us to be muzzled and chained, so they might go about their business without restraint. Not only the predictable criminals but those who claim to be loyal Breelanders, those with connections to recent immigrants from the South. Back to that old subject, the foreigners within our Hedge. While I've met a few who truly wish to be part of this town and to make a quiet life to forget the war and pain left behind, there are many who wish to bring blood into our streets. Those that capitalize on fear and want to press their ways onto the people of this land.
I have my own well known dislike and distrust of the foreigners, but I have come to realize that we will never be able to rid our town of them. More come everyday and those that are here will either be brought into our community or forever keep to their enclaves, never quite blending in. That is the crux of the matter, for to be accepted they must conform to the laws and the traditions of Bree, yet it is hard to ask that of a person. I would not wish them to give up their identities but to respect ours, we are not a wealthy people nor a martial one but we will not be trampled into the mud because we are perceived as weak or dull witted.
I saw for myself the other night how deep the distrust between the foreigners and Watch has become and it is disconcerting. A near riot because of a woman being locked up for one night because of a minor charge. She was not harmed or ill treated and yet there was nearly blood in the streets for it.
When I arrived, the Watch had shield and spear drawn and people in the crowd were riled up, it was then that I called out their leaders. I spoke with Brywulf, the captain of his Riders from Rohan and Raemund the Raven, a self proclaimed doctor of Gondor. We spoke at length of what could be done to keep both sides calm. They claimed they wanted a voice, to be heard and Lisbaeth suggested an organized group to speak at Town Councils for the immigrant community. I think that is a fine idea, for it might hold them accountable to their own promises, such as registering those that come from outside Breeland for tax and census purposes. As for our part, they ask that we take them seriously. I had to keep a straight face, diplomacy is still new to me.
Any crime reported to the Watch is taken seriously but can only be investigated when people are willing to speak with us. Some are harder nuts to crack. Adalbart has been under attack for his course handling of the foreigners but after months of disrespect and slander, I do not blame the man. He will have to keep his temper reined in though, I find it strange I would be the one giving that advice to another.
I wish Rhyva was here, she was always level headed and thoughtful, I could use her advice but I am now in her shoes. For someone with such small feet they are big to fill. I will work to make the Watch stronger, to keep the people's trust, both Breeish and foreign. Without that trust, we will struggle to ever come to grips with the crimes that are on the rise.
Perhaps my return was well timed after all, I have much work to do and it keeps my mind off of things I would rather not dwell on. Sleep should come easily, I've been up much of the night recording the reports to file in the morning.