Finding a lost treasure
“I want my girls in Shire Rose again, Byco. As well as the lads ofcourse.”
It’s been a long time since I wrote in this here diary and a lot has happened to me since. Let me recall what happened before the above was spoken to me on one of the first real cold days of winter.
Long had I had to wait for an answer to the opening up of my heart to Yule, our chief of Shire Rose. And when it came it gave me mixed feelings to say the least. It came in the form of a letter to me. The letter spoke of sad developments and the need to disband Shire Rose again. Once more I was relieved of my duties and it seemed this time it was not a security measure like last time.
No, the letter read as a message of final goodbye. Was I never to see the one I loved so dearly again? And in the same letter, there it was: her answer. She loved me too, more then she could express. She would always remember me, but we would never meet again.
I sat down and wept where I should rejoice. Finding love and losing it at the same moment, it was so cruel, I thought. At first I wished she’d never had written that she loved me, knowing we would never meet again. But then.. knowing how hard it is for her to show her deepest feelings, which she now did and now confided to me... it felt truly special.
I had a long talk with my dear cousin Peppy who was in a similar situation, being separated from his loved one, Amorey, too. But now, whereas Peppy is a good lad, he is no real fighter. He would not be guardian material, so to speak. He tends to give up a bit too easy to my liking. So we exchanged stories that night and I told him: We can’t just give up, Peregrin, we must fight to get them back, take action, not just let it pass over and forget about it. No, he could never forget Amorey, he said, he loved her and missed her. Well, then go find her, I said! But he really did not know how and was utterly sad because of that. I felt sorry for him, and felt bad I could not help him feel better or even push him in the right direction. I could only hope, that something would happen to make him happy again.
Meanwhile I had my own problem to solve. I was going after her! A love between two hobbits should bring them together, not keep them apart! I started my search, asking around, posting flyers on trees, gates and notice boards. The letter was marked as posted in Bree, so I continued my search there and in Staddle, where she originated from. Many must have read the notices, but only one reply came:
“She is the keeper of Shire Rose’s records. She’ll be there where records are kept. A. Friend.”
I am always the last one to guess any riddles, and this one dumbfounded me too. And who would this friend be? And why “A. Friend”, not “a friend”? I contemplated travelling all the way to Rivendell as I knew the elves keep records and have libraries. Libraries.. a library. There must be more libraries then just in far away Rivendell? As I was in Bree still, when I got the mysterious note, I asked around for a library. And yes, there is a scholar’s library in Bree. But it was well hidden and it took me more then half a day to find it. I did not even take time to change and with my smithing apron on I ran through the streets and alleys of the town, looking for this library.
When I entered there were a few Men there, who barely noticed me, even tried to ignore me. By the fireplace crouched a hobbit with a bad cold and a nasty cough. A lass, by he sound of it, but covered in a cloak. The Men were a bit rude and treated me like dirt. “A hobbit you’re looking for? Try the Shire!” As he laughed at his own remark another one pointed at the small figure by the fire. “There’s another one of your halflings over there!” I raised my voice to them, complaining about the rude behaviour and the use of the demeaning word “halfling”. This caught the attention of the lass who coughed once more and then asked:
“Is that really you, Sir Byco?”
I could not belief my ears! I ran quickly to the fireplace and helped her to her feet. It was indeed Yule, but she was in a sorry state, ill and weak on her feet. But I held her in my arms and felt more happy then I had ever been before. I gave her some food from my pack and she gratefully accepted and ate, after which she told me her sad story.
It was the story of he night Amorey’s and Peppy’s son was born. She felt so guilty that she had not been able to save the laddie’s life. I said “but you did save Amorey’s life.” She just shook her head and whispered “it was not enough, I did not do enough.” I took her in my arms, gently resting her head on my shoulder and she started to cry freely. All emotions of that evening flushed out in a river of tears. I spoke soothing words, tried to let her see that she did not fail, that is was not all her fault and that she had really done all that was in her power. “I know Peppy is deeply sad by the death of young Peregrin, but he is also very grateful that Amorey is still alive. He loves her and misses her.” Yule looked up at me, eyes red and cheeks wet with tears. “Does he really? I know Amorey feels the same for him. But now they are apart and it will never be okay again.”
I took her to the Mess Hall for a proper meal and some rest and recovery. My mind was with my and her cousins, Amorey and Peppy. I felt the need to do something for them, to help them.
“Yule, we must stay together, please. Amorey and Peppy should be together, Shire Rose should be reformed!” It caused a faint smile and she nodded. I will write to my uncle Gerebaldo in Overhill, he’ll know what to do.
We decided to await the answer in the shire and the next day we travelled with the wagon to waymeet again. Yule had indeed kept the records up to date and notified all former members of Shire Rose to be alert and to expect a call from her.
The answer from Overhil came swiftly. It was accompanied by a beautifully carved box, containing the Shire Rose pendant. Yule entrusted me with it’s safekeeping until we would find a better way to protect it from the forces that were after it. What the locket contains we still do not know, just that is is of unspeakable value.
Soon the happy news of the reunion of Amorey and Peppy reached Waymeet and we were very, very happy for them. Yule put a little kiss on the wedding invitation and finally seemed a bit happy at least.
“I want my girls in Shire Rose again, Byco. As well as the lads ofcourse.”
Invitations to the former members were sent, some by letter, others by word of mouth. We went to the Bird and Baby Inn to receive and recruit all scattered members of Shire Rose again. O, and the stories they told! Most of them quite sad and all were so happy to be reunited with us and their Shire Rose Companion.
We looked back pleased ,as we talked it all over. Yule said that she assumed Amorey and Peppy would be very busy preparing the concert and their wedding. I remarked that maybe one day she and I might be as busy as that too. “But I do not play any musical instrument, Byco!” But then it dawned to her what I really meant. “Are you asking me to marry you, Sir Byco Brightburrows?”. I nodded.
“Miss Yule Sweetrose, will you do me the honor of being my bride one day?”. The answer came after a silence but without hesitation: “Yes, Sire, I will be your wife.”
Well, let’s first await the wedding of our cousins, but I am going to pick Peppy’s brain one day see if he has any good ideas and maybe even warnings to avoid pitfalls. I am so happy for those two and I am happy also for Yule and myself.