Egfor was out hunting boars and bears, and my body and quite frankly my spirit was not up to hauling water to the fields. So instead, I took the gold Nim provided me and went to the market. I bought out all the flour and then waited for the women to come in for their daily shopping.
As the women arrived, I dropped a bag of flour into their baskets. Most of them tried to give me some coin, but I refused. It was midday when the first swindle approached me, hand on his hilt.
“Begone; you are ruining our business.”
I looked at him and stood up. Most Bree-landers know I am not violent, but this was a foreigner, and he backed off. I hoped he would start something I would have claimed his goods as payment.
When I exhausted the flour, I went out to the farms that had lost crops with wheat flour I bought yesterday and salted boar meat that Egfor’s hunting had produced. I gave it to the farmers, who tried to pay, but I once again refused. “We need to help each other,” I told them.
A few were talking about leaving for good, going to the Shire or somewhere else. I asked them to consider staying. I hope they do.
I sent a trading caravan to Thorin’s gate with Egfor’s excess fur to see if we could get better prices there. After that, they will go on to Celondim to try and buy some lembas. If nothing else, the folk there will learn of our plight and might send fresh food. We can only help.
We were at the Pony this evening and had several pleasant surprises. The first was Kim has returned from the north. So Egfor will have a good friend back with him. I was glad to see her too.
Then there was the watcher. I don’t wish to get her in trouble, so I am not writing her name here; oh the hell with it, no one but Egfor can even hope to look at my journal. Maerylin is her name, and I must admit she never struck me as the type to do this. She brought a bunch of food to the Inn to help us with our cause of feeding the people of Bree. Without permission from the Mayor. Who most likely wouldn’t permit the food to go anywhere but his table.