It turns out Ceswyn isn’t just cracked in the head when you’re around. Maybe it’s me!
I shouldn’t make fun. She’s so sad. I didn’t get all of it when she was crying – she cried! It was awful! But an old lover of Tegil’s showed up in Bree, of all places. All the way from Gondor! I don’t know why. Mr. Tegil seems decent and all, but that’s a long way to ride for someone you’re not even stepping out with anymore.
I guess she’s pretty and noble and all those sorts of things that Ceswyn gets twisted up about, so Ceswyn decided right there and then that Mr. Tegil wanted his old girl and not her anymore. Because deciding a man’s mind for him always works out for the best? Poor lady. She’s wrapped up so tightly in all her worries that words don’t even get through.
I think they talked, but when you get back, don’t shuffle the dishes around anymore. It’s like poking a cat with a stick.
I miss you I miss you I miss you! Are you solving puzzles yet? Righting wrongs? They’re so lucky to have you there. I bet you’re the best of the bunch. I miss you kissing me. I dreamed about it!
Uncle Laechen and I are arrived in Bree-land without incident. As I write it, I find “without incident” far too small a phrase for such a journey of transformation. Why did I never step outside the stones of the City before? The world is much larger than it seems from our terrace, Mother. So very wide and grand. No harm fell to us, due to valiant sailors and guides, and we are settled in fine lodgings for a long visit.
I have seen Dinendir. Please assure his family that he continues to be well. His quarters, while snug, befit his station and seem to radiate his very essence: dark woods and warm fires and piles and piles of books. He takes on scholarly tasks with his usual aplomb. I think it must be a very fine thing, to have so many materials available here that our own Hall of Records does not house.
As for the maddened path that brought me here: Mother, steel yourself. My hopes end in disappointment. I hope you did not share them with Dinendir’s mother. If you did, make my worries sound light when you speak to her. I am a willful child. Say that. Please do not fret. Not all roads are straight and simple ones, nor do they lead always to their expected destinations. I will be well. I am already in better spirits than when the matter was decided.
I will not give you a reason, except to say this: you were right. Mark the day well, Mother; I know I do not say that often. But you were right. Houses are not built on foundations made of dreams. I understand now how a man might love Honor or Duty or another abstract desire. Love is just as intangible, especially when aimed toward that which never really existed.
Laechen and I have decided to remain here for a time, at least a season. An immediate return to the City would cause far too much talk in our circle. Surely you understand. If any of your intimates ask how I fare, answer this way: that I learn much and travel in glorious style. After all, both these things are true.
I love you and remain your faithful,