Haldir of L'Oreal - Chapter 6
Back at the gates of Radio Mallorn, Garbazh had had a hard time controlling his troops. After Haldir and Orophin left, Garbazh had outlined to his troops his plans for infiltrating Radio Mallorn.
He then began to distribute grey elven cloaks among them. They stared at him blankly. "What are these for," asked Trazhcan at last. Garbazh scowled at him. "We're going to infiltrate Radio Mallorn disguised as elves and kidnap Haldir," he said. "Weren't you listening?" The Orcs, none of whom had been listening earlier, understood now what they were expected to do. And they were horrified.
"Join the army, they said," said Dustbinh. "They'll make an Orc of you, they said." He snorted loudly.
"I'm willing to join in any sort of fight," said Sewazhe, "but I refuse to dress up as one of those leaf-eared bastards and go forth into Radio Mallorn as a thief in the night." He picked up his horn and blew a loud, rude blast on it, in defiance of Garbazh.
"He's right," agreed Ashnazg, "And the elf-women look revolting, too. Did you see the one called Mary Sue just now," he asked, thinking of Haldir in his braids. An Orc called Szlash looked at Ashnazg in surprise. "She didn't look all that bad," he said.
"Look," said Garbazh, "if we all rush in together, they'll all run out together and we'll never be able to locate Haldir. We've got to ask around and find out who he is... we don't even know what he looks like." "I know," said Trazhcan, unexpectedly. Garbazh looked at him eagerly. "You do?" Trazhcan nodded. "He'll be a long-haired, leaf-eared vacuous-faced fool, reeking of aftershave. Aren't they all!" "Yeah," chorused the Orcs.
"Hey, listen," pleaded Garbazh, "all I want you to do is to sort of cover yourselves up in their lousy cloaks and go inside. That's all."
After a lot of argument, they reluctantly agreed to put on their disguises. They began to enter Radio Mallorn's gates in twos and threes. Fortunately for them, the guard posted at the gates had fallen asleep and was snoring melodiously, high up in a nearby Mallorn.
"Funny," said Trazhcan, "I thought elves didn't sleep." "He must be half-elven," said Garbazh, with a knowledgeable air. "Look at his hairy feet sticking out of that tree over there. He must be half-elven and half-hobbit." The guard was in fact Mary Sue's brother, Marty Sam.
Marty Sam was a poet. Not your common garden Haldir variety of poet, but a real poet. Behind his warm brown hobbit eyes, there lurked a fiery, creative elvish mind, a secret that he revealed only to a few close friends. To the rest, he spoke only of food, sleep and pipeweed as he recognised the fact that most people would expect one who looked like a hobbit to think and talk like a hobbit.
But alone on his high flet at night, when the darkness concealed his hobbit form, Marty Sam would look up at the stars. And he would sing. And when he sang in a clear elvish voice a hymn to Elbereth, elves who passed by would stop to listen, imagining the singer to be a tall elf lord who had written those words of great beauty, and set them to an enchanting melody. They would never guess that the singer was in fact a plump little half-hobbit with bushy brown hair and a shy, friendly smile. A hobbit with a secret.
But the possessors of the greatest creative minds are often hopelessly inept at their everyday jobs. Marty Sam was a great poet, but a very ineffectual guard. Thus it was that twenty eight Orcs coolly strolled into Radio Mallorn as if they owned the place, while Marty Sam snored peacefully in the gently rocking boughs of a golden Mallorn.
It was getting on to evening now and lanterns were being lit in the trees. Garbazh and his crew were impressed, despite themselves. "This place is beautiful," said Szlash to Ashnazg, who frowned disapprovingly at him. "What's the matter," said Szlash, "I can appreciate beauty even if I'm an Orc..."
Elsewhere, Garbazh and Trazhcan were staring admiringly at a pair of tall, glittering speakers, decorated with mithril and gold filigree work. "I wonder what these are for," said Trazhcan. As if in answer, the giant speakers boomed into life, as an unknown musician played a power chord on an electric harp. The two Orcs jumped in fright, bumped into each other and landed in a confused heap on the ground.
"Mae Govannen," a cheerful voice boomed from the speakers. "This is Baldir of L'Oreal, broadcasting from the studios of Radio Mallorn." The voice was that of an elderly elf, whose name was Baldir. Baldir was affectionately known to his friends as "Baldy," on account of his coiffure, or rather his lack of it. Baldir drew a deep breath and then bawled into his microphone, "WELCOME TO THE HALL OF FIRE!"
Garbazh looked excitedly at Trazhcan. "Did you hear that? Did you hear what he said? That's Haldir!" Trazhcan, who had just received the full impact of Garbazh's solid frame in the stomach, made no reply except for a slight wheeze.
Baldir's voice continued to boom excitedly at them from the speakers. "Tonight, we're proud to present to you the hot new act, BILBO AND THE DUNADAN, who will now perform their new hit single from the studios of Radio Mallorn..."
"Did you hear that," asked Garbazh, "I think they're going to perform live!"
"Hmpff," said Trazhcan.
"...LIVE," shouted Baldir's voice from the glittering speakers.
Garbazh helped Trazhcan to his feet, and Trazhcan helplessly crumpled back down onto the ground. "Try to get up, Trazhcan," said Garbazh urgently, but kindly. "We've got to get to the Hall of Fire and kidnap the announcer." "Mmphff," said Trazhcan, and promptly fainted. Garbazh frustratedly ran a hand through his sweaty hair and then wondered why his fingers had suddenly turned purple. Looking around, he spotted a familiar form in the distance.
"Hola! Sewazhe," he called. Sewazhe waved back, blew a friendly blast on his horn and rushed to Garbazh's side. "Listen," said Garbazh, "Trazhcan's fainted. Could you keep an eye on him while I go after Haldir?" "Sure, no problem," said Sewazhe. "And I think I can revive him." He raised his horn to his lips again, but Garbazh hurriedly left before he could wind it.
When he arrived at the Hall of Fire, Garbazh found that Ashnazg and Szlash were there too. He started to speak to them, but his voice was drowned in a burst of applause that welcomed the performers onto the stage. The performers were a study in contrasts. One was a short, fat well-dressed hobbit and the other was a tall, thin man wearing a green cloak that had seen better days. As the studio audience roared excitedly, they began to perform their latest hit single, "Earendil."
Bilbo, the short, fat hobbit, began to sing...
"Earendil was an elven fellow
With a head of hair so yellow.
He wore a green stone on his chest
When he wanted to look his best...take it away, Dunadan!"
"Earendil! Earendil," shrieked the tall figure,
"On his brow a Silmaril!"
Bilbo grabbed the mike back and continued...
"Off he went with a splish splash splosh,
The angry waves his ship did wash.
He sailed through moonlit silvery nights,
And sailed through daytime's dancing lights... go, Duney, go!"
"Earendil! Earendil," yowled Aragorn, emotionally brandishing his broken sword,
"I salute you with Narsil!"
Bilbo waved to a group of fans, and continued...
"When at last he reached Aman
And told the Valar why he'd come,
A fancy ship they made for him
And placed him in the night sky dim... take it, Aragorn!"
"Earendil! Earendil," howled Aragorn hysterically,
"In the night sky we see you still!"
An excited member of the studio audience jumped onto the stage. "Again," he yelled, "I've just gotta hear it again!" "Sorry, Lindir," said Bilbo. "My throat is like sandpaper right now. Some other time, perhaps..."
"He's called Haldir," said Szlash excitedly. He and Garbazh rushed forward to where Lindir stood rather disappointedly in the wings. "Hello, er...it's Haldir, right?" "No, I'm Lindir," said the elf. Are you looking for Haldir?" "Er...yes," said Garbazh. "I saw him outside the gates as I came in," said Lindir, helpfully. "He was sitting under a tree, writing a poem." Garbazh shook Lindir's hand earnestly. "Thank you," he said, and rushed with Ashnazg and Szlash back to the gates.
Right outside the gates, they found Marty Sam sitting under a tree, writing a poem.