Elenya couldn’t wait to reach the Inn of the Prancing Pony. For there, they would finally meet Strider.
They reached the gate of Bree. It was raining and cold. It was also dark. Elenya felt like passing out. She had never traveled so far and she had just been through the tramatic experience in the Barrow Wights cave. Remember that she was an American girl that had only read about these stories not witnessed them. But she had to remain strong if she wished to accompany the Fellowship once they reached Rivendell.
” What do you want?” the gatekeeper asked when they had knocked.
” We’re heading for the Prancing Pony,” Frodo answered.
The gatekeeper opened the gate and was astonished. ” Hobbits, four hobbits and an elf! No less! What business brings you here?”
” We wish to stay at the Inn,” Elenya spoke up.
” Our business is our own,” Frodo said.
” Alright sir, I meant no offence. My job to ask questions after nightfall,” he said opening the gate. ” There’s been talk of strange folk abroad. Can’t be too careful in these parts.”
The elf knew the hobbits must feel completely strange and small in a strange world as they entered Bree. People there were big as they would say. They were impolite. A stranger knocked into the elf and knocked her to the muddy ground. He moved on not hindered by it. She was cloaked and hooded and he did not know she to be an elf. Frodo helped her to her feet.
” Thank you Frodo. But I am fine,” she said after she had taken his hand.
” There,” Frodo pointed seeing the sign for the Prancing Pony.
They entered the door to the Inn. Elenya suddenly felt uncomfortable. The hobbits Pippin and Merry were excited as they heard the sounds of drunken men and the outpourings of ale. The elf did not remove her cloak. Frodo walked to the counter where Elenya could see Barliman Butterbur.
” Excuse me?” Frodo said trying to see if anyone was at the counter.
” Good evening little masters,” Barliman knelt down the counter. ” If your seeking accomidations, I’ve got some nice cozy hobbit sized rooms. Is the tall person with you as well?”
” Yes,” Frodo answered.
” Would you care for some ale Mr.?”
” Underhill,” Frodo answered. ” The names Underhill. We’re friends of Gandalf the Gray can you tell him we’ve arrived?”
” Gandalf?” Butterbur scratched his head. ” I do not know any Gandalf. Oh wait! Yes i remember now eldery man big gray beard pointy hat. I haven’t seen him for six months.”
The hobbits leaned toward Frodo and asked about their situation. Frodo ordered some ale and sat down at a table. The elf requested simply tea. She then took the courage to remove her hood. She knew that someone was there to protect her. She just didn’t know which one he was or where he was. But she knew that he wouldn’t allow anything to happen to the hobbits or the elf.
Elenya removed her hood and instantly, the attention of the men were drawn to her. They stared at her beauty. They were as well confused about the apearance of an elf at Bree. There were no other women there but one ugly inn wench who was likely a whore. She wondered if the men would try to take advantage of her. Frodo grasped her trembling hand.
” Everything will be fine,” he said trying to comfort her knowing her thoughts.
Emilie became less nervous when she watched the endless refils Pippin and Merry went back for. She let out a brief laugh as Merry returned with a pint and Pippin went to the counter to get one.
” That man in the corner has been staring at you all night,” Sam pointed to a dark hooded man in the corner.
Elenya smiled knowing who it was. She felt like getting up and walking over to him. But she was suddenly gripped with a sense of fear. Aragorn was to be feared. He was dangerous more dangerous than any person you could find besides the Dark Lord himself she remembered a passage from the Trilogy.
” Me or the elf?” Frodo asked Sam.
” No you. I am certain,” Sam said,
” Don’t worry Sam. Gandalf shall be here soon.”
” I’ll be back,” Elenya said looking at her empty mug of tea.
She stood up and began to walk toward the counter. But before she reached it, a tall man blocked her path. She tried to go around him, but he stopped her. He folded his arms. She began to get nervous but did not show it.
” Let me pass!” she said loudly.
” Tis strange indeed when a beautiful woman enters Bree,” he said.
She flinched as he took a strand of her dark hair in his hand.
” Tis strange when a venemous snake tries to take advantage of an elf,” she said glaring at the big man.
” I am aware of no advantages here,” he said taking her hand. ” Merely a rash request.”
She knew what was happening and refused.
” Your request is denied,” she said bravely trying to get around him.
He took her arm in his strong grip and twisted her around to face him. She let out a brief scream.
” I am not finished with you!” the man said angrily.
Frodo looked toward her and stood up to aid her when another man approached her and said, ” Let the girl go!” he said removing the man’s hand strongly from her arm. It was Strider.
” And what have you to do with it?” the man asked glaring at the hooded stranger.
” You should never attack an Elven woman,” he replied for he knew one himself.
” I think you should clear out weather beaten fool and leave her be!” said the man pulling a knife from its sheath.
Elenya watched as Strider took a long sword from its scabbard. It was not Anduril but it gleamed and pointed at the big man’s chest.
” Return to your seat before I split you into two!” Aragorn threatened.
” There, there. I will do as you say man,” the big man said moving away from Elenya and taking a seat near the fire.
Aragorn sheathed his sword.
” Thank you kindly, Estel,” she dared to say his name.
” No thanks are necessary Elenya,” she seemed surprised.
How could he know her? Emilie knew why. Aragorn had been her favorite character in the book. She had done research on him far than any other. He would certainly know her better than any other of the Fellowship.
” I know your name and your face but I do not believe we have met,” he said to her.
” We have not met yet we know each other well. I look forward to speaking to you again, but now I must return to my friends,” Emilie answered.
” Tell your master Underhill that if I were him, I would stop your friends from talking to much, Drink, fire, and chance meeting are pleasant enough, but well this isn’t the Shire. There are queer folk about. Though I say it as shouldn’t, you may think,” he added with a wry smile seeing Elenya’s glance. ” And there have been even a stranger travellers through Bree lately.” Elenya heard Pippin and Merry uttering the tale of Bilbo’s disappearance at the party. ” Your master had better do something quick!”
Elenya made her way to the table and told Frodo of the message. He jumped up on the table and began to talk. He felt odd but began to sing a ridiculous song Bilbo had been rather fond of. When he was finished, shouts called out for more. He jumped off the tale with a crash and a bump. But the laughter stopped for Frodo had vanished! Elenya thought to herself. The Ring!