Excuse me if my writing is not very clear: my hand trembles a bit while I write this. Things have happened recently, that occupy my thoughts during the day and my dreams during the night. Let me write it down from the beginning... My dear friend Spriggy had swapped houses with Master Ponso and kindly invited me over to come and see her new and newly decorated home. It is a fantastic burrow in Songburrow and I could see how very pleased she was. But something burdened her too, something was on her mind and apparently she had been waiting for an opportunity to tell me for quite some time. As we sat down for tea with her other guests, Yllisa and Loimos, she came to sit next to me and announced she had something to tell me. The expression on her face made me curious, but also worrying a bit. Why all the sudden solemness and grave talking? I listened intently to what my friend had to say. “Rubellita, I met a hobbit in the Waterworks in Moria.” Well, it’s mostly dwarves there, so another hobbit would stand out from the rest. This particular hobbit, a lass, had been masked and had a hoarse voice as if she had a cold. With all the humidity in the Waterworks, that was no surprise, Spriggy and her companion thought. Ah, I forgot to mention that Miss Fleur was with Spriggy at that time. They politely introduced themselves, but the mysterious, masked hobbit did not give a name and, as if startled by something, suddenly disappeared again. “One thing I could not forget about this meeting”, said Spriggy, “her eyes!” Above the mask, that was all they could see of the hobbit’s face. “Her eyes reminded me of yours. They were like your eyes.” I was dumbfounded and confused. What could this mean? Was it Yllisa who suggested it, or did the thought of Yola come to my mind first. Loimos offered me a glass of water as he saw I was utterly confused. Could it really have been Yola who they had met? But Yola was dead! It was official, it was in that huge file of the Free People’s Army. I took a dishcloth and covered my face, except the eyes, to see Spriggy’s reaction. She just nodded and repeated “She had your eyes”. Yllisa jumped up and suggested, almost demanded, we’d form a search party and head out to the Waterworks. “We must find this hobbit and see if it is perhaps Yola!” It took some time to prepare, but that evening already, Spriggy and I stood ready to go on this long trip to the Waterworks. Fleur was there as well, which was good, as she had also met the mysterious hobbit. You may notice, I cannot say: met Yola, although in the last weeks my hope has gone from very small to bigger and bigger. But at the same time, I warn myself: the bigger the hope gets, the bigger the disappointment will be when in the end it is someone else behind that mask. Then in came Nimelia, our brave Shirriff, inquiring if anyone fancied an adventure. Well, she came at the right time to the right hobbits and the four of us left for Moria. Arriving at that dreary place, the Waterworks, we started questioning the dwarves. But none remembered any particular hobbit. Maybe it is true, that all hobbits look alike to dwarves, same as they do to us? I think it may have been Fleur who had the luminous idea that this hobbit would have had to eat and drink, so we interrogated the provisioner dwarf, by the name of Onisi. “Have you seen a masked hobbit looking like this?” And I put the dishcloth, that I had brought along in my still confused state of mind, over my face, simulating the mask. “O, indeed I have!” he replied and we nearly hugged him, but stopped ourselves just in time. He told us the masked one had gone in eastern direction. So next we travelled through the halls of Moria, always heading east. We marveled at the dwarven architecture and wondered how on Middle-Earth they had managed to sculpt these huge halls with their high ceilings out of the mountains. Our trip brought us to the First Hall, as far east as one can go without leaving Moria. Here we talked to the Stable Master and again it was confirmed that we were on the right track: the masked hobbit had passed this point and into Lothlorien! This dwarf could even add, that she had been asking directions for Caras Galadhon. As fast as our ponies would carry us, we set out to travel to Caras Galadhon. My companions looked at me and asked whether I had been there before, which I hadn’t. Well, there is a first time for everything, isn’t it? But when we had arrived at the entrance of the Elf city, their worries about me proved to be justified. I was not allowed in, as the guards at the gate did not know me. I was upset. I had come all the way from the Shire to this place, arrived at the threshold of our destination with the possibility of perhaps meeting Yola and these elfs bluntly refused access to their city! Nimelia knew the answer: “You’ll have to gain their favour and build up a good reputation here. And thus become their friend.” In the week after our trip to Lothlorien, I worked hard and did even the most demeaning tasks like collecting and burning orc filth. Slowly, but surely, I got a bit better jobs to do, but by no exception all meant to harass and thwart the orcs. And now I am ready to enter Caras Galadhon! But no, I do not want to do this alone! I will ask my friends to accompany me again. Not just the three that went there with me the first time, no, I ask all my friends, both in the Order and out to come with me. This adventure can end in one of many ways: we may find the hobbit who has eyes like mine. We may again be too late and not find her there anymore. If we do find her, and she lowers the mask.. it may not even be Yola. I know that you will support me, either coming with me on this adventure or staying behind, hoping for the best outcome. Afterwards, I’ll be either sad or extremely happy. Both are emotions that benefit from sharing with friends. This next Saturday evening, adventure night by definition, I hope to gather a group who can enter Caras Galadhon with me. And we’ll take it from there, see what happens. Wish me luck, hobbits. I feel I am going to need it!