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Section LXXII-Blindfolded

We cross the Silverlode on a length of Elven rope with a length either side, shoulder high and half high, give or take a bit, to hang onto if we choose. Never have I seen the like of it. Pippin managed it quite well, while Merry almost lost his footing. For myself, Iím grateful to be on land again, though not nearly so much as Sam. I gaze about me and feel as if I step into some other time, long past.

I turn my attention from the forest about me as Haldir welcomes us to the Naith of Lůrien. He calls us friends and explains neither stranger nor spy is permitted.

It seems Gimli is to be blindfold because he is a Dwarf. The decision does not sit well with him, and though he may not walk freely he certainly expresses himself freely. I cannot of myself blame him for chafing at being treated as a spy or servant of the enemy.

Though Haldir assures him it is simply the law of their land, this appeases Gimli not in the least. I cannot help but wonder. Lord Elrond himself approved of Gimliís place in the Fellowship. Did the Master of Rivendell not send word to this place after all, warning them of our coming and mayhap our purpose, at least to some extent, with the plea to aid us as possible? I am certain Gandalf told me a messenger was sent. Did they fail to get through the imperiled land between there and here? My heart tightens in my chest; was Gandalf the messenger?

Gimli has proven his loyalty and worth time and again. Does his honour and devotion count for nothing? Are the times so perilous suspicion holds sway even among those who fight the common foe? What hope is there if we cannot trust each other?

Gimli asserts he will simply return to his own people if he is to be treated thus, but Haldir assures him this is impossible. There is only one choice; our friend cannot go back and may only move forward blindfolded.

I cannot help but feel he is a prisoner of sorts. If he is, then as his companions, we are as well, though it be not so obvious, for we still share the same path.

Aragorn decrees if Gimli must go blindfolded, then must we all. Though I feel the loss of the beauty about me, Legolas laments it deeply. He is come home to a place of dreams now within his grasp to savor and enjoy, only for it to be snatched away by the fate of traveling in our company.

The disagreement pulls at me. I fear this current trial rather than bonding the Fellowship closer together will create a greater rift. Gimli and Legolas, though admittedly not entirely in agreement, created a truce of sorts, until now.

I cannot help but wonder if it might be better to go on alone, and yet, my knowledge of where I am going is little or nothing. Another part of me whispers the Fellowship must stay together or all will be lost.

I wonder at this turn of events. If our friends the Elves treat us thus, how will our enemy, Mordor, treat us?

Step by step by step, we are lead closer. To where? I do not know. It is a relief to be free of the orcs, and yet are we truly safe? I do not know. So much I do not know.

With my eyes bound, my other senses sharpen. I hear the rustle of the leaves, the singing of birds in the trees, and the river to my right. I also know where every member of the Fellowship walks, before and behind me, by the occasional stray branch brushing past. If it is low, it is heard sweeping each member. If it is high, it swishes past only Aragorn, Boromir, and Legolas. A few are heard to whisper against only one member, Boromir, as the shield slung on his back extends beyond his sides. As I walk in darkness, the sun touching my face from time to time, the weariness eases unexpectedly.

I perceive the change from day, to dusk, to night. Still, we may not unbind our eyes, so we sleep on the ground tonight.