It was too late. In fact it had been too late from the moment on when he had misunderstood the word “sewers”. And now, especially, there standing beside some hole in the ground like an entry to a maze. It was too late. Of course, Tibodom could tell that he had been wrong, that he had misunderstood and that by no way he would climb down that ladder. In fact, it crossed his mind to do so. He was a hobbit, after all and in the Shire it would have been considered as wisdom to avoid an adventure if there were several big folks who could do it and if there was neither a meal nor an ale at the end of it.
So, Tibodom prepared to step forward to look at the captain, Malvoisin, if he recalled the name right. He was about to say that he had been wrong and that he had misunderstood and then go back to the guard’s house, have a second breakfast and head back for Minas Tirith. In his mind, it was all made up. He felt no urge to be a hero, no shame of being ridiculous, no pride of taking part in an adventure which could save a young man who had by nothing deserved to be lost under the city. But then, Tibodom did not really know who was lost and why and where. He only realised that this was not to be a walk in the brewers. And that was enough of a reason for him to step back.
And that’s what he did, stupid hobbit. Please, don’t get offended. I am not insulting the little hairy sweetheart, I am just judging him for what he is and honestly, he was stupid. I hope, dear reader, that there will be moments in this story, I sincerely hope so, when I can rejoice in pride of this hobbit, of this jewel among the creatures of Middle-Earth for his generosity and and his courage, his cooking or just his innocence. But for the moment, nothing helps. Tibo is stupid. He has come to the expedition because of stupidity – don’t tell me that I am too severe with that tiny idiot. And we will al l see now, right now, that he will stay out of stupidity. Shere and simple sillyness.
However, let’s come back to Pelargir.
Beside a hole in the ground stood a hobbit. He was about to talk. And then. But you already know what happened in fact. Someone far more capable than this silly little hobbit has told it. There was someone running in the street, leading to the said hole. Of course, neither the hobbit nor any other of the companions knew what she was running from. Or rather whom. And it was not really in Tibodom’s habit to pay attention to other people’s sorrows except if they concerned cooking recepies. But this too should change.
The hobbit opened his mouth, The lady ran. Towards the hole, towards the ladder leading down, towards the hobbit who stood there stupidly with an open mouth. And in fact, she ran right into the hobbit. Who fell – he was neither tall nor heavy. But he was stupid. He had been standing right beside the hole. So, once he fell, he fell deep, Not too deep, but rather deep. At least for a hobbit, who usually does not use holes in the ground to fall. At least until he stretched out his hand to grab for the ladder and hold himself onto something. At least, he did not fall on Culanir or Pontious or whomever was already in the sewers.
The lady who had overthrown him – not on purpose of course, and if she was fully aware of it was another question, was already climbing down the ladder, quickly with elegance unlike the stupid (I will admit repeating myself here) hobbit. When she reached him, she stretched out her hand, her helping hand in fact, smiled, maybe, it could not be seen in the dark and asked in a gentle voice: “Can I help you?”. Tibo nodded, happy for the help, relieved to have someone around who would bring him down safely. And that’s what happened.
So, a little while later, an astonished hobbit stood at the ground of this entry to the Sewers, even if still not exactly knowing why. His mouth was open again, but this time to catch his breath and not to utter any stupidity. He looked at the lady in astonishement, It was not really conceivable for his hobbit mind why a lady would come here and explore the sewers. But then, the Big Folk was weird.
There were soldiers after all, Culanir and a fat man whom he did not know as far he could recall (there had been moments during his stay which Tibo might not or not want to remember, but after all he is a grown up hobbit, well almost.)
And Tibo was quite confused. Since the morning when had woken up in Pelargir, the walk through the city, the discover of what the brewers really were, the fall and the surprise of the company – it was a lot for a small hobbit.
And now, down here in the sewers, it was dark and rather cold. Nothing to do with the nice and airy smials of the Shire. It was not a good place for a hobbit – or for anyone preferring fresh to foul hair, warm to cold food and cracking meet to glueing insects. There was a ladder. Tibo could open his mouth and ask to climb up again. He would be allowed to do so. Even without any dishonor. But although he opened (and closed) his mouth several times, he did not ask for being brought back. He had been sure to do so a few minutes before. But no more.
Why the change may you, dear reader, legitimitatly ask. Well, he had come down with a lady. Tall, slender, much more real and earthy than the elves. It would have been easy to tell the captain that he was afraid and wanted to go home. It was much harder to tell so in front of a lady.
Yet, he was afraid. And had he seen a honorable way to get out of this schlammassel, he would have taken it. But in his limited hobbit mind, all he could think of was to ask. “Culanir, I think, this is you, my friend. I am confused as to who is here with us and where and why we are going.” Somewhere he still had hope that he would just be congratulated for his courage and sent up. But already, he could hear the voice of the Fat Man.”Or his size can be so useful for us in some of those sewers.” Bravely, Tibo tried to smile, waiting for more explanations – and persons if possible. But down in his heart (and of course down in the sewers) he knew that he was trapped.