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Old 09-27-2008, 06:59 AM   #97
Legate of Amon Lanc
A Voice That Gainsayeth
 
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: In that far land beyond the Sea
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Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.
Michael's mind was in such state that he could not even think about what the hobbit had told him. He was afraid, but after being sent to ask Bunny, he just nodded and, feeling the sweat all over himself, he more stumbled than walked towards the door.

Almost outside, finally the words of the hobbit caught up with his confused mind. "I may as well tell you that I know the North Moors as well as any hobbit who hasn't lived there. I'm not certain that we need any help finding our way..." Michael stopped.

I'm not certain that we need any help finding our way...

The thoughts came once again flowing through his head: They don't need any help. They can do well without me. Why should I go and ask that Bunny? What if she just says plain "no"? That would be even more embarassing than everything that already happened... Michael's teeth was rattling. Better not go there, he thought. Better just run away, quietly creep away, these people will forget me and I will never meet them again...

But at that moment another thought came to his mind. Never. That will mean losing the chance to go with them, and after all, this chance is close now... Are you really willing to throw it away? a quiet voice asked inside his head. Now that you have followed them all the way up here? And if you throw away your chance like that, how will you know if they wouldn't, after all, have taken you with them?

And then suddenly, from the knot of Michael's thoughts another one came up.

***

The day was cold and the autumn leaves were falling down, slowly, covering the road from Bywater to Frogmorton in a many-coloured carpet. Mist was climbing out of the fields on both sides of the road, and the silhouette of a round, long-legged hobbit treading the path was at times lost in the haze. The traveler was wrapped in a warm coat, but the feather behind his hat trembled in the chill air.

A young hobbit, also wrapped in a thick, bright yellow cloak, suddenly appeared out of the field at one side of the road and almost ran into the lone traveler. Only at the last moment he noticed somebody standing in front of him, gave out a loud shriek and stumbling, he fell on the ground. An empty basket flew from his hand and rolled away into the mist.

The long-legged hobbit stopped, and reaching his arm, he helped the youngster to get up. As he lifted him, suddenly a glimpse of smile appeared on what could have been seen of his face.
"Mishka! Good to see you, laddie."
The youngster's eyes widened, gazing at the long-legged hobbit. "U - uncle Richard! It's you?"
"No, I am the Mad Baggins coming to haunt you. Of course it is me. How did you end up here?"
Mishka cleared the dust and leaves off the front of his coat and looked over for his basket. "I was - um - going to visit grandpa, to Frogmorton."
"Ah, were you? I will be going there too. Even though I have also some official... hmm... business there."
"A Shiriff business?"
Uncle Richard smiled. "Yes, a Shiriff business," he said, looking directly into young Michael's eyes. "Look, Mishka, I don't know whether you look at me the same way your father does, but I am not ashamed to be a Shiriff. Now when I have finally become one, I am happy of it, because it is something I always wanted to do. I may have decided to back away from that when the family did not approve, but instead I went, and I do not pity it."


***

Michael took a deep breath, and picking all the courage he could find inside him, he stepped through the door. What he saw, however, was something he did not quite expect.
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