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Old 01-10-2004, 07:33 PM   #39
Hilde Bracegirdle
Relic of Wandering Days
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: You'll See Perpetual Change.
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Hilde Bracegirdle has just left Hobbiton.


From a distance it seemed as if Narayad were gesturing at the ground beneath a small arrangement of rather worn looking tree trunks, propped one against another. But in truth he was addressing Surinen, who was in a pit deep below the surface digging in the hard ground. Pulling a rope strung over the tripod produced an oft-mended pan laden with dirt, which Narayad promptly threw on a large pile of similar stuff, and lowered down the hole again. Nearby a similar pit was to be seen, the remains of the old well found to have collapsed a few days before.

“Watch your head,” Narayad said as he let the rope slide easily through his hands. “Any sign yet?”

“No,” came the thin reply. “Tell me Narayad, if I should never come out of here alive, would you take care of my father?”

“You are not going to die while I am around,” Narayad shouted back. “And don’t worry, if you weren’t around the whole clan would care for Dinsûl or else starve. Aren’t you feeling well then?”

The scraping sound left off for a moment replaced by wheezy laughter that ended in a fit of coughing.

“Surinen, are you all right?” the man asked, stooping over the edge of the pit. “Surinen?”

“Yes, I’m alright, and more comfortable than you no doubt. In fact so pleasant it is and my feet so cool that I think I should curl up and stay down here forever. Please give my father my apologies.” He broke off again into another crackling peel. “You know where to find me. Tell him I have become a poisonous serpent coiled inside this well, one that you dared not remove, but that I promised not to bite if he would visit me here.”

“Ah! Then we are near water, aren’t we?” the other outrider said, quickly tying the end of the rope. “Here climb back up, and let me take a turn as the earth will become heavier and your wit even weaker.”

After a moment the dusty head of the delver appeared above ground as Surinen climbed the rope to its top. Narayad grabbed his hand pulling it sharply to help him gain the side of the pit. Once more standing in the light of day Surinen shook the dust from his hair and squinted as he picked up his shawl and placed it on his head so that it might shade his eyes.

“And I shall be sure to bring comfort to your wife in her sorrow should you decide to stay here and not return to her,” he said winking at Narayad as he took the rope and prepared to descend. “For I hear it is bad luck for a married man to dig a well! And even worse for one with such a beautiful wife!” He joked knowing that Narayad, only recently wed, had a passion for excavating that his new wife did not share.

“You truly are practicing to become a viper then, aren’t you? But if you have such venomous ideas, I shall crush your head now with this beam so as not to worry about them. Beware what you say to me!”

“No friend, I am no snake, but your wife would not have you put your self at risk and bound me to speak with you about it…and you of all people know I do not mind the digging.”

“Then you are free of your obligation for you have broached the subject, and the result is not in your hands but mine. I will speak with her on our return.”

“That is all I ask.”

“Then it will be done, rest assured, and quickly also if you let me be about my business! I think we should be able to return tomorrow or the next, if the water seeps in quickly.”

“And if I do not decide to linger in the well waiting for frogs to arrive!”
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