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Old 05-03-2006, 11:10 PM   #294
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"Have you ever sculpted a Hobbit?"

NŠin shook his head.

"Until just this moment, Master Boffin, I had never seen a Hobbit, though I remember the stir when Master Bilbo Baggins visited back in the winter of 3002. Never met him, though."

"So Mad Baggins went on another mad adventure," Falco nodded, as if approving. "And at his age! What a hobbit." He reached down to his pipeweed pouch, pulled it out, opened it, and held it out to NŠin.

"Longbottom Leaf," said the Hobbit. "Best variety there is. I'm told most Dwarves are fair smokers. Have a pipeful!"

NŠin reached down to his weighty pack, threw open the main flap, and dug around. Finally, he removed a very well-wrapped and padded pipe.

"Haven't had any use for it since the Gladden Fields," he said, almost apologetically. He filled the pipe with the pipeweed, lit it, and began puffing contentedly.

"So," Kara said, after a few moments of Falco and NŠin smoking had become monotonous. "Are you suggesting, Falco, that NŠin should sculpt a statue of you?"

"I don't see why not," said Falco. "This Mead Hall can use a few more decorations, as far as I am concerned. And what a more fitting way to celebrate the friendship of the Shire and the Mark than a statue of a Hobbit in the Mark's new Mead Hall. And since I'm the only Hobbit available..."

Falco let his words trail off, his meaning clear. Kara looked him in bemusement.

"Where would we put the statue, Falco?" she asked. "Statues are all very well in courtyards, town squares and the like, but they look rather out of place in most parts of an inn- or a mead hall."

"That's up the Eodwine," said Falco, nonchalantly.

NŠin stroked his beard in contemplation, watching Falco move. Yes, he could make a good statue of the Hobbit, maybe even a great statue. The Hobbit had the good, artistic lines of Man, though smaller, and given as he seemed to be to a certain amount of gesticulation, striking a heroic pose would not only look good in stone, but would be somewhat in character.

"It'd have to be lifesize, of course," Kara was saying, NŠin noticed when he came out of his reverie. "Anything smaller would be easily lost."

"Double size," said NŠin tersely, pipe in hand as he spoke.

"That would make me... how tall?" Falco did some mental puzzling.

"Seven feet tall," said Kara, "or thereabouts. A veritable Nķmenorean."

In his mind's eye, NŠin could picture the statue of Falco, one hand raised in welcome, the other holding a pipe by the bowl, clearly just lowered from his mouth. The Hobbit would have to have his face turned upwards ever so slightly, since he almost always had to look up to view the Men around him. It would be nicely symbolic as well, as a sort of a sign of looking up at the Heavens, as though entreating Mahal to smile on the people below.

NŠin's mind wandered back to the conversation upon noticing that Kara and Falco were both staring at him. NŠin realized that he must have looked rather distant.

"Sorry," he rumbled. "I got... er, distracted thinking about the statue."

"So it's a go, then?" said Falco, pleased. "Excellent! When can we start?"

"As soon as the Lord Eodwine returns and grants me a place to stay," replied NŠin. "And, speaking of places, I'm going to need somewhere to use as a studio..."
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