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Old 04-22-2008, 06:20 AM   #72
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.
The noon passed towards afternoon and the day was still sunny and pleasant. The road between Stonebow Bridge and Whitfurrows in the west was well-kept and it was used by many people, hobbit travelers and cartmen. It was true however that most of the travelers passing through it at this time of day were loners or only small groups of tradesmen; or families, of four or five members at most, who went to or returned from visiting their relatives living in other parts of the Shire. A group of seven hobbits, a pony and a dog truly called for attention, if only because any potential traveler had to move aside when the gang of cheerful youth, spread across the entire width of the Road, appeared in front of him. The lasses were chatting happily, the more seriously looking male hobbits and Mosy with Hugo followed, but all were immersed in their own thoughts and the opposite-goers had to take care themselves how to avoid such a cavalcade.

As the afternoon was passing, the amount of people the company met was slowly diminishing. Whoever was on the road, was already close to returning home, so now the folks encountered were mostly the inhabitants of Whitfurrows going back from labouring in the fields or from a trip. Around the fifth hour, the road seemed all empty. The travelers kept walking on, as the village of Whitfurrows had not to be far away, however the sun had still some distance left to the horizon. It was now shining right into their faces. When Mosy for a moment turned his head to the right, the burning image of Sun remained still in his eyes. This way he could not see a young male hobbit walking out of a grove of trees across the field. When Mosy turned back, the hobbit was already treading towards the road in a steady pace, until his feet stepped on the firm ground. There he stopped, tightened his backpack and looked around. The road was quiet and deserted, except for the large group of travelers ahead. Seemingly pleased by the fact, the incomer turned westwards and went on in the footsteps of the company.

It went like this for a while, however soon it became apparent that the lone traveler is faster than the group. It was not that surprising, however: he was a young hobbit, probably still in his tweens; rather stumpy, but quite muscular; not with very long legs, but walking fast; and his mud-stained hairy feet and brown breeches could tell a careful observer that this person has long journey - or perhaps journeys - behind himself. Even his shiny yellow shirt was a little creased and a tiny twig in his brown wavy hair hinted where the tweenager had been sleeping lately. Indeed, the experienced tramp started to soon catch on the company. When he came closer, the laughter and words and bits of dialogue between the travelers reached his ears.

If anyone had turned back at the moment, he would have seen the sudden change in expression of lone hobbit's face. For a little while, he stopped, his eyes observing closely the members of the company, one by one. His sight paused on the lasses, but in the next moment, Gaffer Hugo turned back to look where Snatch had gone and noticed the lone traveler in the complany's back. The tramp's rather thoughtful expression turned into alarmed one and he resumed his course, as if nothing had happened. Gaffer Hugo turned his head back, because Snatch had just crawled out of the field on the other side. But the young lone hobbit moved now steadily on in his course, following the company westwards, keeping constant distance from them.

The afternoon was getting late when the company reached Whitfurrows, an old settlement on the crossing of roads from the Bridge, Frogmorton to the West and Budgeford to the North. At the first houses, the six hobbits and the pony stopped (not Snatch, who was busy chasing a scared hen which dared to go too far from her home - and now was paying for it). They exchanged a few words on how to continue, and a rhetorical question was raised whether to stop here for today or keep going until sunset. There was not much to discuss: on such a nice day, everyone felt like keep walking.

However, this unexpected stop caused the pursuer at their heels to catch up with the group. He did not stop, and had no reason to stop, after all. He passed through their center.

"Good afternoon," Gaffer Hugo greeted him cheerfully from the height of his seat, and others followed.

"..'noon..." the lone traveler stammered, and turned his face away from the companions, so that they didn't see him blushing all over. He also sped up and entered Whitfurrows with the speed of a post runner. He did not dare to turn back and went on steadily, following the road in its course, westwards. Swiftly, he passed the crossroads and at the last houses of Whitfurrows, he started to slow down. Then he took a peek over his shoulder.

The company had resumed its movement meanwhile. They already reached the crossroad, and turned - northwards. The young hobbit gnashed his teeth. For a brief moment, he stood, following the moving group by sight, fists clenched, as if some battle was going on inside him. Then with a sudden move, he turned, and with his face red as lobster he returned to the crossroad and turned towards the North - where, some hundred yards in front of him, the large group was moving.

Last edited by Legate of Amon Lanc; 04-23-2008 at 11:00 AM.
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