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Old 05-02-2011, 09:47 PM   #881
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Tolly drew a long, slow sip of ale and leaned back in his chair, watching the man tuck into his food. He nodded his head approvingly as Reginald took a slow sip of ale and continued on with the beans. Good fellow! he thought to himself. Knows how to make the most of a good brew…

He turned his head at the sound of voices from a nearby table. ‘By the Old Trout’s raggedy fin!’ he muttered, seeing the mismatched trio. One of the Big Folk, one of the Fair, and Hobbit. ‘What an odd bunch! Leave it to The Perch to assemble such a patchwork meeting.’

His eyes flicked over the Elven lady. Fair, indeed, in form he supposed. But, ‘My goodness,’ he whispered, leaning back toward Reginald. ‘Not so fair in speech, I fear . . . for all her pretty laughter.’ He raised his brow and gestured with a quick shrug of head and shoulders back at the Elf.

‘Rude, my old gaffer would say. And that’s a fact.’
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:19 PM   #882
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Iris

‘Well, Prim, I do believe we’ve got this meal whipped into shape!’ Iris plopped herself down in a chair and settled back comfortable, taking a deep, satisfied sort of breath. ‘Come sit yourself down, miss! The beans’ll do fine on the back burner for now.’

She took an appraising look about the kitchen, ticking off mentally how she wanted to re-order cupboards and shelves. It would take a bit of time to bring things round to her liking, but she had a good lot here to lend a hand and that would make the work lighter.

‘What do you say we do a simple breakfast tomorrow . . . scrambled eggs, toast and bacon, with plenty of strong, hot tea . . . and maybe a Farmer’s Plate for lunch . . . brown bread cheeses, pickle, and mustard.’ She nodded her head and smiled. ‘Give ‘em enough of the Perch’s good ale, and they’ll swear we were serving the Mayor hisself.’

‘And I figure that way, we’ll have time that way to clean out a few cupboards and start rearranging . . .’
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Old 05-03-2011, 03:24 AM   #883
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Elin was startled and baffled by the strange elf’s intrusion. Is this one what?...always like what? she wondered. Does she mean Al? Always awkward and self-important? Quite possibly she guessed. But whether it was she had no desire to mediate between elf and hobbit – both seemingly self-regarding but one over-stuffy and the other over-familiar. She might not quite understand the situation but she could take the opportunity it offered to escape. Pity in a way since Al had settled a little but maybe this elf would expand his horizons anyway. She smiled to herself momentarily.

She met the elf’s eyes calmly and responded in her soft voice. “Always like this? I could not say after so short an acquaintanceship – and I must leave you to decide for yourself. I need to check on my daughter” . Picking up her knitting, Elin rose, made a slight curtsey to Al “I’ll tell you about the Blackroot another time, when you are less…distracted maybe” and slipped away.

She caught what she thought was a sympathetic glance from a hobbit sitting with a man at a nearby table, half grinned half grimaced in response and retreated to the little room where Annie was still deep in snuffly sleep. Elin sank back onto her bed, glad that she no longer had to walk the verbal tight-rope that was conversation with Al but regretting that she had returned from the common room empty handed. Another cup of that nice tea would be most welcome. But she had been too eager to leave to catch Rowan or Penny's eye and to reach the kitchen she must run the gauntlet of the whole common room. She sighed and rubbed her cold feet. Never mind.
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Old 05-03-2011, 04:25 PM   #884
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“Always like this?" the woman said. "I could not say after so short an acquaintanceship – and I must leave you to decide for yourself. I need to check on my daughter”

Goldie nodded in acknowledgement. One doesn't keep a mother from her child.

The other turned to the halfling. “I’ll tell you about the Blackroot another time, when you are less…distracted maybe”

The Blackroot? Goldie listened again to the patterns in the woman's voice. Yes, she might well come from far away. She might well know something first hand about the Blackroot. Still, Goldie wasn't in the Shire to research old songs and ancient tales. She could have stayed in Lindon for that. She suspected that this woman, while she might know the river as a river, wouldn't have much to say about ambiguous old prophecies. If she had much sense, she might be no more enthused about the root of the Blackroot than the locals would be about the Old Forest.

So Goldie nodded to the woman, let her pass, and considered the halfling. She had met elves who didn't like dwarves, tame men that didn't like wild men, Fallohide that didn't like Stoor and womenfolk who didn't much like their own menfolk. Nobody liked orks. Always a reason. Sometimes a good reason. Less often did talking about it do a whit of good.

Still, sometimes lancing a boil was good healing, and those with true hate often enjoyed hearing themselves talk.

"Is 'distracted' the correct word?'"
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Old 05-03-2011, 07:24 PM   #885
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Reginald blinked at the Hobbit's expression. Raggedy trout fin? Hobbits of the Shire were certainly a tad bit odder than those in Bree. But then, he supposed, those in Bree were simply a little more like Men, living near them, even if each group kept to themselves. Or maybe that was it. They just kept to themselves.

He followed Tolly's turned head and looked to see the dark haired woman from earlier, whom he could not help but be curious about, and...who was that? Certainly there was something different about the dark haired woman, as well, but there was something far stranger about this golden haired one...one of the Fair Folk?

Reginald quickly looked away to stare at his food, and awkwardly took a drink. For a moment there he was sure he was gaping. He looked at Tolly as the Hobbit gossiped about the newest arrival. It seemed as if he was accustomed to being in the same room as one of the Elves!

At Tolly’s comment Reginald realized he had not really been paying attention to what the lady Elf was saying. But then the dark haired woman had gotten up and left the Hobbit she was speaking with, and his gaze followed her out of the common room. What had just happened?

“Did she just chase that woman away?” he remembered to whisper. “The Elf, I mean.” Reginald allowed his eyes to dart quickly to catch another glance of the Elf, who had taken up speaking with the Hobbit now…who looked extremely uncomfortable. “Yea…I would say your gaffer has the right word. Though I don’t know how those folk usually are.”
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Old 05-04-2011, 04:31 PM   #886
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Al jumped when a silvery voice behind him said, "My pardon. I am, alas, myself. Goldie. Goldie Seasong. Is this one often like this?" Turning around, he saw the elven maiden who had just came into the inn. He didn't hear her approaching him. It took a few seconds for him to comprehend that Goldie was referring to him, a notion that made indignation and outrage burst forth. I always said that these 'Fair Folk' aren't alright! Something queer with their minds! Just look at this one - no manners, no nothing in her! Sneaks up behind me, doesn't introduce herself to me, and talks over my head as if I wasn't here!

“Always like this? I could not say after so short an acquaintanceship – and I must leave you to decide for yourself. I need to check on my daughter,” Elin replied to Goldie. Well, this lady has more sense! Maybe it has something to do with hair colour - she's golden and me and Elin are dark-haired. Dark brown is close enough to black... However, the prospect of being left alone to face Goldie was not something he appreciated. Turning to Al, Elin added, “I’ll tell you about the Blackroot another time, when you are less… distracted maybe.” Al nodded.

Al puffed up his chest in what he thought to be a dignified manner and pointedly stared at the wall, hoping that Goldie would go away. His hopes were broken when she forced him to get into a conversation by asking him for an opinion:

"Is 'distracted' the correct word?" Hmm, I was distracted when she intruded. However, that didn't seem the right thing to say. And what business does she have picking at Lady Elin's words? As my muther said, first speak well yourself, and then meddle in others' speech!

"If Lady Elin meant to say what she did, then there is no question about it," Al said stiffly, continuing to stare at the wall. Cabbages and potatoes! What a nuisance!
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:17 PM   #887
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Ah, well. There were other inns.

"Then the best I might do is remove the distraction. A good day to you sir."

At which point she turned to walk calmly out the door.
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:00 PM   #888
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Good. Looks like she's finally leaving. Al resisted a sigh of relief, and, in a way, victory. He didn't respond to Goldie's goodbye, because It serves her right!

All this Fir-Folk business was making Al very thirsty, and hungry too. He felt an absolute necessity for a refill of ale and another plate of food.. "Miz Penny," he called, this time louder than the previous, just to make sure that he is heard, "would you mind bringing me seconds of both the lunch and your wonderful beer?"
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Old 05-06-2011, 07:50 PM   #889
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‘And I figure that way, we’ll have time that way to clean out a few cupboards and start rearranging . . .’

Cook’s last words were still hanging in the air as Rowan headed out the kitchen door to the common room. She wanted to avoid any further conversation on what needed to be done and who was going to do what. As far as she was concerned there was nothing wrong with the organization of the kitchen. ‘I sure hope this Cook’s here for a good, long time . . . don’t want to have to get used to another one’s whims and wishes!’

It was just as she entered the room that she saw the golden haired woman turning to leave the Inn. One of the big folk, she wondered – no, one of the fair folk by her stature and grace.

Rowan sighed. And there was Master Alferad, calling out for Penny to bring more food and beer. And where was Penny? She spotted her sitting at the table with Granny. Rowan raised her brows at the pair. Had Granny managed to convince Penny she should meet her grandson? She was a sly old fox, was granny. And poor Penny was not yet used to her ways.

With a brief stop behind the bar to draw a fresh mug of ale for Al, Rowan hurried to the hobbit’s side. ‘Here’s your drink, Master Alferad,’ she said, holding the mug out to him. ‘Now just settle yourself comfortably in your chair and I’ll fetch you your seconds. Beans, ham, biscuits, honey…..the whole spread, yes?’

‘By the way,’ she said, pursing her lips as she raised her chin toward the door. ‘Who was that Elven lady that just left? Was she looking for someone or something here at the Inn and didn’t find it? Seems like she took her leave awful quick like.’
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Old 05-06-2011, 08:08 PM   #890
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Penny

‘Uh oh! Granny, you’re going to have to excuse me.’ Penny gestured toward where Rowan stood talking to Alferad. ‘Looks like one of the customers needs something. And I’d better see to it since I think he was calling out for me.’

She reached over and patted Granny on the arm. ‘Maybe when the lunch traffic slows down I can come sit with you again.’ She gave the old hobbit a little half-smile. ‘I have to admit my curiosity is piqued by your words about your grandson. But there are a few questions I have before I might consider meeting him.’ And there’s no guarantee he’s the least bit interested in meeting me in return! she thought soberly to herself. Penny raised her brows at Granny, her eyes twinkling. ‘So for goodness sake, don’t go planning the wedding while I’m away!’

‘Sorry I didn’t get here sooner,’ Penny said approaching Rowan and Al. ‘Did I miss something?’ she asked, just catching the last of Rowan's comments.
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Old 05-06-2011, 08:29 PM   #891
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Although in reality Al only had to wait a few seconds before Rowan came by to take his order, it felt like an hour, so eager was he to sink his teeth into the delicious food. She brought a mug of beer, but no plates. Al was disappointed. However, his spirits lifted at the waitress' words.

"Now just settle yourself comfortably in your chair and I’ll fetch you your seconds. Beans, ham, biscuits, honey…..the whole spread, yes?" Al nodded solemnly. The food wasquite important, yes - but did Rowan have to talk to him like a child? "Settle yourself comfortably" indeed! As if I wasn't here for the past hour and have just came in!

"By the way, who was that Elven lady that just left?" Rowan continued in a whisper, "Was she looking for someone or something here at the Inn and didn’t find it? Seems like she took her leave awful quick like."

Al didn't have to think about his reply. He opened his mouth to answer, when Penny came over, apologizing and asking what she's missed.

"Miz Rowan asked me about Goldie, the woman of the Fair Folk, who just left. And I was about to answer. I wanted to say that her name is Goldie, and that she doesn't have any manners nor a civil tongue. Of course, I ain't got no business knowing why she's here; I wouldn't know her name if she just didn't talk to Mistress Elin over my head. No introduction, no hello from her at all! She left for good is what I say." Al felt his stomach rumbling and his impatience growing, even though he finished a good plate of beans just some half an hour ago.

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Old 05-07-2011, 09:13 PM   #892
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‘Hmmm,’ was all that Rowan could manage after Alferad’s description of what had happened. She furrowed her brow and rubbed her chin as she thought through the situation.

‘Listen, Penny,’ she said, touching the other lass’ arm. Can you fetch Mater Alferad his food? And, oh, do you think you might take a pot of hot tea to Mistress Elin’s room, too? I’m thinking she could use a cup or two while she relaxes. Nothing like a cuppa to set your mind at ease my Gammer always says.’

Rowan grabbed a shawl off the hook by the door and stepped out the door. As the chilly breeze swirled in around her, she drew the shawl a little closer about her shoulders and hurried down the little path leading from the Perch.

She squinted her eyes and looked as far down the path as she could see, then to each side with as much concentration. In the soft, grey light of the autumn afternoon, she could see no evidence of the long-gone Elven lady.

'Ah, well!' she thought to herself. 'There's customers aplenty in side the Inn that need seeing to.'

Rowan hurried back to the common room, already hearing the cries of, 'Hey, Miss! Another round here, if you please!' With a quick smile and quicker feet, she filled mugs and delivered them to the thirsty patrons.

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Old 05-07-2011, 11:58 PM   #893
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Penny

‘Here you go then, Master Alferad,’ Penny said, hurrying back from the kitchen with a tray of steaming dishes. ‘A generous bowl of beans and ham . . . and I’ve brought you a small dish of chopped onion. Wasn’t sure you like them, but thought I’d bring it anyway. And here’s a little basket of hot, fluffy biscuits. With butter here and a pot of strawberry jam and one of honey, too.’ She laid the food out before the hobbit. ‘Enjoy!’ Penny set a full mug of ale down next to the other one that Rowan had brought earlier. ‘Thought it might be a two mug meal.’

With a smile and quick curtsy, Penny left Al to his meal and made her way to Mistress Elin’s room. She rapped softly on the door, not wanting to wake the little girl if she were napping.

‘Mistress Elin . . . m’am?’ she called out quietly. ‘It’s Penny. Rowan’s sent me with some hot tea for you.’

Penny waited for a few moments, but could hear no stirring in the room. 'Well, perhaps she's tired, too, from all her traveling.' She set the thick-cozied pot and cups on the little table just outside Elin's door and hurried away quietly.

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Old 05-09-2011, 02:05 AM   #894
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Elin awoke with a start and after a moment of confusion as to where she was, came to her senses. Someone had been calling her name, not in her dream, not Annie who a glance told her still slept and who would have called her "mummy" anyway. Caught the wrong side of the bed from the door, by the time Elin reached it, Penny was well down the hallway.

"Penny, wait! " she called, heading after her, "I must have dozed off!" . Elin realised her hair had come unpinned and that she was still holding her knitting. She smiled ruefully at the hobbit as her longer legs caught up. "Thank you for the tea - I was just thinking I'd like some... or at least I was before I fell asleep. I don't want to keep you when you're busy but do they keep much store of herbs in the kitchen here? I won't find much growing this time of the year but there are a few things that a cook might have that would ease Annie's cold a bit - garlic, mint, thyme, licorice maybe?"

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Old 05-09-2011, 08:48 PM   #895
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Penny

‘Store of herbs and such in the kitchen? Oh, dear, Mistress Elin!’ Penny furrowed her brow a bit and shook her head. ‘Now, I’m not saying we don’t have any of what you asked for, it’s just that Cousin Iris and I just started working here at the Inn - today.’ She shrugged her shoulders. ‘Guess the old Cook up and disappeared on them and they’ve been having to make do – Rowan and Prim, that is, all by themselves.’

‘Hmmmm, how about I go back to the kitchen and ask Prim if we have those? I could bring them to you.’ Penny glanced back toward Elin’s room. ‘Course, if you think the wee one’ll sleep a bit more, you can come on back to the kitchen and make up your concoction there. We haven’t started making supper as yet, so it’d be no trouble.’
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:38 AM   #896
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"Your first day? Really? I never would have guessed - you seem a part of the place already. Though I had heard of the cook's disappearance. It must have made things very difficult." Elin paused for a moment's consideration. "I think, if I won't be too much in the way it would be easier if I came to the kitchen. I'll probably have to steep anything we find in hot water anyway. I'll just check on Annie and be along shortly." Penny nodded and Elin turned and went back to the room to find her daughter had just woken and had missed her.

"You lef'me" Annie was not at her best when first awake even when well and she looked both grumpy and accusing as she addressed her mother.

"I was only in the corridor, talking to Penny; she brought me some tea and we didn't want to wake you, my darling", Elin had knelt by the little bed and drawn her child in to her arms to comfort her. She planted a kiss on the small frowning brow. "But I do want to go to the kitchen to see if I can make you a special drink to make you feel better. You'd be alright here with Isildur wouldn't you?"

Annie shook her head firmly "Don't want you to go." She tightened her fists around handfuls of her mother's dress.

"So you want to come with me? Well if you do, remember if you are well enough to be up, you are well enough to behave. Agreed? " Annie nodded.

So Elin helped Annie back into her blue wool dress and pulled from her bag slippers and a soft wool shawl of a lighter bluewhich she wrapped closely about the child. Then digging deeper she pulled out a squarish oilcloth wrapped bundle and deciding that she would follow Penny's example rather than try to pin up her hair in a hurry, she found a raspberry pink scarf to restrain her own curls. Finally they were ready to go. She shepherded Annie along with one hand and managed the bundle and the tea tray with the other.

She managed to create enough sense of purpose in crossing the common room that no one waylaid her but she did notice that Al was once again alone save his vittles. Though she chided herself for a lack of charity even as she thought it, it occurred to Elin that things that couldn't think for themselves were perhaps the best company for that hobbit.

Reaching the kitchen, Elin tapped gently on the open door. "May I come in? I am afraid I have brought the patient with me - she woke up and didn't want to be left alone."
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:59 PM   #897
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Seredic Boffin - After Lunch

The rush for lunch was ebbing. There were fewer patrons in the inn now. Rowan was gathering plates and mugs from the tables and carrying them back to the kitchen. Seredic wiped the newly cleaned mugs just carried out from the kitchen and stowed them away beneath the counter.

“Goodbye, Andy,” he said to a departing customer, and then he looked at the last hobbit in the room. Mr. Alferad Brandybuck. He had not spoken to him since his initial arrival, and he had not been much impressed with the hobbit then. But Seredic made it a point to try to be friendly with customers, and it looked like Al was going to stay, so he put down the last mug, threw the cloth behind the kegs of ale, and came round the counter and approached the young hobbit.

“Will you be staying long?” he asked. “In amongst the rush there, I hadn’t gotten a chance to ask you. You’re from Buckland, if I’m not mistaken, though I don’t believe you ever said. . .”
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:38 AM   #898
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Rowan shoved the tray of mugs and plates onto the counter by the sink, carefully avoiding the soapy water spilled in splishes and splashes on the floor. Prim was in full swing with the dishrag and brush, scrubbing tea stains from cups, dried foam from mugs, and the dried bits of the now past lunch from a precarious stack of plates and bowls.

‘Give it a rest, Prim!’ Rowan urged her friend. ‘Here, have a seat,’ she went on, pulling a chair out from the kitchen table. ‘I’ll just put on a full kettle for some tea. You set out the honey. And grab some of those crispy nut cookies Iris set in the pantry. Mmmm mmm, they looked good for dunking is what I’m thinking.’ She fetched water in the largest kettle, intending to use what was left from the tea-making to heat up the wash and rinse waters. ‘We can tackle the dishes and such after a bit of a treat and a rest-up.’ She laughed and shook her head. ‘Besides, I have to tell you how old Granny got hold of our Miz Penny and was sizing her up to join the Greenhill brood.’

The door was slightly open to the side yard of the Inn, off to the left, where the garden was. Sounded like Cook talking. Brrrr! There was a cold draft scurrying through the opening in little gusts.

‘Making tea!’ Rowan called out in a loud voice. ‘Come in out of the cold, why don’t you and warm up!’
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:35 AM   #899
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1420!

The waggon rolled slowly along the road as it approached Stock. Darrell Largebarrel was enjoying his trek down from Oatbarton and through the Shire. Long had he supplied the ales exclusively to the Green Dragon, but he wanted to expand. So with his original line of brews remained exclusive, he had gotten a contract to supply a tap at the Floating Log in Frogmorton. He was hoping for the same at the Golden Perch in Stock. He huddled deeper into his cloak in hopes it would turn the wind. But being from the North Farthing, he appeared under-dressed for the chill to the locals he passed in the East Farthing.

"The town is in sight old boy!"

he said to Benny his workhorse. Benny didn't seem to excited other than realizing he would be getting some oats and fresh hay. He rolled slowly up and onto the side of the road near the inn. Seeing someone working a herb garden he waved as he stopped.

"Another inn old boy. We'll likely be here for the night, and hopefully I'll get a chance to bend the ear of the proprietor. Here you go..."

Darrell gave Benny a carrot to chew before he headed for the door. Pulling it open he could hear the faint din of dishes rattling and voices mixing. He walked to the bar, giving a nod of greeting as he said,

"Good afternoon! A mug of your house beer if you please"
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:53 AM   #900
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Elin shivered a little in the wind - the hobbit cloak she had borrowed from the kitchen was no more than a cape on her long frame. She had found some herbs alive in a sheltered spot by the back door: thyme, sage, chives, mint, sweet woodruff and a rather leggy rosemary bush. They were mostly dormant and she had picked only a few sprigs that might serve if there were none in the kitchen - she had tried the garden first to make the most of the light on this short winter day.

Annie had been left inside - her cold had been temporarily forgotten when she had discovered the big grey tabby cat nested in a basket in the pantry. Happily the creature was good natured enough to at least tolerate the child's affection and Elin hoped that so occupied, her daughter would be no trouble to that kind Miss Rowan, while she was outside with Penny's cousin Iris. The older hobbit woman had been bemoaning the state of the cabbages in particular.

"Yes, you are right it has been let go - but there is nothing that a bit of time and effort couldn't put straight" said Elin to Iris as they surveyed the kitchen garden, forlorn in its neglect and the November wind. "The bones are here... you can tell it has been well tended in the past.. it wouldn't be like starting from scratch". She stooped down and ran a handful of earth through her fingers. "This is good tilth save for the weeds. The main problem as I see it is is that it is a bit late in the year for winter planting - my grandmother reckoned that should be done by the end of October and we were a good deal to the south. I suppose it might be worth trying unless your winters here are very harsh..." .

Iris' reply was interrupted by Rowan calling from the kitchen. It wasn't so long since the last cup of tea but another would be welcome still.

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Old 05-17-2012, 06:38 PM   #901
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After such a hearty meal and a pint or two of the best beer in all of Shire, Al was feeling quite drowsy - not so drowsy as to take a nap, but enough not to go looking for trouble. For the past hour he has dined alone, brooding on the injustice of the people around him and the wrongs they have done him. But it is known, in the words of his renowned grandmother, that a mug of good ale makes old grievances stale, and soon enough Al's mood cleared and he dwelt more on his drink than on his grudges.

He did not move as the other visitors steped out one by one into the wind and the room enptied. He did not even notice that he was the last customer left. His reverie ended when the innkeeper came up to him and asked politely about how long Al woud be staying.

“In amongst the rush there, I hadn’t gotten a chance to ask you," he explained. "You’re from Buckland, if I’m not mistaken, though I don’t believe you ever said. . .”

"From Buckland indeed, from Brandy Hall itself!" Al replied, content for the time being to talk about his home and his plans with Master Boffin. "You ain't going to find nothing better! You should come visit it sometime!" Al paused to take another sip of ale. "I'm on my way to Tookbank, you know. I'm a taking my time getting there. Small, drab, moth-eaten place it is. But my mother's kin has the rotten luck to live there." Al sighed and sipped his mead again.
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:17 PM   #902
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Good heavens, this chap can be long winded! Dick said to himself as Al answered in an entirely speech what would have been better answered in two sentences or less. And when he had finished answering, Dick found that he hadn’t actually answered at all.

“So that means you would be staying how long, exactly?” Dick asked again, patiently. He had seen hobbits consume a great deal of ale and Al had drunk more than two pints already since he arrived that morning. It would be understandable if his wits were a little addled by the brew.

Before Al could respond, a new customer came in through the front door. Dick patted Al’s shoulder and turned to greet the new gentlehobbit.

“Good afternoon!” the stranger said. “A mug of your house bear, if you please.”

“Certainly,” Dick replied, coming around the counter and picking up a mug. He filled it to the brim, the froth threatening to spill down the edges and handed it to the hobbit. “You a stranger in these parts?”

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Old 05-18-2012, 07:59 AM   #903
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1420!

Darrell eyed the mug of beer as it was handed to him.

"Yes, Darrell Largebarrel is me name and I hail from near Oatbarton up in North Farthing. Never get out if that area much xcept to make special deliveries to the Green Dragon in Bywater. Someone there told me 'bout the Floating Log in Frogmorton, so when I went to visit, someone there told me 'bout the Golden Perch here in Stock."

He took a long swig from his beer after he eyed the head. Satisfying after his ride, Darrell said,

"Nice beer. Nice inn you have here too if ya don' mind me sayin'."

He sipped his beer again as he eyed the bar and pondered whether there was space for a cask of his ale and if the proprietor would be willing to give it a try.

"I can gather a sense of Oatley hops in this beer. Wouldn't mind procuring a cask for myself. Maybe you could advise me as to who the brewer of such fine amber is?"

He took another sip before swirling it about slightly in the mug.
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Old 05-18-2012, 12:10 PM   #904
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"Yes, Darrell Largebarrel is me name and I hail from near Oatbarton up in North Farthing. Never get out if that area much xcept to make special deliveries to the Green Dragon in Bywater. Someone there told me 'bout the Floating Log in Frogmorton, so when I went to visit, someone there told me 'bout the Golden Perch here in Stock."

Then this hobbit was someone who sold goods to inns, Dick said to himself as he listened to the stranger’s introduction. He would soon find out what his wares were, no doubt.

"Nice beer,” Darrell said when Dick made no reply. “Nice inn you have here too if ya don' mind me sayin'."

Dick nodded and looked about. He appreciated the old place for its integrity and well known reputation of fine hospitality and better beer. He found that maintaining such a place was not always as easy as he had originally supposed when he came into possession of it.

"I can gather a sense of Oatley hops in this beer,” Darrell observed, pulling Dick’s attention back to him. “Wouldn't mind procuring a cask for myself. Maybe you could advise me as to who the brewer of such fine amber is?"

“Why that’s the beer brewed in our own county,” Dick said with satisfaction. “That’s what’s got us our name, see? Drew Berrybanks and his family’s brewed it for the last hundred years.” Was it really a hundred years? Maybe not. Dick didn’t want to do the math just now. “You can find him popping in here sometimes on an evening. Otherwise, he lives out of town by the east road.

“So you provide the Floating Log and Green Dragon with your wares? What do you sell, Mr. Largebarrel?”
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Old 05-19-2012, 06:35 PM   #905
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Prim stood just outside the door to the pantry as she motioned to Rowan with her hand and gave a muffled, ‘Psssst…’! She could barely hold back the chuckle that threatened to escape her lips.

Rowan hurried over, her brow furrowed. What on earth was so funny back there among the crocks and jars and shelves and sacks of grains? As she drew nearer she could hear a quiet babble of intertwining voices, punctuated by the occasional muffled, guttural sound. Rowan peeked around the door’s edge, her eyes going wide at the sight.

There was Annie kneeling over the rag basket, her little hands busy wrapping a strip of rag she was using as a bandage around old Granny Whiskers’ front leg. In her own voice she was cooing at Granny in a soothing manner, asking the old cat if she felt better now. And in a lower pitched voice she was answering back as Granny, announcing that yes the leg feels better now, but some bad rat had bit her on the tail just yesterday and it was hurting something awful. Granny Whiskers was hardly able to say much else on her own behalf as there was an old woolen sock placed round her head to help mend some affliction in that area – thus the source of muffled, guttural sounds Rowan had heard.

To her feline credit, Granny Whiskers had not used her claws on the young, well intentioned healer. But, as the girl turned her focus toward the old cat’s tail, Granny mobilized her considerable bulk and leaped from the basket.

Trailing streamers of raggedy bandages like some old mouldering wraith, she sprinted across the kitchen floor making for the open door as if chased by ghastly wights. She caromed off a pair of shoes and bumped between a pair of ankles in her desperate hurry to escape to the safety of the old garden shed.

Her little fists balled on her hips, Annie shook her head at her now escaped patient.

“How rude of her!’ Rowan tsk-tsk’d in a sympathetic voice. ‘And here you were just trying to help her!!’

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Old 05-20-2012, 04:52 PM   #906
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Al sighed and gulped down the remains of his ale. Why was it that people always just left him by himself in the middle of an important conversation? How rude!

Feeling sympathetic for himself and very unsympathetic toward the inkeeper, Al made his way to the talking twain, his empty mug in hand. He heard the end of the conversation.

"The brewer of 'such fine amber' can go be eaten by the wereworms!" he said before the newcomer could answer the last question. "All this Drew Berrybanks can make is some spittle in a jar! This brown water's not worth the mug 't's in, and the mug ain't worth 'tself either." All paused, while the other two regarded him. Al broke the silence, handing his mug to Seredic:

"Another one of those, Master Boffin!"

Even when he was as angry as a boiling kettle, Al never forgot his hobbitish common sense and courtesy.
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Old 06-07-2012, 04:54 AM   #907
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"I was!" said Annie earnestly, looking up at Rowan from where she still knelt on the pantry floor There was a plaintive note to her voice and a hint of bafflement in her blue eyes. "She had a poorly tail anna hurty paw and the worst toothache in the whole world -an' now she's gone".

Suddenly the little girl rocked back and huddled against the sacks and burying her face against them trying to hide the sobs that she could no longer stifle and which had little to do with the cat's departure. "Everybody goes. Nobody stays" her little voice was muffled and forlorn. Her mother could be heard just outside the open door now - remarking on the hurtling progress of Granny Whiskers across the garden. But Annie was too full of cold and misery to find solace in it. She pulled her shawl closer around her and screwed her eyes tight shut but tears still trickled down her face.
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:41 AM   #908
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1420!

Darrell knew Drew from a brewer's convention up in Bywater a while back. Gave him a few tips, and took a few too. Good to know Drew had some pubs locked in and he didn't want to usurp his market. Dick went on,

“So you provide the Floating Log and Green Dragon with your wares? What do you sell, Mr. Largebarrel?”

Darrell smiled and replied,

"Why I make various ales as I see fit. Could make one special to this here inn if I knowed yer tastes. Some like it hoppy, some like it malty, and some, a bit of smoke peat soothes the taste."

Hearing the ramblings of of a well-inebriated hobbit. Surely he likes Drew's brews despite his words. Darrell said to Dick,

I'd not mind sellin' to ya, but it seems Dick has things well in hand here. I'll leave a couple firkins for you to serve if you see fit, and if you should want more, send a card by Shire Post to me, Darrell, general delivery at Oatbarton. I'll see about having some kegs delivered. But I don't want to cut in on Drew, though I know he does a roaring trade in the South Farthing."

Darrell thought of leaving a firkin of the Midnight Stout and the Sunset Red, thinking it would not contest with the amber that Drew has been providing.

"I'm thinking of heading east to Bree-town. but should be back in the Shire in due time. If Drew stops in, tell him I said g'day."

Darrell had the two firkins brought in, and with a nod, wished everyone a fine day. He was off to the Buckleberry Ferry. It would be a long ride.
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:33 AM   #909
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Elin

Elin hearing Annie's distress rushed across the kitchen to kneel by her child and draw her on to her lap.

"What is the matter, sweetheart? Did the cat scratch you?" She stroked the little girl's face brushing away her tears as she looked for evidence.

Annie shook her head vehemently and repeated her plaintive explanation. Elin pulled a wry face at the hobbit women over Annie's shoulder but managed just to remove any trace of amusement from her voice as she spoke "Don't fret... She probably only went because she felt so much better... she certainly looked in fine fettle when she went past me." her voice cracked slightly at the end and she resisted making the observation that she had never seen a cat of that size manage such a turn of speed. She stifled any further trace of mirth by planting soft kiss on her daughter's brow. Mollified a little Annie had nodded and accepted her mother's comforting.

"I am more worried about you, you still aren't very well are you my lamb?" The child's forehead had been a little too hot and her eyelids were shadowed and drowsy.

"If Iris and Primrose and Rowan don't mind shall we make a little nest for you in this lovely big basket just while I take a look at what they have on these shelves?" she laid her borrowed cloak over the rags and Annie exhausted by her tears, curled up on top wrapping the rest of the cloak over her her temporarily neglected little rabbit clasped again in her fist. "I will make you some medicine and maybe if it tastes nasty, Penny will let us have some more of that milk and honey...." Annie half nodded but sleep was already claiming her.

Elin rose and sighed suddenly a little weary herself. "Poor child, what am I doing to her?" she said to herself as much as anyone else. Then she straightened and smiled."So shall we have that tea?"

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Old 05-29-2015, 05:27 PM   #910
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~*~ Moving this thread to Elvenhome ~*~

To day is 5/29/2015 - last post to this thread was 10-15-2012.
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