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Old 10-03-2006, 02:25 PM   #361
bill_n_sam
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The Shiriff is on the job

With a somewhat self-important clearing of his throat, the middle aged hobbit directly to the left of Lily replied, “A terrible night was it, Miss? Well, you’re lucky howls is all you encountered!” He took a quick gulp of tea and continued. “Wolves! That’s what you heard! If you can reckon it. Wolves in the shire!” He picked up a half eaten piece of toast and crammed it into his mouth. Chewing purposefully, he nodded several times vaguely in the direction of the inn yard. Swallowing, he opened his mouth to speak, sending a light shower of crumbs onto Lily. “Right out there they were – right in the stable! Huge brutes! Bold as brass, they were. Have you ever heard anything like it?”

Not waiting for a reply, he went on. “I hurried right over, of course, being Shiriff for these parts. You’re from Hardbottle, you say? Can’t say as I’ve ever been that far afield myself. Now, I’ve heard of some Bunces, but to my recollection, they were all from over Frogmorton way. Might you be related to any of those, by any chance?” Shoveling half a fried egg into his never still mouth, he managed to say, “Rusty. Rusty Smallborough – that’s me. And could I trouble you to pass the pepper?”

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Old 10-03-2006, 03:02 PM   #362
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Cir woke as her brother's excited voice penetrated her sleep, or at least the Elvish version of it. Ignoring him she snuggled further under the covers and dozed back off, but was rudely reawakened as he pulled her blanket away from her. Shielding her eyes from the bright rays of sunshine coming through the uncovered window Cir gave her brother a glare that told him exactly what she thought of being disturbed this early.

"Maybe I shouldn't have teased him for being the second born all those years." She mused to herself, grumpily retrieving her blanket from the floor where Cir had thrown it. "Then perhaps he wouldn't be quite so keen to beat me in getting everywhere else."

Her thoughts were interrupted as her brother once again prevented her from returning to her blissfully unaware state by talking at her, and far too loudly for this time in the morning.

"There were wolves! Down in the courtyard, the Hobbits and others were fighting them off!"

Startled Cir woke up enough to glance out of the window, not awake enough yet to think that her brother might have made the whole thing up. Sure enough the dead body of a wolf was lying there.

"Do you think we should go down?" Cir's concerned voice reached her ears and she turned away, yawning wide.

"No, I'm sure it's alright now." She mumbled sleepily, thinking the danger past.

"But there was more than one, the others just ran off, it - "

"Tell you what Cir," she interrupted a little sharply, desperate to get back to bed, "why don't you go down, have some breakfast and see if they need any help with anything. You take our money and I'm sure Dick will tell you how much you need to pay."

She eyed him, knowing he was aware of her dislike for early morning starts, but also knowing that this knowledge gave him the power to seriously annoy her if he chose to. Fortunately it seemed that he was more interested in the goings on downstairs than needling her as he made ready to go.

As he headed out of the door Cir closed the curtains, blocking out the sunlight, and fell back onto her bed, asleep before she landed.
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Old 10-04-2006, 10:53 AM   #363
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The noise and disturbance the wolves caused was surprisingly quickly dealt away with. Tollers’ alarm had brought hobbits and help from every side and the wolves were killed or driven away. Dick had had no hand in it. He stood outside the kitchen door, cheering the others on, with Cela Bunce and Primrose at his side. He felt so happy after the battle was over and the hobbits, men, and elf came out victorious, that he called for a free breakfast for everyone present. They’d like that, sure.

“And give them plenty, Cela and Prim!” he said cheerfully, sending the two ladies back to work. “Such fighting probably brings one a prodigious great appetite.”

A call sounded at the kitchen door. “Hello? Miss Rowan? I just wanted to get a little food, mine has grown cold, but I did not want to bother you. Hello?” The three hobbits turned to see a man looking half shyly through the door.

“Come in, my fine fellow!” Dick called, beckoning him in and grinning broadly. “We’ll serve you up something right quick. Cold eggs aren’t any good.” He took Robby’s plate and scraped the food into a waiting bucket for uneaten food. Cela, at the same took, took a new plate from the counter, dished up an entire new breakfast and handed it back to him. “Is there anything else we can help you with?” Dick asked.
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Old 10-07-2006, 01:36 AM   #364
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‘Well, now Cookie, what is the matter, girl?!’ Miribelle leaned forward on the seat of the cart and flicked the reins lightly along the flanks of her pony.

Cookie, however, would not budge. The sturdy little sandy colored pony set her legs stiffly and laid back her ears. The stink of wolf was getting stronger as she approached the stable. Her nostrils were flaring and her big brown eyes were rolling in an anxious manner.

Miss Rushybanks set the handbrake and climbed down from the cart. The yard did seem somewhat in a state of disarray, as if a number of large animals had been running amuck in the grass and dirt.

‘Will!’ she called out, coming to stand by Cookie’s head, the reins grasped firmly in her right hand as her left hand clasped onto the pony’s bridle. ‘Will! It’s Miss Rushybanks, dear.’ She raised her voice another notch. ‘Can you come give me a hand with Cookie, if you would.’
 
Old 10-07-2006, 01:48 PM   #365
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At the sound of his name being called, Will came rushing out from the rear end door of the stable. He’d only just recently awakened, and only then to discover the fracas that had occurred in the stable proper. He’d been in bed, sleeping some fevered dreams after the tea he’d gotten last night from Cela. His arm was aching fiercely as he stumbled out of bed and attempted to tuck in his shirt.

‘Miss Miribelle!’ he called back to the prim little lady trying to keep her pony calm. ‘Here, let me take Cookie from you. I think I’ll just tie her on the other side of the Inn.’ He saw the alarm on Miribelle’s face and quickly reassure her he would bring the pony water and a nice pile of hay to munch on. ‘Going to bring the other horses and ponies over there, too,’ he went on. ‘Keep her company.’ Will glanced back at the stable with its gaping doors. ‘Been quite and uproar in there, this early morning. Wolves! Poor horses were frightened half out of their skins!’

He freed Cookie of the little cart; then, took the reins from Miribelle. ‘You go on in and have yourself something to eat and drink, Miss Miribelle.’ He started leading the pony to the other side of the Perch. ‘Cookie and I will do just fine.’
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Old 10-07-2006, 05:46 PM   #366
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Robby was given a new plate full of food, enough to satisfy a grown man and yet probably not enough for these folks. ‘Ah, hobbits, always so kind’ he thought ‘No, good sir,' Robby added out loud, answering Dick's question 'I think this should be it, unless… well, you see, I got here late last night and there was some singing and all... and I wonder if you could perhaps, if it would not be too much of a trouble –and if it is too much of a trouble don’t hesitate to tell me, good sir- well, maybe introduce me to those good folks who were singing?’ Robby felt suddenly embarrassed, like that time a long time ago when he had met that mysterious man.

Back in Breeland, when he was just a lad of ten summers or so, he and a few of his friends had gone to the Green Dragon Inn to run some errands. The Inn was almost empty, only a few men and one of those strange folks, rangers they called them. He was clad in a dark cloak, but the hood was down, so he could see the man’s face. The ranger looked scary, almost threatening, and yet there was a light in his eyes, almost a longing as the boisterous group of lads swarmed around the common room. The stranger saw them and asked the lads if they wanted to hear a story. All the other lads ran away, but Robby stayed behind and shyly listened to this man’s tale. Ten years later that story still haunted his dreams, yet he had never been able to put it into a song. But then, that wasn’t as unusual as Robby would have you think.
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Old 10-07-2006, 07:33 PM   #367
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Gable sat quietly in a tree, thoughts filling her mind. She couldn't get the pony, or wolves out of her mind, she was grateful for the help, and glad that they were chased away, but how much longer until they attack again? And next time, will everyone be safe? Will someone be caught off guard with no way to defend themselves?

She shook her head to try and get rid of these forbidding thoughts, but they stuck in her head like glue. She couldn't help but to wonder when and where they would next attack, what if it was somewhere in town, away from the Inn, or an unwary traveler? She sighed and jumped down from the tree and headed to the stables, and quietly began mucking out a stall.

She focused her mind on her work, so that her thoughts wouldn't fill her mind and torment her with worry. She loved adventures, she loved the thrill of it, but she also loved the Shire, and its hobbit people. She didn't want them to get hurt, or worse...She shook her head and kept mucking out the pony's stall. She scooped out another load with the pitchfork and a small locket lay in the injured pony's stall that caught her eye. She leaned down and picked it up. It had a gold chain, and a small lock, that a key would have to open, to small to pick open with no name upon it. She brushed off some of the dirt to see if she could find a name, but it hadn't a single letter upon or any kind of inscription that would give her any idea of who owned this. She put the locket in her pocket and pushed the thoughts from her mind, and finished mucking out the injured pony's stall.
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Old 10-08-2006, 01:25 AM   #368
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Gandrio Dwellover

A low voice at Lily Bunce's elbow made her a gruff reply, as if the words were being eked unwillingly out of a hillside.

"Wolves, hrrmm. They get worse each year. Here's hoping the Thain will get a hunt together."

The speaker nodded rather portentously at his own speech, and then resumed staring into his tankard for a while. Lily, who had looked towards him to listen, was just starting to turn to her right when he spoke again.

"Still, there's been rain for the farm, small mercies to be thanked for I suppose..."

The sturdy looking Hobbit took a swig of his ale, not particularly enthusiastically, as if drinking it were some weighty duty. Lily got a detailed look at him. Something about him seemed calculated to dampen the spirits. His hands and clothes, liberally begrimed, belied his relatively well-spoken voice. His eyes seemed dissatisfied. He was neither tall in Hobbit terms, nor especially small. His hair was the same colour as the mud that occasionally spattered it.

He seemed to notice Lily's gaze, even perhaps be a little unnerved by it. "My name's...m'name's Grand...I mean to say, Gandrio Dwellover," he muttered quickly and pretty unintelligibly; then, more clearly, as if gaining orientation, "Mistress Romilia's son, up at Dwellover Farm."

After another short pause he conceded, "Course, no reason you should know the place," and took another slightly forlorn gulp of ale.
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:57 AM   #369
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Humph! mused Tollers. What sort of strange fellow was this?

Tollers had never heard of any hobbit with a name like Gandrio Dwellover. It sounded rather odd to him. Neither was he familiar with Mistress Romilia or any Dwellover Farm, and he knew a good number of folk in these parts. Now the lass that the stranger was speaking with, the one named Lily Bunce, looked like a sensible hobbit, even if her gingham was a bit faded and she'd admitted to sleeping in a pile of hay. After all, he himself had been hard pressed on more than one occasion.

Still, it would not do to be inhospitable to guests. Master Dick had given very explicit instructions on that point. He went up to the two of them, beaming his most welcoming smile, although privately wondering about the name Gandrio, and then began to speak. "Well, Miss Lily , I don't know about any permanent positions open but Master Dick the Innkeeper, is often on the look out for a spot of temporary help. And we've had a few folk taking tumbles off the roof so they're laid up a bit. You might want to talk with Master Dick. If anyone can help you with that, it's him."

"As to you.... Master Gandrio. A pleasure to meet you. That is your name, I believe? Most unusual.... You are welcome here, though I am afraid I have never had the pleasure of meeting your mother or visiting Dwellover Farm. Would they be in these parts, or have you come to us from a more distant part of the Shire or perhaps even Bree?" Then he added as an afterthought so as not to be negligent in his duties, "Can I get you two anything to eat? I know sleeping in haypiles always makes me ravenous."

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Old 10-08-2006, 10:00 AM   #370
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Eddie woke up with his blonde hair rustled up after a peaceful and quiet slumber. In fact, he had completely slept through unaware of the wolf attack. When he went into the common room he was surprised to see how lively and active it was in the morning. I might just want to go back to my nice comfortable bed, Edric thought to himself. Like he told Robby last night, he was not a morning person, he was more of a night owl. At least, he wasn't a morning person until he had a refreshing cup of morning coffee in him.

Edric did see Robby again and had the sense of kindness to greet him a good morning. Robby told Edric about the wolf attack this morning and how they were driven off and that was the clammer of the morning. "And to think I slept through all the madness." Eddie laughed boisterously. "Though, I don't know how much help I could have been. The best help would probably have been talking the wolves to death. Now if you can excuse me Robby, I must go and feed my addiction...coffee addiction that is. I fear I won't be too pleasant to have for company without a freshly brewed cup in the morning."

If Eddie was addicted to something besides talking, it was his need for coffee. "It's a never-ending cycle I tell you. Sure, it does a handy trick in getting rid of my headaches, but it gives me the headaches in the first place!"

Eddie left Robby's company and ordered the darkest roast the Golden Perch had to offer. He sat near a strapping young hobbit lad, who he had not seen before, yet heard the hobbit call himself Gandrio. Hmmm, he seems rather nervous? Perhaps, I can help the little Master out? Ah, I better wait for this hot, strong brew before I start making new acquaintances today.
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Old 10-08-2006, 01:43 PM   #371
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Miribelle was not one to go indoors, even into a Public House, with dust on her feet. She stood at the door to the Perch and stamped with a ladylike vigor on the mat; then, as a second thought, twitched the cloak she wore, sending what little dirt there was along its hem flying in the morning breeze.

The common room was warm and inviting. And the smell of breakfast foods made her nose twitch with anticipation. She set herself down at at a small table and waved to one of the servers. ‘Eggs, please,’ she said. ‘Yes, scrambled will do nicely. And a rasher of bacon, fried crisp. Biscuits…two, mind you…if that wonderful Miss Cela has made them this morning.’ She raised her nose slightly and sniffed with appreciation. ‘Tea? No, not this morning, I think.’ She sniffed again. ‘Coffee, today, if you please. With sugar and a small pot of cream.’ She gave the server a smile and a satisfied nod of her head. ‘Yes…that will do me quite nicely.’

Once the server had gone, she reached into the bag she’d set by her chair and fished about in it. ‘Ah, there you are!’ she exclaimed, fetching out her knitting needles with a work in progress slung between them. Miribelle eased out a length of pinkish yarn and began to work on another row.

Click-clack…click-clack went the needles, as her hands worked independent of her eyes – both of which swept the room with an avid interest, taking in all the little doings, the comings, the goings of those about her.
 
Old 10-08-2006, 04:41 PM   #372
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It never rains but pours, thought Cela as she bustled about the kitchen. Whether the bout with the wolves in the stable had woken people up or stimulated their appetites or even if the wolves had naught to do with it at all, suddenly everyone seemed to be wanting breakfast, ending the calm of the early morning.

Not that Cela minded, of course. If she truly could not stand the bustle, she would not have lasted as long as she had. She only missed Primrose's able assistance, for while Prim was still helping, rolling out dough and forming biscuits on the table where she could sit, this still meant that no one could be standing near the bacon or the cooking biscuits to make sure nothing burned. Cela did not think she had ever truly realized how much she relied on Primrose.

Well, if we were hoping for a slightly less eventful day than yesterday... it sure hasn't started out that way.
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Old 10-09-2006, 03:15 AM   #373
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‘Well, we’d better brew up a large pot of coffee!’ Rowan said, rushing through the door into the kitchen. ‘Maybe two.’ She got out the beans from the pantry and took down the coffee mill from the shelf. Cranking the handling round and round with vigor, she soon had enough ground up coffee beans to put in the two percolators. She filled the two with already hot water from the big kettle, then set them to perking on the back burners of the wood stove.

Grabbing up a tray, she placed on it several plates with eggs and bacon and Cela’s big fluffy biscuits. Pots of honey and jam and butter were tucked in about the plates, as well as bundles of tableware for the prospective diners.

‘Coffee’ll be right out, Miss Rushybanks,’ Rowan said with a smile. ‘Just brewing a pot up fresh now.’ She set the platter of food down, and placed the sugar bowl and small pitcher of cream down on Miribelle’s table in anticipation of bringing her coffee soon. ‘Here’s a small glass of cider to tide you over until the coffee is done.’

Rowan hastened over to the man from Rohan, Master Gulwine, and tugged on his sleeve to get his attention. ‘Just brewing the coffee now, sir,’ she said. She nodded at Gandrio and the Hobbit lass whose name she soon learned was Lily Bunce. ‘I see your friends here are placing their breakfast orders with Tollers. Would you like some food to wash down with your coffee?’
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Old 10-09-2006, 10:26 AM   #374
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Swiping the last crust of toast through a smear of egg yolk, Rusty crammed the bread into his mouth and shoved his stool away from the crowded table. Nodding perfunctorily at Lily and her neighbor on the other side, he rose and brushed the crumbs from his waistcoat. Sticking his thumbs through his braces, he ambled over to the kitchen doorway, stepping aside as Rowan rushed through with a heavily laden tray.

“Now Dick,” Rusty began, thrusting his head in the door. “What’s all this I hear about wolves . . . “The shirrif broke off abruptly as he caught sight of Prim standing propped up on her crutch. The lass looked tired and distressed. “Why cousin, whatever in the world has befallen you?” Rusty asked, more upset that he had somehow missed out on some bit of local happenings than the fact that his young cousin was hurt. Shaking his head ruefully, Rusty surveyed this distant relation, a second cousin three times removed if he had calculated rightly. Prim always had been a touch flighty, no doubt she was the cause of her own injuries. Well, no wonder, growing up with that loud brood of brothers and sisters. Rusty had been a bit skeptical when he had first heard of her leaving the family abode and taking up as Miss Cela’s assistant. But she had done well, had little Prim, and no shame to the family at all. His initial irritation at being out of the loop of local gossip giving way quickly to his innate sense of compassion, Rusty’s look softened as he asked again, “Now, my lass, you’re looking right done up. What’s happened to you?”
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Old 10-09-2006, 05:15 PM   #375
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Between wolves and the accidents plaguing the Inn, Primrose had started to think that she'd have a better chance of peace and quiet at home. Wolves. Who ever would believe it? Leastways, it looks as if they've been chased off. Thank goodness. She shook her head and stopped slicing her biscuit dough to rub her leg, propped on a chair covered with a stack of soft pillows.

Cela noticed the pause. "Doing alright there, Primrose?" she asked.

"Oh, I'm managing pretty well." Determined to show how well, Primrose suddenly stood and hopped to the oven to check the last batch of biscuits. Her leg protested the motion with a jab that made her wince just as a new voice rang out in the kitchen.

"What's all this I hear about wolves?" was quickly followed by, "Why cousin, whatever in the world has befallen you?"

Prim suddenly felt a longing to hurry out the back door and hide. That voice was familiar - she'd heard it at birthday parties for her father's connections. A cousin of some sort. She wasn't sure of the exact relationship, her father's family having mostly considered her Hobbiton-allied mother as 'odd folk.' They had mostly kept their distance, unless to stop in for tea to peer in to see if folk from other parts of the Shire were as strange as they thought, and if the 'poor children' were like to turn out as odd. They were rarely disappointed, since they seemed to have a knack for finding any predictions they made true no matter what the situation.

"Befallen? You might say that. I had quite a fall yesterday from a ladder, and I've had quite enough of falls for the present, I must say." She smiled, certain that her accident would rapidly become family gossip and add to the general impression of her being odd and flighty. "How have you been, Cousin Rusty?"
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Old 10-10-2006, 10:25 AM   #376
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Rusty inched his way into the kitchen, his hand warily creeping forward to the tray of cooling bisquits which lay on the nearby shelf. Picking his moment, as Cela turned her back to tend to the things cooking on the large stovetop, he grabbed one of the flakey, buttery creations and winked at Prim. As Cela whirled around, Rusty whipped the bisquit behind his back, his face a study in innocence. He kept his gaze riveted on the far wall as Prim politely replied to his inquiry.

"Befallen? You might say that. I had quite a fall yesterday from a ladder, and I've had quite enough of falls for the present, I must say." She smiled, certain that her accident would rapidly become family gossip and add to the general impression of her being odd and flighty. "How have you been, Cousin Rusty?"

“Oh, me? Can’t complain. Can’t complain, young ‘un. My roof’s sprung a leak like a geyser, what with the rain we’ve had lately. My shoulder’s been a little tetchy, what with the damp and all in the cell.” Rusty made an appropriate grimace as he rotated said shoulder cautiously. “I keep telling them over Michel Delving way that there roof’s needed fixing for the past year or so. But do they listen? Why, if I ever do need to lock anyone up there, they’d be able to climb their way right out through the hole that’s a gapin’ there now.”

His gaze focusing once more on his young cousin, the shiriff took on a more fatherly tone, as he pontificated. “Fallen off a ladder, is it? Well, now, missy, you should be more careful of yourself. No need to go clambering about like a squirrel, not at your age! And where was that Will of yours while you was a fallin’ down like an over ripe walnut? Next thing you know, the wolves will be a carrying you away and him not knowing til he’s gone home and missed his supper.” Rusty assumed an air of righteous indignation at this lack of sufficient care of his cousin on the part of that whipsnap Will.
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Old 10-12-2006, 03:47 PM   #377
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Well, thought Lily, and blessed herself – this is a pretty kettle of fish. It was bad enough finding foreigners and Big Folk here in the Shire…but wolves....she had never heard the like. But on the other hand…as she tucked into her second breakfast, and sipped a hot mug of coffee...on the other hand, for all the rumpus and ructions, the Perch seemed a cheery, homely place. Everyone so friendly and cosy, like.

There were surely good positions to be had in such a neighbourhood for a hard-working lass. That Shirriff...a fine, plain-spoken gentleman, nodded Lily approvingly to herself, no airs and graces there…well, he might know of something, travelling about so much as he did. She would try to catch him when he had finished his family business. She was also grateful to the cheery young barman, not just for the two fine breakfasts he had served her, but for the tip-off about inn-work.

And that Mr Dwellover. Not the most dapper fellow she had ever seen, to be sure, and certainly not one for blethering - but Lily still thought, optimistically, with such a fancy name he must be a proper gentlehobbit. Perhaps he and his mother needed a good strong girl to help at their farm. A master with book-learning, she thought to herself, wistfully, with a bit of time to spare in the evenings... But for now, Lily decided, she would sacrifice some of her wages on a room for the night – yes, with a bath. She was certain that no respectable person would give work to a lassie with hayseed in her hair and stains on her bodice.

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Old 10-12-2006, 07:40 PM   #378
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At first, Primrose had been amused by her cousin. The wink and craftily snatched biscuit brought a dimpled grin, and she had nearly laughed aloud. But when Will's name came into the conversation, Primrose flushed hot as if she were standing over the oven's flames.

"Now don't you go and blame Will for this!" she cried out, taking offense for Will's sake. "There's naught that he could have done to stop the fall, and then he hurt himself tumbling down after trying to help me."

Rusty's eyebrows arched like two question marks. "Tumbled down after?"

"Yes. I was trying to bring his lunch up to where he was fixing the stable roof, and I fell, and then he fell when he came to see if I was hurt. And..." Primrose's voice caught as she came to the thing that had bothered her almost more than anything else Rusty said. Will wasn't her Will.

"Yes?"

"Oh, nothing." Primrose couldn't talk about that problem with Rusty. "But it wasn't Will's fault at all. But come! Any other news? You must have some, being Shiriff and seeing so many folk all the time." Primrose hoped that the change of subject would distract her cousin on to some topic of Shire gossip that was a bit less uncomfortable for her.
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Old 10-12-2006, 11:35 PM   #379
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Will craned his neck, his head swinging from side to the other. ‘Ah! There she is,’ he said, as he spied Miss Miribelle, her needles flying. Rowan was on her way toward the table with a large steaming mug of tea clasped in her hand.

‘I’ll take that,’ Will declared reaching for the mug with his good hand. ‘I’m going over to speak to Miss Miribelle; might as well show up with her drink.’ He winked at Rowan and turned toward the elder Hobbit lady’s table, walking carefully so as not to spill the hot liquid.

The steam from the drink streamed toward his face as he went along. ‘Not tea, then….’ he thought to himself, as the pungent odor hit his nose. He gave Miss Miribelle and appraising look. ‘The old gal’s having coffee!’

‘Your coffee, Miss Rushybanks!’

He gave Miribelle a wide smile as he put down the mug on the table. ‘And not a drop spilled.’ He sat down cradling his injured arm. ‘Just wanted to let you know Cookie is happy where I put her. Gave her some fresh hay and a small nosebag of oats.’

He watched as she sugared her coffee and poured in a generous portion of cream. ‘You know, I’ve never tried that outland brew. Always thought it smelled good.’ He nodded his head. ‘You like it, yes?’
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Old 10-14-2006, 12:45 PM   #380
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‘Well, now, I do find myself becoming quite fond of it. Not that I’ve given up tea altogether, mind you,’ she hastened to add. ‘It’s just that this coffee has a deeper mystery to it. And sometimes when I’m drinking it I think about the warm, mountainous country in the south where the little brown beans come from.’

Being for most purposes a quite practical person, her cheeks colored a bit to be caught out at fantasizing. She pushed her mug toward Will with a nod. ‘Take a little sip, if you’d like. Not quite as strong as drunk plain. But I find I like it better tempered with a bit of sugar and a generous drop of cream stirred in.’
 
Old 10-16-2006, 12:10 PM   #381
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Rusty surveyed his young cousin. Her injury was certainly responsible for some of the anguish he saw in her face, despite her efforts to put a good show. But the sadness in her eyes could not all have come from the fall. Sensing her reluctance to say more about how matters stood at the moment, Rusty had compassion enough to bite at the proffered bait and let things slide, for the moment.

“Well, young Primrose, I can’t say as there’s been any more eventful news than the excitement you’ve had here right at the inn. Wolves in the Shire! Tis a good thing you weren’t out and about when they were running amuck. With that game leg of yours, you’d been their breakfast, sure as sure can be.” Rusty’s eyes twinkled at her and he winked again. “Now, as for other doings round abouts, ‘twould seem things have been mostly quiet. Old Farmer Ham, now his old sow’s had a wonderous big littler – thirteen of the little squealers! I saw them myself, I did. I hold that’s a record here in Stock. But that know-it-all Bill Buckburrow, he claims there was a pig had fifteen, over to the Hollow. I don’t believe him though. He was always a one for trying to top a story, just for the sake of hearing his own voice.”

Rusty scratched his head thoughtfully, pushing his cap back and slightly askew. “Now what else is news?” he murmured. “Ah! Just now, as I was finishing up my breakfast, I heard a young miss from all the way over to Hardbottle saying she was asleeping in a hay rick when them wolves set to howling and she near died of fright! Have to be very careful these days, wandering about on the roads. She said as how she was looking for work hereabouts. Do you know of anyone needing an extra hand? She looked a sturdy thing, said she’d been helping with the lambing over Willowbottom way.”
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Old 10-16-2006, 12:58 PM   #382
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Holding the mug near his nose, Will inhaled the enticing aroma of the coffee. With a nod to Miss Miribelle he took a large gulp of the hot liquid.

Oh, my! he thought, pushing the mug back across the table

His eyes began to water as the underlying taste of the brew invaded his tongue. And he felt his throat constrict against his swallowing. Will raised his brow to Miss Miribelle and raised his index finger as if to say, ‘Just a moment. Be right back.’

Will scrambled up quickly from his chair and made a dash for the kitchen, barely making it to the sink. He spat out the coffee and willed himself not to heave up the breakfast he’d eaten earlier.

‘Gah!’ he muttered, swishing some water about in his mouth to rinse it. ‘That was disgusting!’
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Old 10-18-2006, 08:10 PM   #383
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Dick had told Robby that he did not think any of the guests who had sung or played the night before had yet joined the company in the common room, but he would let him know as soon as he spotted one of them. “I’ll be out shortly, I imagine,” he said as he showed the man to the door. “And I doubt the others will be long in getting up.”

He returned to the kitchen table and his coffee and in a few minutes, Cella set a plate of breakfast before him and Primrose. They ate with little talking between them this morning. Dick was in a hurry to get out into the common room and exchange gossip and ideas about this wolf attack and Primrose didn’t talk much on her own accord this morning. Come to think, that was odd. . .Prim generally talked as much as any young hobbit lass. Was her leg hurting her all that much?

As though guessing his thoughts and trying to prove otherwise, she got up almost the next moment and moved towards the stove. He looked up, worried that she would hurt herself, but before he could voice any concern, the sheriff walked into the kitchen, and a conversation was taken up between him and Primrose. Dick shrugged and returned his full attention to his breakfast.

Just as he was finishing up his ear caught the tail end of the sheriff’s discussion. “Just now, as I was finishing up my breakfast, I heard a young miss from all the way over to Hardbottle saying she was asleeping in a hay rick when them wolves set to howling and she near died of fright! Have to be very careful these days, wandering about on the roads. She said as how she was looking for work hereabouts. Do you know of anyone needing an extra hand? She looked a sturdy thing, said she’d been helping with the lambing over Willowbottom way.”

Dick smiled and stood up as he picked up his plate. “I might be needing her myself!” he said. “Just for a little while. Don’t look like that, Primrose,” he said as she sent him a disappointed and reproving look. “You’re not fit to be doing all the work that you were. You need time to rest and to heal up.”

Before Primrose had half a chance to reply to Dick, Will suddenly burst into the kitchen. He must have come at the door at an angle, running fast. He nearly bounced off the door post as he tried to make the turn - anyhow it gave him momentum enough to nearly make the sink in two bounds. Something spewed from his mouth and he choked and rinsed his mouth with water for several seconds.

“Gah!” they heard him gasp. “That was disgusting!”

An amused twitch twisted Dick’s mouth as he tried to look sober. “What’s the trouble, Will?” he asked, honestly curious.
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Old 10-20-2006, 07:17 PM   #384
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Gable had just finished mucking out the last of the stalls. Then she supplied the ponies with fresh hay and water. She sat on a pile of hay and took out the locket again, puzzled at its being in the injured pony’s stall…She sighed as again, she could find no place anywhere of any inscription of whom it could belong to. She rubbed one side against her sleeve, to wipe of a tiny smudge on the edge, but, as she expected, nothing was writing under the smudge, or engraved into the locket. She knew that she couldn’t keep it secret, because if one of the visitor’s here were leaving today, it would be lost to them until their next visit, if they were to come once again to the Golden Perch Inn…

She sighed again, and put the lock back into her pocket. She had a sudden memory flash in front of her eyes, briefly, but one of the few that she had when she headed in a certain direction, off in her own imagination from when she was little. She had been pretending to help to slay a dragon, who was feeling rather grumpy about someone steeling his gold crown and a couple of medallions and his favorite goblet. He had been attacking the village for hours and she was among the three brave villagers’ who had the courage to face the dragon without any wizards being in the area.

They had been fighting for hours, their feet sore from the long walk, their arms tired from holding their shields and weapon. The dragon kept shooting a wave of flame at them, but then, she had been interrupted from her play, by a cry down by the river. She instantly ran down to it, though she knew the cry to be neither human nor elf. She had just reached the bank when she had seen a wolf pup struggling in the river, and she never knew why she did, but she climbed onto a branch and reached out over the river, where she had accidentally fallen in herself, when she had promised her parent’s to stay out of the water for one day, and trouble. Then struggling, she had saved the poor creature. Once she had reached the other side of the bank, she put the cub down and he bowed his head and then raised it and howled. Soundlessly, his mother came and through a silent understanding, thanked her, in some mysterious way….

Then, as sudden as the memory had come, it had vanished. She blinked and wondered why she had thought of it, after being nearly killed by three of them. She had always known that she could be strong, and brave, yet she always had a soft spot for little ones, one that she had never been able to overcome. She then shook the thoughts from her mind, and checked on the injured pony again. Eating like all the other pony’s, and some-what spook-able.

She then headed into the inn where she headed into the kitchen, and found Will swishing his mouth full of water. Then she heard Dick ask, “What’s the trouble, Will?” somewhat amusingly, but a more of it was curiosity. Without giving anyone the time to say something she cassually asked, to no one in particular, “Do you know of anyone who has lost a locket?”
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Old 10-20-2006, 08:54 PM   #385
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● Jack Greymoss ●

In Breeland the requests for coffee, hot and strong, were a little more frequent than here inside the Shire bounds. Or so Jack recalled from the Inns and public houses he’d sat about in back there. Ale of course came first for thirst, followed by tea in thick walled mugs with spoonfuls of sugar, then that dark brew, coffee.

‘Come up from the south,’ one of the kitchen boys had told him. Along with something called cinnamon, he later learned, having stolen a rack of enticing smelling cookies from one of the Inn’s kitchen windowsills. Even now his tongue remembered how they'd been covered in sugar with a pinch of some reddish brown powder that gave them a lovely spicy sweet taste. His mouth watered at the memory.

‘Pour you a little more of that…errr…coffee, m’am?’ Jack said drawing near to the table where Miribelle Rushybank sat. A largish pot of tea was held tight in one of his bony fists, while his other hand grasped a smaller, silvered ewer with a long spout like a swan’s neck and a high domed top. He raised the silver pot up his brow raised in question.

‘Name’s Jack, m’am. Jack Greymoss,’ he went on, noting her skeptical eyeing of him. ‘Master Boffin was kind enough to let me work a little for my keep. Just helping out as best I can.’
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Old 10-27-2006, 10:17 PM   #386
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Pipe 7th Age RPG Invitation

Bêthberry has offered a seasonal RPG in Rohan – The Veil is Lifted.

It’s a 7th Age game, based loosely around Hallowe’en and open to all comers.

Come join us and have a little fun!

Game Thread – HERE
Discussion Thread – THERE

~*~ Pio
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Old 10-28-2006, 05:37 PM   #387
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Primrose watched Will as he stood over the sink, still swishing water around his mouth with his face twisted in disgust.

"What's the trouble, Will?"

A still queasy-looking Will raised his hand, asking for a moment to recover before answering.

"Do you know of anyone who has lost a locket?" asked Gable. At almost the same moment, Primrose burst into laughter at Will's predicament.

"Oh, poor Will," she gasped between guffaws. "If you could see your face right now. I've not seen such a sight since the time the Tunnelly children slipped salt in the sugar bowls. When you're feeling better, I'd like to know the trouble too. do hope it's not a problem with our cooking." She laughed again until she was breathless.

"I'm sorry, Gable. I didn't mean to stop anyone's answering your question. A lost locket?" Prim winked at Rusty. "That sounds like it might be a case for our Sheriff."
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Old 11-02-2006, 09:18 PM   #388
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"I'm sorry, Gable. I didn't mean to stop anyone's answering your question. A lost locket?" Prim winked at the sheriff. "That sounds like it might be a case for our Sheriff."

“I found it out in the stable – in one of the stalls..” Gable replied, thoughtfully. Gable looked at the locket once more before laying placing it into the sheriff's hand.

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Old 11-03-2006, 11:56 AM   #389
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Rusty’s ears pricked up at Gable’s inquiry and Prim’s suggestion. A lost locket did indeed sound like a matter for him to concern himself with, especially if it allowed him to stick his nose into someone else’s business. As Will continued to sputter at the sink, the Shirif stepped closer to the elf, who now held the piece of jewelry outstretched in her hand. Without being asked, she dropped the small bit of finery into his palm. Rusty poked at it with his stubby forefinger, as if he could prod it into revealing its origin. “Can’t say’s I’ve seen the likes of this on anyone around here.” Rusty opined in a puzzled voice. “Where’d you find this un?” He handed the locket back to Gable and looked at her closely. On her face he thought he saw a trace of confusion, though whether from his question or from other source he couldn’t say. In a more official tone, he demanded, “Well? Speak up lass! Cat got your tongue?”

Gable shook her head, and replied evenly enough, “I found it out in the stable – in one of the stalls.” Rusty looked about the kitchen, his chin thrust out slightly, as if any of its occupants might challenge his authority to intervene in this matter. “I think we’d best try to find the owner of this little bauble, eh, Dick? P’raps Gable here should show it round to the folk inside.” Rusty indicated the common room with a nod of his head.

Gable’s brow creased slightly. “But, then someone might claim it even if it wasn’t theirs, couldn’t they Shirif Smallburrow? Wouldn’t it be better if we just announced that we found it and asked anyone who claims it to describe it – to be sure it’s theirs?”

Rusty thought he heard a small guffaw of laughter from the general direction of where Prim was still fussing over Will, but he refused to look their way. With solemn dignity, he replied, “Of course, of course. That’s what I meant, didn’t I? Plain as the nose on my face, isn’t it? Of course that was exactly what I was going to do. Now, come on, lass. Let’s find out what we can before all those breakfasters start moving on for the day.”
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Old 11-04-2006, 09:06 PM   #390
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Dick listened to the Sheriff and Gable’s conversation closely, heard Gable’s ideas, Rusty’s confirmation of the wisdom in it, nodded his head in agreement, and sat back down to his breakfast.

“Yes, by all means,” he said, waving his hand towards the door. “Take it on out and talk to them, sheriff. I do hope you find the owner. Gable, you’d better go to, since you found it. I’m going to finish breakfast.” The young elf and the hobbit sheriff went out into the common room together. Dick picked up his fork and resumed eating his breakfast of eggs, bacon, and muffins.

“So, Will – what did happen to you?” he asked around a mouthful. He looked hard at the lad, leaning still on the sink with a cup in his hand. Prim, beside him, choked on a laugh, her head going down and her face bright red with merriment. They’d been talking, clearly, and she knew what the problem was. “What is it, Prim?”
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Old 11-05-2006, 05:52 PM   #391
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"What is it, Prim?"

Prim stood propped with her elbow on the edge of the sink. Looking sideways at Will and grinning, she answered, "Not too much. Will says that he's been trying a bit of the 'outland brew.' Coffee from Breeland. And it doesn't seem to agree with him. Oh Will, if only you could have seen your face."

Will spluttered. "You ought to try some yourself. Gah! It's awful."

"I think I will. It can't as bad as all that. We make it back here often enough for the guests, though I'll admit I've never tried it myself. Brewing or drinking." She hopped back to the table while Will fetched the coffeepot to pour her a cup.

He joined her at the table and pushed a steaming cup of black liquid under her nose.

"Try that if you like, but I'm warning you, it's not a good idea."

Primrose lifted the cup. If the coffee tasted as good as it smelled, it would be a treat. Will's reaction made no sense. Until she took a sip. Prim's eyes nose wrinkled from the bitterness of the drink.

She forced herself to swallow and slowly put the cup back on the table. Prim's eyes were watering.

"Well?" asked Will. "Pretty bad, isn't it?"

"It certainly is. But you know, I think I could get used to it." She took another sip. It didn't seem quite as bad as the first. In fact, she was beginning to enjoy the flavor.
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Old 11-07-2006, 07:37 PM   #392
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Gable started looking around, and taking a deep breath, set her worries aside, she knew that they would find the owner, they just had to. She put aside her fears and let out the breath she didn’t know that she had been holding.

She took another look around the room before asking, “So, where do we start the search?” She wondered who the owner was, and if they noticed that it was even missing yet…
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Old 11-08-2006, 09:22 AM   #393
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“So where do we start the search?”

Gable’s question had been marked with a sharp out rushing of breath, causing Rusty to wonder once more if there was something bothering the young elf. Taking his gaze from her worried face, the shirif scanned the common room, contemplating the best way to locate the locket’s owner. The furnishings of the inn were such that some were of a size to accommodate the local regulars, while other bits were more human sized. Reckoning that his own hobbit stature would put him only at about shoulder level with the few taller occupants of the room, seated thought they were, Rusty looked about for a way to bolster his stature.

His eyes came to rest on the small raised platform upon which the frequent entertainments of the inn were performed. There remained two stools from the last night’s players. Rusty grabbed Gable’s elbow and steered her towards the little stage. Jumping up nimbly onto one of the stools, the shirif cleared his throat in his most officious manner. Plucking his thumbs through his braces, his chest swelling out, he spoke in a loud, clear voice, “Attention! Attention please! Everyone settle down now. We’ve an announcement to make here, a very important announcement and we need quiet so’s all can hear.”

He nodded up at Gable, who now stood beside him, her head still far above his own. His eyebrows rose slightly and he nudged her gently in the ribs with his elbow. “Go on, lass.” He whispered hoarsely. “Tell ‘em what you found.” The room had quieted and all eyes were focused on the two, waiting expectantly.
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Old 11-09-2006, 07:37 PM   #394
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Gable felt the sheriff nudge her in the ribs…probably meaning that she should explain what the announcement was. Her thoughts were confirmed when he whispered, “Go on, lass. Tell ‘em what you found.” Her face turned red from all the eyes staring at her expectantly, and her cheeks felt as though they were drums from being hot and to, suddenly, be expected to explain in a large crowd, with peoples whom she did not know.

Gable took a deep breath, and then began to explain, “Earlier today, I found a locket, out in the stables. If you have, uh, lost a locket…then you can come and explain…what the locket you found looks like, and if your description fits in with the locket I’ve found…then we’ll hand it over.”
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Old 11-23-2006, 08:16 PM   #395
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After a long trek, Tarathiel Caldorien wearily walks into the warm-looking building, named accordingly: The Golden Perch Inn. As the ranger walks in, he notices the people inside.

He quietly takes his place in the back, for it seems as though something is going on. A pretty female elf commands the attention in the Inn. He catches her say something about a locket, but pays it no great attention, for the tired elf seeks to clear his mind. I'll see what she has to say, I suppose , he decides, as he too listens to what the elf has to say.

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Old 11-23-2006, 09:39 PM   #396
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Dick watched the two young hobbits with amusement in his eyes. They twinkled as Primrose took a gulp of the strong brew and watched as her eyes slowly grew larger and her throat swallowed. He could still remember the first time he had drunk the stuff out of pure necessity. His father-in-law had practically forced him to swallow it when Dick had a splitting head ache still early in the morning.

‘Last night still getting to you, my lad?’ the old hobbit had said. ‘I warned you not to stay up so late without drinking something, but did you listen to your old dad? No, sir! It was, “I’ll be fine, thanks much.” Well, now you know better. Here, drink this. No, I insist.’ Dick hadn’t been able to escape the kitchen. Old Goodbody was a quick hobbit for all his corpulence and Dick was slowed with that terrible headache. Anyhow, the coffee had relieved the pain and the weariness and Dick had drunk it ever since.

“Pretty bad, isn’t it?” Will insisted.

“It certainly is. But you know, I think I could get used to it.”

Dick smiled as he took the last gulp of his own coffee. “I think you could, Prim, and it may do you good, if you should ever become overly tired with that leg of yours. Will, I think you’ve recovered enough. If not, have some water or tea, then you’d better be getting back to work.” He returned his dishes to the counter as he spoke. He thanked Cela for breakfast and straightened his vest before going out into the common room.

Gable and Rusty stood just on the outside of the counter. Gable had apparently just finished speaking, the locket lifted in her hand as she looked from one face of a guest to the next. No one said anything and no one claimed the locket.

After a very long pause, Gable sighed and her hand dropped, lowering the locket. Dick leaned across the counter and tugged at her sleeve. The elf turned towards him. “You’d better keep it back in the kitchen, Gable,” Dick said in a lowered voice. “If anyone should ask for it, we can get it for her, or him.”
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Old 11-24-2006, 07:02 PM   #397
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Gable nodded and handed the locket over to Dick, and then headed out to the stables, to see if she had forgotten any of the chores there. As usual, nothing had been forgotten, only, one of the water’s was low, and she gave the pony more water.

Then she sat down on a pile of hay and floated out in space, absorbed in her thoughts. ‘I wonder what the pony’s name is…Why are there wolves showing up out of nowhere? And why around here, in the Shire?’ Gable sighed and closed her eyes, then fell back into the hay stack. ‘I never did thank those who helped me when the wolves attacked, did I? May as well find them and thank them…and apologize for not thanking them sooner.’ Gable sighed just before another memory coursed through her head.

She was only ten at the time, when she saw the same wolf pup, though, no longer little, watching her from across the bank; she nearly fell out of the tree, but managed not to do so by hugging the branch. When she looked down at the other side of the creek, the wolf was no longer there…and she continued playing, until one of her friends came over and they started playing together. Gable could have sworn that she could still see those eyes over on the other side of the creek bank, staring there, watching her.
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Old 11-24-2006, 07:33 PM   #398
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Dick took the locket that Gable had handed to him and took it back into the kitchen. "Well," he said to the three stil gathered there, "no one spoke up for it apparently. "I wonder who could possibly have dropped it?" He looked at the thing. The chain was small and delicate and the locket glimmered in the bright sunlight coming in through the windows. "Odd. It has a lock to it and can't be opened." He touched it with a finger before sighing and bringing it closer to Cela.

"Here. Is there someplace you can put this where you won't forget and that when someone asks for it you can get it? I told Gable we could keep it in here until someone came looking for it. I figure you could keep an eye on it or something."

He extended the necklace towards her.
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Old 11-25-2006, 06:29 PM   #399
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Izmakiel took a seat at the back of the inn and watched from the shadows. He unclasped his soiled green travelling cloak and laid it beside him upon the table. He brushed the dried dirt off his shirt and leaned back in his seat. He took out his pipe and lit it, puffing on it thoughtfully. Being a dunedain ranger wasn't easy. There was patrolling to be done and quite often he would be called for some task or another by his Lord.


Izmakiel stood up and walked to the counter. The barman smiled and nodded at him.
"Greetings Ranger, how be you on this fine day?"
Izmakiel chuckled softly, such was the nature of his conversations with this man, always light and comical no matter what the situation.
"I am weary after a long week and in need of a mug of your finest mead. Make it snappy."
The barman turned and as he was pouring the drink, Izmakiel took another long probing look around the Inn. All seemed well. The barman placed the mug down and Izmakiel was reaching into his pocket to pay for it when the barman shook his head.
"This one's on me. You do enough for us around here. The least I can do is fetch you a decent drink and a snack. Go sit down and I shall bring it to you."

Izmakiel smiled and turned away from the bar, walked back to his seat and sat there with his eyes closed deep in thought.

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Old 11-27-2006, 09:35 AM   #400
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The lack of response following Gable’s announcement of the lost and now found locket was puzzling. Rusty, however, was not one to be discouraged by such a minor setback. After gable handed the trinket over to Dick’s safe keeping, Rusty determined it was time to put his investigative skills to work.

“I think I’ll just have a look around the stables.” He said, with a nod of his head to Dick, who was retreating once more to the kitchen. Taking Dick’s silence for acquiescence, Rusty hooked his thumbs through his braces and ambled across the common room and out into the morning air. Breathing deeply, he sighed contentedly. Nothing like a bit of detective work on top of a good breakfast to set a hobbit up right, he thought happily. Now, let’s a get a look at those wolf tracks, he said to himself, wandering off towards the stable.

Last edited by bill_n_sam; 12-01-2006 at 09:28 AM.
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