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Old 05-30-2003, 06:25 PM   #41
Taralphiel
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Sting

Mirabella let out a sigh as Olo crouched close to the fire that had begun to happily smoulder.

'Heavens! Were glad yere alive there Olo!' He simply nodded numbly. Mirabella sensed the guilt in him, and shook it off.

'What shall we do now?' ask Ferd, who was still looking very pale.

Mirabella stood up, and shook out her dress. 'Im dry enough, Im going to look for the other hobbits, I shant go far'

Trudging just under the treeline, she went further upstream. Soon she heard a faint call 'Who's out there??' Mirabella fought her way through the branches 'Its only me!! Come help me out of here!'

[ May 30, 2003: Message edited by: Taralphiel ]
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Old 05-30-2003, 08:31 PM   #42
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Sting

Falco watched as Mirabella left the fire to go look for the others. He hoped she would find Ben, Rosie, and Ama all together. The thought of losing one of his companions to the river because of Olo's mistakes sent a feeling of anger surging through him. Falco glared up at Olo, who he felt was responsible for this catastrophe.

"This is all your fault Olo!" Falco shouted.
"You should not have come up with the idea for this silly adventure and remained on land where hobbits belong! If we had none of us would be sitting here freezing with no idea where we are and wondering if any of our companions are dead!"

Olo flinched and turned his head away from Falco. Falco was about to continue his tirade when Ferd placed a hand on his shoulder stopping him.

"Stop Falco. Olo feels bad enough as it is leave him alone."

"Yes, stop it Falco." Penny said to him. "Now is not the time or place for placing blame on anyone."

"What are you two talking about! We all could have died because of him!" Falco shouted losing all of his calm.

"Just stop Falco! We'll talk about this later when we find everyone else." Penny said to him.

"If we find everyone else." Falco whispered and began pawing through his knapsack to see what had survived after being soaked by the river. The loaf of bread was all mush but the dried beef would be all right. It could maybe last them a day or so before they ran out. His knife was no longer in the bag Probably resting somewhere on the bottom of the river. However, two containers of water had survived the journey to shore. Shaking his head, Falco hoped they could recover some more supplies because what he had would not last them long.

[ May 30, 2003: Message edited by: Arawethiel ]
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Old 06-02-2003, 02:56 AM   #43
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Sting

Around 10 minutes later, Mirabella returned with the remainder of the hobbits, who were shivering and badly bruised. Olo felt deeply relieved at the return of them all, safe and sound, almost, and they warmed themselves around the fire. Then, came the most important question – what were they to do next? Olo voiced this question to the huddle of hobbits.

“Well….”Ama asked, “Does anyone even know where we are?” The movement of many shaking heads answered this.

“This is awful,” Rosie murmured. “What on earth are we going to do? My ma and pa will be so worried!”

“But…we have to do something!” Falco cried. “We can’t just sit here for ever! Couldn’t we just walk upstream? We must come to something…the Shire must be up there somewhere?” Night had truly fallen now, and all the hobbits became increasingly aware of the darkness around them, and the eerie shapes that stood out in the moonlight.

“How are we going to eat, though?” asked Ama. “We weren’t prepared for anything like this!” A few of the hobbits laid their meagre rations down in front of them, but it was clear it wouldn’t last them until they got home.

“I can look for my pack,” Olo said doubtfully. “It must have washed up somewhere….but I don’t see the food being very edible…” With that, the hobbit scurried down to the shore to find it, returning some minutes later, with some ale, cheese, and very soggy bread. The hobbits looked dismal, and there seemed to be little hope.

“Come on, we have to cheer up,” said Mirabella. “We can’t go on in this dark, and we can’t sit here and complain. Let’s sleep out the rest of the night.” The hobbits, while worried about the next few days, were worn out from their swim to the shore, and without another word curled up on the hard ground and fell asleep instantly, not caring about any dangers out there.
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Old 06-02-2003, 10:30 AM   #44
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Silmaril

Ama tried to get comfortable on the floor, but it was no use. Sticks and stones kept digging into her, making it very uncomfortable, and to add to it all she was soaking through and through. But she knew she was not the only one so she dared not to complain even though she was the oldest. And she thought. How did I get dragged into this, I am nearly 30 and I came on a boat with Olo, I should have known better!. She cursed her self and then tried to fall asleep. It still failed even though she was tired, and hungry to add to it. She thought hard to think of food around the Brandywine that they would be able to eat, but to no avail. All she could think of was the poisonous berries and they would be no good, least she wanted to poison Olo for making her come. She scolded herself again, a told herself that she had a mind of her own and he had no part in her decision. He was her cousin after all!

She looked around at the others and all seemed fast asleep. This was good for she felt a sort of responsibility towards them, being the eldest. She looked to Olo who was sound asleep next to her and smiled. He was lucky that the rest of them did not chuck him back into that dreadful river! But she would protect him from the others, after all it was their own choice to come. Slowly Ama fell asleep.
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Old 06-04-2003, 08:06 PM   #45
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The dark night softened into a cool gray morning, and Ferd shivered on the cold hard ground as he tossed and turned. His eyes opened to find Ama several feet away stirring from her slumber.

Pushing himself up to a sitting position Ferd leaned over and whispered, “Ama! Hey Ama! Are you awake?” Ama rubbed her eyes and nodded.

Ferd’s stomach was empty and food was immediately on his mind. He looked around at his companions and then to the pack that contained the few rations they had left. They would have to find more food, and they needed a fire. Wrapping his arms around his chest, Ferd shivered again as he thought of the possibility of heat.

“Ama,” Ferd whispered and crawled toward the lass. The rough ground made his knees sore. “Get up, Ama…I need some help.”

“What’s wrong, Ferd.” Ama sat up, stretched, and produced a long yawn. Ferd stood brushing the dirt off his clothes and reached down to help Ama to her feet. “We need firewood,” he continued softly trying not to wake the others. “Can you help me gather some before the others wake up?” Ama nodded and the two hobbits walked side by side into the nearby trees.
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Old 06-05-2003, 06:48 PM   #46
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Sting

A small rustle woke Ben. They were on the shore of the Brandywine, and he soon realized that Fred was gone.

"Getting more food I suppose that's it," he said as he grabbed an apple.

"No, just getting firewood," Ferd said coming out of the woods.

"You suprised me."

"Just go back sleep, everything's fine."

"Well, alright, good night then," Ben lay back down and chomped on his apple. Then, somewhere between eating and counting stars, he fell asleep. The young hobbit dreamt of more adventures and of delicous food.
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Old 06-06-2003, 09:16 PM   #47
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Sting

Ferd and Ama walked as quietly as possible among the few trees that ran along the Brandywine River. Being unsure of their location they were being careful not to disturb anything (or anyone) that might be lurking about. Each hobbit had a fair share of timber as they made their way back to their simple camp.

“Ama…” Ferd paused next to the last tree and turned to face her. “I’m worried about our food lasting, and I’m not sure what is edible around here.”

“I am too, Ferd.” Ama looked as concerned as Ferd felt. “We should wake the others and send them to find something to eat.” Ferd nodded in agreement.

The sun was now up and the morning had become absolutely beautiful, but Ferd was too hungry and troubled to notice. Taking Ama’s load of wood on top of his own, Ferd lugged the timber to the spot from the fire the night before, while Ama went over and began waking up the sleeping hobbits.

After several minutes of work, Ferd had a nice fire blazing, and he proudly turned to his companions who were still rubbing their eyes and complaining about how early it was. “Wake up, sleepy-heads!” His spirits were rising as he felt the warmth from the blaze.
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Old 06-07-2003, 12:18 AM   #48
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Sting

"Wake up sleepy heads!" Fred cried out from behind the blazing fire. One by one each of the hobbits woke up.

"Right!" said Olo, "We need food..." a few of the hobbits nodded. The sun now slowly crept up behind the low hills and they could start to hear the song of birds. "We should split up," he continued, "in groups of two. It will be easy to find food then."

So they proceeded to pair off. Ama and Ferd opted to stay at camp while the other went off, just so the fire didnt run out. So the other were gone. Ama planked herself down upon a wet log.

"Its a nice day to day!" Ferd cried. Ama didnt know what he was so happy about but she nodded and replied.

"Yes, yes it is shame we are here though...."

The two were in silence for a while. Ama still sat on her log throwing more wood on the fire when needed and Ferd began to pace the bank looking into to the what used to be swollen river. She watched him as he would walk the stop, then crouch down and touch the surface. He then would carry on. He did this several times, then turned round.

"Do you reckon we could catch some fish?"
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Old 06-07-2003, 01:46 AM   #49
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Sting

Mirabella stretched out the aches and pains as she woke. Slowly getting up, she noticed some of the hobbits had strayed. Politely shoving Ben she whispered 'Oi! Where did the other get off to?'
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Old 06-07-2003, 02:27 AM   #50
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Sting

Rosie woke to the sound chattering hobbits. They were huddled around a nice warm fire. She got up and joined them. They were talking about getting some kind of food. Rosie suddenly remembered her snare and checked her pockets. She felt the snare still in it’s hidden place.

“I have a snare and could set it up to catch some small game for us to eat. I would like to take Falco with me into to woods” Rosie said. She turned towards Falco and asked “ Would you go with me?”
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Old 06-07-2003, 08:45 AM   #51
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Silmaril

The rest of the hobbits had returned with Mirabella. They sat and warmed themselves up by the fire. What to do next? Well….”Ama asked, “Does anyone even know where we are?” Penny looked around and he mood dampened as she saw all the hobbits shaking their heads. Were lost! They had no food, and no shelter. What could they do? They were told to go to bed so Penny lay down on the ground. She tried hard to get comfortable but it was no use. Finally she fell into a deep sleep but it wasn’t a silent sleep. Memories of what had happened raced threw her head until finally she thought no more.


Penny awoke with Fred’s loud voice crying, “Wake up sleepyheads.” She groaned and rolled over. She got up slowly adjusting her glance to a beautiful morning. They were paired off as partners. Two by Two. Penny was with Olo. They decided they would look for anything edible. They walked into the forest and searched the floor and bushes. They found a few berries on a bush. They quickly picked them and set them in a tiny basket. They also found some strawberries and potatoes. “Hopefully the other groups were more successful” Penny said.

[ June 07, 2003: Message edited by: elven maiden Earwen ]
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Old 06-07-2003, 03:26 PM   #52
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Sting

Falco awoke to the cry Ferd had made and was surprised to see a fire roaring already. Moving over to it quickly he warmed himself up while the other hobbits talked about pairing off to search for food. Falco thought this was a great idea considering the only food among them was the little amount in his bag.

Falco then heard Rosie say that she had a snare and she wanted him to go with her.
"Of course I'll go with you Rosie. I'm afraid I've lost my knife, but I have a bit of rope that may help set up your snare if you'd like?" Falco said to her.

"Hmm, I'll see if we can use it and don't worry about the knife. I've got one of my own." Rosie said back with a smile. "Perhaps we can catch a coney or two."

With that said the two hobbits tromped off into the woods to catch some game. Falco was running over in his head what he has said to Olo the night before and began to feel guilty. All the hobbits on the boat had returned safely and he had no right to accuse Olo of everything. After all he had noticed the clouds himself before they left and had said nothing. Feeling guiltier than before, Falco resolved to apologize to Olo after he and Rosie returned. It wouldn't due to have a bad feeling left between them when they had more important things to worry about.

"Falco over here! I think this is the perfect place to set up the snare." Rosie said and gestured over to where a couple of trees were. Nodding his head Falco rushed over to help her. With any luck, they would have some fresh rabbit to eat.
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Old 06-08-2003, 02:08 PM   #53
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Sting

Olo yawned while searching amidst the thick bushes for food. All he had found so far were berries, red as blood, while Penny seemed to be faring a little better, having found some strawberries. Olo supposed it was doubtful to find food out here in the wild, but there must be some way of surviving.

As Penny had said, perhaps the other groups would be more successful, having headed off in different directions to see what they could scrounge from the unknown land. Olo inspected the berries more carefully. Were they fit to eat? When wandering around the Shire, he hadn’t needed to work out what was edible and what wasn’t, having brought some food from home, or usually able to convince an elderly hobbit to give him something by turning on his smile.

“Here, Penny?” Olo said, showing her some. “Do you think these are ok? We don’t want to take more risks than necessary…”

Penny, looking them over, felt that they would probably be safe to eat, but even so, to only eat a few, until the hobbits could see that they weren’t poisonous. The two hobbits looked at the few things they had gathered, before heading back to the campfire to see what the others had found.

Olo felt calmer in the warm light of the sun, although he dreaded the nightfall. Somehow, things always felt worse when it was dark. And although he had slept well the night before, being so tired from the wreck, vague recollections of old stories had come back to him. He remembered being a young hobbit, sitting on his grandpa’s knee, hearing far off tales and rumours of what lay beyond the borders. Mysterious creatures, even though the hobbits scoffed at that idea, but if not that, there were wolves. Wolves came into the Shire sometimes, of course, but Olo’s grandfather had told him how willing they were to eat a young hobbit up, and this idea had remained with Olo a long time after.

However, in the light of day, Olo pushed this thought to the back of his mind, and wondered instead what the others were up to.
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Old 06-09-2003, 12:30 AM   #54
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Sting

Rosie and Falco set up the snare, covered their tracks and went in search of other food sources. They didn’t talk to one another because each was in their own thoughts about the events of the night before. Rosie knew that Falco was feeling guilty about the way he had treated Olo. She wasn’t quite sure what to say to him about it, so she decided it was best to say nothing.

“Falco can you hit a moving target?” asked Rosie. “Because if you can then I will do some of my bird calls and we can bring them down and have roasted fowl on an open fire. “ Falco replied, “ I'm not the best but I can bring a bird down when I need to and right now we need all the food we can find.”

Rosie started whistling away and soon there were many birds answering her and flying around. Falco managed to get 5 birds in a very short time. They were both excited about this and couldn’t wait to get back to the other hobbits. They gathered up the birds and headed back to where the snare had been set in hopes of finding a coney or other small creature in it to help along with the meal they would have later.

As the two hobbits approached the spot where they had set up the snare they could hear some pretty strange noises coming from there. Falco decided it would be best if they crept up on the spot as to spy on the goings with the snare. The noises they heard were not from any animal that either Rosie or Falco had ever heard before. When they reached the spot they were both surprised to see an old man fiddling around with the snare that he appeared to be caught up in. He was muttering to himself about hobbits or children and their dastedly little tricks that they seemed to like playing on him.

Rosie and Falco back away from the spot for a few moments to discuss what to do about this new problem. Neither one of them had ever seen, much less talked, to big folk before. This one didn’t appear to be very happy and it didn’t sound like he cared for hobbits or children. However, Rosie was quite intrigued by the whole situation and wanted to go and introduce herself to the old man. Falco, on the other hand, just wanted to get as far away from the old man as he could. He let Rosie convince him to go with her, so off they went to meet the old man.

Once again, they reached the spot where the snare was and approached it slowly. Rosie tentatively walked up behind the old man and said “Hi, my name is Rosie and this is my friend Falco. You seem to be caught up in our snare that we were trying to catch a coney or something in. May we help you get loose from it?”

The old man turned around and scowled at the two hobbits. The look on his face stopped Falco dead in his tracks. Rosie took a quick step back as her mouth dropped to the ground.

[ June 09, 2003: Message edited by: Calenedheliel1 ]
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Old 06-09-2003, 12:10 PM   #55
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Sting

Old Bill Cummerbund got up early the morning after the storm and set off for his usual hangout by the ford with a spring in his step. His joints creaked a bit and his back hurt from sleeping on his lumpy mattress, but he was in a good mood, eager to see what the storm waters had washed up. The pride of his existence, his rusty sword Thunderill, clanked against his shins as he walked. He began to whistle under his breath. It was a low, wheezy sound, but happy.

When he got to the bend in the road, he decided that rather than go the long way around, he would cut through the woods, reducing the time it would take to get to the river by half. He'd done it lots of times before, so he never gave it a second thought, just lit his pipe, took a few deep puffs and plunged into the undergrowth. He was just walking along, daydreaming about the things he might find at the river -- one time he had actually salvaged a nearly full keg of pretty decent ale -- when suddenly something grabbed his foot. Thinking it was a root, he gave his foot a mighty jerk. The wire dug into his ankle. Turning around a couple of times in the attempt to find the source of the wire, Old Bill soon found himself and Thunderill thoroughly entangled. Panicking, he struggled a little bit and dropped his pipe. It lay smouldering just out of his reach.

"By Thunder!" roared Old Bill, his temper getting the better of him. "When I get out of this wire, I'll catch the dirty little beggars that set it! They'll taste the wrath of Thunderill!" He trailed off, grumbling bitterly.

It was then that he heard the voice of the young girl behind him: "Hi, my name is Rosie and this is my friend Falco. You seem to be caught up in our snare that we were trying to catch a coney or something in. May we help you get loose from it?"

Old Bill whipped around and scowled at the two hobbits. Hobbits! Of course. His scowl deepened. "Do I look like a coney to you?!" he demanded. "Get me out of this thing!" He trailed off again into grumbles: "Laying traps across the path. Could've killed me. Rotten children. Rotten hobbits. Trying to kill an old man..."

[ June 09, 2003: Message edited by: Ealasaid ]
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Old 06-09-2003, 05:04 PM   #56
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Sting

Standing before the blazing fire, the chill was now gone from Ferd’s bones. His companions paired off in search of food, while he and Ama stayed behind to keep an eye on the camp. His stomach was rumbling and gurgling, and he truly hoped their searches would be successful.

The river noisily ran its course behind him, and turning around to face it, Ferd silently cursed it and the events of the night before. He should have known better than to go sailing down the river. The swift water was no place for a hobbit, or any other decent folk for that matter. Only turtles and ducks and fish belong in the…Fish? Fish! Why hadn’t he thought of it sooner? Hurrying down the band, he paced back and forth looking for large stones. When he’d find one he would bend down and turn it over looking for night crawlers.

After locating several good places with the worms, he called to Ama who had been watching him with some interest. "Do you reckon we could catch some fish?"

“Yeah…that’s a great idea!” Ama exclaimed and hopped off the log and ran down to Ferd on the bank.

“We should have plenty of bait with all the night crawlers I found.” Ferd smiled proudly and puffed his chest out a little. “All we need is some line…I think we had some on the boat, so maybe it wash ashore over night.” He unconsciously scratched his head as he thought all of this through.

“Why don’t we look around and see if we can find it,” Ama said, and Ferd nodded in agreement. The two hobbits, then, set off slowly down the shore in search of fishing line.
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Old 06-10-2003, 11:38 AM   #57
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Ama looked around the bank for the fishing line, hoping she would find some. She turned over muddy stoens and even got down on her hands an knees to look for it. She must be hungry thought Ferd. The two searched for several minutes before she heard Ferd cry out her name. As soon as she had heard it she rushed over to the delighted Ferd who had found about three metres of the stuff. Ferd quickly made a makeshift rod out of the line and threw one end, with bait into the water.

"Now we wait," he smiled. Ferd kept hold of the line, while Ama retreated to her previous spot on the log to keep and eye on the fire. A good ten minuets passed with no avail for the enthusiastic hobbit but he did not give up hope. In good time he managed to catch two large fish, which were immediately thrown onto the fire and seasoned with a wild herb Ama had discovered while her search for the fishing line.

The two hobbits sat at the fire. Content that they had done their bit and waited patiently for the other to return.
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Old 06-11-2003, 12:30 AM   #58
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Sting

Falco stared distrustfully at the old man while Rosie rushed forward to release him from the snare. "I'm sorry, sir," she said earnestly to him, "we didn't mean for this to happen!" She stepped back after finally disentangling the old man from the snare.

Not even saying a word of thanks to Rosie the old man grumbled and turned to pick up his pipe and clenched it firmly in his teeth before scowling back down at the two hobbits. "And just what are two of you halflings doing out here anyhow? This is far from any hobbit town."

Falco saw how he kept fingering an old rusty sword while he talked and stepped in front of Rosie before she could answer him. "We were on a boat when we and our other companions got caught in the storm yesterday. Our boat sank but we all managed to get to shore." Falco responded to the old man still not liking the way he was gripping that sword.

"Companions! You mean there's more than two of you?" The old man looked thoroughly disgusted by the thought of running into more than the two hobbits he had seen already and began puffing furiously on his pipe.

"Yes, there are eight of us altogether." Rosie answered him while stepping past Falco and up to the old man despite Falco's attempts to stop her. Falco tried to pull her back but she shrugged him off and asked the old man in a hopeful voice, "You live in this area so perhaps you could help us sir? After the storm we got disoriented and don't know where we are. Could you help us get back to Buckland?"

"Rosie what are you doing!" Falco hissed at her. "We don't know anything about this man!"

"Quiet Falco, he could be our only chance to get back home." Rosie said back to him silencing any further protests.

"Me help you hobbits?" The old man said incredulously. But then a cunning look passed over his features and the old man smiled down at Rosie in a way that unsettled Falco. "Why of course I'll help you hobbits get back home. What kind of man would I be if I turned down people in distress?"

Rosie smiled happily back up at him and said "Thank you so much sir! Falco and I will lead you back to our camp and then you can tell our other friends the good news!" The old man laughed and said "Of course little lassie and the name is Bill Cummerbund or Old Bill for short."

"Thanks Old Bill." Rosie smiled at him again and then began to scurry back to the camp with Old Bill following slowly behind her. Falco paused long enough to pick up the five birds they had collected before he took off after them wary of this member of the Big Folk from all the stories he heard back home.
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Old 06-11-2003, 10:05 AM   #59
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Old Bill decided to follow the hobbits back to their camp, not so much out of a desire to help them, as he had implied, but more out of curiosity. Eight hobbits in a boat! he sniggered to himself. No wonder it sank! He knew very well that most hobbits were as nervous as cats around boats, and liked the water about as much as the average barn cat. But eight hobbits in a boat! That would have been a sight to see. He was sorry he missed it, especially the part where the boat sank.

Rolling his clay pipe furiously back and forth between his molars, he struggled to keep up with the hobbit girl as she scurried along the path ahead of him. She wasn't such a bad sort -- Rosie, did she say her name was? -- but the boy annoyed him, the way he hissed and muttered at the girl behind his hand, the suspicious, untrusting little chub. Well, Thunderill would show him who's boss. So busy he was in thinking of the way his trusty blade Thunderill could skewer a hissing, sneering hobbit that he totally missed sight of the low branch. Rosie had trotted right underneath it, but Old Bill caught it full across the forehead. The next thing he knew, he lay flat on his back in the damp soil and leaves of the forest path.

"THUNDERATION!" he bellowed up into the tree branches.

"Oh, my! Oh, my goodness! Oh, my!" he could hear Rosie's fluttery voice as she ran back down the path to assist him. But the boy...was he actually laughing? Darn it all! There he was, laughing because an old man had gone top over teakettle into the mud!

"Stop it, Falco!" ordered Rosie. "It's not funny."

"Sorry," muttered Falco, but the smile still hovered in his eyes and the corners of his mouth as he ran to help Rosie put Old Bill back on his pins. He couldn't help it. The sight had been just too much for him. One minute, there the old guy was, stomping along and puffing away like a chimney. The next minute, his boots were where his head should be, and then... Thunderation! Falco tried to stifle the guffaw that was building in his lungs and mostly succeeded, but it still burst forth as a little snort as his brain replayed the scene. Thunderation! Maybe if he actually liked the old guy it wouldn't have been so funny, but...

Rosie looked daggers at him, and Old Bill looked bloody murder. A knot the size of a small walnut was growing on Old Bill's forehead as he struggled to his feet, shaking off the hobbits' best efforts to assist him. Old Bill was so angry he could hardly speak. He just stomped from one foot to the other, sputtering like a blocked drainpipe.
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Old 06-12-2003, 05:19 AM   #60
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Sting

Mirabella snorted with anoyance as Ben rolled over and fell back to sleep. She sat by the fire and mulled over the situation they were in a few times before she concluded a solution 'Follow the river back where it came' she murmured. But all the turns they took, and down a few forks if she could remember. 'Blast it all' she said, and kicked a rock into the fire.

'Thunderation!!'. Mirabella yelped as she heard someone yell. At that Falco and Rosie sauntered in with an old man following. He looked a decent sort, but he had an odd sort of smile on his face, almost like he was about to jeer and laugh. Falco also seemed to be amused by something, but Mirabella could ask later.

'We have a guide!' said Rosie proudly

'By heavens, that's lucky!' Mirabella said, and grinned politely 'We would've been out here for an Age if we had tried to get on home alone!'

The man looked at her and scowled.

[ June 14, 2003: Message edited by: Taralphiel ]

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Old 06-14-2003, 12:37 AM   #61
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The fish were almost done now and Ama and Ferd stepped back and looked at their master piece. Ama was just about to say something when she was interrupted by a cry coming from behind Ferd.

“We have found a guide, we have found a guide,” yelled Rosie running up to the fire, her face ginning. “Look there he is, his names old Bill, he’s very nice!” she sat her self down next to Ama and waited for their approval. But again before they could say anything, “Oh, you have fish!”

“Yes, we do, would you like some?” asked Ferd.

“Y…”but Rosie was cut off be Ama.

“How do we know we can trust him? Are you sure he is loyal?”

“Yes, yes he is,” she said her starving eyes looking hungrily at the fish.

Old Bill had now reached then and they introduced themselves politely and then they sat down around the fire. Old Bill was quite clean, so in Ama’s mind this meant he was trustworthy, how wrong she was. And apart from the scowl on his face she started to like him.

“Just a few moments and Olo and Penny should return and we can eat!” smiled Ferd, so they waited.
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Old 06-14-2003, 05:26 AM   #62
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Erendal occasionally took a trip south to the other end of Fangorn; partially a patrol but mainly due to how bored he became. Knowing that a small yet elusive band of robbers had camped near his doorstep, the ranger (having gathered necessities and weapons) disguised his hut with branches and underbrush.

He hoped above all that during his trip, he would meet another ranger from whom he could proctor help; and that all other beings would stay far away from him.

After three days of swift walking, he reached the southern edge of Fangorn forest. He decided to continue his journey a bit farther south, walking along the Brandywine. But he knew that within a day's walk lay the Barrow Downs, and he had no intention of entering them. Thus, he forded the river to the western side as to avoid them. He went south for about a day, then stopped and made a camp. Hopefully, a ranger would cross paths with him.
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Old 06-14-2003, 05:58 PM   #63
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Sting

By the time Old Bill arrived at the hobbits' little camp, he had regained his composure somewhat from his fall. He wasn't sputtering or grumbling anymore, but the knot on his forehead throbbed and his poor back didn't feel any the better for having taken the brunt of the fall. And he was still angry. He had had a perfectly nice day planned, pulling plunder (as he called it) out of the river, before he ran afoul of these accursed hobbits, with their nasty little snare and their low-hanging branches. Well, fine, he thought to himself. I have a few tricks of my own.

The two hobbits he had encountered on the path ran ahead of him into the camp, the girl trumpeting, "We have found a guide! We have found a guide!"

A guide, am I? thought Old Bill, following close behind. We'll see about that!

He stomped into camp, puffing vigorously on his pipe, and bristled his eyebrows at the six new hobbits, treating each of them to a fierce scowl. As he did so, he heard little Rosie telling her companions, "Look there he is, his name's Old Bill, he's very nice!"

At that, Old Bill attempted a grandfatherly smile at the bunch of them. He didn't smile much and wasn't quite sure how to do it properly, but he gave it a shot. The expression looked more like a pained grimace than a smile, but the collected hobbits did not seem to notice. The six hobbits of the camp were sitting next to a small campfire over which they were cooking fish on wooden skewers. Old Bill had been temporarily forgotten as all eight hobbits entered into a lengthy discussion about the fish, whether it was done, and when they should eat.

Hobbits! sniffed Old Bill. Food and their own relations.. that's all they ever talk about. Nonetheless, the fish did smell awfully good. He thought of the lunch his wife had packed for him that morning which he carried in his rucksack: fresh bread, a block of white cheese, and a bottle of beer. He decided not to tell the hobbits of his own food. Maybe then they would offer him some of their fish. He could eat his own lunch later, after he had guided them (he snickered just a little bit) on their way.

Old Bill knew the land around the river like the veins on the backs of his hands. He had wandered those woods as a little boy and farmed the land nearby for close to forty years. If anybody was qualified to be a guide in those parts, it was Old Bill. He could guide them anywhere... straight into the Barrow Downs, if he wanted to. Boy, oh, boy, that was a creepy place. It would serve 'em right, the crummy little beggars with their nasty little snares!

He sidled away to the edge of the camp, all the while eyeing the cooking fish and plotting his revenge.

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Old 06-15-2003, 09:42 PM   #64
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Sting

Ferd sat closest to the fire next to Ama and slowly turned the fish over the flames. Glancing over his shoulder he looked Old Bill over. The man made Ferd nervous, not from anything Bill said or did, but because Ferd had never been around big folk before. He sure is big, he thought as he swallowed nervously.

Olo and Penny passed around some of the berries they’d picked. No one was completely sure whether the berries were really safe, but Ferd took a small handful anyway and popped them into his mouth. They tasted a bit sour from not being quite ripe enough, but Ferd’s spirits rose anyway when the food entered his aching stomach, and he began to sing rather loudly.

One fish, two fish, three fish blue
Sizzlin’ o’er the fire for my favorite crew;
One fish, two fish, three fish blue
And one fish more for my tummy too!


Ferd had an obnoxious tendency to make up little songs off the top of his head, and they typically were not very good. A couple of the other hobbits groaned loudly and Ama elbowed him roughly in the side.

“Sorry, sorry,” he cried throwing his hands up. “But I have some good news…the fish is ready!”

[ June 16, 2003: Message edited by: alaklondewen ]
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Old 06-16-2003, 08:47 PM   #65
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Mirabella cuckled at Ferd's quickly strung song 'At least its no' about sinkin' boats again!' She swallowed down some of the tart berries, others looking on nervously 'Do you feel allright Mirabella?' asked Penny

'Never better now I have food in my belly' said the young hobbit, now reaching for her share of fish 'We seem to be having a little more luck now I suppose, and thats not to be frowned at'

Leaning near the warm fore, she looked at all the hobbits. Some were enjoying the makeshift meal, others still had nervous looks on their faces. And the guide whom she now knew only as Old Bill, was still scowling.

'Well, the sooner we get home, the happier we'll all be I warrant' she thought to herself...
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Old 06-17-2003, 02:15 AM   #66
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One fish, two fish, three fish blue
Sizzlin’ o’er the fire for my favorite crew;
One fish, two fish, three fish blue
And one fish more for my tummy too!


The smell of the fish skins, cooked nice and crispy, woke Ben from his sleep. He rolled over and sat up, knuckling the sleep from his eyes. ‘I thought I was dreaming!’ he said, standing up with a stretch and grinning at Mirabella. ‘I could hear this funny song, and almost taste the sweet brook trout on my tongue.’ He wandered over to the fire where Ferd was just turning the last of the fish and crouched down opposite him.

Reaching into a small pocket on the inside of his vest, Ben fished out a small fired-clay ocarina. He put it to his lips, but no sounds came out except an off key gurgling. Holding it a ways from him, he shook out the river water and blew a few experimental notes. When he found the one that met his needs, he hummed a little after it, then sang his own verse:

One fish, two fish, three fish yellow –
Ferd, as a cook, you’re a very fine fellow!
One fish, two, fish, three fish, white –
Now give us a fish for Ben to bite!


A chorus of groans from the other Hobbits, interspersed with calls of ‘Don’t egg him on!’ brought an end to the duet. But Ferd and Ben were quite pleased with each others’ impromptu performance, and Ferd gave Ben two fish as a compliment.

Old Bill was sitting a little apart from the Hobbits. And Ben, his natural curiosity overcoming any small sense of caution he possessed, took his skewered fish over the fellow and offered him one. Old Bill waved him a way with his pipe indicating he wished to sit in peace by himself. Ben shrugged and bit into his fish as he looked the old guy up and down.

‘That’s a great sword you have there, Mister!’ he went on, impervious to the fact that Bill did not care for his company. Ben sidled up close to the man and sat down beside him, his fingers reaching out to touch the blade lightly. A glaring look from Bill brought him back to his senses, and he snatched his hand back hastily. Still, he continued to blather on to the increasingly annoyed man.

‘Once,’ he said in a muffled tone, his tongue and teeth juggling a large piece of hot fish, ‘once my Da and I went over to see one of his old friends. You’ve probably heard of him. Farmer Maggot – best mushroom patches in the Eastfarthing.’ He paused, looking up at Bill, who looked at him in disbelief as he went on. ‘Anyway, they got to talking, forgot I was there, I think. Old Maggot was telling my Da this story he’d heard from some old guy he knew lived near the Old Forest.’ Ben scooted closer to Bill and lowered his voice. ‘A very scary story.’

Bill, his hip up against a small rocky rise in the campsite, could not move away from the chattering Hobbit. He rattled his pipe stem against his teeth and hoped against hope that this would be a short story. His hopes were dashed when he saw that Ben had laid his fish down on the grass beside him and had taken a big breath in preparation to continue.

‘Well, Mister, it was like this . . .’ Ben, whose range of adventure had only encompassed the area from Stock to Rushy, proceeded to tell his captive audience of the haunted place that the lay off south of the Great East Road between Hay Gate and Bree. There were jewels scattered thickly there he recounted, and crowns, and gold and silver objects of all sorts, all belonging to the ancient men of long ago. He pointed to Bill’s old sword. ‘And wonderful old swords, just like yours,’ he said in hushed tones, ‘like the ones that kings and princes of old bore in the great wars of the Big Folk.’

‘Well what’s so scary about that?’ said Bill, pretending his interest was piqued by tales of riches lying unguarded. His hands twitched a little nervously, thinking about tricking the nasty Hobbits into going there.

‘Old Maggot said this fellow who told him about it said the place was guarded by some fearsome beings – wights, he called them. Said they could sing a song that would chill your flesh and freeze your spirit, make it so cold you couldn’t move, then they’d keep you there forever, until you died and became a wight yourself.’

The sun was bright up above them, but Ben shivered as he thought about the gruesome creatures. Old Bill poked him with his pipe stem, bringing him out of his frightful reverie. ‘Where’d you say that was lad?’ He had brought his face close to Ben’s, looking every bit the snake with a mouse held in its gaze.

Ben shook the remnants of the unpleasant image of the wights and their victims from his mind. ‘Where it was?’ He frowned trying to place the directions Maggot had talked about. ‘On the eastern boundary of the Old Forest is what he said, the place where the Withywindle begins. The Barrow Downs, that’s what he called it.’

He looked up at Old Bill’s face. You heard of it Mister? Have you ever been there yourself?’ He dropped his voice to a low level, whispering, ‘Is it true about the wights . . .?’

[ June 17, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 06-17-2003, 11:11 AM   #67
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Sting

Rosie sat near the fire, eating the fish and taking a handful of berries and putting them her mouth. “Oh, my goodness”, she thought, “These berries are very tart. I hope that they are okay to eat. They look similar to the ones back home, that I’ve eaten while I was in the forest.”

Ferd’s and Ben’s singing brought Rosie back to the present, and it was at that moment that she remembered the birds that she and Falco had caught. She got the birds and plucked their feathers and added them to the fire to cook. They needed all the food that they could get with 8 hobbits and Old Bill to feed.

*************

Rosie was turning the birds over to finish cooking them when she overheard Ben talking to Old Bill about some kind of treasure. She looked over at Falco and asked him to continue cooking the birds so that she could go over to Ben and Old Bill and join in their conversation. She walked over to Ben and listened to what he was saying. As Rosie listened to Ben she couldn’t help but remember a story her Da had told her about Hildifons Took, a distant relative, who went on a journey in the direction of the Barrowdowns and was never heard from again. She wondered if the wights had gotten him. She piped up and said “Well I for one do not want to find out if the stories about the wights are true.” Old Bill took a sneaky glance towards Rosie and chuckled to himself “Lass, you have no idea what you and your friends will see real soon."

Rosie saw Old Bill look at her and smiled back at him and suddenly realized that she was not so sure that the look on his face was all that friendly. A chill ran down her back and she began for the first time since meeting him to distrust him. A sense of foreboding overwhelmed her as she stood beside Ben. She tried to shake off the feeling by getting ready for the long journey ahead of the group as they headed home to the Shire.

[ June 18, 2003: Message edited by: Calenedheliel1 ]

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Old 06-17-2003, 11:37 AM   #68
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When they arrived back at camp they passed out the food. The hobbits ate the strawberries happily but they were all a little nervous about the berries. “Do you feel alright Mirabella?” Penny asked. “Never Better” she replied. Penny was happy at this. Maybe these are safe, she thought as she popped one into her mouth. It was very tart, but they weren’t that bad. Penny glanced over at Old Bill. I don’t trust him she thought. He was scowling and didn’t look very happy. Penny was scared of him to be exact. He wasn’t much taller then her, only ‘bout a foot or two but he was older, and stronger.

Penny smelled cooked fish. “Hey Ferd let me have some” she said after almost everyone had gotten some. “Here ya go, Penny,” he said handing her the fish. It smelled great. As Penny started to eat she watched Ben walk over to Old Bill. What’s he doing? Penny got up to see what they were talking about.

Ben was telling a story. Penny sat down and started to listen. “A place where riches lay. That’s amazing!” Penny gasped. “What’s so scary about that?” Old Bill asked. Scary? Was this meant to be scary? ‘Old Maggot said this fellow who told him about it said the place was guarded by some fearsome beings – wights, he called them. Said they could sing a song that would chill your flesh and freeze your spirit, make it so cold you couldn’t move, then they’d keep you there forever, until you died and became a wight yourself.’ Penny shivered, and hugged her knees. I don’t think Ben knows I’m listening to him she though.

“Where did you say that was lad?” Old Bill asked. On the eastern boundary of the Old Forest is what he said, the place where the Withywindle begins. The Barrow Downs, that’s what he called it.’ Ben said. Then he asked Old Bill if it was true. “Old Bill is it?!” Penny asked getting very frightened. The Barrow-Downs. She remembered hearing stories of long ago about fearsome creatures and places to the east but never of the Barrow-Downs or wights. Not waiting for Old Bill’s reply she asked Ben “Who told Farmer Maggot that story?” She was getting very anxious I hope it’s not true.

[ June 17, 2003: Message edited by: elven maiden Earwen ]
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Old 06-17-2003, 12:30 PM   #69
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Ben looked round with a surprised expression on his face, his cheeks reddening. He hadn’t meant for anyone to hear his story, other than Old Bill. Old Bill grunted at his discomfiture, while Ben stuttered through a response to Penny.

‘I . . . I’m not sure about who told him, Penny. My Da seemed to know who it was though, when Farmer Maggot spoke a few lines of some strange poem, song, this old guy had told him.’ Ben’s forehead wrinkled as he called up in his memory the little scrap of verse. ‘Here it is!’ he said, his face brightening.

Get out, you old Wight! Vanish in the sunlight!
Shrivel like the cold mist, like the winds go wailing,
Out into the barren lands far beyond the mountains! . . .


‘Sorry, but that’s all I can remember.’

Been looked around at the other Hobbits, who had all drawn near as he sang the strange little tune about the ghastly creature. The day seemed to have grown chillier, as a wisp of clouds trailed over the sun for a moment. The Hobbits shivered, thinking about cold mists and wailing winds.

Rosie raised her eyebrows at the completion of the singsong verse, thinking to herself, ‘Now that’s a good thing to know, isn’t it. Wights don’t like the sunlight.’ The intrepid lass filed that away as an important fact, just in case she might need it one day.

‘Oh no!’ cried Falco, who had left the fish and birds cooking over the fire. The smell of burning meat filled the air. The little fire had licked up greedily and was in the process of consuming the rest of their hot food.

The Hobbits scattered like leaves in the wind, racing back to the fire. Each grabbed at a stick with a fish or bird on it and waved it madly in the air to put out the flames.

The wights forgotten for the moment, they set to finishing off their breakfasts. All the fish were soon eaten, and the birds were wrapped in some large tree leaves and stuffed into vest pockets for munching on later.

Ben watched as Olo scattered the remains of the little fire and heaped dirt on the last of the glowing coals. He leaned in toward Mirabella, who was just finishing the last of her overdone fish.

‘Looks like we should be leaving soon,’ he said, looking about the little camp. ‘I wonder which direction we’ll be heading . . .’
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Old 06-17-2003, 12:47 PM   #70
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They ate happily for a while, then Ama realised that they should be getting home. It would certainly take a long time to walk all the way they had sailed, and surely the storm had swept them a further distance down the stream. She waited till the others had finished up and then spoke.

“We should be getting on our way,” this was directed at Old Bill who sat next to Ben while chewing on the remains of one of the fish herself and Ferd had caught. “You know the way back to the Shire?” she asked him.

He threw down the fish bones and looked up at Ama, replying gruffly, “Yes, ’course I do, do you want me to show you?”

“We would like that very much,” Ben smiled up at him, but Old Bill seemed absolutely disgusted at him.

So the hobbits stamped out the fire, collected a few weapons, sticks, stones and threw the remains of the food back into the river. There was no point keeping them as they would quickly go stale, and then they would end up contracting a fever of some sort. Ama only hoped there would be food further upstream. But she was mistaken.

Old Bill started to lead them off downstream. As they continued to walk Ama nudged Ferd, “Aren’t we heading in the wrong direction?” Ferd nodded. “Hey, Bill,” she shouted out towards the leader, “ Isn’t the Shire that way,” she said pointing back upstream. The other hobbits agreed, nodding with concerned faces.

“You would think that,” Old Bill replied, “But I know a short cut,” and he tapped his nose and continued to lead them downstream.

[ June 17, 2003: Message edited by: Arien ]
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Old 06-17-2003, 08:17 PM   #71
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Mirabella trudged along behind the guide, still suspicious of him. 'I do no' like this' she pouted as she heard Ben walk up beside her 'Or maybe it was your Wight stories giving me the frights' she winked.

Ben went crimson, and she chuckled 'In all truth, my da' spoke of those places. Though only once. He said it was a load of rubbish, and that hobbit lasses wouldna' get that far, so dont let my mind wander there'. She looked up at the sky 'Well, he said I wouldnt leave the Shire eh? Look at me now!' she beamed, and tapped the stick she had taken with her along the riverstones.
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Old 06-17-2003, 09:40 PM   #72
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Ferd finally had his fill of fish, but his mood had not improved since Ben’s telling of the stories about the old Wight. Ferd’s Uncle Gorby Brandybuck, who lived in Brandy Hall, had told him many strange tales about the Old Forest that would raise the hair on a young hobbit’s neck, but never had Ferd heard of this Burrie…Burrow…Barrow Downs, and he certainly did not like the sound of the place.

Ama’s voice interrupted his unpleasant thoughts. “We should be getting on our way,” she called to Old Bill. Ferd nodded in agreement. Their adventure had been adventurous enough and he was ready to be home.

Popping up from his sitting position, Ferd helped Falco stamp the fire out, and while the others were repacking their bags, Ferd searched the area for anything that might prove useful in the days ahead. Making his way to the edge of the trees, he stooped and picked up a long stick that had a large knot on one end where it had once branched out. Ferd rubbed his hand along its rough skin and pulled off a couple patches of loose bark. The branch felt heavy in his hand and he hit the ground with it twice to check its sturdiness. This would make a hardy blow if needed, he thought. And a fine walking stick in the mean time. With that he put the knot in his hand and continued his search.

Wandering down around the river’s bank, Ferd gathered a handful of nice round stones and put them in the pocket of his knickers. His aim was sharp if he put his mind to it, and these rocks might provide game if they came to an area with trees.

Penny called to Ferd. “Come on…we’re all ready!” With a wave of his hand, Ferd hurried back to the camp site. After snatching the fishing line that lay in a heap next to the smoldering ashes, he fell in line with the others who were following Old Bill down stream.

Ama leaned over, nudged Ferd, and whispered, “Aren’t we heading in the wrong direction?” Ferd agreed that he thought it strange they would be going down stream, but Old Bill insisted he knew a shortcut. Ferd was unsure of how he really felt about this shortcut. His confidence was faltering. The group was traveling in a place he’d never been, going in a direction his heart felt was wrong, and following a man who made Ferd very nervous. However, he didn’t have the courage to speak up like Ama did. He does know where we are…and he said he’d show us the way home, Ferd was trying to convince himself everything was okay.

They were walking in an area that was grasslands as far as Ferd could see. The tall grass was almost to his waist, and it swayed by a gentle breeze that blew over the land. Old Bill plunged through the grass and the hobbits marched in the path the large man made.
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Old 06-18-2003, 01:08 AM   #73
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Olo looked at Old Bill slightly suspiciously, having rarely been in contact with the taller folk. To be honest, he was a little intimidated. Still, if the old man could in any way help them to get home…Olo would just have to trust him.

The old man led the hobbits on their way, he and Ben having finished talking about the wights, and the fearsome Downs. Olo had heard only snatches of rumours about this place – where wights walked, and the dark shadows of the Old Forest beside it. Olo shuddered. For all his bravery, he had no wish to venture into these places unless he had a very good reason.

As the party kept walking downstream, Olo felt a niggling feeling nag at him. Didn’t this seem to be the opposite direction? But then…Bill would be leading them astray. He had no reason to do that, had he? Calming his feelings, Olo turned to Ama.

“Ama? How long do you think it will take us to get home? Is there any way we might send a message? They must be worried…”
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Old 06-18-2003, 09:14 AM   #74
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“I don’t think we can send anything home,” she replied to Olo, “We have no way, and none of us know a short cut or even the way home.”

Olo sighed and fell back behind the group. She couldn’t help but feel sorry for her cousin. It was his adventurous mind that had got them into this mess and the guilt must be dreadful. Time passed slowly and the hobbits didn’t talk much, the walking was enough. The wind blew hard and fast, maybe a storm was starting again. Ama hoped not. They had missed lunch, and all other meals and now the sun was setting slowly but surely and the wind had died down.

“Shall we stop?” asked Falco.

“Errm, yes I think so.” Old Bill replied thoughtfully, sitting down on the ground. The rest followed suit and Ama was sat next to Ferd and Olo, who still looked seriously gloomy. They managed to get a small feeble fire going, but no one was complaining. It was bliss against the cold harsh wind of the day. They chatted a little beside the fire, while Ferd and Ben caught a few more fish from the nearby river. Soon they returned and the fish were frying on the fire.
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Old 06-18-2003, 10:19 AM   #75
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Ben sat wearily on the ground, it had been a long day of hiking. The only food he’d managed to get were a few of the sour berries Mirabella had wisely thought to stuff in her pocket, and a few bites of one of the cooked birds he had stored in a leaf in his. The rest he had shared with Mirabella and the two hobbits walking near him.

He had been lucky enough to catch a few small brown trout in a nearby stream with a finger line and a hook he had found in one of his pockets. Ferd had gone with him, and between the two of them they had gotten enough for the group to make some semblance of a meal. Once back, they handed their catch Rosie and Falco, who cleaned and gutted the tasty beauties, and put them on sticks to roast over the fire.

Ben scooted as close as he could to the meager fire, thrusting his feet toward it, trying to get them warm. Mirabella sat next to him, and they huddled together, sharing what warmth they could muster. The smell of fish crisping over the flames made his tummy rumble in anticipation. He could hardly wait to sink his teeth into one. He started to fidget, wishing he could think about something else until the fish were done.

‘Mirabella,’ he whispered, leaning close to her and nudging her in the side, ‘let’s see if we can find some more wood for the fire. I saw a little stand of trees not too far back, a little ways off the path Old Bill led us on. We should be back before the fish are done.’ He looked expectantly at her. ‘It’s going to be a long, chilly night,’ he went on, looking up at the sky. The moon was just peeking over the horizon, and its pale fingers of light spreading over the rise in the distance seemed only to add to the chill.

Ben stood, extending a hand to her. ‘Come on! Let’s go!’
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Old 06-18-2003, 01:17 PM   #76
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Sting

Penny was disappointed Ben hadn’t known who had told Farmer Maggot the story of the Barrow-downs. Now she could tell if it was true or not.

‘Looks like we should be leaving soon,’ Ben said, looking about the little camp. ‘I wonder which direction we’ll be heading. We do need to get going Penny thought, as she grabbed the little she had, including her knife. They put out the fire and started walking back to the Shire. After a couple minutes Penny figured out that they were heading downstream.
“ Isn’t the Shire that way,” Ama said to Old Bill pointing back upstream. The other hobbits agreed, nodding with concerned faces.

“You would think that,” Old Bill replied, “But I know a short cut,” and he tapped his nose and continued to lead them downstream.


The hobbits walked parallel to the river for many hours. Penny watched birds fly though the sky singing. It was a beautiful sunny day. Long rolling grasslands stretched for miles. The grass swayed in the winds, and the leaves on the trees rustled and sighed. It was a perfect day. Penny wished she was back in the Shire, enjoying this day with her friends and family their.

The wind picked up speed and started to blow harder, as the day grew on. Penny was extremely hungry, but they had nothing really to eat. The sun started to set and the sky turned different colors. It was orange and yellow, purple, pink, and red. Soon though everything would be a deep royal blue, with little white stars twinkling, and the moon shining. Penny shivered. It was getting very cold even though the wind had died down again.

When they stopped they made a small fire. Ferd and Ben caught some fish and they began to cook them over the fire. Penny sat by Rosie watching her clean the fish. Penny sighed. She couldn’t wait till the fish was ready. Mirabella and Ben had gotten up to get more firewood. They returned with a few pieces and set them on the fire. Soon the fish was done and everyone was eating happily.

Penny was getting very tired. So were most of the other hobbits. They all huddled up in a small group, keeping close to stay warm. The wind had picked up again and the trees nearby were swaying back and forth. She fell asleep almost immediately. But it wasn’t a pleasant sleep.

She had dreams of trees that talked. They laughed at her, and tired to grab her. She screamed and ran away. But she ran into wolves. They were closing in on her about to eat her. *Gasp* Penny awoke shaking and sweating. She was so scared. The wind seamed to whisper to the trees, and the stars seemed to laugh at her from above. Penny got up and walked around. She couldn’t sleep any more. The leaves rustled and sighed with content and the moon shone bright.

Not far away sat a large rock. Penny walked over and sat down upon it. She stared up at the stars and sky. She wondered when they would be home, and how here friends and family were. Did they miss her? She stayed there all night, until she finally fell asleep.
[ June 18, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]

[ June 20, 2003: Message edited by: elven maiden Earwen ]
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Old 06-18-2003, 10:15 PM   #77
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Sting

Mirabella let Ben help her up, and followed him out into the dank foliage. Scarping past rough bushes, they slowy found the kindling and larger pieces of wood needed to keep the fire going. Mirabella whistled lightly as she filled her arms with wood and said to Ben 'How long do ye think it'll take for us to get home?'

'Though you were wishing for adventure Mirabella Took!' he teased. 'I am..its just that Old Bill gives me the jeebies. I canna help it. The sooner he helps us and leaves the better I say' Ben looked at her 'He's helping us, that must mean he canna be all bad. Besides, what would he want with a bunch of lost hobbits?'

Mirabella stood up, her arms filled with firewood and huffed 'I have no idea, but Im naturally untrusting of Big Folk. I'll keep my guard out' she said, and moved back to the light of the fire...
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Old 06-18-2003, 11:24 PM   #78
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Sting

Falco sighed wearily in front of the fire. It had been a long day of walking and Falco had been anxious about this shortcut Old Bill was leading them on. What kind of shortcut takes you in the wrong direction he thought. Falco grumbled and rummaged through his little pack for one of his containers of water. His rope and the two containers were still there but all of his other provisions were gone.

Rosie came and plopped down beside him after finishing eating her fish. "Hey Falco any chance I could have a sip of your water?" Rosie asked him. "Of course Rosie, drink as much as you need. I can always refill it from the river." Rosie smiled and took the container of water. After she was finished drinking Falco decided to talk to Rosie about his suspicions of Old Bill.

"Rosie do you think Old Bill is leading us the right way? I mean he has done nothing but grumbled at us since he first met us. I don't think the old man likes hobbits." Falco whispered to Rosie. "What are you talking about Falco? Of course he likes us. Didn't you see how interested he was when Ben was telling him that story?" "The Barrow Downs? Anyone would be intrigued by that story why I remember when my father told me about that old tale. It scared me out of my boots, but I was a young hobbit lad then. Any one with a bit of sense knows there's no such thing as a wight." Falco stated matter of factly. "Old Bill was probably more interested in the treasure than anything else."

Rosie stared at Falco and shook her head at his know it all manner. "Falco there are things in this world that you and I don't know about. After all this is the first time we've been out of the Shire. Who's to say what's real and what isn't." Falco started to open his mouth to argue with her when she held up her hand to shush him. "It doesn't matter anyway Falco because we'll probably never be anywhere near this Barrow Downs to find out who's right. I was wondering if in the morning you'd like to come with me to try the snare again. I'm getting a bit tired of fish." Falco nodded his head and said "Sure Rosie I'll come with you in the morning."

"Good, sleep well Falco." Rosie said and headed off to sleep for the night. Falco sighed and shook his head. Wights what utter foolishness. The only thing they had to worry about was Old Bill not some old tale about ghosts.

[ June 19, 2003: Message edited by: Arawethiel ]
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Old 06-19-2003, 11:40 AM   #79
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Sting

Ben and Mirabella sat up long after the others had gone to sleep. The moon was full and bright, though thick, dark clouds sailed along in the night sky, obscuring the light now and again. The two Hobbits sat huddled close together, each with a small pile of twigs and broken up limbs, feeding the small fire before them.

To be sure, the night had grown a little chilly, and Ben told himself the fire was for keeping warm. But, if truth be known, he had scared himself a little with the recounting of the wight story and he wanted the light of the fire to keep back the darkness.

‘You know, Miri,’ he spoke softly to his companion who sat to his left, using a nickname he often called her, ‘I was thinking that when we get back we could write down this little adventure of ours in the new journal I got for my birthday. Remember that scrape we got into when you were about eleven? We could start out with that one, and sort of keep a little list of stories about the fun things we’ve done.’ He looked back over his right shoulder and into the dark grassy field at the edges of the clearing they had camped in. ‘Although, I’m not exactly sure this one will qualify as a “fun” adventure. What do you think about that?’

He turned back to Mirabella expecting her answer, but her chin had slumped down to her chest, and all that came from her was the sound of soft snores. Sighing, and shrugging his shoulders to throw off his own weariness, he picked up a long stick and poked the fire, sending up small sparks like little fireflies that winked and then went out.

*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*

The fire burnt down to a bed of bright coals, and Ben sat dozing off by it. Something niggled at the edges of his consciousness, some little sound, and he opened his eyes slowly, looking off into the tall grasses. Something rustled there, coming closer. He could see the tips of the grasses swaying as the creature moved nearer.

Ben blinked, trying to get a fix on what it might be. Then the grasses parted where they met the dirt and groundcover of the clearing, and there, in the fleeting moonlight when the clouds parted for a moment, two yellow eyes peered out and then withdrew . . .

‘Wake up Miri!’ he said nudging his companion hard in the ribs. ‘There’s something out there!’ They both hastened to wake the others . . .

[ June 20, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 06-19-2003, 03:51 PM   #80
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Sting

Olo awoke with a sudden start as Mirabella shook him.

“What? What is it?” he asked, seeing a look of worry in Mirabella’s eyes.

“There’s something out there,” she said, swallowing. “Two yellow eyes…help me wake everyone up!” Olo did so, shaking Ferd and Ama awake, as resounding groans went through the camp, until everyone realised the reason for the situation. The hobbits sat up anxiously, unsure of what to do. Their faces were filled with a mixture of fear, apprehension, and Olo bit his lip. What was out there? How would they deal with it?

Fumbling around on the ground in the inky darkness, from which the glowing eyes peered, Olo’s hand closed around a large stone, sharp and cold. Lifting it in his hand, he stood up, tense and rigid, waiting to see what was advancing towards them, his small figure trying to look brave in the shadows.
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