There was movement in the darkness. Vague, amorphous silhouettes danced against a ribbon of fire that twisted and writhed around him, and the whispers were a sea of torment. Frodo drifted on their tide, flailing helplessly as the weight of malice bore him down towards the red-dark depths, and that golden brilliance that called: Frodo... Frodo...! Suffocating heat swept over him.
Sam! he cried out, and opened his eyes to darkness deep.
"It's all right, Mr. Frodo, I'm here," said a distant voice.
"Sam!" But the flames that wreathed him roared the higher, then, drowning out all else, and after a brief struggle, Frodo surrendered to them. In his dreams, he marched with Orcs, stumbling and staggering to keep up while the will of the Master bore down upon them. For they were headed into the heart of the fire, into the point of darkness in the center of the flame–the darkness that gaped open like a chasm, like a mouth that swallowed the light and silenced the roar. Stop seeing me! Frodo cringed, his progress slowed, though the Orcs showed no signs of slackening the pace. Indeed they seemed of the very substance of flame themselves, their shapes rippling grotesquely, changing as they charged heedless and joyless into the fury of that devouring maw from which stared the Void itself.... Stop looking! Stop! He tried to turn away, tried to hide his face, but he could not. Step by unwilling step, he was drawn forward, and that gaze began to peel away at throbbing, tingling flesh, burning where the Ring lay hidden.... Sam!
"Frodo? Mr. Frodo?" Frodo moaned softly and managed to lift heavy lids. Someone was leaning over him, and for an awful instant, he was confronted with Grishnákh's hateful visage. A cry rose in his throat, but only a hoarse squeak emerged from between parched lips, and then the Orc did something very odd. It reached out with a clawed hand and gently patted his face with a damp cloth, all the while frowning and seeming very concerned. "Mr. Frodo?"
"S-sam?" Frodo managed, squeezing his eyes shut for a long moment. There came the sound of water falling back into a bowl as a cloth was wrung out, and the other replied quite distinctly:
"Well, there's a relief! I'd begun to think you'd not recognize anyone, the way you were carrying on, with the fever and all." It certainly sounded like Sam, and when Frodo dared to open his eyes once more, the illusion dissolved, and he found himself staring up into his friend's worried, bruised face. "How do you feel?" Sam asked anxiously, placing the folded cloth on his forehead.
"I... where are we? What's happened?" Frodo demanded weakly, raising his head slightly to look about. A lamp glowed on a plain wooden stand in the corner by the bed, illuminating the bare rock walls of some sort of cave, and a curtain hung behind Sam. From beyond it came the low murmur of voices... human voices. Bewildered, Frodo looked to Sam for an explanation. Sam, though, fidgeted rather unaccountably, biting his lip as his brow furrowed slightly. And it was then that Frodo noticed the ugly welt on Sam's face. Reaching out shakily, he made as if to touch, but Sam caught his hand and squeezed tightly. "What happened...?" he repeated, and this time meant not the battle.
"It's nothing, Mr. Frodo," Sam replied staunchly, reaching for a mug that sat on the table. "Don't you worry about me, now, but just drink this down." Frodo blinked, but he obeyed, aware suddenly of a terrible thirst. Tea of some sort, it proved, and despite a generous amount of honey that sweetened it, the medicinal aftertaste remained. "How do you feel?" Sam asked, as he took the mug back and set it aside.
Frodo shook his head slowly, and after a short silence, he replied, much to his own surprise, "Better. I feel... I feel as though I can think. My head's clearer...." He raised a hand to touch his brow in wonder, and then froze, struck by sudden realization. Glancing down at his left arm, he wriggled his fingers, and was shocked to see them obey instantly. What is this? Astonished, Frodo willed himself to make a fist, and watched as his hand balled obediently. His left arm ached, certainly, yet not as it had, and he ran hesitant fingers over the fresh bandage wrapped snugly about the injury. "Where is it?" he breathed, stricken with sudden panic. "Sam, it's gone!"
"Aye, it is," Sam said, with a beatific grin of relief, but Frodo felt his heart clench in anguish.
"Where is it?" he demanded, reaching out to latch his fingers into Sam's collar. "Sam, what happened?"
"Easy does it, now," Sam was quick to shush him, glancing over his shoulder worriedly at the curtain. Turning back to Frodo, he gripped his master's wrist, lowered his voice and continued, "It's all right, Mr. Frodo, we've still got it."
"But where is it, then?" Frodo demanded impatiently, though he, too, lowered his voice to a hissing whisper.
"Well, I couldn't leave it in you, Mr. Frodo–"
"You took it?" Frodo hissed, darting an incredulous, horrified look at Sam, who recoiled slightly, eyes wide, as Frodo's hand clenched into a fist at his throat, bunching the fabric in a white-knuckled grip. "Where is It? Where did you put It?"
"It's right here, sir," Sam replied, quickly fishing about in a pocket.
"You touched it?" Frodo demanded.
"Well, in a manner of speaking... yes," Sam admitted, and then seeing Frodo's smoldering look, added quickly, "I had to take it out of you, Frodo. I hadn't much time: the healer wanted a look at you after he'd seen to the other wounded ones, and I was that scared he'd come back before–"
"Give it to me!"
"I will, I will... here," Sam answered, finally pulling a rather stained and wadded up handkerchief from his pocket. Then, he hesitantly extended the little bundle, which Frodo snatched. Immediately, he set about unfolding it, nearly tearing the cloth in his haste to see what lay concealed inside. Gold gleamed at him from within the folds, and a terrible sort of relief coursed through Frodo. It's safe... It's safe, I have it still! With a sigh, he clutched the Ring, handkerchief and all, to his chest.
"I thought I'd lost you," he murmured, shaking his head.
"Mr. Frodo?" Something in Sam's voice cut through that relief and caught his attention. Frodo blinked and glanced up to see Sam staring at him in something akin to horror, eyes wide and bright with tears. The sight shocked him, and of a sudden, he felt rather confused... and then revulsion set in.
"I'm sorry, I... what was I saying, Sam?" Frodo murmured, passing a hand over his eyes. I thought I'd lost It... you... It.... "Oh, Sam, what have I said? " Frodo collapsed back against his pillow with a groan.
"It's all right, sir. I understand," Sam managed valiantly, quickly wiping at his eyes. He reached out and patted Frodo's hand, the one that did not clutch the Ring. "But I think you should put it away now."
"It's not that I want it," Frodo hastened to assure him, even as he stuffed the Ring, kerchief and all, into his trouser pocket. "But I thought... with Boromir–"
"Eh... yes, Boromir," Sam interrupted, unease apparent. "That's... well... it's not what you think, Mr. Frodo."
"I beg your pardon?"
"You see, it's not Boromir, but his brother–"
"He had a brother?" Frodo interjected sharply, searching his mind for any memory of that.
"Aye, he did and he does. One of the guards who brought us back here told me, not but what I might've guessed just by looking at him. They do look an awful lot alike," Sam paused, searching Frodo's face worriedly a moment. Then, somewhat hesitantly: "Don't you remember Boromir telling us about his brother? About Faramir?"
"No, Sam, I'm afraid I don't," Frodo sighed. "You'll have to tell me about him."
"It's a bit hard to explain, sir. You know how there are some as you give a second and a third look, trying to get their measure?" Sam asked, face screwed up thoughtfully.
"Aye, I do."
"That's how Faramir seems to me. Very close, he is."
"Indeed, Master Gamgee, closer than you know," said a new voice just then, as the curtain was drawn back, and Frodo caught his breath. For standing there in the doorway was a young man, or one who would seem young but for the weariness–and wariness–in his eyes, and though it likely needed a fever to mistake him for Boromir, no man could have mistaken them for aught but brothers. Frodo fancied he could see a little of Boromir in the shape of the other's face, and especially in the mouth, for at the moment, Faramir sported a frown that Frodo remembered well from having seen the very same one on Boromir. He felt his heart sink at the sight of it. "A good evening to you both," Faramir continued then, stepping over the threshold and letting fall the curtain. "How is your arm, Master Baggins?" he inquired politely, though those somber eyes did not lighten.
"Better, I think, thank you," Frodo replied, reaching almost unconsciously to press his right hand over the bulk of the bandage.
"You should thank Master Gamgee, for he it was who tended first to you, or so I am told," Faramir said. "I thought I would see whether you had yet wakened, for there is much to be said between us ere I can come to any decision about the two of you."
"Decision?" Sam asked, straightening at that. "What decision?"
"What decision, indeed, Master Gamgee," Faramir replied sardonically, as he stalked over to a corner and retrieved a low-backed chair, which he dragged over to set not far from Sam. Settling into it, he eyed Sam and Frodo, then said, "Gondor is at war, and a captain of Gondor has many concerns to occupy his mind. If he told you naught else, I am certain that Boromir told you that peace is but a happy memory here. Ithilien, where you were found, has long been under the shadow, and it seems each day brings news of another incursion. We had thought to ambush a party of Haradrim making their way north when the Orcs happened upon us. We have fought two battles in as many days, and we lose more men with every passing week. In such times as these, strangers find us hard and unwelcoming, I fear. For there are none in Gondor now but servants of the White Tower, or of the Black." And at this, he caught Frodo's eye, and Frodo, staring back, saw the doubt in the other's gaze.
"We are no spies, Captain Faramir," Frodo said softly, but firmly.
"So you say, and in truth it is rare that Orcs take captive their own. But there is much you have not said, and which your Master Gamgee swears he cannot address. It seems, therefore, that I must apply to you for an explanation. What is your business here, that Orcs should see fit to capture and carry you, as is not their custom?"
"We had no business in Gondor," Frodo answered truthfully. Faramir said nothing, nor did his expression change, but he made a slight motion with his hand for Frodo to continue. And so, carefully, he did, "We lost our way, and stumbled upon the Orcs, who took us captive. I dare not guess their reasons, and indeed, I was ill for much of the march."
"Then if you cannot speak of Orcs' purposes, what of your own? How came you to be lost in a strange land? For do I not guess rightly that the South has never seen your like before, Master Baggins?"
"You do guess rightly," Frodo replied, and then paused. Faramir's gaze did not waver, and he knew that he must be very careful now, for if he strayed from the truth, then Faramir would know it. "Sam and I traveled south with a small company from Rivendell, which the Elves call Imladris. Gandalf the Grey was our leader, who alas, fell in Moria."
"Gandalf fell in Moria?" Faramir questioned sharply, eyes widening with disbelief. "Are you certain of this?"
"Quite certain," Frodo replied, "for we saw him fall before us." Faramir shook his head, as if unable to fathom that, and after a moment, Frodo asked, "Shall I continue, or should I cease for a time?" Again, Faramir motioned for him to go on, and so he did. "There traveled also with us an Elf and a Dwarf, and two of my younger cousins, as well as two Men. Your brother, sir, was one of them. We each of us had our business, and the two Men in particular purposed to come to Gondor, to Minas Tirith–that I know, and if you speak to them of me, then you shall have a fuller answer to your questions than I can give, for I am late come to this war and would have nothing to do with it for my part."
For a long moment, Faramir was silent, digesting this. Then, darting a glance at Sam and then back at Frodo again, he gave a soft grunt and said, "A strange tale, though it has the mark of truth to it. If indeed you knew my brother–and given your words at our first meeting, I must conclude that you did–then it will not surprise you to learn that Imladris is not unknown in the South, thanks to the words of the dream rhyme. But there again, we touch on matters that are unclear, and which by your silence remain unclear. For if you were part of that company, and if Mithrandir, whom you call Gandalf, was truly your guide ere his death, and if my brother traveled willingly with you, then must it not be that you could explain this riddle for me, if you would? What counsel was given in Rivendell that could break the power of yonder nameless land?"
"The Wise, mayhap, could explain it to you, or Aragorn, the other Man of whom I spoke, for he has long sought the overthrow of the Enemy. And he and your brother must draw nigh soon to Minas Tirith, if they are not there already."
"Minas Tirith is leagues from here. Our enemies, by contrast, are close–mere miles from our doorstep, as often as not, though they have yet to discover this refuge. I have not the time to bandy riddles, nor to send for loremasters, for we must move again and soon," Faramir answered, and gave a bare, mirthless smile. "I would hear the tale of this Aragorn and of Mithrandir's final end from my brother. But as he is not here, I must make do with the accounts of two... hobbits, if I recall Master Gamgee's words correctly. Yes, two hobbits. I assure you that I have had long practice in sifting the words of the learned and also of the simple, and of men who wish simply to live as well as they may in hard times. I think that if you essay to teach me your errand, you shall not find me wanting as a pupil. Speak, therefore, and to the point: what is your business? And what is Isildur's Bane, since clearly I deal now with Halflings?"
"If you would learn the business of that company with which I journeyed," Frodo replied, and felt his spine stiffening as he drew himself up as much as he could before Faramir's proud and piercing gaze, "then you must inquire of those who come to south to your city, for I am no longer a part of it. As for Isildur's Bane, that is yet hidden."
"I see," Faramir answered flatly. "In other words, I should mind my own business, even as you seek to mind yours, and inquire elsewhere. No, Master Baggins, I fear that I cannot do that in good conscience. But mayhap," he added, with a sigh and a measuring look, "you have reason to mistrust me. 'You shall never have it!' you told me, when first we met, and called me Boromir. Now, I know not what passed between him and you, but whatever it was, clearly it was serious. And so seeing me, you see him and all your argument, whatever it was."
Sam, at this, darted a look at Frodo, who dared not take his eyes from Faramir's face. The captain's eyes flicked over him once more, pausing on the bulge under his shirt sleeve where the bandages lay, and swept again over his face, noting the bruises, the scrapes. After a moment, he seemed to sigh, and then he rose, looking once to Sam, and then back again to Frodo as he had before. "Your fears are understandable, for is it not the place of brother to defend brother? But I am a captain of Gondor first, and my duty, at least, is clear. I cannot allow you to leave here until I know your task and have made my decision.
"But this I will say, and you may take it as hopeful, if you will: I am not my brother," he said, and Frodo's eyes narrowed, for it seemed to him that there was a note of... pain... of regret when he spoke those words. "You may rest here for a time, and recover your strength, both of you. And while you do, think on what I have said. For we will speak of this again."
He turned to leave, but Sam blurted out just then, "But what decision must you make, sir? You have not told us that yet."
Faramir paused just short of the curtain, and turned to give Sam a look up and down, ere he said coolly, "Whether to slay you or not, Master Gamgee. For that is the law of this land–to slay all whom I find, if they be not friends whom I can send to the White Tower. Rest if you can, and as I said, we shall speak later. Food will be sent to you." With that, he left them, Sam agape and Frodo with an unreadable expression on his face.
The curtain fell back across the entry, hiding him from sight, muffling the sounds of men's quiet industry as soldiers went back and forth in the cavern without on unknown tasks. Sam shut his mouth audibly, eyes narrowing as he gazed after Faramir. Food my foot! We'll have to watch that one nearly as much as the Orcs! Which left a bad taste in Sam's mouth, for he was unwilling to think ill of Boromir's brother, even knowing what Boromir had nearly done. After all, he didn't do it in the end, and this one hasn't done a thing yet, really. He may be all right. And then again, he might not be: who was to say whether Faramir might not also fall prey to that thrice-accursed Ring? "Well, it's a nice pickle we've landed ourselves in, Mr. Frodo," he offered gamely just then, breaking the heavy silence that had fallen. "But what do we do now?"
Frodo sighed softly and drew his knees up to his chest, wincing slightly as he laid a bruised cheek upon them, thinking. I am not my brother, Faramir had said, and Frodo wanted to believe it. Yet when first he had seen him, he had seemed so like his brother, and the memory of Boromir's shame burned in his mind, a rare clear beacon in the mists of his memory. Then again, that very clarity worried him: had he honestly mistaken Faramir for Boromir? Or had it been a trick of the Ring to cheat his eyes and deceive him into giving himself away? Each passing day it grows heavier. And shall it call through me to him, as it did to Boromir? As it did to Grishnákh? There seemed little choice but to school his will to resist, and hope that somehow, he would convince Faramir to release them despite the Ring's influence, which he could feel now as a steady sort of pulse in the back of his mind. Faramir might not be aware of it, but Frodo knew that at any time the Ring might reach out to snare another's will, if it could.
But it may take some time; usually, it takes time. I must persuade him to trust me. Though how I'm to do that when he already knows so much, and suspects more, I do not know. Now indeed would it be the nick of time for Boromir to arrive! But even that was no sure rescue, for what if the fit took him again, as it had at Parth Galen?
And what if he cannot come? What if he... and all the others... are dead? And how shall I tell Faramir that I left his brother in such straits? "Mr. Frodo?" Frodo blinked, drawn out of his thoughts by Sam's insistent (and worried) voice.
"I don't know, Sam," he admitted reluctantly. "I don't know."
Orothar had been pleasantly surprised by the relatively minor injuries their unusual guests had sustained. "Bruises and cuts for the most part," the healer had reported when Faramir had returned after a successful ambush of the Haradrim. "The one had a bit of a fever, from that wound to the arm that was beginning to fester. But I have seen to it, and with rest, they ought both to be well enough. Mayhap 'tis true that fortune favors children and the innocent," Orothar had said, and shaken his head. Mablung, though, had snorted at that.
"Children or the innocent, is it? Well, small they may be, but they are not children. And nothing in Ithilien is innocent," the lieutenant had replied. It was true enough: no lad in Faramir's company could yet boast of having clean hands when it came to blood spilt. That left more sinister possibilities to consider, though admittedly, the two hobbits bore no resemblance to the usual breed of spies. But the image of Frodo's face, distorted with fear and outrage, as he had spoken Boromir's name had persisted through the dark hours of watchfulness and the frenzy of battle. During the march back to Henneth Annûn, Faramir had been much preoccupied with that memory: with Frodo's startling words, and Sam's desperate ones. Who are you, who speak of Boromir? What are you? Faramir had demanded even as Frodo had swooned, shocked out of his usual eloquence. Speak!
We're hobbits, sir, hobbits, Samwise had replied, and torn himself from Damrod's grip to throw himself between his master and Faramir's sword. We're no Orcs, I swear it! You've got to help us! Please!
And Damrod had said, Captain, if we make south a little ways further, then we may be able to catch the Haradrim unaware. We cannot make our attack here. But if we would do this, then we must leave quickly. There is no time, captain! And there had been the bodies of their own, still, to deal with, and the wounded as well, and none of them would get much rest that night, and fewer would return tomorrow than anticipated, for the land was not so ideal for an ambush further south and changes in battle plans at late hours almost never met with great success. And so he had snapped at Damrod and taken Samwise at his word and set questions of judgment aside for a time. But though he was only recently returned from the battlefield, he could no longer avoid his own questions, nor the requirements of law. But it may take time to unravel this puzzle, he thought, and wondered how much he could spare it.
"'Seek for the Sword that was Broken,'" he murmured to himself, as he stared out from the Window of Sunset, watching the fading light play off the curtain of water. "Halflings...."
"Captain?" a low voice asked, and Faramir turned swiftly to see a weary Damrod standing there.
"Damrod," Faramir beckoned, and his lieutenant approached. "How fare our guests?"
"Well enough, I suppose. I saw to their supper, and they seemed glad enough of a meal. No signs of imminent treachery, if that is what you mean, sir," Damrod replied, and risked a slight smile.
"I suppose that that is a hopeful sign, although with two hundred armed men surrounding them, it would be foolish to announce themselves less than courteous guests," Faramir replied, and clapped Damrod on the shoulder, squeezing hard. "And how is your back?" For Damrod had been gored by a spear tip, and though the wound was not serious, Faramir knew well how painful it could be.
"If you could prevail upon Orothar to leave me be for a time, I may yet live, Captain," Damrod said wryly, and Faramir chuckled.
"You will do exactly as Orothar prescribes, for I cannot lose you." He paused, then, continued,
"And I am sorry for my words to you yesterday. I may need none to teach me of our peril, but sometimes I do need to be reminded. I fear I was not thinking clearly at the time. Thank you."
Damrod inclined his head, but said nothing, and after a moment, Faramir continued more briskly, "Anborn reports that we were not followed, but nevertheless, we must be cautious. The Enemy must soon learn what happened here, and when he does, we may need to move quickly. Speak with Orothar ere you go to your rest and see how many he thinks may be able to fight in five days' time."
"Aye, sir. Is there aught else?"
"No. Take some rest, Damrod, and we shall speak again in the morning. Good evening."
"Good evening, sir." With that, Damrod retreated, leaving Faramir alone with his thoughts once more. Isildur's Bane shall waken... the Halflings stand before me, and yet that is hidden. As is Boromir's path. And there was a matter that pricked unduly sharply, for though there were greater things at stake, he guessed, than his brother's relationship with two strangers, still, the fear and fierce defiance on Frodo's face when he had spoken Boromir's name had struck Faramir nearly breathless. Where are you, brother, and what passed between you and them? What matter so weighty that you should be set against two such as these? Did you learn the answer? Do you know what Isildur's Bane is? And how does it concern two Halflings flung into my arms by Orcs?
Pieces of the puzzle shifted in his head as he sought frantically a way to make sense of it all before the storm of Mordor broke upon them and swept all defenses away. So little time left! And here I have these two, who might in ten minutes answer all questions, and yet they will not. Isildur's Bane, the Sword that was Broken, Halflings, and Mithrandir's fall. There were those who might have accused the hobbits of murdering Mithrandir, given their suspicious silence, yet Faramir found the very idea outlandish. What could harm a wizard, after all? Surely not these two! And for all that I trust them not, I read no murder in them. But what, then, do I miss in this? What that would unlock the rhyme and solve the riddle for me?
Long Faramir stood there before the veil of water, listening to the whisper of it as it rushed over the rocks and plunged down to the pool below. Weary as he was, he was not yet so tired that he could sleep with such questions on his mind. The watches wore away, and eventually, Anborn joined him there on the ledge, just as the moon was rising, shedding a cool, watery light on all the land. An owl cried out, its voice echoing weirdly in the sheltered little alcove where they stood, and then fell suddenly silent. Faramir felt a shiver work its way down his back, and he pulled his cloak close about him. Where are you in this night, Boromir? Months it had been since he had left, and if they shared nothing else, Faramir knew that he and his lord and father, Denethor, both counted the days since Boromir's departure and fretted in silence. Faramir even fancied that in his dreams, there came the faint call of his brother's horn: the barest whisper of an echo from afar, and yet his nightly visions filled his days with foreboding. For no news had come until a lot of misguided Orcs had nearly run into Faramir's very arms, bearing with them the most unlikely of couriers... and the most silent. Where are you, brother?
At just that moment, and without warning, Anborn suddenly fit arrow to string and quick as a fox, let sing his bow. From below, there came a mournful cry that ended quite suddenly, ere Faramir could so much as take two steps to join Anborn where he perched, just beyond the falling waters. Staring down into the moonlit basin below, Faramir could make out a small, limp shape floating in the water, and for some reason, it filled him with dread. Glancing up at Anborn, he raised a brow, inviting explanation. "Kingfisher, my lord," Anborn said laconically.
"Ah." A kingfisher. Who knew, even, whether it had been friend or foe or merely a dumb beast? But the law was ruthless, and Faramir sighed softly, glancing down once more at the bird. Already, the heavy silence of a land under shadow had returned, stifling even the memory of the kingfisher's mortal cry. After a moment, Faramir drew back a pace. Another fine night's work! he thought, feeling disgust twist in his gut. But he said nothing, for there was nothing to be said and especially not before one of his men. With a nod for Anborn, he withdrew then, and made his way back down into the cavern beneath the falls in search of sleep, for it seemed of a sudden that the weight of the Argonath had descended upon his shoulders.
And yet, despite his intention to rest, he found himself standing once more before the curtained recess where slept the hobbits. Why do I pause? They are as weary as are you; surely they sleep now, he thought. Nevertheless, he reached and quietly drew back the heavy drape. It was dark within, for the candle had been extinguished, but Faramir's eyes picked out two forms huddled together beneath the blankets, curled up tight as snails in their shells. As frightened children they seemed truly, now that the darkness had robbed them of faces, and Faramir felt his heart sink. Children and the innocent... shall I ever learn the answers to my questions? He knew not how long he stood there, staring at his unusual guests, but it could not have been very long. It had been nearly two days since Faramir had last slept, and his body fairly ached with the fatigue that came of two hard-fought battles and a host of worries. Exhaling softly, he quietly drew the curtain shut once more and went at last to his rest...
... while Sam breathed a silent sigh of relief as he heard the rustle of heavy cloth, and then Faramir moving quietly away. And what was that about? he wondered. He's a queer one, is Captain Faramir, and I can't say as I like it. Memories of Boromir's face and ever-watchful eyes flitted through his mind, and he shivered slightly. It started that way with Boromir, too, with him watching us... always watching. Bless him, I know he realized it finally, and I don't mean him any disrespect, but.... But it was better safe than sorry. It's like I thought before: he may be all right, but he may not, too. Sam sighed and rubbed at his eyes, determinedly. Good thing I slept a bit in the afternoon, while Mr. Frodo was awake, because I won't be getting any more sleep tonight!
"Well, it's a nice pickle we've landed ourselves in, Mr. Frodo."—FotR, "The Council of Elrond, 264, minor wording alterations.
There are a number of lines that play very closely off of conversations and/or situations found in TTT, starting in "Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit" and "The Window on the West," but are not actually direct quotes. The above citation is the only one which is significantly similar to the point of making me think a real citation is necessary.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.