1. Wrong Room
"I may look as soft as Spring's first breeze, but my blade is as sharp as a winter gale!" Sam shouted, brandishing his sword in menacing fashion. He had been startled by the sudden appearance of the tall warrior in their room at the Prancing Pony, but he acted quickly to protect his master from the danger. He was not about to let anyone get at Mr. Frodo, no matter how large or fearsome he looked.
"Don't think I don't mean what I say!" Sam threatened. "I'll fight you if I have to, so don't come any closer!" Glancing out of the corner of his eye at the others, Sam saw that they, too, had swords in hand, ready to fight if necessary.
Yet it seemed that a fight would not be necessary, after all -- at least not just yet.
"I... I beg your pardon," the Man stammered in confusion, staring cautiously at the four swords pointing directly at him. "I must have taken a wrong turn somewhere; I am obviously in the wrong room!"
Frodo, Merry and Pippin lowered their weapons slowly in relief at the declaration, but Sam was not so trusting. He scowled at the stranger doubtfully.
"Forgive me," the Man continued in apology. "I did not mean to startle you, and I am sorry to have made you believe you were in danger. I do not doubt your swordsmanship! Yet there is nothing to fear from me; I have simply made a mistake in my weariness and entered your rooms, thinking them my own. By your leave, I will go seek out the proprietor at once and have him set me right. Good night!"
With a bow and a final glance at Sam's sword, the Man turned and fled the room, drawing the door sharply closed behind him.
"Why were you so fierce to him, Sam?" Pippin asked after the stranger had gone. "He didn't really threaten us say anything about you being soft."
"He surprised me, is all," Sam replied defensively. "It all happened so quickly, him just appearing there at the door -- I said the first thing that came to mind, to make him think he wouldn't be taking us so easily, like we couldn't even handle our swords."
"Well, we can't!" laughed Merry. "We don't know the first thing about fighting with swords, and he could probably tell that just by looking at us."
"That's why you shouldn't have been so rude to him, Sam," agreed Pippin. "He could have helped us, maybe he knows the way to Rivendell. He might have been a useful companion to have on the road. He looked like he could take on a couple of Black Riders all by himself!"
"Don't go inviting any more strange men to go with us into the Wild!" Sam grumbled. "We already have that Strider person tagging along, we don't need another Man who looks like he's been sleeping in ditches for months. I don't trust him!"
"He did look travel-worn," Frodo said thoughtfully. "But I imagine he's come from far away. He was well-spoken enough and I didn't sense any deceit in him. I believe he was telling the truth when he said he was just looking for his room."
"I don't know...." Sam was still suspicious. "There's no rooms for Big People on this side of the Pony, didn't he even notice that? Maybe he was spying on us...."
"Don't worry so much, Sam," Merry advised. "If he was spying, would he have just walked in like that? No, he was just tired and wanting his bed and got turned around looking for it. But if you can't let the matter go, we can always tell that Strider to look into it when he gets back from wherever he is; maybe he can find out something about this tall stranger who looks like he's been sleeping in ditches for months."
"Well, I don't trust Strider, either!"
Boromir shook his head in wonderment as he made his way at last to the correct room.
"That was unexpected!" he muttered. "I must truly be weary to have made such a mistake. A strange people they were, though; I have not seen their kind before. I wonder what brings them here, carrying weapons like those we have in Gondor...."
He shrugged and put the mysterious little people out of his mind. All he wanted now was a bed and a good night's sleep, and in the morning, someone to set him on the straight road to Rivendell.
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.