AN UNEXPECTED VISIT
Evening of February 27, 3020
The long months of the winter of 3019-3020 have seemed interminable with snowstorm after snowstorm hitting the lands of western Middle Earth with a vicious fury. Although the southern lands of Gondor have had snows in abundance, the northern countries, such as the Shire, Arnor and Rohan have been devastated by the cold fury of winter.
Vardamir and Ceolwulf, after their escape from Vartang's soldiers, found refuge with the Woses, the Wild Men of Druedain Forest. Vardamir adapted well to life with the Wild Men, appreciating their closeness and fondness with nature, but Ceolwulf was chafed at the inactivity of having to live in a cave from November to February. Becoming increasingly irritated by the lice that infested his orcish gear, he finally asked advice of Ghan-Buri-Ghan about adapting some of the Woses' wear to himself. Ghan-Buri-Ghan told him that they had many pelts and furs and that by punching holes in cured hides and lacing pieces of them together, he could make himself a set of clothing suitable to an Edain.
Taking his advise to heart, Ceolwulf constructed himself garments of skins - a leather shirt, leather breeches, leather boots, furs wrapped about his calves for warmth and a cap around his head. Vardamir found this garb amusing and dubbed him with a new name, "Wild Man of Druedan Forest," in reference to the name that Turin called himself, "Wild Man of the Woods." Ceolwulf had not appreciated the humor, but he did appreciate the warmth of the clothing.
Around February 25, warm breezes from the West began to blow across the lands and the spring thaw was upon Ithilien and the southernmost lands. "Let us venture back to Minas Artano by stealth and at night and go and see Frodo," said Ceolwulf.
"Aye, that would be another adventure in itself," replied Vardamir. "Let us make preparations."
Both of them had kept their orcish armor, Ceolwulf wearing his under a great leather fur-lined cloak, and Vardamir wearing his under his tunic with a cloak about him. They prepared well, packing the edible roots that the wild men had given them, dried meat and berries, and slung them in packs across their backs. The wild men agreed to take care of their horses for the snows were yet too deep for the grass to grow and without pasturage, the horses might starve.
Ceolwulf and Vardamir made their way by foot along the base of the mountains by night and kept to the trees by day. Because of the difficulty of travel through the snow, it took two days and by the darkness of the night of February 27th, they were at the gates of the City.
Ceolwulf kept his fur hat pulled low over his brow, and Vardamir kept his hood as low as he could over his forehead and yet see. Neither man could have been recognized for there was little resemblance now of their appearance before. The guards at the gates of the city barely look at them, for discipline has grown lax, for who is there in all of Middle Earth who would dare attack Minas Artano?
Frodo portrayed by Hobbitness
Vardamir portrayed by Eowyn
Ceolwulf and Narrator portrayed by Wraith
Ceolwulf: *Ceolwulf and Vardamir pass through
the gates and trudge up the hill. When they reach the third level,
Ceolwulf says* You did bring that piece of wire to pick the lock
to the unused gate, didn't you?
Vardamir: *Vardamir looks at Ceolwulf and shrugs* What piece of wire?
Ceolwulf: You told me the gate was always locked. How did you get through the gate the first time?
Vardamir: *He shrugs again, amused* Luck, pure luck.
Ceolwulf: Do you have any of that luck in reserve now, my friend?
Vardamir: I can see by the stars that the gate is right ahead, up there *he points* along the wall.
Ceolwulf: Though the gate is there, I am sure, how do we get through it? *wonders at the calmness of Vardamir when he is growing increasingly agitated*
Vardamir: Come on; we will figure out a way when we get there.
Ceolwulf: *he questions the famed foreknowledge of the Gondorians and considers that it is all merely a rumor that they have propagated to make people be in awe of them*
Ceolwulf: All right, with such good planning I am sure we will be successful. *He says sarcastically*
Vardamir: *He quietly leads Ceolwulf over to the little-used gate in the wall around Frodo's house* Hmm... it is locked.
Ceolwulf: *Becoming exasperated by his friend, he says* I realize that. You told me before it was always locked. Now how are you going to open it? Gaze at it long enough and it will roll back on its hinges?
Vardamir: Ah... *he laughs* I have not mastered that skill yet. If Aldir were here with us, perhaps, we could use his hard head as a battering ram. No, instead we shall climb that tree yonder
Ceolwulf: *Muttering in a low voice, he says* Why didn't he bring wire? These part elves are supposed to know how to do those things, though I never believed the tale that they were all knowing. Now he forgets the wire and expects us to climb a tree in the
Ceolwulf: dark with only the light of the stars to guide us!
Ceolwulf: Do not say it, Vardamir, do not say it! If you do, I will rub your face in the snow and stuff snow in your ears to boot!
Vardamir: What? Elbereth shall guide us? *quickly sprints through the snow towards the tree, moving faster than Ceolwulf because he is lighter in weight.*
Ceolwulf: *Runs along behind Vardamir, trying to catch up with him*
Vardamir: *Vardamir quickly climbs up the tree to the wall and stands upon it, waiting for Ceolwulf*
Ceolwulf: *Reaches up for a limb and pulls himself up limb by limb until he stops halfway up the tree, resting his weight on a branch*
Ceolwulf: *The branch begins to groan under his weight, and he quickly reaches his hand to the next branch and climbs the rest of the way*
Vardamir: I do not believe there is another tree along this wall, so we shall have to jump down. It is not too far a drop.
Ceolwulf: *climbs up, perching in the top of the tree, looking up and down the length of the wall. Then looking down, he says softly* Not far? It must be a good ten feet!
Vardamir: Nay, about 8 and a half. *he says smugly* Tis nothing.
Ceolwulf: I know Vardamir that it is ten feet or more to the ground! Why didn't you bring a wire? Why did you forget?
Vardamir: Twas not overly important. Now jump down.
Ceolwulf: *Holding on to the top branches of the tree, he turns around, and lowers himself down along the wall until he hangs there, his hands on the edge of the wall*
Vardamir: *Vardamir quickly does the same, and drops to the ground before Ceolwulf.*
Ceolwulf: *He kicks away from the wall and drops shortly after Vardamir lands.* Now let us hurry!
Vardamir: *Vardamir runs along the inside of the wall until they reach Frodo's house. Finding the section which Frodo's room is located in, Vardamir leads Ceolwulf to Frodo's window and lightly raps against it*
Frodo: *The noise awakens Frodo. He jumps out of bed and pulls a shawl around his shoulders against the cold air*
Frodo: *He stares suspiciously at the window, wondering if this is some new devilry that Vartang and Varyon have planned for him*
Frodo: *Working up his courage, he walks to the window* Who's there?
Ceolwulf: *Ceolwulf puts his hand to the side of his mouth and whispers in a loud voice* Friends
Vardamir: *Vardamir whispers drolly* Footpads
Frodo: *Still not quite awake, Frodo blinks hard, whispers a quick prayer, then opens the shutters. The admonition comes just in time, for Frodo's jaw drops and he gasps, not recognizing them at first*
Ceolwulf: Shhh! *whispers Ceolwulf* Let us in!
Vardamir: *he whispers* We are poor beggars. Let us in!
Frodo: What are you doing here? *steps away from the window*
Frodo: *If they are here to do some mischief, I suppose there is nothing I can do against them*
Ceolwulf: *Whispers in a louder voice* Ceolwulf and Vardamir!
Frodo: *It takes all Frodo's willpower to keep from shouting, "WHAT?!"*
Ceolwulf: Let us in! There will be guards along soon!
Vardamir: *he looks to Ceolwulf* It appears he wishes that we freeze to death.
Frodo: *Frodo has been standing there gaping at them in shock, but he rouses himself and undoes the latches that lock the window from inside. Then he pushes the window open*
Vardamir: Thank you - I thought you were going to let us freeze to death out here. *putting one hand upon the sill for balance, he quickly leaps inside the room, and stands*
Ceolwulf: *Ceolwulf climbs over the windowsill and enters the room*
Frodo: *Frodo pulls the window closed but does not lock it, then closes the shutters so they will not be seen*
Ceolwulf: Frodo, we have returned!
Frodo: *Frodo is rocking on the balls of his feet like a boy in his joy* Oh!....I hardly recognize you!
Frodo: But that's really you, then? *he grins*
Ceolwulf: Our beards have grown and yes, I wear new garments of hide
Vardamir: Aye, tis us - though we look quite a bit different from when we were slaves.
Frodo: *Frodo feels awkward at their new appearance, and all that has happened since they left...but their voices are the same, and the more they speak, the more he relaxes*
Frodo: You, you.....how did....why.....*suddenly bursts out laughing, quickly shushes himself, then runs and embraces Ceolwulf*
Ceolwulf: Frodo! *he bends down and grabs him around the shoulders in a bear hug, then lifts him up in the air*
Vardamir: After coming all this way *Vardamir complains* you do not offer us a seat and a drink of wine or ale...?
Frodo: *Frodo has a death grip around Ceolwulf's neck. Still hanging there, he turns his head and grins at Vardamir* Help yourself!
Ceolwulf: Vardamir, I think our friend is in dismay at us *he says as he sets Frodo down on the floor*
Frodo: You dear awful reckless rascals, what am I going to do with you? This is so dangerous! *but he is too happy to be really worried at the moment*
Vardamir: *He looks around for a wine cabinet, and upon finding one, he goes to it and pours himself and Ceolwulf goblets, then takes a seat at the table in Frodo's room*
Ceolwulf: Aye, indeed, Frodo, we are reckless and desperate men.
Frodo: You always were *punches Ceolwulf in the arm playfully*
Ceolwulf: *Snow begins to melt off his boots in puddles about him. He walks over to a chair and sits down* A real chair. I haven't seen one for months *he says as he relaxes into it*
Frodo: *Frodo pulls a chair up the the table and joins them*
Vardamir: Aye - tis better than rocks and logs.
Ceolwulf: Or the bare hard ground.
Frodo: Where have you been all this while? I thought you would be far away!
Ceolwulf: Not so far. Not so very far *he says and pulls off his cap*
Frodo: *Ceolwulf is more recognizable without his cap. Frodo feels a surge of happiness and worry at the same time*
Frodo: *He glances toward the door, then turns back to the men with an irrepressible grin*
Ceolwulf: We have been only about twenty miles as the crow does fly *he says as he puts his cap upon the table*
Ceolwulf: Ah *he says as he takes the goblet of wine that Vardamir poured* Real wine, not that root beverage that the Woses brew
Frodo: Woses? What are they?
Ceolwulf: Frodo *he laughs* men not much bigger than you, and as wild as Vardamir and I have now become
Ceolwulf: Vardamir there *he looks at him and laughs* now knows how to play drums, and can even make one!
Frodo: Oh? *he smiles to Vardamir, finding this amusing* I would ask you to play, but I don't seem to have any drums with me at the moment
Vardamir: Aye *he says as he drinks from his goblet* I know the tunes for many things... for bringing tidings of different kinds, good or ill; different times of day. Sadly, though, I did not bring mine.
Frodo: *becoming more serious* Well, we must be very careful, anyway. The noise would give you away
Ceolwulf: *he laughs* It is just as well as he didn't, for the sound would be a dreadful one
Frodo: *laughs with them* Without accompaniment, then, what tidings do you bring?
Ceolwulf: *he drinks from his goblet, savoring the taste of it in his mouth without three months without*
Ceolwulf: Tidings? Ha! *laughs*
Vardamir: Did you know that a mere root can be cooked in many different ways? *he says matter-of-factly*
Ceolwulf: Aye, I know too well, Vardamir *he says as he takes another drink from his wine goblet*
Frodo: So do I! *actually, the Fellowship once relied on knowledge of wild roots*
Ceolwulf: Roots, nothing but roots sometimes, but I must admit, when there is nothing else, their taste is indeed sweet
Frodo: So, then, it must have been an utterly fascinating three months out there with the wild Woses *he jokes*
Ceolwulf: Our tale is a long one, Frodo, and we have not the time to spare to tell it
Ceolwulf: Utterly fascinating? *he throws back his head and laughs*
Vardamir: *Vardamir laughs with his friend* Indeed... quite fascinating.
Ceolwulf: I found especially fascinating the art of making poisoned darts and the knowledge it takes to find the herbs and roots to make the poison itself, and in our packs, we have both brought some of the small darts and poison enough to kill a score of men. The hollow tubes, too, that are inserted in the mouth that spews forth death as the dart hits its mark
Frodo: Please tell me you don't actually plan on attacking Vartang's men.....*pleading look*
Ceolwulf: *he takes another drink from the goblet of wine* Attack Vartang's men? Surely, you jest. Only a fool would do that. Nay, nay, we plan not to attack them, but merely to rob them.
Vardamir: And, do not forget my friend.... we also plan to assassinate the king. *he smirks and takes a drink from his goblet*
Frodo: *puts his head in his hands and groans* Oh! Tell me you're joking!
Ceolwulf: Depending on the strength of our lungs and the proximity to him, it is possible that the king could be a dead man in mere seconds
Frodo: But what good would that do? They would simply replace him.
Ceolwulf: *leans back in his chair more, glad of the warmth of the fire, and takes another drink of wine* True, we know that. He would be quickly replaced, perhaps with another even worse than he is, but we do not plan to kill them, for that is a fool's folly. We simply plan to rob them
Ceolwulf: They have plenty to spare and our pockets are empty
Frodo: *WHY must Ceolwulf always be so reckless and frustrating?* Ceolwulf, that is also a fool's folly, and just as dangerous!
Frodo: You will be recaptured! We have no one left to make another rescue attempt! *wry half smile*
Ceolwulf: Nay, nay. We will never be recognized, now that our hair has grown longer and beards are upon our faces
Frodo: It is too great a risk!
Ceolwulf: They will be looking for slaves. Do we look like slaves?
Vardamir: Nay, we look like wild men and brigands.
Frodo: No, but you still sound like yourselves. You could be recognized, and, Ceolwulf, there is still your light hair and eyes
Ceolwulf: I have learned ways to color my hair. The juice from the husks of the walnut will make my hair as dark as Vardamir's
Ceolwulf: My beard too; and for that matter, my hands will be as dark as my hair and my beard after enough walnuts are husked
Frodo: *sighs, shakes his head at them*
Vardamir: They will think us as renegade Haradrim. *he laughs*
Frodo: *smiles* Well, that is better than I thought, but still too dangerous. And there is still the matter of your voices
Ceolwulf: Vardamir, my friend, *he says as he finishes his goblet of wine* we are both too tall to be mistaken for Haradrim
Ceolwulf: Vardamir and I have a plan.....
Frodo: Why do you want to rob them, anyway, if these Woses have given you asylum and you have everything you need?
Ceolwulf: We do not wish to live the rest of our days among the Woses, and even after the ground is clear of snow, it will be a month or more before we can go to Rohan
Vardamir: The Woses also wear grass skirts when the weather is warm; we would look horribly absurd wearing such things.
Ceolwulf: *He laughs loud and boisterously* No, indeed! Let the little men keep their customs; we will abide by the customs of the Edain
Frodo: *starts laughing again at the mental image*
Frodo: Shhhh! *he shushes them when he realizes how loudly they are laughing*
Ceolwulf: *pours himself another goblet of wine* I cannot get enough of wine. It has been three months now since I have had a draught of wine. We have had nothing but the brew made from roots
Frodo: Have as much as you like.
Frodo: But you still haven't explained why you want to rob the men
Ceolwulf: The fire is good. We have been two days in traveling here and we are chilled to the bone
Ceolwulf: While among the Woses, we have heard of bands of men, some from Gondor, some from Rohan, soldiers who fought in the war who have their own methods of dealing vengeance to the Enemy
Vardamir: We shall steal from the men who stole our land from us!
Ceolwulf: Aye, and the men who robbed Gondor and who tried to rob Rohan, who took the women and the children, slew some, cast some others in slavery. We will have our vengeance! And their blood will be upon our swords!
Frodo: *leans forward suddenly* Ah! So you DO intend to kill them! I knew it.
Ceolwulf: We are not the same as when we left you three months ago. We will never be the same again
Frodo: Ceolwulf, I understand that better than you think
Ceolwulf: No one is the same anymore. All has changed. I have known their torture and it was a harsh burden to bear
Frodo: *nods emphatically*
Ceolwulf: When I was in my cell, I slept little and my mind dwelled upon ways to kill them. We will join one of the bands of robbers who stay in the hills and come down into the plains and rob the Easterlings
Frodo: Ah, I see. That is not so bad as I thought.
Ceolwulf: Say Elfhild shall be avenged and the scars of my people and the scars of Gondor shall be avenged!
Ceolwulf: We will stay here little, Frodo. We would like a change of clothes, and then we will be on our way. Are there any of my clothes still here?
Frodo: *Frodo does feel a desire for vengeance, but not nearly as strong as the hot blooded Rohirrim and Gondorians do. Frodo desires peace and security above all else*
Ceolwulf: Anything would be of assistance - a cape, a tunic, some boots
Frodo: *But those luxuries are even rarer than retaliation, now*
Frodo: But....you're leaving already? Maybe there are some old clothes....I really don't know. *looks down, trying to hide his disappointment*
Ceolwulf: Aye *he says and the left side of his mouth curls up in a one-sided smile* No one shall know that we have even been here
Frodo: Will you be back?...I suppose you shouldn't be.
Ceolwulf: *Looks to Vardamir* And if he had a piece of wire, we could even take you out of your own keep and no one would even notice
Frodo: Oh, I would like so much to come with you!
Vardamir: Aye, we know many of the ways of the wild men, and I have experience at picking locks.
Ceolwulf: But we would have to bring you back. We cannot take you with us into the mountains. There is too much danger
Frodo: I know *sighs* and I cannot abandon Rian and Finduilas and the boys, anyway.
Ceolwulf: Come with us tonight to Newburg. We will have you back before dawn
Frodo: *brightens, jaw drops in astonished joy* Really?!
Ceolwulf: If Vardamir has a piece of wire and if we have other clothing
Vardamir: Aye - we have need of supplies.
Frodo: Well, I kept all your things, Ceolwulf. They are in that trunk. I must have forgotten with all this excitement. See, your horse is there too, on my desk *points*
Ceolwulf: *puts his goblet down, kicks his chair back and rises to his feet. Then, going to the fireplace, he bends down to the edge of the fireplace and rubs his hands in the soot to the side*
Frodo: And Vardamir, none of your things are in here, but maybe some of Ceolwulf's old clothes would suit you
Ceolwulf: *he looks back to Frodo* I only want the clothes. The horse is my gift to you *he takes his hands, smears them into his hair, leaving it streaked dirty dark brown*
Frodo: *smiles to Ceolwulf*
Frodo: *goes up to Vardamir and says quietly* Thank you for everything, mellon nin.
Vardamir: *he looks to the halfling* Twas nothing, Frodo.
Ceolwulf: *Then, taking more soot, he rubs it into his beard* The dirtier we are the better, for where we go, being clean would be out of place
Ceolwulf: *He wipes his hands off on the fur around his calves, then goes to the trunk and looks through it, searching for clothing*
Frodo: *suddenly realizes* Wait...I am the only halfling in this city. Everyone will recognize me!
Vardamir: *After taking a last drink of wine, Vardamir rises to his feet and walks over to the trunk*
Ceolwulf: Nay Frodo, I will tell them that you are my son
Frodo: *stifles laughter* Well THAT is a change, from your brother to your son. And I am much, much older than you
Ceolwulf: Much can be hidden under a hood pulled down close
Frodo: Very well, but what shall we do about my feet? No boy has fur on his feet *grins* and I never wear shoes.
Ceolwulf: Vardamir, bring me my pack, please
Frodo: Perhaps I can find something to wrap them in. Maybe your furs?
Ceolwulf: We will bind the fur I wear about my calves to your feet. Anyone who sees them will think your feet are cold
Vardamir: *He fetches Ceolwulf's pack and hands it to him*
Frodo: *Frodo cannot remember the last time he was so excited. This will be freedom like none he has experienced since before the Quest!*
Ceolwulf: *He quickly takes off his cloak of fur and hide, the shirt underneath it and stuffs them in the pack. Then he finds a tunic and a cloak, and hands another to Vardamir*
Ceolwulf: *He puts some extra cloaks, tunics and breeches into the pack* Now, Vardamir, if there is anything in this trunk that you want, take it, and put it in your pack. Then let us make fur boots for Frodo!
Frodo: *Frodo crouches by the fireplace and dirties himself with soot to look like them* I should look like a brigand too
Vardamir: *Vardamir takes off his leather cloak and tunic and puts on the garments that Ceolwulf handed him. Then, going to the trunk, he rummages through it, gathering extra clothing, and taking it to his pack
Frodo: *he sorts through his closet for his plainest clothes*
Ceolwulf: Frodo, when we get to the tavern, let me do the talking, and if anyone presses me about my "son" I will "confide" in him that you are the best pick pocket in all of Newburg
Frodo: *He pulls on black trousers, takes off his nightshirt, then pulls a plain white shirt on*
Vardamir: *Vardamir laughs, amused* Aye, a furry-footed footpad!
Frodo: *His head emerges from the shirt collar with one eyebrow raised and a bemused smile at them*
Ceolwulf: *Joins in the laughter* Now when you are finished, sit down and we will make you the best furry footed footpad in all the land!
Ceolwulf: *He thinks to himself... I have been around Vardamir far too long now and soon I will be as mad as he is*
Vardamir: A regular burglar for hire.... his small size would be good for squeezing into tight places.
Ceolwulf: And when we come to a crowd of revelers coming back from a celebration, all Frodo has to do is to stumble and bump into one of them and cut his purse with a small dagger
Frodo: *Thinks of Bilbo, who started his adventures as a "burglar." His smile widens*
Frodo: Ah....I have to actually rob them?
Ceolwulf: Frodo, only if they look fat and rich
Vardamir: And especially if their skin is swarthy.
Frodo: But, but....*his conscience rebels against this*
Frodo: *He sits so Ceolwulf can make his shoes*
Ceolwulf: It will be a jest upon the robbers of your land, Vardamir. Take from them what they took from the Gondorians and perhaps give it to those who need it
Frodo: *Thinks about this a while. Rian's image comes to his mind, how sad she looks whenever she speaks of Gondor that was* Yes...yes, very well.
Ceolwulf: *Unfastening the leather cords that hold them there, he takes off the fur that had been bound around his calves and puts them about Frodo's feet, tying the straps around them*
Vardamir: I like that - take from those who stole from us and give it to those who need it more.
Ceolwulf: *He stands there and looks at Frodo, inspecting the handiwork with the furs* Now, if you know where there is a small piece of wire, it would be most helpful, Frodo
Frodo: Perhaps in the stable
Ceolwulf: Vardamir, how quickly can you go back through the window and to the stable and fetch a bit of wire? That seems like something that would be about the barn, would it not?
Vardamir: There is wire that is used to attach harnesses to the backs of horses, trappings and such - I shall fetch some now, if I may take my leave of you two fine brigands.
Frodo: Most heartily. Be careful!
Ceolwulf: The gate is far beyond the stables. We will take Frodo with us
Vardamir: *He walks over to the window and using his hand to support himself, he throws his leg over the window and jumps down into the snow below*
Frodo: *slides out of the chair and follows Vardamir to the window*
Ceolwulf: Climb through, Frodo. Vardamir can carry you and keep you out of the snow
Frodo: *remembers the mountain of Caradhras*
Vardamir: Aye, we could travel quicker that way, and you would not have to struggle through the snow. *He waits outside the window to catch Frodo*
Frodo: All right, but I can walk if necessary
Vardamir: No, the snow is midway up our calves, too deep by far for you.
Ceolwulf: I will pull the shudders to and close the window after I am out
Frodo: *Frodo straddles the window, then sits facing outside. He looks down at Vardamir, then jumps. He hugs himself; it is freezing cold. He keeps looking over his shoulder for pursuers. But the thrill of this adventure is worth it*
Vardamir: *He quickly picks Frodo up and puts him on his shoulders and holds his legs with both hands by the ankles*
Frodo: *Sitting on Vardamir's shoulders, Frodo watches Ceolwulf at the window*
Ceolwulf: *Ceolwulf climbs out of the window and then turns, pulling the shutters to and then lowering the window*
Vardamir: *He walks towards the barn, keeping to the wall and buildings. When they reach the stables, he puts him down on the ground inside.*
Narrator: *Inside the stables, the air is much warmer than outside for the heat of the bodies of horses temper the chill air of the night. Horses look up over their stalls and greet them with soft wickers*
Narrator: *Most of the horses recognize Ceolwulf and Vardamir. Ceolwulf goes over to one of the horses, holds out his hand, palm up, to one of them, and then the horse nuzzles his hand*
Ceolwulf: *He strokes the animal's neck, the touch of the hair beneath his fingers rough, for the animal's coat has grown long to protect him in the winter*
Frodo: *Frodo watches, thinking how happy Ceolwulf will be when he finally gets to Rohan and his beloved horses. But what a pity that he and Vardamir must leave for good!*
Vardamir: *Vardamir goes to where the supplies are kept and soon returns with a small length of wire... he looks at it, as though in awe, and exclaims softly* And here it is, a most prized and precious treasure!
Frodo: *Frodo is strangely reminded of Gollum*
Narrator: *Takes one last look at the horse and rubs his neck, and then turns away from the animal and walks over to Frodo*
Ceolwulf: *Ceolwulf bends down and picks Frodo up and places him upon his shoulders, Frodo's legs that are hanging down held by the ankles in Ceolwulf's strong hands*
Frodo: *Frodo wraps his arms around Ceolwulf's head for balance, then rests his chin on top of Ceolwulf's head, in utter bliss.*
Vardamir: Now let us leave the stables and go to the gate.... and after that, journey to Newburg, our quest to reclaim stolen gold!
Ceolwulf: *Smiles in the darkness at Vardamir's remark and chuckles, then walks to the stable door and through it. He looks back at Vardamir* Remember to close the doors of the barn
Vardamir: *He walks through the doors of the barn, though he heard full well what Ceolwulf said... He pauses* Oh! *he says with feigned dismay* I almost forgot. *Turning, he closes the barn door and then catches up with Ceolwulf and Frodo*
Frodo: *Thinks of Bilbo's adventure with the dwarves to reclaim their stolen riches from Smaug. What has happened to dear old Bilbo, he wonders*
Ceolwulf: *Carrying Frodo, Ceolwulf tries to retrace his footsteps, placing each foot where his feet walk a short time before to save breaking another path*
Ceolwulf: *He arrives first at the little used gate and steps aside, waiting for Vardamir to come and open it*
Vardamir: *He walks up to the door and pats his tunic...* Oh no, I think I dropped the wire in the snow.
Ceolwulf: You dropped the wire!
Vardamir: Ah... no... here it is. *smirking slightly, he takes the wire and picks the lock upon the door*
Vardamir: *He opens the door, walks through it, and holds it open for them* And we leave the walls of Frodo's estate and journey into danger... and riches.
Ceolwulf: *Walks through the door* Yes, a journey into danger and riches!
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