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To Tell a Tale  by Lindelea

Chapter the Seventh: Shining Knight
in which Gimli reveals a sparkling secret
contributed by Pearl Took

Gimli’s Tale

He looked at the small person laying tucked up in the bed and sighed, glad, as was his wont, for how little the expression on his face showed. Now that the warring was over, Gimli no longer wore his heaviest boots nor his clanking mail so the ill hobbit in the bed had not heard him approach the door. The bed held the hobbit, a chessboard with scattered pieces, two books, a lute and what oddly enough appeared to be knitting needles and yarn. The hobbit faced straight off the foot of the bed, not to his right where the doorway was. He wore a scowl on his youthful face while his arms were defiantly crossed over his chest. A mere fifteen minutes ago he had been caught attempting to raid the house’s kitchen when, he knew, he was supposed to remain in his sickbed. The wee scowling face was pale, the lad’s breath wheezed, but what had brought the Dwarf up short was a small hair-topped foot sticking out from under the blankets. It hadn’t been long ago that self-same hobbit’s wee foot had been all Gimli had been able to see of the youngest hobbit . . . and the sight had saved the lad’s life. Gimli sighed, shook off the memory and entered the bed chamber.

The movement caught the corner of Pippin’s vision. “Not interested (cough). You can just (wheeze) turn right about and walk back (wheeze) out of here (a fit of several deep coughs). I’m no’ in the mood (wheeze) to be minded to (cough) by another nursemaid.”

“Good, as I’m no nurse, and definitely not a maid.”

Pippin made no answer, however, Gimli had seen the slight upward twitch at the corners of the hobbit’s lips. The young knight had nearly smiled despite himself.

“Fine, fine then, lad,” the dwarf said as he turned away. (Coughing and a few straining breaths came from the bed.) “I’ll take myself and my story elsewhere. Must be someone around here with the courtesy to accept the offer of a good tale.”

“Gim . . .” a fit of coughing interrupted and caused the Dwarf to hurry to the small one’s side. Gimli sat Pippin forward then whacked him firmly on the back. The thumping continued until he could hear that the coughing was finally clearing some of the congestion from the lad’s lungs. He handed Pippin a handkerchief in which to spit then eased the hobbit back onto the pillows before tossing the soiled cloth into the wash basket.

“A good tale?” Pippin raspily asked.

“Aye. Well, one I liked to hear my father tell when I was a lad. Now I put my thoughts to it, it may not be to the liking of a hobbit lad.”

“I’ve always liked Dwarves.” Pippin smiled up at his friend. “I learned a lot about them from Bilbo, you know.” He wheezed at each of the frequent breaths he took, quite different from his usual rapid speech. “Always liked their names, almost like singing a song; Kili and Fili. Dori, Nori and Ori. Bifur, Bofur and Bombur. Oin and your father Gloin. Thorin and Dwalin and . . .” Pippin’s breath caught but not from his illness. He hastily glanced at Gimli before lowering his eyes.

A hand, more gentle than one might expect, rested on the hobbit’s shoulder. “Aye, and Balin. No need to not name him, young hobbit, as he belongs in your list. All that happened to our Fellowship in Moria turned to the good, in the end.” Gimli sighed as he sat on the edge of the hobbit-height bed, sitting so he faced Pippin. “The battle won at the Lonely Mountain raised his hopes too high, m’lad. The time wasn’t come for what he tried. Might work now with all our lot has done.” He smiled at his friend. “Thanks to us even the Balrog is gone. Maybe someday Khazad-Dum will ring once more with the music of Dwarvish hammers.” The Dwarf stared off toward where the Misty Mountains lay, saying nothing for a few moments before giving himself a small shake. “Well, young Peregrin, are you wanting a tale after all?”

“Yes, Gimli. I’m sorry I was so rude.” Pippin’s pale face reddened a bit. “It just is hard to stay abed. I’ve had the wheezes and coughs a good many times in my life and I rather know when they are trying to do me in and when they are just wanting to hang about being a bother. This lot is much more the bothering kind, which makes it so much harder to stay in bed.” Pippin’s speech was still very much interrupted by the afore mentioned wheezes and coughs, which obviously was another annoyance to the young knight.

“Very well then, Peregrin. You shall have the tale in full.” Gimli cleared his throat and began.


Mahal, whom the Elves call Aule, did make us. His heart yearned strongly for hearts to fill with his love of craft. His mind yearned strongly to nurture in other minds imagination and the creating of designs. His hands yearned to show other hands the skills of bringing forth beauty from the bones of Ea. His yearning drove him to making, and in making he went against the One who made all. Iluvatar showed mercy, both to Mahal and to those born of his yearning. The one who made us and loved us was not ordered to destroy us but we slept so that the First Born would have their place.

At last, the time was granted for our awakening. The Seven Fathers of the Dwarves went forth upon the earth finding those places where our gifts could best grow. And we did grow. In number and skill and wealth we grew. The First Born valued the work of our minds and hands, yet they did not value us.

Durin walked beneath the sun and to him appeared the one whose craft had formed him.

“You are downcast, my son. What cause is there for this? Great strength is in your body. Great imagination is in your mind. Great skill is in your hands. Great love of craft and beauty is in your heart.”

Durin boldly spoke to him who loves us. “They who came before us do look upon us with disdain. They greatly desire the work of our minds and hands, the gifts you have given to us, your children, the lessons you have taught. But they say there is not beauty in us. They say we are like the earth and stone with which you formed us; plain, without comeliness in form and feature.”

Mahal brought to the eye of Durin’s mind granite as it is found, then how it looks when worked by our hands. Marble, slate, sandstone and soapstone. All plain to behold without our touch. The ores before they are smelted and worked lying useless, these Durin beheld. Then he saw the ornaments, tools and weapons, beautiful and functional, that those ores become because of our craft. Gems, both common and rare, looking like so many pebbles to be trod upon until touched by the gem-cutter’s skills.

Finally, before Durin there lay a stone, large and rounded, rough and plain to the eye. In his hands there appeared a hammer and chisel.

“My son, find the line that will spit the stone.”

Durin looked upon the stone until he knew he had found its fault.

“Use your tools, my child, and split the stone.”

Durin positioned the chisel into the fissure, he struck a mighty blow.

Durin was blinded by the light of a thousand rainbows shining out from the crystals within the stone. To his knees he fell. His heart clutched within his chest. Tears filled his eyes for the beauty he beheld.

“My children indeed are like those things from which I formed them. My children have the strength of the earth itself, the strength of the foundations upon which Ea is built, the strength of the mountains that rise into the heavens. Such rock is often unpleasing to the eye. But know this, my son, there is beauty within, for only where there is beauty can more beauty be born. It is born in your hearts, envisioned in your minds, brought to life by your hands. Behold this stone. They are all around, both great and small, hiding within them their beauty. You shall call them thus, you shall call them Beauty Stones. They are yours, ever to remind you of how I, Mahal, Aule, Your Maker, know you to be. As you are to know yourselves to be.”

Durin blessed our Maker and he took with him the pieces of the Beauty Stone and they were seven in number and one piece was gifted to each of the Fathers of the Dwarves.


Gimli placed a round stone, the size of the hobbit’s fist, in Pippin’s lap.

“Is it (wheeze) a Beauty Stone?” Pippin asked as he picked it up.

Gimli chuckled. “Well, that is the question isn’t it, young hobbit. The only way to know is to crack it open.” The Dwarf placed a pillow on the stone floor of the bedchamber then held Pippin’s dressing gown out for the lad to put on. “Set yourself on the pillow, lad, so’s not to get a chill.”

Pippin wrapped himself up then sat down, tucking his feet under himself so they were off of the floor. With a grunt, Gimli sat opposite him. He placed the stone on the floor just so, then covered it with a cloth that had a slit cut into it, then he handed a small hammer and chisel to Pippin.

“Are you able to see the bit of a groove cut into the stone, young hobbit?”


“The cloth is there to keep slivers and shards from flying all over. Now, place the edge of the chisel in that wee groove and give it a good solid whack with the hammer.”

The tip of Pippin’s tongue snuck out between his lips as he concentrated on placing the chisel just right, holding it steadily in place, then delivering the blow. Gimli had found the fault in the stone correctly, the chisel went easily through and the lump beneath the cloth was no longer round. Pippin looked up at Gimli, curiosity brimming in his eyes, the Dwarf gave a slight nod of his head. Pippin pulled the cloth away.

Green crystals, the color of leaves in the spring, glimmered from the three pieces of broken stone: a Beauty Stone. The hobbit carefully picked up each piece, examining them thoroughly; his mouth slightly open, his eyes sparkling like the inside of the pieces resting on his palm.

“It is like most all of us, isn’t it, Gimli? I mean, Strider looked quite disgusting when we first met him and he was really a king inside. Sam is rather plain looking but he’s very wise and you’ll never find a more loyal friend. I don’t think anyone at that council thought Frodo would really make it to the mountain, but they couldn’t see the inside Frodo, they couldn’t see past his being a 'halfling'.” Pippin smiled up at his friend. “The Lady Galadriel saw you though. She spoke kindly and respectfully to you from the very start.”

“Yes, well . . . she’s . . . she’s another matter all-together, young hobbit. There are not many in this old world like her.” It was Gimli’s turn to lower his eyes. Into his field of vision came a small hand with a piece of the Beauty Stone laying on the open palm.

“I want you to have a piece of this, Gimli, so you’ll remember me and that you told me the story. I’ll keep a piece and, if you won’t mind, could you tell Merry the story and I’ll give the other piece to him. It will help us to always remember you, your story, and how special your people are.”

Gimli took the offered bit of stone. “Aye. That will do quite nicely, young hobbit. Quite nicely indeed.” Once more, the Dwarf was glad so little of his face showed. He didn’t want Pippin to see just how deeply those words had touched his heart. “Now, to bed with you before I get into trouble,” he grumbled as he helped his young charge to his feet.

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