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Dreamflower's Mathoms II  by Dreamflower


“Yes,” said Sam, “it’s a troll all right; a bit bigger than the one in Moria.”

Thain Peregrin nodded, leaning casually on the hilt of Trollsbane, and added “It’s smaller than my troll was.”

“At least this one won’t fall on you. How do you suppose it came here?” asked the Master of Buckland, in a tone of light curiosity.

“Well,” Pippin said, “I suppose it might have been driven out of the Far Mountains into the Southfarthing. But how it came to be *here* in this particular spot, I’ve no idea. There’ve been no reports come to me of missing livestock or the like.”

Merry walked over and smacked the creature lightly in the shin. “He’s as ugly a troll as I’ve ever seen--he looks really miserable.”

“He does, doesn’t he?” said Pippin. “He actually looks sick. Look how he’s clutching his belly.”

“P’rhaps he was starving,” said Sam. “He looks a bit puny for a troll.”

“Thing is,” said Pippin, “what are we to do with him? We can’t just leave him here to frighten the children.”

“No,” said Merry, “but I don’t see how we can shift him, either.”

“It’s not a problem,” said Sam. “we just plant a bit o’ ivy here by his feet, and he’ll be all covered up in next to no time.”

Merry and Pippin grinned at Sam. “You see,” said Merry, “why this clever lad is Mayor?”

“Trust a gardener to think up a solution like that!” Pippin exclaimed admiringly. He looked up at the troll once more, and shook his head. “I never in my life thought I could feel sorry for a troll, but I think it’s probably just as well the Sun put this one out of his misery. How long do you suppose it will be before he has a bird’s nest behind his ear?”


“Calm down, Euphorbia.” Ludo Brockhouse said patiently.

“But where could she have gone?” His wife was more cross than distraught.

“When did you see her last?”

“After supper, it was starting to get dark, and I asked her had she brought the wash in off the line. I didn’t tell her to do it, she just grabbed the basket and flounced out of the house.”

Ludo sighed. His sister’s arrival to live with them several years ago after she had been banished from the Great Smials had been nothing but one long trial after another. Hyacinth and Euphorbia had never got on very well, and it had only become worse as the years went by. Hyacinth was still very bitter over her loss of wealth and position, and Euphorbia had been perhaps a bit too pleased at the chance to see her sister-in-law taken down a peg.

And now it seemed his sister had simply vanished without a trace. “I suppose I shall have to go over to the Shirriff house, and ask them to send out a search party.”

Euphorbia bit her lip. “Do you--er, no, I suppose you do have to.”

“Yes, I do. She is my sister after all.” Still, he found it hard to quiet the little voice that seemed to say “maybe she’ll never turn up.”

His wife however, seemed not to have the same inhibitions. “If she doesn’t turn up, I suppose we shall have to let Reginard Took know he needn’t send us the money for her upkeep.”

“Yes, we shall.” And once more the little voice whispered “it will be worth it not to put up with her anymore.”

“Well,” said Euphorbia in a tone that bordered on smug, “it’s a small price to pay not to have to put up with her anymore.”


North of Hardbottle, on the outskirts of the village of Longneedle, in an abandoned storage hole lay the bones of the troll’s last snack, before the pains in his belly had driven him out, only to be caught by the Sun.

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