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From Wilderness to Cities White  by Larner

For the LOTR fixed-length ficlet challenge, "Where have you been?"  237 words.  For Bill, for his birthday.

On the Disposal of Illicit Goods

            “And just where have you been?”

            Lotho paused and turned a wary eye on his mother.  “Down to the Water.”

            “Keeping an eye on that Frodo Baggins?”

            He shrugged.  “He’s swimming with that Brandybuck brat again.”

            “So unnatural!”  She shivered delicately, then muttered, “If he’d only drown like his parents did!”  She turned toward him.  “Get anything good?”

            He brought out some very white linen.  “Got his small clothes.  He never has anything of worth in his pockets anymore.”

            “Not his waistcoat?”

            “Mum!  I’d have been caught with that immediately.  With these at least it could appear I’d simply been wiping my brow with my handkerchief.”

            “You have a point.  Well, what should we do with them?  We can’t just give them back, and you certainly can’t wear them.  You, at least, show signs of becoming a properly substantial Hobbit.”

            Again he shrugged.  “What do I care what’s done with them?  At least he doesn’t have them anymore. Or the brat,” he added as he handed the two sets of underwear to Lobelia.

            “Merry’s too?  Oh, but that is delicious!” she exulted.  She examined them for a moment.  “I’ll have to unpick the monograms, but then I’ll send them to Benbo to distribute to Bracegirdles in need.”

******* 

            Benbo Bracegirdle held up the contents of Lobelia’s package.  “Lotho’s been stealing from the Bagginses again,” he announced, indicating where FB could still be seen where embroidery had been removed.





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