Tuesday, September 30, 2008

So I Was Late! --- Here's Part Of The Tale!

"If I were thee," said Goodgulf, "I would start on thy journey soon."

Frito looked up absently from his rutabaga tea.

"For half a groat you can be me, Goodgulf. I don't remember volunteering for this Ring business."

"This is not the time for idle banter," said the Wizard, pulling a rabbit from his battered hat. "Dildo left days ago and awaits you at Riv'n'dell, as will I. There the fate of the Ring will be decided by all the peoples of Lower Middle Earth."

Frito pretended to be engrossed in his cup as Spam entered from the dining room and began tidying up the hole, packing up the last of Dildo's belongings for storage.

"Lo, Master Frito," he rasped, pulling a greasy forelock. "Just gettin' the rest o' the stuff together for your uncle what mysteriously disappeared wi'out a trace. Strange business that, eh?" Seeing that no explanation was forthcoming, the faithful servant shuffled off into Dildo's bedroom.

Goodgulf, hastily retrieving his rabbit, who was being loudly sick on the carpet, resumed speaking. "Are you sure he can be trusted?"

Frito smiled. "Of course. Spam's been a true friend of mine since we were weanlings at obedience school together."

"And he knows nothing of the Ring?"

"Nothing," said Frito. "I am sure of it."

Goodgulf looked dubiously toward the closed door of the bedroom. "You still have it, don't you?"

Frito nodded and fished out the chain of paper clips that secured it to his tattersall bowling shirt. "Then be careful with it," said Goodgulf, "for it has many strange powers."

"Like turning my pocket green?" asked the young boggie, turning the small circlet in his stubby fingers. Fearfully he stared at it, as he had so many times in the past few days. It was made of bright metal and was encrusted with strange devices and inscriptions. Around the inner surface was written something in a language unknown to Frito.

"I can't make out the words," said Frito.

"No, you cannot," said Goodgulf. "They are elvish, in the tongue of Fordor. A rough translation is:

"This Ring, no other, is made by the elves,
Who'd pawn their own mother to grab it themselves,
Ruler of creeper, mortal, and scallop,
This is a sleeper that packs quite a wallop.
The Power almighty rests in this Lone Ring.
The Power, alrighty, for doing your Own Thing.
If broken or busted, it cannot be remade.
If found, send to Sorhed (the postage is prepaid)."

"Shakestoor, it isn't," said Frito, hurriedly putting the Ring back in his shirt pocket.

"But a dire warning nonetheless," said Goodgulf. "Even now Sorhed's tools are abroad sniffing for this ring, and the time grows short before they smell it here. It is the time to set off for Riv'n'dell."

The old magician stood, walked to the bedroom door, and opened it with a jerk. With a heavy crash, Spam fell forward ear first, his pockets full of Dildo's best mithril-plate tablespoons. "And this will be your faithful companion."

As Goodgulf passed into the bedroom, Spam grinned sheepishly at Frito with a lop-eared stupidity Frito had learned to love, futilely trying to hide the spoons in his pockets.

Ignoring Spam, Frito called fearfully after the Wizard. "But--but--there are still many preparations I must make! My bags-"

"Have no worry," said Goodgulf as he held out two valises. "I took the precaution of packing them for you."

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