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The Way to Waymeet

The Southfarthing and its pretty meadows and farms had been my home for as long as I had known. Always we would sit beside the fireplace in the cold winter evenings and wonder whatever the strange Bagginses would be up to next. Those were happy days; with a cup of warm cider and nibble of cheese to send me into a slumber.

One morning, on a fine and crisp Tuesday, I had gone to Cotton with some girl-companions to sell our parents' pipeweed. You would be sure to find a plump old dwarf or nieve tall-fellow willing to buy all he could afford. So, we sold off our crop and even treated ourselves to a warm loaf from the bakery and set off back home, cutting through the Old Toby fields and along a narrow little track which runs alongside the stream.

When we arrived back at our farms, we found them set ablaze, along with our harvest. Being still young, we did not know whatever had happened. We investigated the fields, finding some of our kin to have been struck down. The only bodies we could not find among the blackened grasses were those of our brothers and sisters.

The Bounders were called from Longbottom not a furlong away to make the place safe. They found tracks leading away from the farmland and onto the road leading to the Westfarthing of the Shire.

'Well then,' I said to myself, 'This simply will not do. It is one thing to burn somefolk's house and field, quite another to send their family away from the world and it is simply not fitting to steal brothers and sisters away.'

Some years later, on my twenty-sixth birthday, when I had almost come of age, I departed my rebuilt farm with a pack over my shoulder and my precious lute and flute, both of which my brother had made for me, in hand.

I now go to Waymeet and then Michel Delving, to see what has become of my brother and my dear friends' families.

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