Orcs in Hobbiton
8. Law and Order
When the rapes get out of hand he institutes reprisals. First-timers receive a flogging; second, the long drop. Seconds were more creative at first—public entertainment, the hammer and the long knives—but that turned Halfling stomachs. They came to him green of face and halt of speech: he mustn't misunderstand, they want justice for their womenfolk, but torture is excessive.
Norgush doesn't misunderstand. They are too weak for an Orc's idea of retribution. He draws up the documents again, makes the revisions they want, but executions are still public. There are his lads to consider, after all. It's about encouraging the right kind of behavior. The rapes continue, but they are more circumspect, and Norgush is satisfied.
The Halfling men are not. They come to him squeaking of their daughters and their wives. Their mothers. Their grandmothers. He listens indifferently and, when they finish, reminds them of the long knives and the tongs. This time when they reject his counsel he can see reluctance. Soon they will ask for it and then the incidents might actually drop off.
Norgush is patient. Rope enough in the meantime; he can afford to wait. After all, it's no skin off his neck.
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