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Recaptured!: 17. Merry Gets Sad

The troupe travelled on the rest of that day, leaving Drâmym
by the roadside, keeping the captive hobbit in the tiny cage on the back of the
horse drawn wagon. They paused in the heat of the day and Spandif came to look
critically at Merry again. "Better give it some water, lad," he told
his son and maybe take those bits of rags off it, make it look more wild."

The sun was high and Merry was hot and feverish, the wounds
on his back were sore and becoming infected. The lad opened the cage door and
pulled Merry out, there was very little fight left in the hobbit and the big
youth held him up while Spandif dragged his breeches off. As he did so, King
Théoden's letter fell from his pocket. "What's this?" The showman
picked the parchment up and tore it open. Merry had been set down on the ground
and realising what had happened blindly made a grab for the letter, but all he
managed to do with his manacled wrists was rip the wax royal seal away, which
he kept tightly in his hand. "It's some kind of message, but I don't know
what it says." Spandif shoved it into his pocket, "I'd better keep
it," he said, thinking it might either be incriminating or have some kind
of value. He pointed back to Merry, "Take that scruffy bit of cloth off it
as well."

The lad caught hold of the remains of Gandalf's cloak but
Merry was not prepared to let that go without a fight either. He hung on to the
cloth as if his life depended on it. The lad took pity on him. "Aw let it
keep its bit o' blanket Da', can't do no harm."

"Well if it's that riled up about it, we can mebbe use
the rag to tease it with." Spandif rubbed his chin thoughtfully,
"Make it a bit more lively. Put it back now, anyhow."

The lad picked Merry up around the waist and shoved him back
into the cage. He put a bowl of water and some scraps into the cage with the
hobbit and locked the door. Then remembering that Merry could not see the food
or water, splashed his hand in the bowl and said, "drink, com'mon, little
thing, drink." He rattled the food scraps around, "eat, you hungry?
Eat little thing." Merry was actually desperate with thirst and he
overcame his pride to creep forward and drink from the bowl.

"There!" Spandif glowed with satisfaction.
"It's settling in nicely!"




That night it rained. The cage Merry was in had no roof and
he pulled the scrap of cloak over his head trying to keep dry but it was
hopeless. Before long he was shivering with cold and was wet through. The
little hobbit could not see the flashes of lightening, but he heard the
accompanying claps of thunder, which made him whimper with fear. The animals in
the cages around him were howling and growling and throughout the long night
Merry grew more and more fevered, terrified and ill. The sounds and smells of
the creatures around him were strange and frightening and he wondered if at any
moment a claw or slavering jaw would reach in and tear at him. He hunched up as
small as he could, curling his body into a tiny ball in the centre of his

By morning he lay on the floor of the cage not moving except
to tremble, but Spandif had other concerns by then and no one looked at him or

The travelling show eventually drew to a halt and the
company became very busy, setting up stalls and going about the business of
preparing their acts as well as their encampment. The wagon that contained
Merry's prison was unloaded and the animals' cages were ranged around inside a
canvas barrier to form a private zoo. This was so that the public could not
view the strange creatures without paying a fee. Merry's little cage formed
part of this zoo although he was so ill he was barely aware of what was

After a time people began wandering through the side shows,
buying the fairings and trying their luck at the games. They paid to see the
small performances or freaks in the various booths, or had their fortunes read
and most of the people parted with the entry fee to come and gawp at the
display of strange creatures from far off lands.

"What is that?" A gawky lad pointed to Merry's
cage. "Could it be a baby elf or something from a legend? It has very odd
ears and feet."

"I do not know what it is." The matronly woman
escorting the child was unsure. "It does not look as if it belongs in a
cage though." She tutted with concern "It seems to be rather ill as

"No no! Madam" Spandif was supervising the little
menagerie. "This is a wild hafin' from out of the North lands. Strange and
wonderful creatures they are and very wily. If you let it out it will play
tricks on you. It will poison your well and eat all your corn. Put a curse on
your livestock."

"It is very strange," the woman agreed. "I
have never seen one before, but I have heard tell of them."

"Well tell all your friends, that there is one to see
at the fair at Edoras!" Spandif announced proudly. "Just outside the
Golden Hall of the King! Two days only! Today and tomorrow then we move

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In Playlists

Playlist Overview

Last Update: 03 Apr 05
Stories: 15
Type: Workshop/Group List
Created By: Marta's Playlists

Stories I have read and liked, dealing primarily with interactions between members of the Fellowship.

Why This Story?


Story Information

Author: Llinos

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Work in Progress

Era: 3rd Age - Ring War

Genre: Action

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 03/23/07

Original Post: 06/26/02

Go to Recaptured! overview

Chapter List

1. A Twist in the Tale

2. Hobbit Hurling

3. Merry Yule and Orange Pips

4. A Palantír Is Not A Toy

5. Rescue

6. King Théoden

7. Pippin

8. Merry

9. Gandalf

10. Legolas

11. The Council

12. Interlude

13. The Road To Edoras

14. Poppy Paste

15. Attack!

16. All In Pippin's Mind

17. Merry Gets Sad

18. Pippin Gets High

19. A Sulky Hobbit

20. Poor Merry

21. Fever

22. Don't Let Me Go!

23. Bitter and Sweet

24. The Trial

25. Crime and Punishment

26. The Show

27. Drums of War

28. Rumblings

29. Searching

30. Converging

31. Betrayal

32. Aftermath

33. Wraithride

34. Lessons

35. Stigmata

36. Decisions

37. Ménage à trois

38. Misunderstandings

39. Visions

40. Remembering

41. Summoned

42. The Plan

43. Confrontation

44. Questions

45. Goodbye

46. Gone

47. Recovery

48. Promises

49. Friends and Strangers

50. Knots and Plots

51. Hide The Hobbit

52. Lost and Found

53. Promises and Threats

54. Blood and Water

55. Dead or Alive

56. Sad and Lonely

57. Hide and Seek

58. Near and Far

59. Touch and Go

60. Questions and Answers

61. Rough and Tumble

62. Beyond Help

63. Planning and Scheming

64. Requiescat

65. Echoes

66. Bribery and Corruption

67. Quo Vadis?

68. Friend or Foe

69. Terra Incognita

70. Caveat

71. Déjà vu

72. Truth and Lies

73. Catching Up

74. frodosam

75. Partings and Meetings

76. Gollum and Co

77. Shelob's Revenge

78. Rendezvous

79. Quartet

80. Needing Help

81. Perilous Paths

82. It's Magnic!

83. Ambush

84. Many Meetings

85. Telling the Tale

86. Love in a Shirt

87. News Fair and Foul

88. Rejoined

89. Minas Tirith

90. Honours

91. Bonding

92. Trusting to Luck

93. Conversations

94. Dangerous Thoughts

95. No Escape

96. No Surrender

97. Coup de gras

98. Requiescat In Pace

99. Feelings

100. Dead or Alive

101. Tales and Toil

102. Boromir The Brave

103. Calon Lân - (A Pure Heart)

104. In Dreams

105. The Last Debate

106. Battle Plans

107. Hey Ho To the Battle I Go!

108. Getting There

109. Who Wants To Play?