"I don't know," the Dwarf said as he looked at the ring the stranger held out. "The value far outstrips..."
He is mad. A bejewelled ring for my hospitality? If he wants to avoid obligation, a copper penny would suffice for the bread and cold meat we shared. Yet his madness may be my luck. He started to reach out for the proffered jewellery, but stopped. Unless he wants me beholden to him. But the gold is fair, as are the opals set in it. And does not gold beget gold? This ring could further the fortune of my house…
Just take it, rock mole of Aulë, Sauron thought, smiling kindly as he tried again. He must still appear both benevolent and harmless, at least until the trap was sprung. "It is a mere bauble, but it is a sincere token of my gratitude for your kindness to a wayfaring stranger." If the other six are as hard to give away... Are not Dwarves supposed to lose all sense when they see gold?
He attempted a weary sigh. "Had you not aided me, Master Dwarf, I would surely have perished. What is the value of gold against a man's life?"
This double drabble was written for both HASA's eight birthday on July 4th – the theme for the request "giving" – and for the July 2010 Nuzgûl of the Month.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.