12. Winnowing - by Gwynnyd
"You were right, Gaffer. That crop made me a lot of money." Bilbo mopped his red, sweaty face.
Hamfast Gamgee straightened, leaning on his shovel's handle. Of course he was right. Bilbo cared more for tales than crops and Ham knew more about farming than Bilbo ever would.
"Good job, m'boy. Here's something extra for you."
Bilbo flipped Hamfast a coin that flashed gold. Ham caught it and tugged at his forelock. "Thankee, Mr. Bilbo," murmurred from his lips but his heart burned with the injustice. His ideas, his skill, and his labor kept Bag End profitable. Why should Bilbo lord it over the tenants and train up his namby-pamby foreign heir instead of making Ham his bailiff? It should be his place. It would be his. Young Frodo would be easier to manage. Played right, the whole estate would be his family's someday.
The shovel whistled as it came down with a wet crack on Bilbo's skull. Crouching down over the still form of his former master, Ham pulled a pouch heavy with gold and a thin chain from Bilbo's weskit pocket. Hamfast slid the chain through his fingers. It was all his now. He slipped on the ring.
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.