Part 9 – Published and be Damned!
Master Meriadoc Brandybuck
Lothlórien Healing Chambers
My dearest Merry:
After some serious thought, and a public opinion poll, I have decided to redraft my will and leave Samwise as my sole heir. (You may be interested to know that 90 percent of those polled did not think you deserved the inheritance; perhaps you should look into an image consultant prior to assuming duties of Master in the years to come.) Everything that I have and will have is to be left to him, minus some small items I am setting aside for special friends, such as yourself. Specifically, I will be leaving you the special translations Bilbo and I both have worked for many years on; I am certain you will treat them with the respect they deserve. (And please keep Pippin out of them.)
I know that you will understand. Sam has certainly proven his worth, and could use the money, while I know that your future is already secured. I have set aside a small trust for Pippin, which I will leave you as trustee of; though I know he stands to inherit a sizable fortune, I thought it best to have some money put away that his father does not know about, to be used for more delicate matters such a bail and tattoo removal.
None of this, of course, presumes that I will not be around for many years to come. Additionally, just as Bilbo did, I have made certain provisions should I meet an untimely and suspicious death or disappearance. In your own best interest, Merry, I would hope you never need learn of those provisions.
Your loving cousin,
Master of Bag End
The News Editor
The Bree Enquirer
Just wanted to touch base with you to let you know I will have a nice little exclusive that I can put your way in the near future. Certain secret letters penned by Bilbo Baggins, are likely to come into my hands and this is just a heads up to make sure you budget for a major bit of chequebook journalism when this is ready to break, we're talking at least 5 zeros!
The revelations will include writings by his notorious heir Frodo (The Ring) Baggins and, trust me, you will not be disappointed.
The never before told story contained in these personal jottings, contains, sex, drugs, indiscretions in a place called Las Vegas, as well as a scandal, worthy of Royalty or Politics, concerning involvements with servants that will rock the Shire and cause reverberations all the way to the Gap of Rohan.
The gay servant romp that will be revealed is also about to be firmly backed up when the contents of the younger Mr Baggins' Last Will and Testament is published.
Trust me, Chuck, it's all good stuff and I'm giving you first dibs on the exclusive.
The Daily Rohan
Gap of Rohan
I know you live for exclusives, and have I got a biggie for you!
Frodo 'Nine-Fingers' Baggins is about to cough up the skinny on all the doings of the famous Quest. Revealed will be exactly what went on in Mordor with him and the hired help, plus extra insider stuff on Bag-End – what really goes on behind the round door.
This is a brilliant package, not just the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, penned by the younger Baggins, but includes the wonderfully amusing ramblings of Barmy Bilbo Baggins himself.
It's all solid gold and it's all yours for the give-away price of 100,000 pence mithril. Trust me Chip, I'm cutting my own throat on this one, you won't be disappointed!
Look forward to hearing from you
The Middle Earth Times
It is with regret that I have to inform your publication that I am about to come into possession of certain intelligence that I feel compelled to make public.
It concerns the former war veteran and hero, Frodo Baggins, B.O.T.O.R., who was honoured by King Elessar and is held in high esteem by the whole of Middle Earth.
These revelations will be devastating to the heretofore unblemished character of Mr Baggins and may even precipitate his departure from Middle Earth and compel him to seek anonymity in the Grey Havens.
I know you will see it as the profound duty of The Middle Earth Times to report these scandalous truths, which are contained in the personal writings of the gentlehobbit concerned and in those of his esteemed Uncle, Bilbo Baggins, formerly of Bag End.
My personal fee for supplying this information, which should cover sundry expenses and personal insurance, will be minimal and 10,000 pence should suffice, together with an additional 90,000 pence agency commission and tax.
Master of Buckland (elect)
Messrs Lyes, Damnlyes & Stats
Michel Delving on the White Downs
I wish to complain in the strongest terms about a recent poll carried out by your partnership.
Your brief was to gauge public opinion regarding Meriadoc The Magnificent, future Master of Buckland and you seem to have made an especially poor job of this as the results returned are obviously skewed very badly against Mr Brandybuck. The said gentlehobbit is in fact a well liked and popular figure, loved by all in The Shire and respected from Rivendell to the Gap of Rohan.
Mr Brandybuck is also a war hero of great renown, distinguishing himself in both the Battle of Bywater and the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, for which he received a Knighthood. In addition, he is a personal friend and advisor to King Elessar and is respected and revered by King Éomer of Rohan and Prince Faramir of Ithilien.
May I suggest you conduct this poll again, with a little more care and this time question an appropriate cross-section of the population, concentrating perhaps more on the female vote.
on behalf of
His personal Secretary
Mirror of Galadriel Inc
The Golden Wood
I have been recommended to your agency by a personal friend who suggested that an image consultant might be able to assist me in my endeavour to serve the community by attaining high office and general popularity.
I am already pretty well set up as heir to the Kingdom of Buckland, War Hero, Knight of Rohan and personal friend to at least three current Monarchs.
However, I am always happy to improve my image further and, if I feel you have something to offer, would like to retain your services in this respect.
I look forward to hearing from you to arrange an initial consultation, the fee for which will be met by Mr Frodo Baggins of Bag-End, The Shire, to whom you should forward your invoice.
King Elessar, Ruler of Middle-earth
Minas Tirith, Gondor
My Dear Strider
So sorry I have not written of late; I do not seem to have the concentration that I once possessed. I begin one task, but before I know it, I've started something else, and nothing ever seems to get done. Do not fret, though, Sam is taking excellent care of me. He has found some wonderful herbal teas that really put me in the most peaceful state of mind.
I am writing because I'm having some difficulties with Merry. I would discount it as tween-aged nonsense except that he really is old enough to have outgrown that. My only conclusion is that his head has grown too large for his hat, if you take my meaning, and he could use some humbling. Also, I fear he is leading Pippin into ever more foolish ventures, as if the lad needed encouragement to behave imprudently.
I wondered if I might, as Ring-Bearer and Saviour of Middle-earth, implore you to intervene. Surely there is some unpleasant mission-quest-thing that you need attended to? I do not forget that Merry remains in the service to Éomer King, but knowing how close the two of you are, and not forgetting that you are the HIGH King, after all, I felt certain that Éomer would accept any directions you gave him concerning Meriadoc.
Please give my best to Arwen. I hope this letter finds you both well.
Very truly yours,
Bearer of The One Ring
Wielder of Sting
Master of Bag End
Saviour of Middle-earth
Restorer of the United Kingdom
He Who Made the Return of the King a Reality and Not a Pipe Dream
Dear Sam, friend of friends --
I am redrafting my will, and I think you will be most pleased with the results. You and I must take an hour or so to stop by my solicitor's office at our earliest convenience. Let us just say that you, your family (and your Rose, if I may dare call her such) will want for nothing in the years to come. I know that you will continue to provide me with loyal and loving service until the end of my days (hopefully very far in the future).
Pippin, sweetheart --
You have been such a good, brave lad of late that you may have that blue knitted cap with the yellow tassle that you like so much right now, with my love. And don't trouble yourself about my and Merry's business affairs; Merry is wrong to make you trouble yourself over them, even if he is not well right now.
To Be Continued