B2MeM Challenge Book Titles: The Book Thief;Talents and Skills- Translation, ; Waters - pond;All OCs, all the time - a black sheep brother.
Characters: Aragorn,Barliman Butterbur, OMC
Summary: Aragorn finds some stolen property.
These characters all belong to the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien. This story was written for pleasure and not for financial gain.
“A mug of your best ale, please,” Aragorn called as he entered the Prancing Pony. It was early in the evening and few customers were around yet. To his surprise, it was not Barliman Butterbur who appeared at the bar, but a stranger.
“We don’t serve no Rangers here!” said the man with a frown.
“My apologies, Strider, my brother spoke rashly.” Mr Butterbur appeared from a room in the back, wiping his hands on his apron. He glared at the other man. “Ryeman, I told you that the Pony serves all who have good coin and cause no trouble. And though the Rangers be queer wandering folk, they pay and they are quiet enough in the common room.”
Ryeman scowled at Aragorn and stomped off. Mr Butterbur carefully carried a full mug of ale over to the seat by the wall that Strider favoured. “I am sorry that my brother was so rude,” he said. “He isn’t used to bar work. He’s something of a scholar and translates books for a living usually. Work is scare at present, though, so he is helping me out for a time.”
“Really?” Aragorn sounded sceptical. “How many languages does he speak?”
“I don’t know for certain,” said Mr Butterbur. “But I can show you one of the books he translates. He hurried off into the back and returned a few moments later with a small exquisitely bound volume, which he handed to Aragorn. Just then, a group of farmers came in demanding drinks. Mr Butterbur hurried off to serve them, leaving Aragorn with the book.
The Ranger carefully turned the pages and gasped in astonishment. He had seen this book before in Master Elrond’s library. It was an ancient tale of the deeds of Fëanor and was written in Quenya. There was no other like it. Men came from far and wide to peruse Master Elrond’s library. It seemed that there was a book thief amongst them!
Ryeman appeared carrying a tray of drinks and walked past Strider on his way to the farmers’ table.
“Where did you get this book?” Aragorn demanded in Quenya.
Ryeman just stared at him.
Aragorn repeated the question in the Common Tongue.
“I’m a translator,” he said. “I bought it to translate.”
“You are no translator,” said Aragorn. “You are a common thief!”
“Curse you, Ranger!” cried Ryeman. He dropped the tray, causing a great clatter of tankards and flood of spilled ale. He raced outside, followed by Aragorn, Mr Butterbur and the farmers.
In his haste to escape, he failed to notice the village duck pond, which was covered in sea green algae. He missed his footing and fell headlong into the pond. The fight gone out of him, he sat there amongst the squawking ducks, gasping and spluttering.
“Someone fetch the Shirriffs!”cried Aragorn.
“We’ll not let him escape,” said the farmers.
“Oh dear,” said Mr Butterbur. “Ryeman always was the black sheep of the family, but I hoped he’d turned over a new leaf.”