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Spinning the Future
As Eglantine settled down on the front stoop to spin, she heard giggles, then shrieks of laughter from her youngest, there beyond the lilacs. She rose and peeked around the bush. Frodo was spinning around and around, swinging little Pippin by his arms. The lasses were laughing and dancing in delight.
Pearl was smiling at Frodo, and Lanti knew that her head was spinning with her fascination for him. Smiling, Eglantine returned to the stoop, and pulled a hank of wool from her basket, hooking it to the spindle she held. Perhaps this thread would go into Frodo’s wedding waistcoat!
Eglantine Banks Took sat down at her loom and took up her shuttle feeling pleasantly hopeful for the future. Her eldest daughter had finally managed to capture the attention of young Frodo Baggins, and it was certainly about time! Pearl had set her cap for her second cousin several times removed some years ago at the Free Fair. It had taken the two of them to finally waken him to Pearl’s interest in him, but it was well worth it.
Lanti began weaving a blanket, imagining it covering the marriage bed of the future Master and Mistress of Bag End.
Plans to Fascinate
Pearl sat with a group of lasses from the Great Smial in the second sun room where the tweens tended to congregate, each of them with some piece of needlecraft in hand.
Linden looked up from her woolwork to ask, “And is that bodice for your mother, Pearl?”
Pearl smiled. “Oh, no—it’s for me to wear for Yule. My Brandybuck relatives and Cousin Frodo will be coming, you see, and I truly want to look my best.”
And as she wrought yet another daisy blossom about the neckline, she embroidered upon how she planned to fascinate her intended.
“You purchased a new shirt wholly on your own?” Bilbo asked.
“Yes. I intend to propose to Pearl, and I want all to be right and proper.”
“You do look quite dapper, I must say. And your promise gift?”
Frodo proudly opened a gift box, displaying a large pearl in a silver setting, hung from a silver chain; and a pair of ear drops, also of silver set with pearls.
“Most fitting,” Bilbo said, but he felt in his heart Frodo would do better to look to his cousin Narcissa rather than Pearl Took. Narcissa would be a better fit.
A Cut in Time
Primula Baggins had been mistress of needles, hooks and bobbins; had sewed and embroidered, knit, and crafted lace by various means. The clothing she’d stitched was always both sturdy and beautifully finished, worthy to be worn by Kings, had Hobbits Kings, that is.
But her son was in the way of Lobelia Sackville-Baggins, who was not given to making. So, instead, she sought to destroy a hope the lad had of a happiness she believed he did not merit. If a stitch in time should save nine, a slash from Lobelia’s sharp tongue could cost a good score or more!
Death of a Love
Paladin carried a basket of wool into the dying shed, looking on his eldest as she stirred the dye with a wooden paddle. “So,” he said, “you’ve set aside your fascination for Frodo in favor of Isumbard?”
She shrugged. “What I felt for Frodo wasn’t true love, Da. I was too young to appreciate what being married to him might mean.”
“I’m sorry, lass,” he said, laying his hand on Pearl’s shoulder. “It’s not easy to let such a love die.”
She looked up, and he saw that she did feel pain, no matter how lightly she spoke of it.
“And what are you doing, my lad?” Bilbo asked.
Frodo looked up from the red fabric he held. “Darning the hole in the sleeve of my sweater. There’s no need to have a new one made when Aunt Esme saw to it I knew how to repair broken threads.”
But there was a solemnity to Frodo Bilbo hadn’t seen in him for quite some time. It had begun when Pearl threw him over, and how long it would last was anyone’s guess. If only broken hearts were so easily mended, Bilbo thought as he saw Frodo finish closing the rent.
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