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Antane's Anthology  by Antane

Saurman's Last Trick

Sam: So, you try and stab my master, would you, Saruman? Well, you've tried your last trick!

Frodo: No, Sam! No. Do not kill him even now. For he has not hurt me, you see? His blade failed against my Dwarf-mail. And in any case I do not wish him to be slain...† - BBC Radio Adaptation, Ep. 13, "The Grey Havens"

A/N:† Inspired by those three words "in any case" and also by wanting to play Larner and do a "Might Have Been" myself! :)The Red Book is briefly quoted from.

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As Saruman prepared to leave Bag End, he passed close by Frodo and before anyone could stop him, stabbed the hobbit in the chest.

"Mr. Frodo!" Sam cried in horror and grief as Frodo gasped in pain and fell back against Sam who caught his master in his arms and laid him gently on the ground as blood began to spread quickly from the wound. The younger hobbit tried to staunch it with his own hands and Frodoís clothing, but it spread and spread, staining them both and the floor beneath.

"Sam..."

The younger hobbit looked at Saruman with murderous rage in his eyes and heart as Merry and Pippin leapt as one being at Saruman with angry cries.

Sam would have joined them, vengeance in his eyes and heart screaming for release, but even in his pain, Frodo held his arms and called out to his cousins. "No, Sam! Merry, Pippin, stand away! Do not kill him even now. I do not wish him to be slain in this evil mood. It would destroy you."

Saruman batted away his fierce assailants. They were torn for a moment between staying with their stricken cousin and going for help, but they sprang to the door, shouting for the healer.

The Ring-bearer looked up with pain-glazed eyes at his gloating assailant and he spoke to him and Sam both now. "He was...great once, of a noble kind that we should not...dare to raise our hands against. He is fallen, and..." Frodo paused to take a breath, gathering his strength to speak more. Bloody spittle came from his lips and he coughed weakly, causing more and redder blood to come up. Sam looked at him, horrified, trying in vain to stop the bleeding. "...his cure is beyond us: but...but I would still...spare him, in the hope that he may...find it."

Sam could barely see his master through his tears, but Saruman had no problem gazing coldly down at the same one. There was a strange look in his eyes of mingled wonder and respect and hatred. Frodo met his gaze as steadily as he could. The darkness was already clawing at the edges of his sight. Where was the healer?!

The cold, implacable hatred Saruman saw in Samís eyes in the instant he looked at him the wizard understood completely and even celebrated, but the forgiveness in the Ringbearerís eyes Saruman found impossible to comprehend, yet he could not deny it.

"You have grown, Halfling," he said. "Yes, you have grown very much. You are wise, and cruel. You have robbed my revenge of sweetness, and now I must go hence in bitterness, in debt to your mercy. I hate it and you!"

Sam tried to cover his masterís ears from hearing such vile talk. Even with Frodo cradled in his lap, and years of loving obedience given to his masterís commands, he could barely keep himself from rising up and attacking the wizard who spun on his heel to leave. Frodoís grip was weakening, but he still tried to hold him back. "No, Sam," he whispered and closed his eyes.

Sam wept and his tears fell into Frodoís curls. He would not have the last words Frodo ever heard to be words of hate. "I love you, master dear, I love you, I love you."

Wormtongue rose up to stab his former master. Frodoís eyes opened in horror and grief as Saruman screamed and fell to the ground and Wormtongue shortly followed.

"He saved you, Sam," Frodo whispered and his hold on his beloved guardian went slack.

When Merry and Pippin rushed in with the portly matron who was the healer, Sam met their fearful, tear-filled eyes with his own and they knew then it was too late.





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