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Only a Second or Two  by Larner

XII.  Cue:  Innocence -- open trust, anticipates the best, inexperienced with true evil



            Fredegar Bolger watched Frodo rise from the table where he’d been reviewing reports on those who’d been arrested, killed, or disappeared when they’d sought to protect their homes or communities from the ruffians, and pace across the Cottons’ second parlor, plainly distressed.  “I traveled much of the length and breadth of Middle Earth, hoping to draw the evil after me, to spare the Shire.  I expected to die to see the Enemy’s weapon destroyed.”  He paused, turning to search his cousin’s face.  “Was it for nothing, Freddy?  Have our folk totally lost their innocence?  Is no place untouched by evil?”

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