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Dreamflower's Mathoms III  by Dreamflower

(I will not be posting the scavenger hunt quote results with my entries; since I participated in creating the prompts it would not be fair.)

B2MeM Challenge: March 1
Format: ficlet
Rating: G
Character(s): Pippin, Sam, Merry, the Steward of Arnor
Summary: Three ruffians are caught trespassing in the Shire after the King's Edict goes into effect.  
Prompt: Judgment
“Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”

Even the Very Wise Cannot See All Ends

The Steward of Arnor looked at the determined faces on the three Counsellors of the North. Thain Peregrin stood straight as a spear with an eye just as sharp. On his right hand, the Master of Buckland mirrored his posture and on his left Mayor Samwise stood with arms crossed and one eyebrow raised.

"It is, of course, your right to have a say in the prisoners' judgment. Yet they present a danger to your people. They were not only trespassing in the Shire in violation of the King's Edict, they did violence to some hobbits."

Mayor Samwise raised his head. "They didn't kill anyone."

"Yet." The Master of Buckland glared at the three Men, standing trussed up and gagged as they awaited their fate. "We've yet to know if Mr. Sandheaver will survive that blow he took to the head. But even if he dies, that wouldn't change our minds. We don't approve of hanging."

"But do you not want justice for your people?" Lord Hiril asked.

Thain Peregrin cocked his head and fixed the Steward with a gimlet eye, a gaze that reminded him all too well of the way the King could look sometimes. "Justice? You are not talking about 'justice'; you are talking about revenge. Send them off to do some hard work, far away from here in some unpleasant place. Isn't the King having a road built through Nurn? That should keep them out of further trouble, and if they break the law in Gondor, then they can suffer Gondor's penalties. Hobbits do not take life in cold blood."

"Very well, then." He signaled his guards to take the prisoners away.

"Thank you," said the Thain. "We appreciate your help."

Lord Hiril watched them leave. Mayor Samwise placed a hand on the Thain's shoulder. "Mr. Frodo would be proud of you, Pippin," he heard him say.

"So would Gandalf," added Sir Meriadoc. "Remember what he said?"

"I do, Merry," The Thain nodded sadly. "I just wish we could be sure that Mr. Sandheaver will not be one of those who die that deserve life."

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