The Lord of the... whatever, Rare Manuscripts:
The Forbidden Pool Hall
Frodo woke to find Dr Faramir bending over him.
'There is nothing to fear,' said Faramir. 'I am straight.'
'Is it morning already?'
'Not yet, but we fictional characters need little sleep anyway. But there
is a matter on which I desire your counsel. Come.'
'Okay, okay,' whined Frodo, rising and shivering a little as he left the
warmth of the blankets and pelts and Sam's embrace. The noise of the water
and prisoners was loud in the stillness. He put on his cloak and fuzzy
Sam woke suddenly and saw the two walking away. Fearing some rival for his
master's attentions, Sam followed after them. They walked into the large
chamber and then descended stairs carved in one corner.
They descended some distance when they came out on a balcony overlooking a
large hall filled with tables covered in green felt. There were racks of
cues against the wall, and spitoons and ashtrays scattered here and there.
Harsh neon lights shone on the tables, but shaded so that the balcony
remained in near total darkness.
For a while Frodo stood on the balcony peeking through the railing. Why
was he brought here out of a forgetful sleep?
Sam was eager for an answer to the same question and with his coarse
peasant upbringing not restraining him, he spoke out of turn, 'It's a fine
pool hall, no doubt, Mr Frodo, but it's too late to play a game. What's
Dr Faramir heard and answered, 'Recreational facilities for my men. Though
I did not bring you here for a game--and for you, Samwise, regard it as
just punishment for sticking your nose in where it doesn't belong. Over
there in the corner, look.'
Dr Faramir turned to the man at his side. 'Now what would you say that is,
Antfarm? A hustler, a shark? Are there black hustlers in the night pool
halls of Mirkwood?'
''Tis not an expert, whatever else it be,' answered Antfarm. 'It is most
clumsy and instead of putting english on the cue, it is rushin'. I've got
players at all the entrances. One word from you, and we'll shoot him
'Shall we shoot?' said (actually asked) Faramir, turning quickly to Frodo.
Frodo paused dramatically. 'No! I, uh, beg you not to.' If Sam had thought
he could have gotten away with, he would yelled Yes louder and quicker.
Well, the damage was done.
'Is this your sneaky companion? We're not idiots; we know you had another.
I was hoping for a chance to research him later, but he has eluded us
until now. But now he has to be taken care of. These tables are for the
use of my men only; visitors must pay a fee.'
'As one of my companions, he is included in my travel pass. Let me fetch
him; then you can put the fear of Eru into him and fulfill your macho
'Very well. Antfarm, take Frodo to him.'
Antfarm grumbled, but led Frodo back into the passageway and then down the
right hand fork. Frodo found himself at a dark entrance at floor level. He
waddled forward into the light toward Saddam.
Saddam started at first and then waved to Frodo, inviting him over.
"Niccce table. Very ssmooth. Masster doesn't like Stéiger, no. Master
abandoned poor Stéiger and went off with reactionary paramiltary
'Stéiger, you must come with us, with me. We must go.'
'No, master left Stéiger. Stéiger wantss to play.'
Frodo tried not to stare at the balcony. 'It's more fun to play with
someone. Do you mind if I join you?'
'Okay.' Saddam racked up the balls. Frodo got another stool and cue. He
let Saddam break. They played for a time, dragging their stools around the
table, teetering on their edges as they coped with the overlong cues.
Frodo finally had a shot lined up the entrance where Antfarm waited. He
let the cue go too fast and low, popping the cue ball up like a jumping
bean, and it bounced off the table.
Saddam jumped off his stool and scrambled after, gleefully cackling,
'Master sscratched, Master sscratched.' He followed the ball through the
entrance and then whoomfed as Antfarm competently grabbed and tied him up.
Frodo came next.
They returned through the corridors back to Faramir's surgical office. The
Doctor spent some time poking at Saddam and making dire threats. Frodo
eventually drew the papers from his pocket and pointedly unfolded them. Dr
Faramir snarled but his training to obey orders was too steadfast to
overcome his desires.
'Very well, Frodo son Druggedo,' he said at last. 'I surrender Saddam to
you. But if I ever catch him outside your company, he will have a very
entertaining afternoon with me.'
Faramir still insisted on the formalities of visas and customs and
inspections and many other formalities. By the time he was finished, the
remainder of the night and the hobbits's opportunity for sleep was gone.
In the morning light, he was anxious to rid himself of Frodo and his
companions. With the gift of a few stale crusts and green salted pork, Dr
Faramir kicked the hobbits out of his laboratory and into the next
This exciting piece of draft material is presented through the courtesy of
China Blue O'Brien 2 <mlindanne-aaaaaaat-hotmail-dawt-com>.
Copyright © 2000 by the author. All rights reserved. Some variance between this
e-text and the original printed material by Professor Tolkien is inevitable. Using this
as an electronic resource for scholarly or research purposes may lead to a certain
degree of academic embarassment. All agree that the printed version of the text,
available from respectable publishers such as Houghton Mifflin and Ballantine Books,
is to be preferred.
Technical consultation for this chapter provided by James "Fats" Waller.