My Looks are against me

Title – My Looks are Against Me

Author: Linda Hoyland

Characters/Pairing: Aragorn, Halbarad, OMCs, OFCs

Rating: PG

Warnings: None

Book/Source: LOTR book-verse

Disclaimer – Middle-earth belongs to the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien. This story was written for pleasure and not for financial gain.

The two lads peered out from the side of the barn they were concealing themselves behind to observe the old woman disappearing down the lane.

“She won’t be back till sunset,” said one, a lanky young fellow with a birthmark disfiguring his cheek.

“How d' ye know, Will?” asked the other, a shorter youth with an unruly mob of brown hair.

“She be visiting Widow Appledore, and those two old biddies can talk a donkey’s hind leg off! Come on, Bob let’s be getting the eggs.”

“What if she guesses we took them?” Bob protested.

“They won’t,” Will said firmly. “Not when there be Rangers around. I saw two of the scoundrels hanging around here last night. We’ll take the eggs into Bree to sell and should make a tidy bit of brass for them.”


“My eggs have been stolen!” The woman’s cry drew the attention of her neighbours who hurried out of their cottages or in from the surrounding fields and gardens where they were working.

“What be wrong, Mistress Mugwort?” Will asked solicitously.

“I went into the hen house to collect my eggs to take to market and they have vanished, every one!” said the woman.

“What sort of despicable scoundrel would rob a poor old woman?” cried a man.

“There be Rangers in the area,” said Bob. “I saw two skulking around Mistress Appledore’s cottage last night.”

“Let’s find them and teach them a lesson they won’t forget!” said the man.


Aragorn and Halbarad were enjoying a leisurely luncheon in a field adjacent to Widow Appledore’s orchard. Hearing angry voices approaching they rose to their feet and prepared to draw their swords.

“These be those good for nothing Rangers I saw taking your eggs!” cried Bob.

“How dare you rob a poor old woman!” Mistress Mugwort accused them.

“We have robbed no one,” Aragorn said calmly, though he regarded the dozen or so angry country folk with dismay.

“What has gone missing?” Halbarad enquired.

“A full basket of eggs. When I looked this morning my hens had laid a fine clutch of large brown eggs and now they are gone! How could you do such a thing?” She dabbed her eyes with her apron.

“I assure, we did not, good lady,” Aragorn repeated.

“What’s that on your plates then?” said Mistress Appledore. “It looks like eggs to me!”

“A woman in Bree gave us half a dozen in exchange for mending her roof,” Aragorn explained.

“Fiddlesticks!” cried the man. “You stole them! Now have the decency to pay for them and apologise.”

“We stole nothing,” said Aragorn, his eyes gleaming.

“They should be put in the pillory!” said Mistress Mugwort.

“Or horsewhipped out of town!” cried Will.

“Thieves, filthy vagabonds!” shouted the man, spitting in the direction of the two Rangers.

Aragorn and Halbarad paused only to snatch up their packs before fleeing.


An hour or so later the Rangers flopped down exhausted behind a hedge.

“It seems our looks are against us, Aragorn remarked wryly once he had got his breath back.

“We try to help them and they repay us thus!” Halbarad said angrily. ”If they but knew who you were ...”

“They would not believe it if they did,” Aragorn replied taking a swig of water from his water skin.

“One day you will come into your own then those who reviled and falsely accused you will tremble, while others will cheer as you pass by,” said Halbarad.

Aragorn rose to his feet. “Come on, we cannot linger and brood on the matter. Orcs have been sighted in this area and will be abroad when night falls. We must be ready for them.”


Many years later

A crowd lined the roadside as the King and Queen ride through Bree. Amongst them were two men in their middle years, a tall man with a birthmark on his face and a stocky fellow with unruly greying hair.

The King reined in his horse and cried in a loud voice “Good people, you are all invited to a feast to celebrate my return to these lands.” Espying Nob whom he recalled from the Prancing Pony, he dismounted and went to speak to the Hobbit.

“It can’t be!” Will exclaimed.

“I be certain he be one of those Rangers who hung around here years back!” Bob replied.

“So what?” said Will.

“If he remembers us, we be in trouble,” Bob replied.

“Maybe you be right,” said Will. Not waiting to see if their suspicions were correct, the two fled.

“Whatever has got into those two?” a woman asked her neighbour.

“Who cares, there will be all the more food for us to enjoy,” the neighbour replied.

Aragorn smiled at the cheering crowd and recalled Halbarad’s words.

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