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Author: Dreamflower
Title: Somewhat Better Than Ironmongery
Rating: G
Theme: Dialogue challenge
Elements: a tailor, a street, a table, and the color brown
Summary:Sam's in need of something a little more practical to wear...
Word Count:933

Somewhat Better Than Ironmongery

"The tailor is the next street over."

"But The Golden Cockerel is on this street, and only two blocks down."

"Now you sound like Pippin, thinking with your stomach."

"Mr. Pippin knows the city. They have a right good chicken pie, according to him. And my Gaffer says 'Never do business on an empty stomach, else you'll miss hearing something important for the rumbling of your innards.'"

"Very well, we shall stop there for an early luncheon. Merry speaks well of their chicken pie also-- and of their ale, though he says it's not up to Shire standards. But we shan't put off this errand for long."


"There now, Mr. Frodo! That was a fair meal, and you can't say it wasn't! Do you fancy more ale?"

"No, thank you, Sam! I've enough to finish my brown bread and cheese. And that was indeed a toothsome chicken pie!"

"It had a different sort of mushroom in it to what I've tasted afore. And there was a mite more rosemary, I'm thinking, than what we use at home."

"More garlic, as well, and of course, there was that touch of lemon. Not something we use at home at all!"

"Plenty of carrots, celery and onion, though! And a very flaky crust! Don't say as I could've done better myself. Should we ask for some of that honey-pastry as the server said they had?"

"I don't think so, Sam. The day is getting on; we still have our errand to run. Don't sigh at me-- we shan't put it off any longer."

"Are you sure we need to be doing this?"

"Yes, Sam. I am quite sure."

"Wait for me, Mr. Frodo, I'm coming."


"Stand still, Sam! You didn't see me fidgeting when I had my turn."

"Yes, Mr. Frodo."

"Now, don't sound so cross! You know this needs to be done. Aren't you tired of going about in children's clothing?"

"Lord Samwise, if you would turn to the left, so that I can get this tape down your inseam?"

"Well, Mr. Frodo, I can't say as I won't appreciate having new things, but I wish it didn't mean so much fussing about to get them. Now, stop laughing at me sir! I'm just not used to this!"

"I'm sorry, Sam! But for the clothes to fit, they must be measured!"

"Now, Lord Samwise, if you would just turn back around this way for a moment, we shall be all finished."

"I just wish as the clothes that Strider-- I mean, King Elessar-- already had made for us hadn't've all been so fine!"

"We needed the finer clothing for court, Sam."

"Yes sir, but just the one fancy suit would've done me for the King's banquets and feasts and all. That outfit that Lord Faramir said was for everyday would've been ruined by one afternoon on me knees in the garden!"

"Well, you shall choose more suitable fabric for these workaday clothes. Do you see anything you fancy on the table?"

"Yes sir! That thick brown stuff looks like it would wear well for breeches-- but it's not too stiff, and it won't show the dirt much.""

"Indeed, Lord Samwise, that's a very sturdy linsey-woolsey!"

"All that stuff for shirts though, it seems too fine!"

"I think this creamy cambric will do well for you, Sam. It may look 'fine' as you say, but it's well-woven and not so thin as the lawn shirts they made us."

"Yes, Lord Frodo! It's the sort of cambric used for livery up at the Citadel, for the kitchen servants. It washes well, and holds up to much rough use."

"There! You see, Sam! Now, Master Tirion--"

"No, my Lord! Please put your purse away! The Steward has already arranged the payment! I shall send one of my apprentices to deliver the items in a few days."


"Frodo! Sam! There's someone here with packages for you!"

"You don't have to shout, Pip. I'm right here. Sam!"

"Now who's shouting, Cousin Frodo? And what's in the packages?"

"You'll see soon enough, Peregrin Took."

"What is it, Mr. Frodo?...Oh."

"Ah, I see your new clothes came, then."

"Just look, Merry! I think they will be comfortable."

"Very nice, Frodo! The light grey shirt and dark grey breeches will suit you. I like the stitchery. And I take it the other set is Sam's?"

"Er...that is the cloth I picked out, Mr. Merry...but..."

"Not exactly plain, are they, Sam?"

"No, Mr. Pippin."

"I like how the embroidery on the shirt sleeves matches the stitching on the seams of the breeches..."

"Nice carving on the buttons, too. I think they must be oliphaunt ivory..."

"Sam, why are you blushing?"

"Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took! Stop teasing Sam. Sam, they will not only wear well, but will look very nice indeed! I think the tailor did a splendid job."

Sigh. "Yes, Mr. Frodo."


"Well, Sam, I must say as I'm glad to see you put away the ironmongery! But looks to me like you've been a-working in your good clothes! Why, that shirt and breeches is far too fine to be a-grubbing weeds in, nor clearing away rubbish! What's so funny?"

"Ah, Gaffer! These are my workaday clothes! Nothing I wore from home was more'n rags by the time Mr. Frodo and me finished our errand. But this is the Southern folks idea of work clothes!"

"Well, all I got to say then, is thank goodness you're home again amongst sensible folks!"


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 23rd, 2009 04:37 pm (UTC)
Well done Dreamflower! I think my favorite part was the conversation between Sam and his Gaffer at the end...the last line was the clincher and made me laugh so much! Sensible folks, indeed...true enough! Plain hobbit sense is certainly a good thing to have!

(I do have to say, I wonder what Miss Dora would have thought...true, it was a disreputable Adventure, but her nephew and his friends saved the world and no mistake!)

Nov. 24th, 2009 04:26 am (UTC)
*grin* I had to let the Gaffer have the last word!

Miss Dora? I think that she would outwardly pretend to know nothing whatsoever of any such disreputable things as Adventures, while privately being very proud of her nephew for his bravery!
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 24th, 2009 04:28 am (UTC)
It seemed to me something that would bother Sam-- until he went off on his journey, probably all of his clothes had either been hand-me-downs or made by his mother or sisters-- who'd know his size without a lot of measuring!
Nov. 23rd, 2009 06:58 pm (UTC)
Very nice. I loved Sam's reaction when he saw the finished 'workaday' clothes.
Nov. 24th, 2009 04:28 am (UTC)
LOL! So did I! I'm sure that he was quite taken aback.
Nov. 23rd, 2009 08:08 pm (UTC)
Poor Sam! It's difficult to get plain and simple clothing when you're "Lord Samwise" in a Royal City. :)
Nov. 24th, 2009 04:29 am (UTC)
It certainly is! No tailor would think of giving "Lord Samwise" something so plain!
Nov. 23rd, 2009 09:47 pm (UTC)
Heh heh heh... I don't want to know how much entertainment the gentry got from Sam's discomfort from being treated all lordly.

Of course, "work" for the Gondorians means something a lot different from how it does in the Shire, so I can understand why they'd give him something a little nicer... at least the Gaffer didn't give Sam too tough a time, considering Sam had no choice!

Excellent job giving the readers pointers to the speaker, as well as nuances and actions, without ever resorting to using anything but dialogue.
Nov. 24th, 2009 04:31 am (UTC)
I think Frodo, Merry and Pippin all get a kick from seeing Sam get gentrified! They know he deserves to be treated like the hero he is.

And you are quite right about the Gondorians, as well!

Thanks! I really wanted to try this-- it's the longest bit of straight dialogue I've done.
Nov. 24th, 2009 12:22 am (UTC)
Awww, very cute/sweet/fun! I do like the ending the best, putting it all in perspective as it were. :o)
Nov. 24th, 2009 04:32 am (UTC)
I knew from the very start of it all that the Gaffer was going to have the last word! He's a hobbit of uncommonly good common sense.
Nov. 24th, 2009 09:10 am (UTC)
Loved this Dreamflower. I just knew the Gaffer would get both the first and last word.

'Never do business on an empty stomach, else you'll miss hearing something important for the rumbling of your innards.'"

Very true!
Nov. 28th, 2009 01:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I loved the chance to work the Gaffer into this-- and I love "Gafferisms"!
Nov. 24th, 2009 01:30 pm (UTC)
Oh, this was fun!
Nov. 28th, 2009 01:47 pm (UTC)
It was fun to write, as well!
Nov. 24th, 2009 03:29 pm (UTC)

Aw, I like this very much! Poor Sam, given a hard time by everyone. But the Gaffer's last line is a gem. lol

Thank you :D
Nov. 28th, 2009 01:49 pm (UTC)
Yes, poor Sam. Those folks down South just won't give him the chance to fade into the woodwork-- Samwise the Stout-hearted must be honored! But once he's home, the Gaffer will put it all into perspective!
Nov. 28th, 2009 10:07 pm (UTC)
How very appropriate for the three of them, Sam, Frodo, and the dear Gaffer. All this fanciness, as he must have seen it, must have been such a trial to Sam, always brought up to be aware of his place. And this clothing must have seemed way too much for someone given to weeding flowers and turning compost!

A wonderful look at Sam's overweening modesty! Love it, Barbara!
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 29th, 2009 06:10 pm (UTC)
This was a lovely read - and you have the entire thing in dialogue! I like the way you used it to do the description - I've seen a similar style used in comedy skits, knowing that adds to the pleasure of reading this. Nice work!
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )


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