Blingo started at the voice. Or maybe he simply continued. It was hard to tell, what with the inside of Bunion's house rapidly becoming its outside. He craned his neck up, only to find himself cartwheeling backwards due to the impact of one of Amanita's missiles.
“Mind my cartwheel, Blingo,” muttered Bunion, semi-apologetically, before he too found himself flat on his back. It was never a good idea to let your concentration wander when Amanita was in full fling. His new posture, however, did have the advantage of reducing himself as a target, and he could also examine the new arrival at his leisure.
Tall, he decided, after dismissing the concept of perspective distortion. And hairy. That would make him... Bunion wracked his brain, and then the thought popped into his mouth, neatly sidestepping his higher faculties (of course, being a hobbit, Bunion didn't have much in the way of higher faculties, being only 3 feet tall).
“Are you a gorilla?” he enquired
The gorilla looked down at him from its great height, puzzlement wrinkling its nose. “A goril...”
The question was cut short as a round blue and white object smacked him square on the side of his head, knocking Man-dalf's hat off, and him off his feet. Amanita had scored a hat-trick... A brief smattering of applause emanated from over the fence to number 3, to be quickly stifled by stage-like hushes. Even being a spectator was fraught with peril when Amanita was in one of these moods.
Man-dalf rubbed his head as he stood up and retrieved, first his dented hat, then the offending missile. It was round, with a raised lip, no spout, a handle, with a single word in flowery script in deep blue under the glazing.
“Oh!” exclaimed Man-dalf, quickly followed by “Ah!” then, finally “Urgh!” He gently laid the chamber pot on the grass, and turned to face the little fellow who had mistaken him for a gorilla. Mercifully, the array of non-aerodynamic flying objects had ceased their procession, and a silent serenity descended, broken only by sporadic giggles from over number 3's fence.
“A gorilla?” enquired Man-dalf.
“He's not a gorilla, Bunion,” chimed in a voice from his other side, where Blingo was cautiously pushing himself up to a sitting position. “He's a man. Aren't you, sir.”
“Yes. Yes I am,” agreed Man-dalf, confidently.
“Are you sure?” muttered Bunion. “He looks like a gorilla...” Doubt, exacerbated by pipeweed, clouded his thoughts. Those hairy things were gorillas, weren't they? Or did he dream them? Anyway... mustn't forget my manners.
Rubbing his head, Bunion stood up, then bowed in greeting, stumbled to his knees, clambered up again, rubbed his knees and his head, went to bow again, thought better of it, and instead puffed out his chest, hooking his thumbs into where his braces would have been, if he was wearing any.
“Pleased to meet you, Man. My name's Bunion, and the sparkly gentleman kicking the cartwheel is my neighbour, Blingo.”
Man-Dalf's eyes, so often red and squinting (pipeweed again!) grew large and round. “So you're Bl...” he began, then thought better of it. Confessing to premonitions and bad augury was the quickest way to lose friends and alienate people. Especially hobbits.
“Bl...?” enquired Bunion.
“Bl...essed with living in this wonderful land.” Oh, what a save, Man-dalf thought. In truth, he was a bit too proud of his own achievements, meagre as they were.
“Er, yes.” Bunion responded, doubtfully, as he surveilled the detritus strewn lawn. “Wonderful, isn't it?”
Blingo had been watching the man, quizzically, and recalling the initial query regarding the purchasing of pipeweed, decided it would be best to make his excuses and leave. Today was going to be busy enough, without becoming embroiled in a discussion about pipeweed and its incipient prohibition. Words such as discretion and valour scrambled into his head, but as he didn't really understand them, he ignored them. He lifted his ruby encrusted fob watch from his waistcoat pocket, and flicked open the casing.
“My my, is that the time?” he gasped. “Well, it was lovely meeting you, er, man.”
“-dalf” interjected Man-dalf.
“Dalf,” appended Blingo, “but I really must be off. Work to do and all. Good day, Dalf. Bunion.” Blingo nodded to both, and marched purposefully down the hill, his little legs a golden blur.
Man-dalf watched him go, interestedly. Very interestedly.
“Ahem!” said a voice, and Man-dalf looked down at Bunion, who unsurprisingly was looking up at him. Such is the way with hobbits and men. Some say it's a status thing, but height is the more logical explanation. “You wanted to know where to buy some pipeweed?”
“Oh yes please, “ agreed Man-dalf, all thoughts of Blingo driven from his mind by his craving for pipe-weed.
“Well,” intoned Bunion, portentously, “if you see the road that runs down the hill, past the mill and over the bridge. Over there is Bywater, and if you take the third street, or is it the second? No, it's the fourth. The fourth street on your left. Er, right. Fourth on the RIGHT. Well, halfway down is a little shop, run by old Emfy. Emfy Seymour, the tobacconist. He stocks pipeweed.”
“Why thank you” thanked Man-Dalf, effusively, and licked his lips as he set himself to leave.
“Or,” interjected Bunion, raising his arm and pointing his finger at a little sign outside Number 6, Bagshot Row. In careful white lettering painted on a black board could be read this neat inscription.
“You could always try Old Gaffer Gammyknee at number 6. That's were I get mine.”