Fortune – Bilbo POV
In which Bilbo cuts to the heart of the mystery in Brandy Hall, or so he believes.
Not all monsters have fangs.
This is the chapter where things really get rolling for this story and all the others that follow. Bilbo finally turns the eyes of his adventure on to the actions of his kin, and discovers more than he bargained for.
When I started this story, Esmie was not this interesting. She had begun simply as a conventional hobbit, if one highly placed in society, who was doing what she thought best to make Frodo conform to social standards of propriety as well as reduce antagonism between Frodo and Sara. When I wrote this chapter, it fought my initial attempts to keep that narrative in place, and presented me with a more sophisticated version of her actions.
She is a Took, and not one to give up easily. Then again, neither is Bilbo.
In a bit of story housekeeping, I performed some minor text edits to Ch. 3 – Mayor, Master, Thain, to clarify a bit of obscure Took political in-fighting, and I have posted a chapter showing the chronology of the Mayors for just over a century of Shire history. Aside from Will Whitfoot, it is all made up.