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17
Avoiding the Lesson

Avoiding the Lesson


“Abelard, you brought your violin? Then take your chair.”

“Yes, sir. Uncle Isengar?”

“Yes, lad?”

“Bilbo says you have a picture on your chest.”

“Yes. It’s a tattoo of a monkey with a bottle.”

“What’s a monkey?”

“A creature from Harad. They have arms and legs like Hobbits, but are furry all over, and have tails. Our ship’s cook had one--bought him for a good deal of money off the wharf at Risenmouthe. It stole things like loaves of bread, sheets of parchment, and crystals, and would slip through the portholes to get them. You had to keep things under lock and key with him around. One day it stole a letter I was writing to Father and a silver pendant of the Man in the Moon from me and hid them in the crow’s nest along with Cookie’s favorite roasting fork.”

Isengar continued to talk, the lesson forgotten.

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