'For cryin' out loud,' cried a dismayed Lenwood.
He woke up to be given yet another chore. The night before a brawl had broken out in the common room of the Prancing Pony, and one of the windows had been left smashed.
Presently he was stood outside looking down at the pieces of glass.
'Always something,' he bemoaned. 'There's always bloody something round here.'
He began to sweep up the shards and then fetched wooden boards and a bucket of nails. This wasn't the first time he had to repair the Inn, and each time he did he never missed an opportunity to express his displeasure to Barliman.
'Why do you put up with it sir?' he used to ask of him. 'The way people walk in and treat you like a doormat. Or draw weapons, and fight right in front of your nose? Doesn't it occur to them you are the Inn-keeper, sir? That in your House your word is law?'
Barliman would simply shrug and say, 'I'm so busy that sometimes I don't notice, or I forget. One thing drives out another,' he would add with a chortle.
As Lenwood remembered this he angrily hammered in the first nail.
'It's like these people have no concept of manners,' he huffed to himself; 'mercenaries, assassins, thieves, adventurers,' a nail was driven home for each one he listed.
'They talk to us like dirt; they criticise the quality of ale in front of Mr. Butterbur; and they walk in with a sense of self-righteousness loaned from some other land. It's like they think this establishment was built simply to house their personal drama for all to see. And nobody stops to think about the consequences do they? Oh no. Nobody thinks about Lenwood because one bloody thing drives out another!' he finished, and three more were buried in with unnecessary force.
Nob trotted round the corner with his bucket.
'Talking to yourself again are we, Len?'
Lenwood muttered under his breath, and Nob filled the bucket from the fountain.
'By the way,' added the hobbit on his way back,' there was a beheading round the back of the Inn apparently. The wall needs scrubbing.'
Lenwood lowered the hammer and his eye began to twitch.