Richard Edwards was surprised to see drunken orcs lying in the mud. He hadn't realised it was going to be that kind of party.
Getting in had been a mind bending ordeal. Zeke the Hat was on the gate. mocking and cajoling the arriving guests, extracting funds wherever possible.
When Richard offered his only collateral as an entrance fee Zeke laughed and shouted out to anyone close enough to hear.
Richard's collateral was a canvas bucket full of freshly picked giant pears. Zeke didn't want pears, he wanted cash.
Just as the mocking crowd began to gather Richard had a stroke of good fortune. A band of travelling troubadours going by the name Smaugwind arrived
in some kind of armoured living van. "They'll 'ave cash!" Shouted Zeke and he turned his attention to the troubadours.
Richard Edwards, aka Dick Ed, walked in stepping over the drunken orcs and narrowly avoiding a kick from a bus-squatting troglodyte.
Some of Frodo's honoured guests taking a break from the festivities. The dog was trained to lick the rizlas.
All was well until three o'clock in the morning. The camp was mainly quiet.
Dick Ed has a strange internal clock ticking away. He's blessed with the ability to see the wrong thing, hear the wrong thing, and meet the wrong
person with uncanny timing.
It happened then. Dicks intuition told him to crawl through the thick hedge between the campground and the road.
As he emerged on the road side of the hedge and stood up he heard a voice say "Now!" A living van with a sliding door was turning into one of the
tracks leading to the campground entrance. It was the only vehicle in sight. A group of men opened the door, pulled the driver out, and carried on
into the camp while the driver was bundled away.
It all happened so swiftly Dick had difficulty making sense of what he'd just seen. He assumed what he'd witnessed was a repossession or a drug debt
The van was one of these.
Dick isn't sure if it was the next day or the day after. A very troublesome group of short haired men tried to engineer the beating of a partygoer.
They had him cornered in a truck while they argued with the man next to him. The argument was a clearly contrived, 'You took my drugs!' argument. It
was obvious they were trying to get the target to defend the man they were arguing with. Once the target moved defensively they, or more likely the
ringleader alone, would injure the target.
Dick found himself the closest to the scene when the target's partner pleaded for help.
The target's partner looked a bit like this.
Being young, male and stupid, Dick immediately walked to the truck and stuck his head where it would get kicked off in order to please the lady.
No kick was forthcoming. One codeword was spoken and they all reacted. The way they looked at each other in this moment suggested men who are used to
being told what to do. After a moment's hesitation they emerged with the man they had been arguing with. The ringleader kicked him in the mouth
several times with the precision of Margot Fonteyn.
The target and his partner were unharmed.
It was a long time before Dick began to wonder if the men who took the van could have been the group of short-haired troublemakers. He wonders now if
he witnessed the military infiltration of Frodo Baggins 123rd Birthday Party.