The idea for writing this book was suggested by my brother Gary. Together we developed the plot outline and sketched out the major characters. We divided up the chapters and began writing them, but then Gary moved to Virginia. The project continued by mail for a time, but gradually ground to a stop. The half-finished manuscript sat in a drawer for nearly twenty years. Then, as part of my nightly bedtime reading to my son Nathan, I read him first The Hobbit, then The Lord of the Rings.
It was a joy to me to see him moved by the same scenes that had moved me at my first reading some thirty years earlier. Together we sat in the firelight of the last homely house in Rivendell and heard the history of the Ring; together we hurtled through the dark lands of Rohan on Shadowfax with Gandalf and Pippin; together we stood with Sam on the high pass of Cirith Ungol and looked out into Mordor.
When all the tales were done at last, Nathan looked at me and said, "I'm sorry we finished it. I wanted it to go on." Then I recalled the manuscript in my files. I pulled it out and reread what Gary and I had written so long ago. I resolved to finish it for Nathan, so we would have one more story of Middle-earth to share. I read the second draft to him as I wrote it, which kept me at the thankless job of revision because I had to have one night's reading done every day.
Without Gary's inspiration in the beginning and Nathan's at the end, I never would have been able to write this book. I give them my thanks and my love.
I also acknowledge my debt and thanks to Professor Tolkien, without whom Middle-earth itself would never have existed. He did not approve of other authors "spinning off" from his original work and would not give us permission to publish this book. It is therefore self-published only for the enjoyment of our family and friends. This is perhaps just as well, for I would not wish to have my work compared with the master's. Nevertheless, I shall always be grateful to him for enriching our lives with his creation.
[Acknowledgements]; [Preface]; [Introduction]; [Chronology];
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[Glossary]; Colophon (Still unavailable.)
This story was inspired by Tolkien's work.
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