Thierry Hornblower sighed, taking in his tea guests.
“I still haven’t forgiven you for pulling such humbug, Master Balin,” he announced.
“It was only intended to give a bit of fright, not throw the entire Shire into disorder,” Balin said apologetically.
“I’m sure Master Hornblower was clever enough to see through our little ruse, dear,” Dori said, patting Balin’s hand.
Thierry eyed the silver haired dwarf. Something about him just seemed a bit . . . off. The Thain couldn’t quite put his finger on it. Master Dori was charming, polite, well-groomed, and liked his tea. He would have made an excellent gentlehobbit if it weren’t for the fact that he was a dwarf. But still there was something.
“I had a feeling you weren’t serious,” he lied. “But between that, and the unpleasantness with Proudfoot . . . the Shire is falling down around my head.