The Adventure of the Cat's Eye

Part 13B

by Mary Christmas (unicorn_76010 at lycos.com)
11/1/01, 12/9/01

As they walked over to the grove Gandalf indicated, something else clicked in Lestrade's mind. Frodo had appeared in the Shire just as mysteriously as she had. Could it be? She shook her head, dismissing that possibility.
The group settled themselves comfortably, or as comfortably as possible, on the soft grass. Gandalf took something from within his robes and held it in his fist. "It has taken me some time to learn most of the history of this matter, and still I do not know it all." He opened his hand and a gem sparkled. It was the Cat's Eye.
"This gem," Gandalf began, "has no name in Middle-earth, as it was not created here nor anywhere else in Arda."
"But," Sam protested, "My eyes must be deceiving me, then, because that's mithril or my name's not Sam Gamgee."
"I was coming to that," Gandalf gently admonished, "Yes, it is mithril, and this gem was made by elven hands. Here is the story as far as I have been able to learn.
"An elf, after the Last Alliance, was caught up in a dark doorway. It was a great hole that appeared in mid-air and swallowed anything near it. There have been only two others since that one, though I will speak of those later.
"The Elf found himself in an entirely new place with no...magic, as you would call it. There were no Elves or Dwarves in this place, only legends and stories. He still wore a mail shirt of mithril, and he still bore his sword. And, he still knew the ancient craft of gem-making. Though his heart longed for his home, he began to bond to the new world and soon made it his home.
"After he had lived here for many years, he crafted this gem, what the people of that world now call the Cat's Eye. He used a piece of his mail as the setting, and he found that he could travel back to Middle-earth with it. As he had a family in this new world, he did not wish to go back. He also did not wish others to go there, however so he made an inscription of warning on the mithril.
"The inhabitants of this world spoke in a tongue reminiscent of Westron. So, he wrote the warning in that of Common Speech. Since the peoples of this world paid more attention to vague and ominous dealings than to direct warnings, he wrote a verse that was both vague and ominous.
"This worked for many centuries after his death (there was no immortality). The gem was lost during several of those years, and soon forgotten. Then, a man who studied the lore of his culture found the Cat's Eye. The superstition that had governed his ancestors was, for the most part, gone, and the inscription only served to intrigue the man. He took the gem to study it, and in so doing he found its use. However, he did not know, that to return to his own world he needed the gem with him, and he became trapped in Middle-earth, near its beginning.
"But this was no hardship for him. He loved Middle-earth. For here there was true good against evil, whereas in his own world there were no lines, only shadings. He still did not understand the inscription from the gem, as he had come to a time before those words meant anything.
"He was not to stay in Middle-earth, however. He too came upon a dark doorway and was placed back in his own world, though several years before he had even been born.
"He had loved Middle-earth, and he tried everything he could to get back. When all failed, he began to write of Middle-earth and what he had learned of its history. Then, he tried to make gems of his own, reminiscent of the Cat's Eye. He made five in all However, as he was no Elf, and there was no mithril, those five were flawed, though he was able to return to Middle-earth. The flaws in the gems made it to where he soon experienced fatigue, and would begin to fade if he did not leave.
"He was content, however and he used the gems to return to different points in the history of Middle-earth. He then wrote of each of these and never returned to his own time." Gandalf paused and looked at Sam.
"Did anyone ever ask to look at the Red Book?"
Sam blinked. "Why, yes. A Man did, a few months back. Said he was interested in it because he felt the story needed to be told. Said there weren't enough folk as knew the tale. Name was Tolkien, I think. He could have been lying, though. Never heard of a name like that for a Man."
Gandalf smiled. "That was the man I have been telling you about. That was his last visit to Middle-earth, though, because he lost the five gems."
Lestrade frowned. This was starting to become ridiculous, and yet, it made sense in a way.
Tennyson was frowning as well. "But sir, what does all of this have to do with us?"
"Ah, that is the most interesting part, you see. I told you there had only been two other doorways since the Elf had gone through. They come into play soon. First I must tell you what happened to the five gems. A young man found them, along with a diary explaining them.
"Tolkien's work became renowned in the years after his death; however, as technology progressed, they became almost obsolete. The young man was one of a very few who read the books, and enjoyed them. However, he believed he was a character from the books, an evil character who had simply been banished from his rightful place. When he found the gems and the diary, to his mind he had been proven right.
"He tried the gems out to see if they actually worked, then began forming a following. This following grew quietly, and even now is still secret from even the lawmakers of that world. They have been coming to Middle-earth, trying to take over, believing that something still exists. And it does."
"I don't think I want to hear anymore," Frodo said suddenly. "For I believe I can guess what you are going to say from what you have already told us."
Gandalf gave him a piercing look. "Go on, then, and tell us."
"One of the other dark doorways...it appeared at Mount Doom, didn't it? That's why the mountain exploded, isn't it? And Gollum...he fell through...with the Ring."
"I am afraid so."

On to Part 14!
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