Topic: "8.8 Pounds"(6)
Frodo's father was like a lot of fathers-to-be, then and now. He had to bring things home. Why he did is something that Frodo grapples with from time-to-time; did he see the items as potentially valuable or were they rememberances of the experience? Perhaps the answer lies in the boxes and albums filled with photographs in Frodo's own closets of the Shire? Perhaps not.
Frodo was told that it was an "Italian Army Rifle," and that it was used by paratroopers, which explained its relatively small size and light weight, only 8.8 pounds in all. It was liberated from a warehouse, where it lay amongst hundreds of identical mates, long after the Italians had surrendered. Frodo never attempted to fire the gun, but for some inexplicable reason he had cleaned and greased the weapon many times and, even today, it almost looks as shiny as the day it was first issued for assignment to one, now, long unknown.
Frodo often wondered if it was valuable, and he occasionally brought it out for a visitor to identify or comment upon. He learned about the ammunition, but little else, until Taylor, he who wed the sister of Sam, took a close look and asked Frodo if he had ever held history before. Frodo was speechless and unknowing, as he was told that the most famous mate of this very rifle had been sold, by mail order, for less than $13, and had been discovered lying on the floor of a building known as the Texas School Book Depository on a tragic November day in 1963.
Frodo's gun has the original bayonet. The historical mate has a separate scope through which Lee Harvey Oswald sighted his target. Frodo, again and again, has tested, and proven, that the rifle could be accurately fired three times within five seconds.
It is not difficult to use the communication miracles at our disposal to pull up a picture, and to read the history of those who built the company that supplied the rifle that fired the bullets that killed a President. Frodo's father never knew the coincidental facts of the mate to the gun he brought home for a son yet to be borne. Frodo thinks often of how much life may have changed had Frodo's father brought home two rifles. Perhaps not.