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Section VII-They’re Gone

I can’t believe it. I can’t believe Bilbo’s gone. And yet there’s a part of me that knew this was coming, but I didn’t want to see it. I kept hoping he’d put it off a little longer. I wonder if I will ever see him again?

I spent a good bit of time trying to smooth ruffled feathers and seeing off all of the guests. The air buzzed with the talk of mad Bilbo Baggins. Uncle Bilbo has always enjoyed stirring things up and I am quite certain that this last joke turned out exactly as he wanted it. A few suspiciously asked if I would soon be following, most I assured that Bag End was my home. However, there were one or two to whom I could not resist mischievously adding quietly, “Not yet anyway.” Oh! The look on their faces! Uncle Bilbo would have loved it.

I will miss the dear old hobbit. I almost wish I had gone with him. I’ve known he was growing more restless here. When the little hobbits came to enjoy his storytelling I’d noticed he’d been having a more wistful look in his eyes, not that I blame him. Though he has been well liked by most, he hasn’t got any real friends here, except those who come to visit like the dwarves and Gandalf.

Gandalf, he’s gone as well. I had so hoped to spend more time with him. I would have liked his help getting things here settled. He left me in the wee hours of the morning with a riddle about questions needing answers and keeping Uncle Bilbo’s ring secret and safe as though I’d go lose it or something. All very odd, if you ask me.

Bless Sam, he would have stayed to help me if I had let him, but I insisted he walk Rosie home. Cleaning up could wait till morning, and that’s already quite near. Bag End would be terribly quiet but for Merry and Pippin’s company. Since there’s certainly room enough, my dear friends determined they would stay to keep me company. I know Sam would have stayed as well but his gaffer would have frowned on it, thinking he might be getting above himself, so to speak. He’ll return in the morning. What dear friends they are. Gandalf and Uncle Bilbo not only encouraged our friendships, but sometimes I almost think they conspired to ensure the strengthening of it, to what purpose I do not know but then that is perhaps seeing shadows where there are none.