I've met Sam at the Green Dragon on many an occasion. That's where I realized he fancied Rosie. I can only rarely resist ribbing him about the way he looks at her. It's really very endearing. Never have two hobbits seemed more suited from the start. Sometimes I've gone just to watch Sam get tongue-tied and Rosie giggle. I've also felt honor bound, only slightly, to see to the happiness of my dear gardener and friend. Truth be told, honor has little to do with it, I simply enjoy watching the sparks fly, so I'd nudge the relationship along whenever opportunity presents itself. Of course, sometimes one must create opportunity. Hence the push at the party. Sam will give me beseeching looks to leave well enough alone, which I promptly ignore, to his consternation and my delight. Funny, once the deed is done, he gives me a sheepish smile and I know he's glad of the push.
This particular evening, I overheard a conversation between Sandyman and Sam. Not that one could really miss it with their voices raised so. I must have heard my name for I found myself stopping short. Sandyman was going on about Frodo Baggins being as mad as old Bilbo. I was ready to march in with a cutting remark but before I set foot through the door Sam shot back an angry retort in my defense. I must admit, I was a bit surprised by his intensity. It isn't uncommon for the hired help to discuss their employers, their faults and oddities. But dear Sam would have none of it; not a word was to be spoken against me. I was touched to the heart and wanted to tell him but suddenly felt as though I were eavesdropping on things I wasn't supposed to hear. I decided not to stay.
I went home to Bag End and thought a bit, and thought a bit more. I wasn't quite sure what to make of it. Long ago, I learned to accept what came and went. Did I take things too much for granted? With Uncle Bilbo gone, I had Merry and Pippin and a few of my other friends over pretty regularly, though I still spent most of my time on my own. Yet with the coming of winter there won't be so much needs doing in the garden, and I'm beginning to realize that I see Sam more than anyone else.