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Section XIX-Winter Walk

I'm amazed by the amount of book work needs doing. Uncle Bilbo took the Red Book, but there's still papers and notes to sort that he left behind. But then it comes to mind that not much of such things gets done in the summer. And this past summer, what with the long expected party, Uncle Bilbo had other concerns. Of course, Sam tells me there's more that needs doing than just book work, but not today.

Despite the cold, the need to clear the cobwebs from my head drives me to escape Bag End for a while. When I told Sam my plans he was terribly reluctant about going out this time but wouldn't hear of letting me go alone. I too hate having cold, wet feet, but I cannot bear another day inside. We wrapped ourselves in our cloaks and headed out with the thought of being gone most of the day. At least it was sunny, so we didn't worry much about rain, and it hasn't been cold enough to worry about snow, not that we get much in the Shire, but it has been known to happen.

I shiver, but it's deeper than the cold. I let my hood fall back to feel the sun on my face, though it brought no comforting heat. Casting my gaze around, the landscape is dreary, and I long for the warm breath of spring.

I didn't mind it so much, but I couldn't help but notice Sam was miserably cold by his shivering and the sound of his chattering teeth, so I headed us back to Bag End. We'd left after second breakfast and were home in time for luncheon. Sam had wisely started a pot of stew first thing this morning. He says it fit the day. It is almost as though he knew we would be going out, and I told him so. He looked at the floor, and I knew there was something more. I waited. His eyes met mine again and he admitted that he'd noticed my restlessness and figured I'd be off as soon as a sunny day arrived. My dear Sam, I fear he knows me too well. I broke into an easy laugh while he quickly busied himself checking on the stew.

Bowls in hand filled with steaming stew and a bit of bread, we pulled up chairs next to the fire. What pleasure to be warm inside and out. In truth, I felt glad we'd come back. Odd, glad to be out in the cold and the light and then glad to be back in the dark and the warmth. Our outing, if nothing else, has cleared my mind, and I find myself eager again to get back into the books.