Back next


Section XXVIII-Heading Home From Pincup

How glad I am for Sam in the connecting room. This morning, he woke me gently with a softly spoken, "Mr. Frodo?" and a tentative touch to my shoulder, cheating my cousins out of their fun, for which I am truly thankful. By the time our three companions joined us, we two were already in the common-room enjoying our breakfast of fried eggs and tomatoes, crispy bacon, and bread as well as the inn's fine cider. Plainly to be seen, Pippin's face still wore his disappointment at finding me already awake, as he spied us at our table. Surprising to me, Fatty it was who declared that Sam simply must be left behind on all future ventures if he planned on continuing to spoil the fun of rousing me. Here, all this time, I thought it Merry and Pippin who enjoyed the ritual the most when in truth all along it's been Fatty. I only briefly wondered if I should apologize for misjudging my dear cousins when I followed through on my own thinking; Merry and Pippin certainly didn't suffer any pangs of regret for their part in my discomfort.

We stayed in the common-room debating our so called journey home long enough for the serving of second breakfast. I am nowhere certain whether this occurred by mistake or design, not that it really mattered since we were in no hurry. The scones and fruit polished off, we finally agreed it time to head back to Bag End, at a leisurely pace. We dawdled along the way deciding to wander this area a bit, though already well known by us, the day simply felt too lazy to spend it in any serious adventuring. At one point, Merry, Pippin, and Fatty strolled a bit ahead of Sam and I. I glanced at my walking companion and recognized an appearance about his face I have slowly become familiar with as the years pass. It's the concentrated look he gets when there is a question he's wanting to ask but feels unsure how to go about it or even in truth if he wants an answer. Over time, I learned patience and to just let it come out of its own accord. On an occasion or two, I've made the attempt to press for the information, but Sam always gets so flustered, as though I caught him out. I know if I simply wait a bit, he'll up and out with it himself in due course. Finally, Sam carefully asked if there might be any Elves about. He'd heard tales.... He seemed inclined to add more but did not. Though I did not mention my own encounters of late, I shared what I learned from Bilbo about them going to the sea. As I spoke of it, I remembered my dreams of the sea and rambled rather longer than I intended and indeed probably should have. I suddenly became aware of Sam halting and staring at me. I stopped as well and turned to him a questioning gaze. Sam was thoughtful a moment and carefully noted, "Mr. Frodo, the way you talk, you'd think you'd been there, so familiar and all you sound." My eyes reflected the merest start of surprise. I realized I had never shared my dreams with him, or for that matter with anyone, and did not reveal them any further to him now. There was so much yet I felt unsure of, and oddly, I did not want him thinking me daft.

Our unhurried tramping gave me time to drink in the Shire in all its summer glory, though I suspect I did not appreciate it fully. My recollection of my dreams of the sea awakened the memories of some of my other dreams. My eyes wandered over the rolling hills, so unlike the mountains in my dreams. Were those mountains painted by Uncle Bilbo's story telling? Or are they mountains of my own imagining? Or perchance, they are mountains I have not yet seen. I hope it is the latter. More and more I wonder, will I ever see them? Will I wander their hidden paths and explore their heights and depths? Within myself I feel a growing certainty that someday, I will. Questions continue to crowd my mind. What adventures will I find there? And when? I wonder if Bilbo will be with me. All my life, I have dreamed of going on my own adventure yet all those plans in some way included Bilbo. Always, in the back of my mind, he is there. Perhaps my first adventure should be to Rivendell to find Bilbo, and then we could see about setting out together.