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Thoughts

Section LXXXVI-The Shoal

Weary, so weary... never could I have believed -- in my other life -- a body could be so weary... as weary as the land we journey through.

For a few days, we travelled through pleasant enough terrain, but now -- now it appears burned, wasted; a foretaste, I fear, of the fate of my own mind. I push the thought away, once more.

How unlike is this southern land’s appearance from what I imagined, in my long ago life... How long ago now? I am uncertain. When I speak of it aloud to Aragorn, he tells me the eternal spring I expected is found farther south yet, and nearer the sea... the sea...

My thoughts chase themselves round and round, not unlike children playing hide-and-seek, yet I am uncertain as to who precisely is hiding and who is ‘it.’ Oh, for the simple childhood games... when choices did not involve life and death of self and one’s companions...

We have finally stopped for the night on a rocky shoal. I remember not at all our actual halt and setting up of camp. Now, I find myself sitting alone, gazing out over the river, seeing nothing. In truth, I wish I could see nothing at all. Instead, the Wheel of Fire grows ever clearer, ever brighter, in my mind.

I sit isolated within my cloak, not because I lack for company, but I choose none. Dear Sam; he begs me to eat, to sleep, to confide in him. He so desires to aid me, in any way he may, if I would but allow him... but the decision is mine, the choice is mine, the path is mine... he cannot help me, not this time...

My need to continue on alone weighs ever heavier on my mind, and my heart, as the Ring weighs ever heavier against my breast...

Yet tonight, I find myself wrestling with other thoughts as well.

We were attacked today. An arrow struck me in the back, but again Bilbo’s gift of the mithril coat saved my life, easily deflecting the arrow. Aragorn, after he looked me over, informed me there is a spot of bruising. I am wholly unaware of it, as Bilbo’s other gift hangs ever more uncomfortably about my neck.

Boromir is keeping watch this night, his gaze intent on the river. I finally take myself to bed, so to speak, and roll myself in my cloak and a blanket, with little hope of sleep. Will I ever be truly warm again?

I must have dozed for a moment, for now I hear Aragorn and Boromir softly speaking. They were not together when I turned in. Though their voices are hushed, I feel the growing tension between them. My ears -- at this moment, I rue my keen hobbit hearing -- be that as it may, I note their conversation... Argument... Boromir urging; Aragorn undecided, then vehement.

Some part of me whispers I am no longer safe, yet how do I doubt the honour of these Men, my companions, my friends... Is it the Ring insinuating lies? Warnings from the past, the Lady Galadriel and Gandalf, echo silently through my mind... But they have sworn to protect me...

Mayhap I should consider leaving the company sooner rather than later... How? Then where shall I go?

Weary, so weary I am... A weariness sleep shall never ease...