September 23 1482 S.R.
Dear Master Merry,
Hope this letter finds you well. I'm not much of a letter writer, always seemed best to go myself and talk face to face, if you know what I mean. Still, I've been doing a fair bit of writing, what with keeping up with the Red Book and all. Nothing like Mr. Bilbo, bless his soul, nor Mr. Frodo, either, but I guess it'll do. You're probably wondering why I'm writing a letter to you in the first place, but I'll come to that. I'm hoping you'll share this letter with Mr. Pippin. I expect you'll be seeing him soon enough. There's a little note to Goldilocks and the family put in with the letter, and I'd be pleased if you could make sure Pippin delivers it.
It was good to spend some time with you two this past Forelithe, after the funeral. It was a busy time having all the family and arrangements to be made and all. It helped having you there, to cheer me up a bit when I needed it and to let me alone when I didn't. I'm not one to tell folk things like this, but seeing as how this is a special occasion, I thought you'd like to know I'm grateful. I won't get a chance to tell you after this.
I've been pretty busy lately getting things organized and putting my affairs in order. You see, I've decided to move on. I've been feeling kind of strange lately, unsettled-like. Never thought I'd see the day when the Shire wasn't good enough for me, but I'm feeling now like there's nothing here for me anymore. Sure, I've got family, but what with Rosie gone, it just ain't the same. Mr. Frodo said to me once, before he took ship: "You cannot always be torn in two. You have to be one and whole, for many years. You have so much to enjoy, and to be, and to do." Well, I guess I've been it, and I've done it, and I had a good time doing it, while my part of the Story went on. But I feel like it's time to let the Story go on without me. My part's done.
I've been missing Mr. Frodo more than ever these past few months, so I thought maybe it was about time I followed him. So I am. I've handed things over to the family, my boys'll look after Bag End and all. I've taken my leave, and seen Elanor, too. I gave her the Red Book, she'll see that it's kept up proper. Funny, she didn't seem too surprised to hear I was going.
I was worried that they might not let me sail on one of the Elvish ships, but it seems like they were expecting me somehow. The sea sure is something to see, I can tell you! I'm not one for boats, as you know, but somehow seeing the white ship on the big water, and hearing the waves sighing kind of lonesome-like, it makes me feel funny inside, like I want to cry, but in a happy way. Somehow I don't feel afraid to go out on that water, I want to see what's on the other side. That's where Mr. Frodo is, so I expect I'll do fine, as long as I see him waiting when I get there.
I hear tell from the Elves that are still about the Havens that the land we'll be sailing to is a real nice place, like the best garden in the world that never stops blooming because winter never comes. It'll be good to have a bit of a rest in a place like that, to spend my last days with Mr. Frodo.
I expect it'll do Mr. Frodo good to see a familiar face, no doubt Mr. Bilbo's passed on by now. Elves and even Gandalf are fine and all, but there's nothing like good hobbit talk to give comfort to a body. There's a lot of Shire news to catch up on, not to mention what's been happening in the Wide World. I've packed a new pipe and a bunch of the best Longbottom Leaf to surprise him with. I don't know if pipeweed is allowed in the Blessed Realm, as they call it, but I guess Gandalf will back me up. I got a pipe for him, too, in case he forgot his. I'll be sure to give them your regards. Oh, and be sure to give Strider my regards if you ever see him, and anyone else who might remember me.
Well, this letter turned out to be a long one, didn't it? Looks like the ship is about ready to sail. That Elf Cirdan who's in charge here is waiting for me to finish up so's he can escort me to the boat. He's been very respectful to me, though I don't know why exactly. Just good manners, I expect. Why, he must be about the most important elf around! Anyway, he's going to see that this letter gets to Elanor so she can pass it on to you. If you see fit, maybe you could let her have the letter back when you're done with it. She'll be keeping up the Red Book, and she's been collecting things to put in it. She might like this letter, too, being my last words, so to speak.
Well, this is good-bye. It's high time I was on my way. Mr. Frodo's waiting.
Most sincerely your humble servant (and friend),