The Last Ring Bearer - The Departure of Sam

It was September 22nd, of the year 1482 (in the Shire Reconing). Samwise Gamgee was riding from Bag End.

He came shortly to the Tower Hills, where he was met by his daughter, Elanor, now grown with children of her own.

"You're really leaving then Dad?" Elanor said.

Sam got down off his pony, and took her hand. "Yes, Ellie dear, I'm really leaving. I got to see you and your brothers and sisters grow up. I was mayor for 49 years. And now, with my Rosie gone..." He swallowed hard, then continued. "...It's time for me, lass. I'm off to the Havens. Mr. Frodo's waiting for his Sam."

He handed Elanor a thick, worn book, and she looked at it for a long while, before looking up at Sam questioningly. "Dad?"

Sam nodded. "The Big Red Book. Mr. Frodo left it to me to finish when he left. And, well... I've done what I can, and now I'm giving it to you. Now when your children ask about the War of the Ring and the Battle of Bywater, you can pull out the Big Book and read to the, just like I used to do for you kids."

Then Sam hugged Elanor and gave her a kiss on the forehead. Tears streamed silently down Ellie's face as she stood and watched him ride out of sight.

And as his ship left the Haven, a single voice could be heard singing.

"The road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began
A-winding steep my road has gone
But now I can see the end
And 'ere the rising of the sun
I'll meet again my friend of old
Adventures new have now begun
And there are tales yet to be told."

With the fading of the last note, the ship disappeared into the fog.

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