“How is it with you, Samwise?” Gandalf asked as he leaned closer to examine the patient. He took note of the lean and pale appearance of this formerly robust hobbit and thought to himself that their journey had been, amongst them all, probably the most trying.
Sam wearily lowered himself back to his pillow. “Well, sir, I’m about as tired as I’ve ever been….and as glad as can be that there is the time to feel tired, if you catch my meaning, Mr. Gandalf”
“That I do, Sam, that I do,” Gandalf answered thoughtfully.
Sam closed his eyes for a moment and Gandalf wasn’t sure if he was about to nod of again when Sam suddenly started to speak in a voice that sounded scared and uncertain ” It was frightful, Mr. Gandalf….I do hope that Mr. Frodo will awaken soon. He’s had a dreadful time of it, sir, and he deserves his rest but I do want him to have his reward too. Time to enjoy his friends and see that after all his trials the beauty of the world awaits him still.” Sam paused and when he continued his voice had an angry edge to it. “The filfth, the sickness of Mordor, the pain of dragging that ring… well, Mr. Gandalf, Frodo needs to see more than where we just been, sir. He needs to see that all he done was for a good cause, that the best of the world is still here awaiting him.” Sam sighed heavily and looked away for a moment.
The room grew silent and when Gandalf spoke at last , his voice filled the room. “Samwise, your bravery and that of your Mister Frodo will be remembered in tales and songs throughout the ages. But your Mister Frodo does not need a minstrel to remind him of this. He need only open his eyes and feel in heart the beauty around him and he will know that your efforts were the key to the future.”
Sam nodded slowly. “Right you are, sir. Still it’s a worry, no mistake, that Frodo has not awakened.” As he said this he noticed a shadow pass over Gandalfs face. The wizard looked drawn and aged. “What is it?” Sam asked suspiciously. “What is it you’re not letting on?”
Gandalf’s face became somber. “Sam, I’ll not lie. Frodo has an important choice to make now. I hope to help him with this choice but in order to do so will need to know more.. When you are able I will ask that you tell all you can about what happened during your adventures. If you want to help your Mr. Frodo, you will have to re-live some very difficult memories. Can you do that Sam?” The wizard asked quietly.
“Aye, I can do what I must.. But I do not understand Gandalf. What is wrong with my master and why do you need me to tell of our adventures. Would it not be better to ask Mr. Frodo?” Sam replied.
“Yes, Samwise, it would be better indeed to ask Frodo.” Gandalf felt a wave of sadness wash over him. “But Frodo is still far away from here… in his own mind and dreams and cannot answer our questions… so that task is given to you, my friend.”