As Sam, Merry, and Pippin sadly watched the boat with Gandalf, Frodo and Bilbo and a few elves leave for the Grey Havens they could hear two hobbit voices singing:
“The road goes ever on and on
out from the door where it began,
now far ahead the road has gone,
let others follow it who can!
Let them a journey new begin
but I at last with weary feet
towards the lighted inn
my evening-rest and sleep to meet.”
Merry looked at and noted the pain on the other hobbits faces and for thier sakes (and maybe even his own) tried to force a laugh and said “Well I can see that Bilbo has wasted no time in teaching Frodo that song. By the time the boat reaches the Havens everyone will know it, and more for that matter.”
But alas. He said this in vain for both Pippin and Sam weren’t listining. Instead Pippin is still tring to watch the boat even though the fog from the sea had seemed to swallow everyone into endless gloom.
Sam, on the other hand could no longer bear to look at the boat. He had turned around to the oppisite direction and was looking up at he sky, trying and failing to blink back his tears.
“Come on then.” said Pippin as if waking up from a dream. “There isn’t anything we can do here.”
“Your’e right Pip.” said Merry tearing his eyes from the ground he was staring at wich was wet from his tears hitting it. “We tried and failed to get them to stay.”
Sam finaly turned back around to say “Yes they have now left us for good…” his voice had trailed off for he could not say anything more. So he just swallowed hard, wiped his eyes and nodded his head.
A few more minutes of silent thought with there heads bowed they turned and walked over to the ponies and mounted and started the journey home.
At first it seemed like they tried to hurry for they galloped hard, but after a half hour of steady galloping they slackend. After another half hour of slow trotting Merry proposed the idea of stopping for the night. The others agreed so they kept going until they found a grassy clearing in the wood they were riding in.
After they stiffly dismounted (they haven’t rode bare-back for a while now.) Sam went into the forest to get wood to start a fire, (the fog lifted while they were riding now exposing a full moon) and Merry and Pippin tied the ponies against the strongest of trees on the edge of the clearing so they wouldn’t escape. As they finished tying the ponies Sam came back with enough wood to make a fire that would last all night and far into the next day.
After Merry got the fire started he produced a little food for them that didn’t cook so they wouldn’t have to worry about that. He gave some to himself and to Pippin, but Sam wasn’t hungry. So Sam watched the dancing flame in his silent thougts and Merry and Pippin ate in silence.
After thier scanty dinner and washing up they decided to try to get a little sleep while the fire was burning bright. (It was a chilly night.) They rolled up into thier cloaks and tried to sleep.
A while later after trying to sleep and failing Sam stood up and picked up his cloak and wrapped himself up in it against the cold. And put another peice of wood in the fire, and decided to go for a walk in the wood.
He did not know where he was going or when he would get there. All he knew was that he wanted to walk and think about and miss his friends in peace. The full moon shone down on him exposing only one path. As if the moon wanted him to only go one path and no other.
He came to a stop at a little stream and sat down on the bank and whatched the water, and thought about nothing, until the thoughts he was trying to avoid came into his mind. The thoughts of his master, of Bilbo and of Gandalf. He thought about his master’s gental manners and quiet kindness. He also thought of the adventure that he and Frodo had together. This memory was in no way before comforting, but now it was comforting to even have one triumphant thought of Mr.Frodo.
He also thought of how Bilbo taught him his letters, and how to read. He thought too about Bilbo’s passion with poetry and all the silly song he heard as a child.
He lastly thought about Gandalf and his bushy eyebrows and his quick temper yet forgiving and leniet nature. And he thought about his voice, gental yet firm when talking to him or any of the other members of the fellowship.
With all these memories overflowing his heart and soul he burried his face in his hands and he wept. He did not know how long he sat there crying on the bank of the still black stream. All he knew as he rose up and started walking towards the clearing was that those where just a few of the many tears he would shed.
When he reached the fire he sat on his log and looked into the fire for a moment. It was like looking into the embers of his flaming soul. He could not help but to shed tears a little more. He wiped his eyes and went over to the area where he had been sleeping before and lay down. And finally he fell into a doze.
At most an hour later he and Merry were awoken by Pippin shouting “COME BACK PLEASE HELP ME!!!”
So they jumped to their feet and saw that Pippin was still asleep, tossing and turning, obviously in a nightmare of the most horrific kind. So Merry shook him untill he awoke and sat up. When Pippin did sit up he took one look at Merry and Sam looking at him and imediatly burst into tears.
Merry held Pippin in his arms and spoke kind, soft words to him. Like Pippin did for him on the day he and Ewoyen slayed the witch-king. Eventually he stopped crying. Sam got up and ran down to the stream he was at earlier and got water in a small pail and ran back.
When he got back he proceded to make some tea with some of the leaves he had found in Merry’s Pack. When the tea was done he first handed a cup to Pippin who’s face was blotched and his eyes were swollen and red. “Drink up, Master Pippin.” Sam ordered. “It will make you feel better.” And he gave some to Merry and himself.
Pippin took a gulp of tea and asked them if they wanted to hear about his nightmare. Saying it would be better if he told them. Sam and Merry agreed to hear his tale. So Pippin started explaining it.
“Well I was in the woods with Frodo and Bilbo and Gandalf. And we were laughing and talking idiely and smoking our pipes, when all of a sudden they disapeared! Just like that! Then at least ten orcs jump out of the trees. they were the same ones that caught us that day, remember Merry?”(Merry gives a little shudder) “So I was calling for help, and the orcs were taunting me I was so scared! And thats when you woke me.” He finished and shook a little.
“Wow Pip! that was a bad nightmare!” Said Merry looking as white as a sheet.
“Yes it was.” Sam agreed.
They were silent a while when Sam got up and walked to the edge of the clearing and yelled “Why have you left us now! Can’t you see how much we still need you?” then added softly to himself “In your cases Mr. Gandalf and Mr. Bilbo, saying goodbye a second time is easier than the first. But I never had to say goodbye forever to you Mr.Frodo… never you Mr.Frodo….” He walked back weeping agian.
“Sam,Sam please everything will be alright… I have an idea! We should all try to sleep and forget our greif for a while” said Merry.
Do you think I could sleep after this bad nightmare?” asked Pippin.
“You go on to sleep Sam.” said Merry. “I will help Pip.”
“Ok then Master Merry.” Sam walked over to his cloak, lay down and promptly falling asleep again.
In the mean time Merry held Pippin close and again spoke soft comforting words to him, while Pippin asked him “Do you think I am pathetic… here I am a 29 year old hobbit weeping like a little child?”
“No Pip I don’t think you are pathetic I have shed tears too, and I will shed more. Pip? Pip?
Pippin had fallen asleep. So Merry put him down. walked over to his cloak and lay down. Casting his grief like an old blanket, he fell asleep.