Sam awoke to find himself in the first real bed he’d been in since the Fellowship had left Rivendell. He woke slowly, willing himself to open his eyes and for a brief foggy moment he envisioned himself in his own familiar hobbit hole
, almost able to hear his old Gaffer yelling ‘time to be afoot, Samwise, you slowcoach’. But no, that moment belonged a world away.
When he was able to force his eyes open at last and come to his senses he found himself looking into the the ageless eyes of none other than the old wizard Gandalf.
“Well, Master Samwise, how goes it with you this day?” queried the wizard with a twinkle in his eyes “We’ve been waiting for you to come around for nearly a fortnight now.”
At that Sam struggled to sit up and with the assistance of the elderly wizard was able to hoist himself to a seated position and take stock of his surroundings.
“Bless me, if it isn’t you, Mr. Gandalf….why I…we…thought you were done in back in the mines of Moria,” Sam exclaimed and continued on as he became gradually aware of the gazes of his friends. “But then we thought ourselves done in as well, I dare say. Frodo….where is Mr. Frodo?” Sam became agitated as he frantically looked about. “He’ll be needing his Sam if he’s about…..he is about, isn’t he, Mr. Gandalf?” Sam’s voice dropped to a whisper as he looked about him wildly and noticed that his beloved master was nowhere to be seen.
“Yes, Master Gamgee, your Mr. Frodo is in the next alcove being tended to by the elven healers. He continues to mend himself through the rest from which you’ve just awakened,” came the gentle reply from a familiar voice. Sam looked behind Gandalf to see the serious and noble gaze of Aragorn.
“Strider!” Sam exclaimed.
“Now, Samwise Gamgee, that is no way to address your King and the ruler of all Gondor,” came the lilting and musical voice of Pippin. Sam looked to other side of him in time to see Pippin give Merry a good natured poke in the ribs and a smile
“Mr. Pippin, Mr. Merry….bless me how good it is to see you,” he said as a tear slid slowly down his cheek. “Mr. Frodo wondered if we’d see you again….I told ’em Strider’d look after you….and look at you! You look none the worse for wear I’d say,” as Sam said this he noticed how robust and full of health the two younger hobbits looked, but he also could not help but see that behind their happy grins their eyes looked wiser and sadder somehow. “They’ve got quite a tale to tell I imagine,” Sam thought to himself.
Merry reached down and gently wiped a tear from Sam’s cheek “We’ve had some adventures Sam….I’ll not lie….but perhaps not as trying as yours.” Merry’s voice broke as he tried to find awkward words to welcome his friend back.
” Yes, yes….many tales to be shared and time enough to share them after Sam has had more rest,” Gandalf assured the assembled company. “Now I must ask that you leave Sam and I to talk for a few moments before the healers force us all to depar.” With a curt wave of his hands and a smile on his lips Gandalf gestured that the hobbits and Aragorn should exit.
Aragorn reached out and ruffled Sam’s sandy curls. “Welcome back, Sam. All of Gondor awaits your health that we might at last celebrate the changes that you and Frodo have brought about.” And with that the three departed leaving Gandalf and Sam alone.