finds something in the Red Book one month after he returns from the
Grey Havens. This story is a blend of book and –verse, so Elanor and
baby Frodo are present. I also give Frodo credit for inviting Merry and
Pippin to ride with him to the Havens. This was written to
alleviate my distress that Sam was not given Bag End in the movie.
Sam held the Red Book in his lap, his hands resting upon the worn leather cover, the binding still tied, as it had been since Frodo had given it to him exactly one month earlier.
“The last few pages are for you, Sam,” Frodo said softly as he extended the volume toward his friend. “You still have so much to do, and to share…”
A single tear fell onto the cover, creating a dark spot upon the leather.
“Daddy, what is that book?”
Sam jumped. He had not even heard the door to the study open. He quickly ran his sleeve across his eyes and smiled warmly at his beloved little Elanor. “This is Mr. Bilbo’s book, Bright-Eyes…Mr. Frodo gave it to me before he left.”
Elanor climbed onto his lap. “Does it have stories in it?” she asked eagerly. “Will you read me one?”
Sam smoothed her bright golden curls and marveled again at her delicate beauty. How this exquisite child could have come from him, he did not know, but she had, and Sam loved her dearly.
“Perhaps I will, one day soon, sweeting,” he said softly, “but not today.”
“Could I just look at the pages?” she begged. “Please, daddy. It’s raining outside, and Mummy is feeding baby Frodo and can’t play with me right now.”
He never could refuse her anything; just one look from those deep blue eyes melted him like butter.
“All right, Bright-Eyes,” he said quietly. “We can do that.”
The last few pages are for you, Sam…
The book lay closed and face down on Sam’s lap, and Elanor eagerly lifted the back cover.
“Be careful with that, lass,” Sam admonished her. “We don’t want to tear the pages.”
“I will,” she promised, and gingerly lifted the book in her chubby little hands so she could make herself more comfortable in her daddy’s lap. As she did so, an envelope fell out from between the last two pages and landed on the floor.
Sam tucked one arm around Elanor’s waist to keep her from sliding off his lap as he bent down to pick up the envelope with his free hand.
“What is it, daddy?” Elanor questioned.
“I don’t know, sweeting, I did not know it was there,” Sam said slowly.
MASTER SAMWISE GAMGEE was written in Frodo’s crisp handwriting on the front, and sealed with Frodo’s own seal.
“Elanor, dear, why don’t you go to the kitchen and ask Mummy for one of those fresh-baked biscuits I smell. Daddy would like to read this in private, if you don’t mind.”
Elanor nodded and climbed down from his lap. “Maybe you can read to me later?” she asked hopefully.
“Of course,” Sam answered her distractedly, and his hands trembled as he held the envelope. After Elanor had gone, Sam took a letter opener and carefully slit the envelope.
He unfolded three sheets of paper, folded three times, and quickly scanned them.
“Oh, lor’,” he breathed.
It was the deed to Bag End, with Samwise Gamgee named as owner, and signed by Frodo Baggins and seven witnesses in red ink, including Sam’s predecessor Wil Whitfoot. The papers were signed and dated three days before Frodo had asked Sam, Merry and Pippin to accompany him and Bilbo to the Havens…before the three of them knew that Frodo would board the White Ship as well.
Through his tears, Sam saw a corner of Frodo’s
personal stationery peeking out beneath the second page of the deed.
September 10, 1421 S.R.
My dear Samwise:
I trust it will not be too long before you find this; I knew that your heart would be heavy after our parting. It was in order to spare you and my beloved cousins further pain that I did not inform you earlier of my plans to sail West. I had originally intended to ask only you to ride with us, but then I realized that you would have that long ride home alone to grieve, with none to ride with you and offer comfort. I also knew that it would wound Merry and Pippin had I left it to you to tell them I had gone, and I did not want them to carry that hurtful memory in their hearts for the rest of their days, because they are very dear to me and I hope that they will always remember it was so.
Dearest Sam, I hope you will forgive my informing you in this fashion that you are my heir. I told the witnesses that I was retiring to Rivendell with my uncle, and that I wished for you to have Bag End. I had to have all the paperwork signed and in order before I left so that none could challenge your legal right to my estate upon your return home. There is a copy on file in Michel Delving, and I asked Wil Whitfoot to notify you within one month of your return to Hobbiton if you did not come forward to claim your inheritance. Any longer than that, and I feared that my remaining kin in Hobbiton would have Bag End dismantled looking for the “jools.”. Wil also has my keys, which he will give to you when you see him.
My dear Sam, you are mayor now, and you have a beautiful wife and two lovely children, and the little ones yet to come…little Rose, and Merry, and Pippin, and Goldilocks, and perhaps others that I cannot see. I do not know if you know how much you have come to mean to me, Sam, and you did so much, above and beyond your duty to me, that this seems to be far too small a token of my love and gratitude.
Perhaps one day we will meet again in this life, dear Sam. Your time may come to sail West if you wish it, for you were a Ringbearer too, if only for a little while. Please know of my enduring love and respect for you, and your dear Rose, and sweet Elanor and Frodo-lad, and believe me to be, your friend
“Imagine that,” Sam whispered. “He could see the children yet to come…”
A vision of the corridors and bedrooms of Bag End filled with several versions of Elanor and Frodo-lad filled his mind, their hands clutching colorful toys and dolls, their faces smeared with jam stains, as they gathered wide-eyed at his knee to hear him read to them from Mr. Bilbo’s book at night as he shared the tales that had delighted and enthralled him when he was small.
A knock at the study door startled him from his
reverie. Rosie stood
there, with baby Frodo in her arms and Elanor beside her, clutching her
“Sam dear, Wil Whitfoot is here to see you.”
I would like to thank my friend Shirebound, who discussed this scenario thoroughly with me, and we determined that this official action would have been necessary before Frodo left the Shire, no matter when he chose to tell Sam. Hobbits are very official, orderly folk, and Sam coming home alone with only Frodo’s say-so that Bag End was his(and Merry and Pippin weren’t present in the book at the time Frodo told Sam that he was his heir) would not have been enough.