Return to Middle Earth

by Sam Wood

Prologue. SR 1423.

My dearest Sam,

The most wonderful thing has happened. My one wish has come true. I have become a father. When we first arrived here Galadriel asked me what she could do to make me happy. I had been so sad since leaving you all. Well, I said I wished I had a hobbit baby. I never expected my wish to come true. The Elves never cease to amaze me. Anyway, a few days ago Galadriel arrived at my home with a baby hobbit. I couldn't believe my eyes when she showed me her. She has the most beautiful green eyes and the boniest smile. Galadriel asked me if I would be willing to raise the baby as my own. I had no doubts in my mind. Of course I would. She was all I wanted.
"Then you must give her a name." Galadriel said.
Well, that was easy. I have named her after you, my dearest friend. Her name is Samantha Baggins. I call her Sammie for short. I love her already.

Frodo

Return to Middle Earth S.R. 1448. Part 1
Chapter 1- A Stranger in town

When Sammie arrived at The Green Dragon she was cold, wet, tired and hungry, but she was very happy. She was had finally arrived in the place she thought of as home even though she had never been there. She had ridden from the Grey Havens tracing back the route her father had took many years ago. Sammie opened the door of the inn and stepped inside. It was warm and dry. There was a comforting, musty smell of ale and pipeweed in the air. She stepped up to the bar. The landlord turned to her.
"What can I get you young......" he began.
She lowered the hood from her elfin cloak.
"...mistress, " he finished with a smile on his face.
"Do you have a room for the night and a stable for my horse, please? She asked.

For a moment he was intrigued by her appearance. Judging from her height she appeared to be a hobbit, but there was something about her appearance and demeanour that he found rather puzzling. Although she was too short to be an elf everything about her convinced him that she must an elf.

"I do " he replied, and remembering his manners asked, " Can I get you anything to eat or drink?"
"Both would be most welcome" Sammie replied, thinking of her empty stomach. "Why don't you warm yourself by the fireside, You must be frozen. I'll get one of my boys to stable your horse and bring your belongings in."
"Thank you."

Sammie found a cosy fireside spot. She carefully unhooked the clasp of the elfin leaf brooch from her cloak. The cloak was new, but the brooch had been a gift. She removed her cloak and carefully draped it over the chair. She was well dressed in clothing suitable for travelling. She wore a long, deep brownish red woven riding skirt and tunic with a cream blouse underneath. Hanging underneath her tunic was a short sword. Sammie warmed her hands by the fire.

Meg, the barmaid, brought over a mug of ale. "This will warm you up", she said. "Thank you".
Meg lingered, curious to find out something about the stranger.
"Your dinner shouldn't be long. Is there anything else I can get you?" Meg asked.
"Directions.....I'm looking for Master Samwise Gamgee", Sammie explained. "If you could give me directions for Bag End I'd be really grateful."
"I can do better than that. His sons Frodo, Merry and Pippin are next door." The landlord came over with his guests' dinner. Sammie suddenly realized how hungry she was looking at the plate of steaming hot food.
"You have your dinner," Meg said. "Then I'll send them over."
Sammie smiled. "Thanks." Sammie sat down and started to eat. Meg and the landlord left her alone. As they went back about their work they whispered to each other, wondering who she was.

As Sammie finished her meal she heard the sound of three confident male voices approaching. They were laughing and talking.
"I wonder who is looking for our dad?" one of them said.
When they came to where she was sitting they stopped dead in their tracks. "He...hello ," Merry managed to say. "I'm Merry Gamgee."
Merry, like the heroic hobbit he was named after, was not shy with the ladies of the shire.
"This is my brother Frodo and this is Pippin. I understand that you are looking for our dad?"
" I am," she replied. She looked at the three of them in turn and thought that was what her father and his companions must have looked like when they set off for Bree all those years ago. Merry and Pippin, being younger than Frodo, had a boyish charm about them . They had fair tousled hair and blue grey eyes like their father whilst Frodos' hair was brown and eyes were less grey and bluer in colour. She liked them all instantly.

At that moment Meg arrived with a four mugs of ale and plonked them down on the table.
"Compliments of the inn. We don't often get strangers to these parts."

Pippin helped himself to a pint. He was the youngest of the three brothers and enjoyed his food and drink. Meg took Sammies' finished plate and left them alone.

"Please sit down," Sammie said. Merry and Pippin sat down. Frodo remained standing, still looking at her. He had never seen a hobbit such as this before. She was beautiful. She was raven haired. It was long and braided in an elfin fashion. She had the most intense deep green eyes he had ever seen. They were the colour of the leaves, trees and forest all rolled into one.
"Don't mind my brother, " joked Merry. " He doesn't get out much."

Sammie raised her eyebrows and looked at Frodo.
He blushed and awoke from his stupor. "I'm sorry," he said and sat down, taking his drink.
"It's okay," she replied. There was something about him that reminded her of her dad apart from his name.
Frodo found his voice and asked still in a bit of a daze. " Are you an elf ?" "She's too short for an elf?" Pippin told his brother.
"As far as I know I'm a hobbit, but just as elves look different it would appear that I would appear to be different from the hobbits in Middle Earth." Frodo, Merry and Pippin frowned a little confused.
"Where are you from then?" Frodo asked.
"I've come from overseas. I was brought up by Frodo Baggins. He named me after your father. My name is Samantha Baggins, bur everyone calls me Sammie."

Chapter 2 - The Past.

Frodo, Merry and Pippin wanted to know all about her. It was a long story and Sammie began.
Sammie told Frodo, Merry and Pippin how she had been brought up by Frodo Baggins. She had been given to Frodo by the elves. Frodo had been very mysterious about how she had come to him. It had been Frodo Baggins one wish to have a hobbit child. The elves had made that wish possible. Frodo Baggins had taken one look at her and fallen in love with her straight away. When Galaldriel told him that she needed a name he had no hesitation in calling her Samantha in honour of his dearest friend, Master Samwise Gamgee. Frodo loved and nurtured her and they were father and daughter to everyone around them.

Frodo taught her everything about Middle Earth. He taught her hobbitlore and as she learnt to read and write she would often read Frodo and Bilbo's books of poetry, songs and tales of which there were many. Sammie also learnt about elfin lore . She learnt how to use a bow and arrow, but with time became more interested in using a short sword, like Sting. As she grew older she became more and more restless. Whilst she loved being with her father she found herself wondering what it would be like to go to Middle Earth and to visit the Shire. On warm summer days she would take herself off for the day on long walks to the sea and back.

It was after one such day that she realized that it was time to go. The yearning in her heart had become too strong. When she arrived back home Frodo was sitting on the garden bench, watching the sun go down and smoking his pipe. He smiled when he saw her.

"Where have you been all day?" he asked gently even though in his heart he already knew the answer.
"Looking at the sea, " she replied.

She sat down next to her father on the bench. He placed his blanket around her shoulders. She snuggled up next to him. She knew that the right moment had come to tell him of her plans.

"Father......," she began.
Frodo interrupted her. " You're leaving me aren't you?"
Tears welled up in her eyes. She didn't want to hurt her father.
"I have to. I need to go to Middle Earth. I need to see what it is like. Meet everyone," she replied honestly.
"Then you must go," he replied. She couldn't tell from the sound of his voice how he felt, so she thanked him and put her arms around
" I only wish you could come with me," she said sadly
" I can't Sam, " he replied. "I belong here now."
Frodo always knew that this day would come. He felt as though his heart would break, but he knew he must not let her see his true feelings. He had always been selfless. He gave her a hug and kissed her on her forehead.
"There will be lots to organise. I have letters for Sam. You will need to pack carefully," he began, but then stopped himself. "But all that can wait until tomorrow".
They sat quietly together watching the last bit of the sun go down behind the hills.

Over the next few months Frodo and Sammie sorted out what she would take.

Galadriel held a banquet in her honour. She felt rather embarrassed, especially when parting gifts were also bestowed on her. She was given a cloak and a leaf brooch just like the members of the fellowship had been given. She was also given something of a more feminine nature; a beautiful leaf green velvet gown embroidered with countless simple silver flowers that looked like stars when they caught the light. The necklace was green amber set in a circle of silver. It was simple and elegant. It was unlike anything she had ever seen before. It felt warm to the touch. She knew it had magical powers.
" It is for protection. It will keep you safe on your travels," Galadriel explained. "It may be recognised by some. Those that know of it will help you on your travels."

The day finally arrived. Everything was ready. Frodo looked at her with her elfin cloak on and backpack. She reminded him of when he had set off all those years ago. Then he remembered he had some things for her. They were the only things he had from his time in Middle Earth. They were Sting and the crystal phial containing the light of Earendil's star. In the distance they could hear the approach of the horse and cart. It was her ride to the quayside. They looked at each other, lost for words.

The horse and cart arrived with Gandalf at the reins.
"Gandalf!" Sam exclaimed excitedly.
" You didn't think your father would send you off with just anyone?" he asked

She turned to her father. It was time for her to leave. They embraced. No words were needed to explain their feelings for each other.

Gandalf held out his hand for Sammie and she climbed up beside him.
"Take care," Frodo said." If you need any help just mention my name. I'm rather well known!" he added with a smile on his face.
"She'll be fine, Frodo," Gandalf said and with that he pulled the horse's reins. The cart started to move away from Frodo. Sam turned to look back at him.

"I love you, father," she said.
"I love you too," he replied

The horse and cart set off down the track to the coastal road. Sam and Frodo waved to each other until they could no longer see each other. Frodo went and sat on his bench and lit his pipe. He was alone again.

Sam turned to Gandalf. " You will look after my dad won't you? She asked, suddenly worried.

"He'll be fine, but if it makes you feel happier I will see that he is safe and well."

When they arrived at the quayside Gandalf met with the ship's captain. Before Gandalf her put into his care for the duration of the journey over sea he too had a gift for her. It was a tiny box.

" This contains something that you will need before you return. Do not open it now! You will know when the time is right!"
There was something in Gandalf's voice that scared her a little. She looked at him with the eyes of a frightened child. He had seen that look before.
"What is it, Gandalf?" she asked.
" You'll know when you open it. It is something magical," he replied. " Don't be afraid. It will not hurt you."

She put the box away in her pocket. It would remain there until needed. Sammie said her goodbyes to Gandalf. She took her place on board. There were a few young elves joining her for the trip, but no elders. Their time to journey over seas had passed. It was time for the next generation to adventure forth.

Sammie yawned. Frodo, Merry and Pippin had been listening intensely, and looked at her in amazement. It was really late and they were the only ones left in the inn.
"We're sorry," Frodo said. "You must be tired."
"I am," she replied, rubbing the sand from her eyes.
"Why don't you get some rest and I'll come by tomorrow and take you to meet my dad and my mum and my brothers and my sisters."
"Okay," she said sleepily.
They said their goodbyes and departed. Sam made her way to her room. She didn't have the energy to stay wake any longer and fell into a deep, dreamless sleep. Chapter 3 - Introductions

The next day Frodo went to the Green Dragon to fetch Sammie and accompany her back to Bag End. It was a warm spring day and they strolled along the lanes to Bag End. Frodo pointed out places of interest along the way and told her little bits about the shire. It was just how she had imagined it from her father's description. Sammie enjoyed listening to Frodo. They enjoyed each others company very much. At last they arrived at Bag End. Sammie stopped, hesitantly, just behind Frodo as he started to make his way up the steps. He turned back round to her.
"Are you okay?" he asked.
"I feel a bit nervous all of a sudden," she replied.
Frodo held out his hand for her to take. "You'll be fine. My dad is the kindest, gentlest hobbit you could ever wish to meet. Come on!"
She took his hand. It was the first time she had experienced physical contact with another hobbit other than her father. It felt so reassuring. Frodo opened the door and led Sammie inside . She hid tentatively behind him.
"Dad!" he yelled. "There's someone here to see you."
Sam came out from his study, eating an apple.
"Dad, this is Samantha Baggins. She's come across land and sea to visit you." Sammie stepped forward from behind Frodo rather nervously. Frodo proudly introduced Sammie to his father.
"Sammie is Frodo Baggins' daughter."
"Well, I never!" Sam exclaimed , stepping back and sinking into his armchair. He took the apple from his mouth and put it down. He couldn't even carry on eating after such a revelation. Sammie stepped forward and knelt down on one knee before Sam.
"Master Gamgee, I am in your dept. you saved my father's life. If it weren't for you I'd never have had him for a father. I am at your service." She said bold and true.
"Please, get up, " Sam replied, still amazed at the news.
" Have a seat next to me and tell me about your father," Samwise said and then adding softly, almost to himself. " My dearest friend."
"I can do better than that," she replied, getting up and beginning to feel at ease in the presence of the heroic and brave Master Sam Gamgee. She took a bundle of letters carefully tied in green ribbon from her jacket pocket. " I have letters for you from my father. They are all dated like a diary." "Thank you very much!" replied a delighted Sam, eager to read them. Sammie felt a little faint .
"Do you mind if I get some fresh air?" she asked.
"Of course not. Frodo, why don't you show Samantha the garden whilst I have a read of some of these letters?" Sam suggested to his son.
"Come on," Frodo said taking her hand. He took her outside where she fell into his arms. He sat her down on the bench. He held her for a moment and then gently loosened his hold. She looked at him and smiled, slightly embarrassed. "You must think I'm stupid. I don't know what came over me. I'm not normally like this."
Rosie, Frodos' mum came out.
"Mum, this is Samantha, Frodos' daughter."
Rosie smiled serenely and kindly at Samantha - a mothers smile.
"You poor girl! You must be exhausted. Come back in with me. We'll have some tea." Rosie said.
Sammie looked at Rosie in awe. She wondered if all mothers were like her, comforting, loving and knowing exactly the right thing to say and do.
"Frodo, you can go back to the Green Dragon Inn and bring Samanthas' belongings to Bag End," Rosie said decisively.
"But...." they both began. Frodo didn't want to miss anything and Sammie didn't want to impose on the Gamgees.
"No arguments. Samantha, you will stay with us. Our eldest daughters is away at court. You can sleep in her bed now she has left home. Samwise and I insist," Rosie said to Sammie.
Rosie turned to her son and said " Frodo, off you go now."
Frodo set off back to the Green Dragon whilst Rosie took Sammie inside. Samwise had made tea. When he saw Sammie he got up and pulled out a chair for her to sit on.
"Come and sit down here. Have some tea," Samwise said. He poured her a cup of tea.
" I want to hear everything about you, your father, everyone and everything, but first just sit and relax. The children will be home soon for lunch and then we'll have not a moments peace."
On the table were Frodos' letters. Sam had opened one of them.
" To know that Frodo has found peace and happiness with you has filled my heart with joy. You are both very lucky."
Rosie came in from the kitchen and took her husbands' hand and squeezed it affectionately. Sam looked up to his wife. She bent down and kissed him.
"I think a celebration is in order," Samwise said. "Time to hold the first spring dance in the party field."
And just as he said that the door opened and in came 8 young hobbits of various ages and sizes, all with blue grey eyes and fair curly hair of varying shades. They all crowded around the table. The eldest, Goldilocks kissed her father on the cheek.
"A dance? How wonderful!" she said happily.
All the children started singing and some started dancing with each other.
Samwise stood up next to his wife.
"Hobbits!" he said in a firm and assertive voice.
They all stopped and turned to their father.
"I'd like you to meet the daughter of an old friend of mine. This is Samantha Baggins.
She's going to be staying with us." Sam continued. "Samantha, let me introduce you to the youngest 8 of my children."
Samwise introduced her to Tom, Robin, Ruby, Bilbo, Primrose, Daisy, Hamfast and Goldilocks. They all said hello as politely as possible. They were all charming and the most delightful of hobbits.
They questioned her for sometime about her father and elves. Finally, it was time for lunch.
" That's enough questions for now. Let's have lunch," Rosie said. " Goldilocks, Hamfast and Daisy you can help me lay the table."
And with that everyone settled down for lunch.

Sammie looked at the eight young hobbits. She wondered how many youngsters Rosie and Sam had. In addition to the eight present there was Frodo, Merry, Pippin and a sister had been mentioned. That made 12! She looked at Rosie and Sam and smiled, raising her eyebrows at the remarkable size of the family.
"I hope you don't mind me asking, but how many children do you have? "she asked.
" We don't mind," Sam said. " We have thirteen. There's Frodo. There's also our eldest, Elanor, who was born before your father went overseas. Then there's Rose, Merry and Pippin."
"I met Merry and Pippin with Frodo last night in The Green Dragon."
"They'll be home at dinnertime along with Rosie. Elanor is in Gondor. So that's everyone," Sam finished proudly.

At that moment Frodo arrived back with Sammie's bags. His brothers and sisters had finished their lunch and were beginning to tidy up. Everyone helped, even little Tom.
"I've brought back your pony and put him in the field with our ponies," Frodo said.
"Thanks Frodo," Sammie replied.
"Well done, lad," Sam said, pleased with his son. "Sit down and I'll get your lunch."
"Mum, can I show Sammie where to put her things?" Goldilocks asked, eager to see what Sammie had in her bag. She had heard that elves possessed many things of beauty and wonder.
"Okay," Rosie said. "Samantha is sleeping in Elanor's bed."
"Come on!" Goldilocks said excitedly.
Sammie picked up her bags and followed Goldilocks to the girls' bedroom. It was very pretty with a floral print on the walls. It was light and airy. Sammie really liked the feminine touches at Bag End. Sammie began to unpack the small quantity of belongings and clothing she had packed. She looked at all the things the girls had in their room.
"I don't have very much."
" I can make some clothes for you. I love making them." Goldilocks said. " Do you have anything to wear to the dance?"
" I do," replied Sammie. She carefully took out the gown Galadriel had given her. She stood up and held it up against herself. It caught the light coming in from the window. It was stunning. Goldilocks had never seen anything like it. "It.... it is beautiful," Goldilocks gasped, almost lost for words. "Let me hang it up for you."
Goldilocks carefully picked up the dress and hung it in the wardrobe. Sammie hung her cloak with the others on the coat rack by the door.
There was a knock at the door and it half opened. Frodo put his head round the corner.
"Oh, Frodo!" Goldilocks grimaced, not pleased to be interrupted by her eldest brother.
"I hope you're not boring Sammie," he said.
"No!" she said still slightly annoyed. "Am I Sammie?"
Sammie smiled at the two of them. " Of course not, I'm fine."
She wondered if this was what brothers and sisters were like to each other. "Okay, I'll leave you to it then," he said a little reluctantly. "I'll be in the fields if you need me."
Sammie enjoyed spending time with Goldilocks. It was something she had never experienced and she rather enjoyed it. Throughout the afternoon everyone came in to see Sammie and she began to match the names to the faces.

By early evening she felt a little more relaxed. The rest of the family, Rose, Merry and Pippin arrived home. Merry and Pippin were really thrilled to learn that Sammie would be staying with them. After dinner when everyone had helped tidy up and the younger hobbits were washed and in their nightgowns they gathered around their parents, some at their feet and others on laps. Tom looked at Sammie and then back at his dad.
"Can I sit with Sammie?" he asked.
"You better ask her."
Tom went over to Sammie. "May I ?" he asked so sweetly. She could not refuse and helped him up onto her lap.
Everyone was ready and they settled down to listen to their father as he read from the red book.
Sammie listened intensely as Sam talked about her father in a way she had never heard before. Samwise described Frodos' bravery, kindness and selflessness with warmth and affection. He was a real hero. The young hobbits cheered whenever their father told a bit about hobbits defeating orcs. After awhile though it felt as if Sam was reading to Sammie alone even though the room was full. She felt very emotional. As Samwise continued the lump in her throat grew bigger and bigger. Her eyes began to fill up with tears. Sam finished reading for the night and closed the book.
"Bed time!" he said.
"Oh!" they all groaned.
"Come on now," said their mother.
The younger hobbits headed off to bed, kissing their mother and father as they went. Tom kissed Sammie and ran off to catch up with this brothers and sisters. Frodo went to tuck the boys in and Rose went to tuck the girls in. Merry and Pippin went outside to smoke their pipes. Sammie got up and wandered over to the window. Rosie nudged her husband in Sammie's direction.
"I'll make some tea," Rosie said and went to the kitchen.
Sammie was sobbing silently. Sam went over to comfort her. He put his arm on her shoulder. She turned round and broke down in floods of tears. He held her just like her father would have done.
"I miss my father," she said crying into Sam's shirt. " I wish he was here now."
"I know," replied Samwise fighting back the tears . " I miss him too. There isn't a day goes by when I don't stop and think about him."

Chapter 4: Uncertainty.

The day of the dance arrived. Everyone had a job to do. Rosie gave Sammie a basket and a list of shopping to get from the marketplace. Sammie set off. It was a beautiful spring day. The birds were singing. There was a feeling of excitement in the air. Everyone was busy, but they all had time to stop and say hello to one another.
Sammie arrived at the market place and purchased the items Rosie had asked her to get. She stopped and chatted for a while, before heading back to Bag End. As she started back she met Merry and Pippin coming the other way. Their shirt sleeves were rolled up. They looked hot and thirsty.
"Sammie!" Merry called. "Come and have a drink with us."
She half smiled, half grimaced. " I can't. I have to get this shopping back to your mother."
"Just one!" Pippin half pleaded with a cheeky grin in his face that was impossible to resist.
"Okay, just one mind," she replied.
They linked arms with Sammie either side of her and escorted her into The Green Dragon.
They tried to enter the door of the inn still linked arm in arm, but three bodies into a hole designed for one just wouldn't go. They stumbled in. Sammie lost her footing and bumped into someone.
"Sorry," she said. She had to look up to see who she had bumped into. He was human, tall and muscular. He didn't look very pleased. She had never seen a human before and looked at him curiously.
Merry and Pippin came to her rescue, apologising and mumbling something about her being a stranger to these parts. They escorted away to the other side of the inn. She glanced back. The young man had joined his companions. He said something to them and they all looked in her direction and laughed loudly. "Who's that?" she asked.
"Just some of the farmers boys from the lands at the edge of the shire. They often pass through this way. They don't bother us and we don't bother them," Merry said. "Why don't you two sit down and I'll get the drinks."
Pippin and Sammie sat down.
Merry order three pints and they sat down.
"Don't pay any heed to Merry," Pippin said lightly. " He likes to play the older, wiser brother part sometimes in front of ladies."
Sammie smiled. Merry returned with their drinks and they soon forgot the incident.

Three pints later and Sammie was now really late. She couldn't believe she had let Merry and Pippin talk her into going for a drink. She left them in the inn. She decided to take the short cut home and headed off across the fields. She was feeling a bit light headed and didn't notice that she was being followed until she felt somebody grab her arm and jerk her around. It was one of the farmers' boys from the inn. She dropped her basket and everything went tumbling onto the ground.
"So, you're the one all the fuss is all about!" he remarked, holding on to her arm.
"Aah, you're hurting me," she said trying to release her arm from his grip, but he was strong. She remembered seeing him in the inn. He had been the one she had bumped into.
" I heard all about you in the pub. I hear you're supposed to be pretty good with a sword and a bow and arrow. You don't look like you would be up much of a struggle in a fight to me," he sniggered with a hint of malice in his voice. She looked down at herself. She looked more like a hobbit from the shire than one that had been raised in the company of mostly elves. She had on a brown long skirt and yellow blouse that Rosie had found for her whilst she washed her clothes. They were a bit small. Her hair was unbraided and fell loosely about her head and shoulders. She wondered what was happening to her. Was she forgetting where she had come from? Then she wondered what was about to happen to her. She had no weapons with her and she felt quite drunk. The longer this boy held onto her the weaker she felt herself becoming. It was if his grip was draining her strength away.
He pulled her closely to him. She could smell the beer on his breath. It made her feel nauseous.
Suddenly, they heard voices. A party of young hobbits and their teacher came in through the gate at the bottom of the field. The young man let go of her. "I'll see you around," he said sinisterly and made off in the opposite direction.
Sammie was shaken. She picked up her shopping and put it in the basket. For the first time in her life she had encountered an unfriendly person. She felt sick and confused.
She hurried back down the hill and took the long route home along the safety of the main path. When she arrived home she made her apologies and went to her room. She took her backpack off the chair and sat down on the floor with it. She took out the contents and spread them on the floor beside her. She picked up the box Gandalf had given her. A voice in her head said not yet. She put it away. She picked up the phial her father had given her. She held it to her chest. It was comforting. Even tough she had never been lonely she felt alone at that moment. As she started to put her things back into the back pack Goldilocks and little Rosie came in laughing and singing.
"Sammie, Mum says if we want to get cleaned up for tonight we better make a start before the boys get home!" Rosie said excitedly.
Sammie took her cloak down from the back of the bedroom door. She still had the phial in her hand. She slipped into her pocket.
"Is everything alright?" Goldilocks asked, concerned.
"I'm fine," she lied. "Don't use all the hot water!" she joked. "I'll be back later."
She put on her cloak and headed out of Bag End. Sammie was far from fine. At that moment she wanted to be back home with her father. She went to the stable where her pony, Midnight, was stabled. She mounted him and rode out. She galloped hard and fast until she was in open countryside. Finally, when she could no longer keep up the pace she slowed down. It had felt wonderful to be free with the wind in her face. Again, she thought about what was happening to her. Things were happening to her over which she had no control. Her life was changing. She didn't know if she was ready for it to change. She came to a halt and got down. She sat down and let Midnight rest for a while. She suddenly felt tired. Perhaps it was the three pints she has drank at lunchtime, the encounter with the farmers'boy or the ride, but she was soon fast asleep.

Meanwhile, back at Bag End Frodo had arrived home.
"As anyone seen Sammie?" he asked. He was holding a huge bunch of freshly cut flowers.
Goldilocks came out from her room ready for the dance. She looked very pretty in her best dancing dress.
"Have you seen Sammie?" he asked her.
"No, she went out this afternoon. She said she'd be back later. She took her cloak."
Frodo frowned. He wondered if he should go and look for her.
Little Rosie came out of the bedroom, looking just as pretty as Goldilocks. "Don't worry, big brother. She said she would be back."
"Why don't you get cleaned up and changed. Then you'll be ready for her," Goldilocks suggested.
Goldilocks idea seemed a good one, so Frodo went to put the flowers in water before getting ready.

When Sammie woke up it was dusk. She had a headache and realised she was lost. It was cool now that the sun had set. She suddenly remembered the dance. What had she been thinking about? Why had she let herself be frightened and run away? She decided that she wouldn't let anyone scare her again. She had to get back to the dance. She pulled her cloak around her and as she did she felt the phial in her pocket. She took it out and held it out in front of her. It shone a path back in the direction she had come. Relief washed over her.
"Come on, Midnight! We have to get back."
She climbed up into Midnights' saddle and raced back to Bag End.

The dance had begun and guests were arriving. Everyone from Bag End was there except Sammie. Frodo was becoming more and more anxious.
"I have to go and look for her!" Frodo pleaded with his dad.
"Stay here, Frodo. I'll go and look for her."
Samwise headed back to Bag End. As he got to the gate Sammie came running up the hill in the opposite direction, having taken Midnight back to the stable. Sammie looked worse than she actually felt. However, she was relieved to see him. He put his arms out and she fell into them.
"Come inside," he said. " Tell me what's happened."
He took her inside and sat down with her as she told him everything.
"Why do I feel like this?" she asked Sam through sobs.
" I expect you're just growing up, that's all," he replied wiping the tears from her face with his best pocket hankerchief. "It happens to us all. Come on let's see if we can find some hot water so you can get cleaned up and changed." Samwise found some hot water and whilst Sammie got ready he boiled some more and made tea.
When she came out of the bedroom she was transformed. She looked very much like an elf and not a hobbit.
She looked radiant in her gown.
"If your dad was here he would be so proud," Samwise said.
"I know," she replied thoughtfully. She was pleased that she looked like her former self again.
Samwise took Sammie's arm and they strolled out of Bag End and down to the party field. Samwise told the story of how her father used to always get him to dance with Rosie when they were younger.
" ...And look where that led to," he laughed. " We're an old married couple with 13 children!"
As they arrived they started to look for Frodo. They could see him lecturing Merry and Pippin about taking Sammie to the inn. Merry was getting annoyed with his brother. He wanted to go and have some fun, but Frodo wasn't going to let him go until Sammie turned up. Merry saw Sammie with his dad.
"Shut up!" he said to his brother.
"No, if you hadn't taken her to The Green Dragon she'd be here now."
Pippin saw them now and joined Merry in the next chorus. "Shut up!"
But Pippin couldn't let his brother suffer any longer and any way he wanted to go and enjoy himself.
"She's here," Pippin said and taking Frodo by the shoulders turned him around. His father brought her over to him. She looked a vision of loveliness. The gown seemed to capture the night sky and glistened like a thousand twinkling stars.
Samwise placed Sammie's hand in Frodos and told them to go and dance. So that was exactly what they did.
Samwise went and found his wife. He put his arm around her and kissed her. "What happened?" she asked. "Somebody frightened her, one of the farmers' boys. She got scared and went for a ride. She fell asleep."
"Is she alright?" Rosie asked, looking over to where Frodo and Sammie were now dancing.
"She's fine."

Frodo and Sammie danced until they could dance no longer. They went and got themselves something to eat and drink and joined the rest of Frodos' family. Frodo couldn't stop smiling. He felt so happy and relaxed. A transformation had taken place in their relationship. He wanted to put his arm around her, so he did. They looked into each others eyes. Pippin and Merry came over. Pippin casually put his arms around them both. Merry sat down next to Sammie with his pint.
"I hope you aren't going to keep Sammie all to yourself tonight?" Pippin asked cheekily.
"Of course not."
"Great! I'm first then for a dance," he said taking Sammies' hand.
"Then me!" added Merry.
Sammie rose to her feet. She took a long draught of her drink.
"Come on then trouble!" she said and led him off to the dancing.
Sammie became the heart and soul of the party. After she had danced with Pippin she dance with Merry. Finally, she came back and found Frodo. She kissed him on the forehead. It seemed like an invitation. Frodo stood up and took her hand. "Come on," he said. "Let's go for a walk."
They strolled hand in hand away from the hustle and bustle of the party. In a quiet corner of the field there was a secluded spot. They put their arms around each other and gazed heavenwards at the stars. Then they looked at each other and kissed for the first time. Somewhere, someone let off fireworks. They stopped for a moment.
"Merry!" said Frodo.
"....and Pippin," added Sammie.
They both laughed and kissed again whilst the fireworks continued to light up the night sky.

The party went on well into the night. After the last of the guests had gone there was lots of tidying up to do. Rosie took the youngest of her children home to bed whilst the elder children helped their father tidy up. Frodo and Sammie worked together washing and drying dishes. Frodo, Merry, Pippin and Sammie were the last to finish. They collapsed on the ground, flat on their backs.
"Wow! What a party!" exclaimed Merry.
"I could sleep for a week," said Pippin. "I'm worn out."
"Come on, let's go home!" Frodo said.
They all helped each other up. Frodo took Sammies' hand and the four of them strolled back to Bag End for a well earned rest.