Pippin woke up with a start. He was breathing heavy. He was trying to remember what it was he was running from in his dreams. Merry was standing over him. “Pip, what’s the matter?” Pippin just looked at Merry confused. He was on the floor. He was trying to get his bearings. Where was he? “Merry, where are we?” “Pip, you silly hobbit, we are at Bag End, remember? Sam invited us to stay a bit.” Pippin bit his lip, trying to remember, but his mind was still fuzzy. He was still trying to remember his dream. It seemed real and he felt like he was running from something. Merry grabbed him off the floor unceremoniously and told him to get dressed because first breakfast was being prepared. As Pippin was getting dressed he could smell the sausages that Rosie and Sam were preparing. Bless them. They had made Bag End a home and even though he missed Frodo terribly, Bag End was still a place he often visited with Merry.
Pippin walked out to the dining area and was greeted warmly by Rosie, Sam, little Elanor and Frodo. Pippin sat down at the table and forgot about the dream for the moment and laughed at the silly songs being sung by Sam’s children. Suddenly there was the sound of a rider on horseback coming up the walkway to Bag End. There was a rap at the door and when Sam opened the door a Ranger bearing the emblem of King Aragorn stood there with a scroll. He announced himself and inquired as to whether Master Peregrin Took and Master Meriodic Brandybuck were presently at Bag End as he had an urgent message from King Aragorn.
Merry took the scroll and thanked the Ranger and walked back into the kitchen and sat down at the weathered table and began to read the scroll in Aragorn’s flowing handwriting. Aragorn wrote that there was trouble brewing and asked for the help of Merry and Pippin to see if they could find out what the trouble was. Beyond that, Aragorn’s words were vague. He also wrote that Merry and Pippin should head to the Prancing Pony in Bree and look for his next message and that they would know the messenger to be true. Merry gave Pippin the scroll so he could look at it too. Pippin shook his head and looked at Merry puzzled. “What kind of trouble do you think he is talking about?” “And why just the two of us?” “It’s not like we have a ring we can slip on and be invisible like Bilbo used to do and investigate.” Sam interrupted their thoughts by saying that if King Aragorn thought it important enough to ask them, then it must be so. Merry gave a nod and grin and Pippin looked in his eyes and knew that he had already decided that he was going no matter what. The only question was when and in what direction.
Merry and Pippin took the Old Road on horseback and made the trip in good time. They talked about old times and were very glad that this time around they had no bad adventures to worry about. More than once Pippin wondered what it was that Aragorn was so worried about that he would ask them secretly to investigate. Evening for Pippin was no better than before. He kept dreaming the same dream and Merry was getting worried. Pippin kept mumbling about running from something and when Merry would wake him up Pippin would look at him as if he was frightened but would then just laugh it off. Pippin didn’t want to worry Merry but the dream was getting worse but the only problem was he couldn’t remember when he woke up what the dream was about only that he had to get away.
Bree was the bustling town it had always been, both a town for hobbits and men. Merry and Pippin quickly located the Prancing Pony and found the innkeeper, Barliman Butterbur who escorted them to regular rooms as the hobbit rooms were a little cramped given their extra growth from the Ent draughts. Merry went downstairs to check to see if there was any type of message waiting for them as Pippin lay on his bed. It seemed he only closed his eyes a minute and the dream started again. Someone was talking to him. Someone through an orb of some type. Holding him against his will. Sauron. No, he was gone. He couldn’t pull away. It was telling him to do evil things. He needed to get away. He needed to run. He was running. He couldn’t escape. He had to escape.
“Pippin”. “Pippin”. “Pippin, you silly old goose!” “I leave you alone for 5 minutes and you fall asleep.” Pippin gasped and sat up. How did he fall asleep like that? All of a sudden, there was a knock on the door. Merry frowned at Pippin as if he was about to say something but thought better of it and then he opened the door. A ranger bearing the emblem of the Dunedain was at the door with his cowl pulled over his head. He bowed low and asked if he could enter. Pippin frowned and thought there was something familiar about him but he was still trying to clear his mind. The ranger walked a few paces turned around and looked very closely at both of the hobbits. He chuckled, put both of his hands on his hips and then put both of his hands to his cowl and pulled it back from his head.
“Aragorn”, they both cried out together! Both Merry and Pippin immediately began to pepper Aragorn with questions and which point Aragorn put up both hands and asked them to wait and he would answer all their questions in good time and that perhaps his story once told would help.
First, he told them, no one must know that he was there or had been there. “Queen Arwen was not very happy about my coming here but she understood the need.” “I could not take the chance of what I have learned to get into the wrong hands and I knew that I could trust the two of you with this task.” Both Merry and Pippin looked and each other and then back and Aragorn. Not sure of what he was about to ask of them but trusting him nonetheless.
“First of all”, Aragorn said, “I hope you brought enough of the Old Toby with you so that we can all have a smoke together so I can tell you why I am here and why I need your help”. Merry immediately ran to his pack and pulled out some of the weed he kept with him and offered it to Aragorn and waited patiently while Aragorn packed his pipe. Aragorn looked up once more and leaned forward and looked intently at Pippin. “Pippin”, he said. “This involves you very much and I hope that no ill comes to you.” Pippin looked at Aragorn inquiringly and then at Merry. “What are you talking about Aragorn?”
“I am talking about the Palintiri, Pippin”. “I am talking about the Seeing Stones that we thought were lost.”
Pippin’s face went ashen.