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The Aftermath


“I’ll go get started on dinner,” Eglantine said, fork in hand.

Little Pippin, just turned four, danced after her, the stuffed monkey Frodo had given him dangling from his arms, its tail dragging. “I help cookie!” he cried.

“If one could just bottle that child’s energy one could make a good deal of money,” Bilbo commented. “I doubt the monkey will see another owner--from Isengar to me to you to Pippin to rags!” He brushed a lock of hair from Frodo’s forehead. “Eglantine loves the crystal pendant you gave her.”

“I don’t know what I’ll do with Ferumbras’s violin,” Frodo sighed. “I’ve no interest in it.” He glanced out at the quarter moon sinking toward the horizon. “It’s been a good Yule, but I feel like a rowboat with a hole in it sinking just short of the wharf. Now--a sheet of paper for a letter to Menegilda....”


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