“Dad, will you keep an eye in my Rosie and little Elanor for a time? I should be back in a fortnight.”
“Yer Master--him’s leavin’ the Shire, ain’t he?”
“Yes, Dad. Mr. Frodo’s leavin’--and for good. He’ll be stayin’ with old Mr. Bilbo and the Elves.”
The Gaffer watched after his son as Sam turned to labor his way back up the lane to the door of Bag End, almost as if he were an old Hobbit himself. My poor bairn, he thought. My poor, dear, addled lad. This is what comes o’ tyin’ yer heart to yer betters--pain when them must go off on their own. Well, mayhaps him and the lasses will come back down t’the Row--fill up the ol’ hole and brighten it right up.
Rosie came down to bring him some supper. Had to allow as she was a right fine cook. Sam had chosen well where to find a love amongst the maidens of the Shire. “Well, m’lass, Sam tells me as Mr. Frodo’s gone off t’be with old Mr. Bilbo. And which of his kin gets the hole?”
Her eyes were bright with unshed tears of mixed loss and pride. “Him’s left it t’us--to me and my Sam. Master Frodo--he’s adopted Sam--adopted him as his brother. Said as there was too much love atween them to give Bag End t’any other.”
Flabbergasted, Hamfast Gamgee stared at her in disbelief.