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18
Taking Charge

20. Misty Mountains, taking leadership
Pippin, the Fellowship


~~~

Taking Charge


Peregrin Took followed in Gimli’s wake as the remaining Fellowship stumbled down the eastern slope of Caradhras. He still felt in shock at the loss of Gandalf, as he knew they all did. How could the Wizard have fallen? What could they have done to save him? Had they had a length of rope, perhaps would he still be with them? And who was their leader now?

Strider—Aragorn--was, he’d been told, the Chieftain for the Rangers, and had led the four Hobbits from Bree to the House of Elrond in Rivendell. Boromir’s father was very important and was the ruler of his own lands at the moment, or so they’d been told; and Boromir himself had led the armies of his people. Legolas was a prince, the son of the Elven-king that long ago Bilbo had set himself to protect in the Battle of Five Armies, and had led the way back down the pass from the snow atop Caradhras. Gimli had led them through Moria alongside Gandalf and that glowing staff of his. Due to his age as well as his position as Ringbearer, Frodo was the leader of the Hobbits and was the whole focus of the Fellowship; and when others were divided they kept leaving the final decision to him (not that Frodo felt as if his authority meant all that much out here in the wilderness where everyone else was far more experienced and knowledgeable than he was!). When Frodo was distracted or tired, Sam would take over; and even though Sam was not gentry, Merry and he would gladly fetch and carry at the gardener’s command. I mean, Sam just knew how to get things done! Merry was still older than Pippin was, and had been bossing him around all his life, not that Pippin resented him for it—it was what older relatives did, after all!

But now----

Pippin realized that he didn’t hear the soft murmuring of reassurance from Sam to Frodo any longer, and turned around. The two Bag End Hobbits had lagged far behind, and Pippin could see that Frodo was pale and gasping for breath, while Sam’s eyes were shadowed and staring. The gardener’s face was still stained with dried blood from the wound he’d suffered in the Chamber of Mazarbul, and he appeared to stumble as Pippin watched.

Why didn’t Aragorn do something for the two of them? Frodo must be in pain from the blow to his chest—and Pippin still didn’t begin to understand just how it was that Frodo had survived the thrust from that spear!

Enough was enough! Someone had to take charge if Frodo and Sam weren’t to be left behind. Pippin turned and called out, “Oi—Strider! Frodo needs a rest!”

He wasn’t certain that the Ranger heard the words he called—Men’s ears didn’t appear to be anywhere as sensitive as were those of Hobbits or Elves, after all; but at least he’d realized something was wrong. He was stopping and looking back, and Pippin could clearly hear his cry of concern as he realized that in his own shock and need to lead them out of the dangers of Moria he’d forgotten that those two of the Hobbits might need some looking to.

Good enough, then! As long and Frodo and Sam received some care, Pippin was happy.

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