March 25, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. The Host is surrounded on the Slag-hills.
(from the appendices)
......"No choice was left them but to play their part to its end. Therefore Aragorn now set the host in such array as could best be contrived; and they were drawn up on two great hills of blasted stone and earth that orcs had piled in years of labour... ...When all was ordered, the Captains rode forth towards the Black Gate with a great guard of horsemen... ...and the banner and heralds and trumpeters. There was Gandalf as chief herald, and Aragorn with the sons of Elrond, and Éomer of Rohan, and Imrahil; and Legolas and Gimli and Peregrin were bidden to go also. So that all the enemies of Mordor should have a witness...
......'...Come forth! they cried. 'Let the Lord of the Black Land come forth...' ...There came a long rolling of great drums like thunder in the mountains, and then a braying of horns that shook the very stones and stunned men's ears. And thereupon the middle door of the Black Gate was thrown open with a great clang, and out of it there came an embassy from the Dark Tower... ...The Lieutenant of the Tower of Barad-dûr he was, and his name is remembered in no tale; for he himself had forgotten it, and he said; 'I am the Mouth of Sauron... ...Is there any one in this rout with authority to treat with me?' he asked. 'Or indeed with wit to understand me? Not thou at least!' he mocked, turning to Aragorn with scorn. 'It needs more to make a king than a piece of elvish glass, or a rabble such as this. Why? any brigand of the hills can show as good a following!'
......Aragorn said naught in answer, but he took the other's eye and held it, and for a moment they strove thus; but soon, though Aragorn did not stir nor move hand to weapon, the other quailed and gave back as if menaced with a blow...
......'...You have naught to fear from us, until your errand is done. But unless your master has come to new wisdom, then with all his servants you will be in great peril,' said Gandalf.
......'So!' said the Messenger. 'Then thou art the spokesman, old greybeard? Have we not heard of thee at whiles, and of thy wanderings, ever hatching plots and mischief at a safe distance? But this time thou hast stuck out they nose too far, Master Gandalf; and thou shalt see what comes to him who sets his foolish webs before the feet of Sauron the Great. I have tokens that I was bidden to show to thee—to thee in especial, if thou shouldst dare to come.' He signed to one of his guards, and he came forward bearing a bundle swathed in black cloths.
......The Messenger put these aside, and there to the wonder and dismay of all the Captains he held up first a short sword such as Sam had carried, and next a grey cloak with an elven-brooch, and last the coat of mithril-mail that Frodo had worn wrapped in his tattered garments. A blackness came before their eyes, and it seemed to them in a moment of silence that the world stood still, but their hearts were dead and their last hope gone. Pippin who stood behind Prince Imrahil sprang forward with a cry of grief.
......'Silence!' said Gandalf sternly, thrusting him back; but the Messenger laughed aloud. 'So you have yet another of these imps with you!' he cried.
......'So you have yet another of these imps with you!' he cried. 'What use you find in them I cannot guess; but to send them as spies into Mordor is beyond even your accustomed folly. Still, I thank him, for it is plain that this brat at least has seen these tokens before, and it would be vain for you to deny them now.'
......'I do not wish to deny them,' said Gandalf. 'Indeed, I know them all and all their history, and despite your scorn, foul Mouth of Sauron, you cannot say as much. But why do you bring them here?'
......'Dwarf-coat, elf-cloak, blade of the downfallen West, and spy from the little rat-land of the Shire---nay, do not start! We know it well---here are the marks of a conspiracy. Now, maybe he that bore these things was a creature that you would not grieve to lose, and maybe otherwise; one dear to you, perhaps? If so, take swift counsel with what little wit is left to you. For Sauron does not love spies, and what his fate shall be depends now on your choice.'
......No one answered him; but he saw their faces grey with fear and the horror in their eyes, and he laughed again, for it seemed to him that his sport went well. 'Good, good!' he said. 'He was dear to you, I see. Or else his errand was one that you did not wish to fail? It has. And now he shall endure the slow torment of years, as long and slow as our arts in the Great Tower can contrive, and never be released, unless maybe when he is changed and broken, so that he may come to you, and you shall see what you have done. This shall surely be--unless you accept my Lord's terms...'
......But Gandalf said, 'This is much to demand for the delivery of one servant... ...what surety have we that Sauron the Base Master of Treachery will keep his part? Where is this prisoner? Let him be brought forth and yielded to us, and then we will consider these demands...'
......'...Surety you crave! Sauron gives none. If you sue for his clemency you must first to his bidding. These are his terms. Take them or leave them!'
......'These we will take!' said Gandalf suddenly. He cast aside his cloak and a white light shone forth like a sword in that black place. Before his upraised hand the foul Messenger recoiled, and Gandalf coming seized and took from him the tokens: coat, cloak, and sword. 'These we will take in memory of our friend,' he cried. 'But as for your terms, we reject them utterly. Get you gone, for your embassy is over and death is near to you. We did not come here to waste words in treating with Sauron, faithless and accursed; still less with one of his slaves. Begone!'
.........Down from the hills on either side of the Morannon poured Orcs innumerable. The men of the West were trapped, and soon, all about the grey mounds where they stood, forces ten times and more than ten times their match would ring them in a sea of enemies... ...Upon the one hill Aragorn stood with Gandalf, and there fair and desperate was raised the banner of the Tree and Stars. Upon the other hill hard by stood the banners of Rohan and Dol Amroth, White Horse and Silver Swan... ...But in the front towards Mordor where the first bitter assault would come there stood the sons of Elrond on the left with Dúnedain about them, and on the right the Prince Imrahil with the men of Dol Amroth tall and fair, and picked men of the Tower...
.........Pippin had bowed crushed with horror when he heard Gandalf reject the terms and doom Frodo to the torment of the Tower; but he had mastered himself, and now he stood beside Beregond in the front rank of Gondor with Imrahil's men... '...I wish Merry was here,' he heard himself saying, and quick thoughts raced through his mind, even as he watched the enemy come charging to the assault...
......He drew his sword and looked at it, and the intertwining shapes of red and gold; and the flowing characters of Númenor glinted like fire upon the blade. 'This was made for just such an hour...'
.........the first assault crashed into them... ...there came striding up, roaring like beasts, a great company of hill-trolls... ...Like a storm they broke upon the line of the men of Gondor, and beat upon helm and head... ...At Pippin's side Beregond was stunned and overborne, and he fell: and the great troll-chief that smote him down bent over him, reaching out a clutching claw; for these fell creatures would bite the throats of those that they threw down.
......Then Pippin stabbed upwards, and the written blade of Westernesse pierce through the hide and went deep into the vitals of the troll, and his black blood came gushing out. He toppled forward and came crashing down like a falling rock, burying those beneath him. Blackness and stench and crushing pain came upon Pippin, and his mind fell away into a great darkness.
......'So it ends as I guessed it would,' his thought said, even as it fluttered away; and it laughed a little within him ere it fled, almost gay it seemed to be casting off at last all doubt and care and fear. And then even as it winged away into forgetfulness he heard voices, and they seemed to be crying in some forgotten world far above: 'The Eagles are coming! The Eagles are coming!'"
2. Downfall of Barad-dûr and the passing of Sauron.
(from the appendices)
......"...under the wings of the Nazgûl the shadows of death fell dark upon the earth. Aragorn stood beneath his banner, silent and stern, as one lost in thought of things long past or far away; but his eyes gleamed like stars that shine the brighter as the night deepens. Upon the hill-top stood Gandalf, and he was white and cold and no shadow fell upon him....
.........As if to his eyes some sudden vision had been given, Gandalf stirred; and he turned, looking back north where the skies were pale and clear. Then he lifted up his hands and cried in a loud voice ringing above the din: The Eagles are coming!'
......There came Gwaihir the Windlord, and Landroval his brother, greatest of all the Eagles of the North... ...behind them in long swift lines came all their vassals from the northern mountains, speeding on a gathering wind. Straight down upon the Nazgûl they bore, stooping suddenly out of the high airs, and the rush of their wide wings as they passed over was like a gale.
......But the Nazgûl turned and fled, and vanished into Mordor's shadows, hearing a sudden terrible call out of the Dark Tower; and even at that moment all the hosts of Mordor trembled, doubt clutched their hearts, their laughter failed, their hands shook and their limbs were loosed. The Power that drove them on and filled them with hate and fury was wavering, its will was removed from them; and now looking in the eyes of their enemies they saw a deadly light and were afraid.
.........Out from the beleaguered hills knights of Gondor, Riders of Rohan, Dúnedain of the North, close-serried companies, drove against their wavering foes, piercing the press with the thrust of bitter spears. But Gandalf lifted up his arms and called once more in a clear voice. 'Stand, Men of the West! Stand and wait! This is the hour of doom.'
......And even as he spoke the earth rocked beneath their feet. Then rising swiftly up, far above the Towers of the Black Gate, high above the mountains, a vast soaring darkness sprang into the sky, flickering with fire. The earth groaned and quaked. The Towers of the Teeth swayed, tottered, and fell down; the mighty rampart crumbled; the Black Gate was hurled in ruin; and from far away, now dim, now growing, now mounting to the clouds, there came a drumming rumble, a roar, a long echoing roll of ruinous noise.
......'The realm of Sauron is ended!' said Gandalf. 'The Ring-bearer has fulfilled his Quest.'
......And as the Captains gazed south to the Land of Mordor, it seemed to them that, black against the pall of cloud, there rose a huge shape of shadow, impenetrable, lightning-crowned, filling all the sky. Enormous it reared above the world, and stretched out towards them a vast threatening hand, terrible but impotent: for even as it leaned over them, a great wind took it, and it was all blown away, and passed; and then a hush fell....
......Then Gandalf, leaving all such matters of battle and command to Aragorn and the other lords, stood upon the hill-top and called; and down to him came the great eagle, Gwaihir the Windlord, and stood before him.
......'Twice you have borne me, Gwaihir my friend,' said Gandalf. 'Thrice shall pay for all, if you are willing. You will not find me a burden much greater than when you bore me from Zirak-zigil, where my old life burned away.'
......'I would bear you,' answered Gwaihir, 'whither you will, even were you made of stone.'
......'Then come, and let your brother go with us, and some other of your folk who is most swift! For we have need of speed greater than any wind, outmatching the wings of the Nazgûl.'
......'The North Wind blows, but we shall outfly it,' said Gwaihir. And he lifted up Gandalf and sped away south and with him went Landroval, and Meneldor."
3. Frodo and Samwise reach the Sammath Naur.
(from the appendices)
......"'Now for it! Now for the last gasp!' said Sam as he struggled to his feet. He bent over Frodo, rousing him gently. Frodo groaned; but with a great effort of will he staggered up; and then he fell upon his knees again. He raised his eyes with difficulty to the dark slopes of Mount Doom towering above him, and then pitifully be began to crawl forward on his hands.
......Sam looked at him and wept in his heart, but no tears came to his dry and stinging eyes. 'I said I'd carry him, if it broke my back,' he muttered, 'and I will!'
......'Come, Mr. Frodo!' he cried. 'I can't carry it for you, but I can carry you and it as well. So up you get! Come on, Mr. Frodo dear! Sam will give you a ride. Just tell him where to go, and he'll go.'
......As Frodo clung upon his back, arms loosely about his neck, legs clasped firmly under is arms, Sam staggered to his feet; and then to his amazement he felt the burden light. He had feared that he would have barely strength to lift his master alone, and beyond that he had expected to share in the dreadful dragging weight of the accursed Ring. But it was not so. Whether because Frodo was so worn by his long pains, wound of knife, and venomous sting, and sorrow, fear and homeless wandering, or because some gift of final strength was given to him, Sam lifted Frodo with no more difficulty than if he were carrying a hobbit-child pig-a-back in some romp on the lawns or hayfields of the Shire. He took a deep breath and started off.
.........Frodo did not speak, and so Sam struggled on as best he could, having no guidance but the will to climb as high as might be before his strength gave out and his will broke. On he toiled, up and up...often stumbling forward, and at the last crawling like a snail with a heavy burden on its back. When his will could drive him no further, and his limbs gave way, he stopped and laid his master gently down.
......Frodo opened his eyes and drew a breath. It was easier to breathe up here above the reeks that coiled and drifted down below. 'Thank you, Sam,' he said in a cracked whisper..."
......"...He lay flat beside Frodo for a while. Neither spoke. Slowly the light grew. Suddenly a sense of urgency which he did not understand came to Sam. It was almost as if he had been called: 'Now, now, or it will be too late!' He braced himself and got up. Frodo also seemed to have felt the call. He struggled to his knees. 'I'll crawl, Sam,' he gasped.
......So foot by foot, like small grey insects, they crept up the slope. They came to the path and found it was broad, paved with broken rubble and beaten ash. Frodo clambered onto it, and then moved as if by some compulsion he turned slowly to face the East. Far off the shadows of Sauron hung... ...then he saw, rising black, blacker and darker than the vast shades amid which it stood, the cruel pinnacles and iron crown of the topmost tower of Barad-dûr. One moment only it stared out, but as from some great window immeasurably high there stabbed northward a flame of red, the flicker of a piercing Eye; and then the shadows were furled again and the terrible vision was removed. The Eye was not turned to them: it was gazing north to where the Captains of the West stood at bay, and thither all its malice was now bent, as the Power moved to strike its deadly blow; but Frodo at that dreadful glimpse fell as one stricken mortally. His hand sought the chain about his neck.
pg 271 III
......Sam knelt by him. Faint, almost inaudibly, he heard Frodo whispering: ‘Help me, Sam! Help me, Sam! Hold my hand! I can’t stop it.’ Sam took his master’s hands and laid them together, palm to palm, and kissed them; and then he held them gently between his own. The thought came suddenly to him: 'He's spotted us! It's all up, or it soon will be. Now, Sam Gamgee, this is the end of ends.'
......Again he lifted Frodo and drew his hands down to his own breast, letting his master's legs dangle. Then he bowed his head and struggled off along the climbing road. It was not as easy a way to take as it had looked at first.... ...Panting under his load Sam turned the bend; and even as he did so, out of the corner of his eye, he had a glimpse of something falling from the crag, like a small piece of black stone that had toppled off as he passed.
......A sudden weight smote him and he crashed forward, tearing the back of his hands that still clasped his master’s. Then he knew what had happened, for above him as he lay he heard a hated voice.
......'Wicked masster!' it hissed. 'Wicked masster cheats us; cheats Sméagol, gollum. He musstn't go that way. He musstn't hurt Preciouss. Give it to Sméagol, yess, give it to uss! Give it to uss!'
......With a violent heave Sam rose up. At once he drew his sword; but he could do nothing. Gollum and Frodo were locked together. Gollum was tearing at his master, trying to get at the chain and the Ring. This was probably the only thing that could have roused the dying embers of Frodo’s heart and will: an attack, an attempt to wrest his treasure from him by force. He fought back with a sudden fury that amazed Sam, and Gollum also. Even so things might have gone far otherwise, if Gollum himself had remained unchanged; but whatever dreadful paths, lonely and hungry and waterless, he had trodden, driven by a devouring desire and a terrible fear, they had left grievous marks on him. He was a lean, starved, haggard thing, all bones and tight-drawn sallow skin. A wild light flamed in his eyes, but his malice was no longer matched by his old griping strength. Frodo flung him off and rose up quivering.
......'Down, down!’ he gasped, clutching his hand to his breast, so that beneath the cover of his leather shirt he clasped the Ring. ‘Down, you creeping thing, and out of my path! Your time is at an end. You cannot betray me or slay me now.'
......Then suddenly, as before under the eaves of the Emyn Muil, Sam saw these two rivals with other vision. A crouching shape, scarcely more than the shadow of a living thing, a creature now wholly ruined and defeated, yet stern, untouchable now by pity, a figure robed in white, but at its breast it held a wheel of fire. Out of the fire there spoke a commanding voice.
......'Begone, and trouble me no more! If you touch me ever again, you shall be cast yourself into the Fire of Doom.'
......The crouching shape backed away, terror in its blinking eyes, and yet at the same time insatiable desire.
......Then the vision passed and Sam saw Frodo standing, hand upon his breast, his breath coming in great gasps, and Gollum at his feet, resting on his knees with his wide-splayed hands upon the ground.
......'Look out!’ cried Sam. ‘He’ll spring!’ He stepped forward, brandishing his sword. ‘Quick, Master!’ he gasped. ‘Go on! Go on! No time to lose. I’ll deal with him. Go on!’
......Frodo looked at him as if at one now far away. ‘Yes, I must go on,’ he said. ‘Farewell, Sam! This is the end at last. On Mount Doom doom shall fall. Farewell!’ He turned and went on, walking slowly but erect, up the climbing path."
4. Gollum seizes the Ring and falls in the Cracks of Doom.
......"The light sprang up again, and there on the brink of the chasm, at the very Crack of Doom, stood Frodo, black against the glare, tense, erect, but still as if he had been turned to stone.
......'Master!' cried Sam. Then Frodo stirred and spoke with a clear voice, indeed with a voice clearer and more powerful than Sam had ever heard him use, and it rose above the throb and turmoil of Mount Doom, ringing in the roof and walls.
......'I have come,' he said. 'But I do not choose now to do what I came to do. I will not do this deed. The Ring is mine!' And suddenly, as he set it on his finger, he vanished from Sam's sight. Sam gasped, but he had no chance to cry out, for at that moment many things happened.
......Something struck Sam violently in the back, his legs were knocked from under him and he was flung aside, striking his head against the stony floor, as a dark shape sprang over him. He lay still and for a moment all went black....
.........Sam got up. He was dazed, and blood from his head dripped in his eyes. He groped forward, and then he saw a strange and terrible thing. Gollum on the edge of the abyss was fighting like a mad thing with an unseen foe...
.........The fires below awoke in anger, the red light blazed... ...Suddenly Sam saw Gollum's long hands draw upwards to his mouth; his white fangs gleamed, and then snapped as they bit. Frodo gave a cry, and there he was, fallen upon his knees at the chasm's edge. But Gollum, dancing like a mad thing, held aloft the ring with Frodo's finger still thrust within its circle. It shone now as if verily it was wrought of living fire.
......'Precious, precious, precious!' Gollum cried... ...he stepped too far, toppled, wavered for a moment on the brink, and then with a shriek he fell. Out of the depths came his last wail PRECIOUS, and he was gone.
.........Sam ran to Frodo and picked him up and carried him out to the door. And there above the plains of Mordor, such wonder and terror came on him that he stood still forgetting all else, and gazed as one turned to stone... ...there came a rumble, rising to a deafening crash and roar; and the earth shook, the plain heaved and cracked, and Orodruin reeled. Fire belched from its riven summit. The skies burst into thunder seared with lightening. Down like lashing ships fell a torrent of black rain. And into the heart of the storm, with a cry that pierced all other sounds, tearing clouds asunder, the Nazgûl came, shooting like flaming bolts, as caught in the firey ruin of hill and sky they crackled, withered, and went out.
......'Well, this is the end, Sam Gamgee,' said a voice by his side. And there was Frodo, pale and worn, and yet himself again; and in his eyes there was peace now, neither strain of will, nor madness, nor any fear. His burden was taken away. There was the dear master of the sweet days in the Shire.
......'Master!' cried Sam, and fell upon his knees. In all that ruin of the world for the moment he felt only joy, great joy. The burden was gone. His master had been saved; he was himself again, he was free. And then he caught sight of the maimed and bleeding hand.
......'Your poor hand!' he said. 'And I have nothing to bind it with, or comfort it. I would have spared him a whole hand of mine rather. But he's gone now beyond recall, gone forever.'
......'Yes,' said Frodo. 'But do you remember Gandalf’s words: "Even Gollum may have something yet to do?" But for him, Sam, I could not have destroyed the Ring. The Quest would have been in vain, even at the bitter end. So let us forgive him! For the Quest is achieved and now all is over. I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam.’"
......"'...Yes, I am with you, Master,' said Sam, laying Frodo's wounded hand gently to his breast. 'And you're with me. And the journey's finished. But after coming all that way I don't want to give up yet. It's not like me, somehow, if you understand.' 'Maybe not, Sam,' said Frodo; 'but it's like things are in the world. Hopes fail. An end comes. We have only a little time to wait now. We are lost in ruin and downfall, and there is no escape.'
......'Well, Master, we could at least go further from this dangerous place here, from this Crack of Doom, if that's its name. Now couldn't we? Come, Mr. Frodo, let's go down the path at any rate!'
......'Very well, Sam. If you wish to go, I'll come,' said Frodo...
.........Frodo and Sam could go no further. Their last strength of mind and body was swiftly ebbing. They had reached a low ashen hill piled at the Mountain's foot; but from it there was no more escape....
.........They stood now; and Sam still holding his master's hand caressed it. He signed. 'What a tale we have been in, Mr. Frodo, haven't we?' he said. 'I wish I could hear it told! Do you think they'll say: Now comes the story of Nine-fingered Frodo and the Ring of Doom? And then everyone will hush, like we did, when in Rivendell they told us the tale of Beren One-hand and the Great Jewel. I wish I could hear it! And I wonder how it will go on after our part.'
......But even while he spoke so, to keep fear away until the very last, his eyes still strayed north, north into the eye of the wind, to where the sky far off was clear...
......And so it was that Gwaihir saw them with his keen far-seeing eyes, as down the wild wind he came, and daring the great peril of the skies he circled in the air: two small dark figures, forlorn, hand in hand upon a little hill, while the world shook under them, and gasped, and rivers of fire drew near. And even as he espied them and came swooping down, he saw them fall, worn out, or choked with fumes and heat, or stricken down by despair at last, hiding their eyes from death.
......Side by side they lay; and down swept Gwaihir, and down came Landroval and Meneldor the swift; and in a dream, not knowing what fate had befallen them, the wanderers we lifted up and borne far away out of the darkness and the fire."
5. Minas Tirith
(not from the appendices)
......"And so the fifth day came since the Lady Éowyn went first to Faramir; and they stood now together once more upon the wall so the City and looked out. No tidings had yet come, and all hearts were darkened...
......'...What do you look for, Éowyn?' said Faramir.
......'Does not the Black Gate lie yonder?' said she. 'And must he not now be come thither? It is seven days since he rode away.'
......'Seven day,' said Faramir. 'But think not ill of me, if I say to you: they have brought me both a joy and a pain that I never though to know. Joy to see you; but pain, because now the fear and doubt of this evil time are grown dark indeed. Éowyn, I would not have this world end now, or lose so soon what I have found.'
......'Lose what you have found, lord?' she answered; but she looked at him gravely and her eyes were kind. 'I know not what in these days you have found that you could lose. But come, my friend, let us not speak of it! Let us not speak at all! I stand upon some dreadful brink, and it is utterly dark in the abyss before my feet, but whether there is any light behind me I cannot tell. For I cannot turn yet. I wait for some stroke of doom.'
......'Yes, we wait for the stroke of doom,' said Faramir. And they said no more...
.........And as they stood so, their hands met and clasped, though they did not know it. And still they waited for they knew not what. Then presently it seemed to them that above the ridges of the distant mountains another vast mountain of darkness rose, towering up like a wave that should engulf the world, and about it lightnings flickered; and then a tremor ran through the earth, and they felt the walls of the City quiver. A sound like a sigh went up from all the lands about them; and their hearts beat suddenly again.
......'It reminds me of Númenor,' said Faramir, and wondered to hear himself speak.
......'Of Númenor? said Éowyn.
......'Yes,' said Faramir, 'of the land of Westernesse that foundered, and of the great dark wave climbing over the green lands and above the hills, and coming on, darkness inescapable. I often dream of it.'
......'Then you think that the Darkness is coming?' said Éowyn. 'Darkness Unescapable?' And suddenly she drew close to him.
......'No,' said Faramir, looking into her face. 'It was but a picture in the mind. I do not know what is happening. The reason of my waking mind tells me that great evil has befallen and we stand at the end of days. But my heart says nay; and all my limbs are light, and a hope and joy are come to me that no reason can deny. Éowyn, Éowyn, White Lady of Rohan, in this hour I do not believe that any darkness will endure!' And he stooped and kissed her brow...
........And before the Sun had fallen far from the noon out of the East there came a great Eagle flying, and he bore tidings beyond hope from the Lords of the West, crying: 'Sing now, ye people of the Tower of Anor, for the Realm of Sauron is ended for ever, and the Dark Tower is thrown down.'"
March 25, 3020 (S.R. 1420)
(not from the appendices)
Frodo is sick
......"Sam stayed at first at the Cottons' with Frodo; but when the New Row was ready he went with the Gaffer. In addition to all his other labours he was busy directing the cleaning up and restoring of Bag End; but he was often away in the Shire on his forestry work. So he was not at home in early March and did not know that Frodo had been ill. On the thirteenth of that month Farmer Cotton found Frodo lying on his bed; he was clutching a white gem that hung on a chain about his neck and he seemed half in a dream.
......'It is gone forever,' he said, 'and now all is dark and empty.'
......But the fit passed, and when Sam got back on the twenty-fifth, Frodo had recovered, and he said nothing about himself. In the meanwhile Bag End had been set in order and Merry and Pippin came over from Crickhollow bringing back all the old furniture and gear, so that the old hole soon looked very much as it always had done."
March 25, 3021 (S.R. 1421)
(from the appendices)
1. Birth of Elanor the Fair, daughter of Samwise.
......"Time went on, and 1421 came in. Frodo was ill again in March, but with a great effort he concealed it, for Sam had other things to think about. The first of Sam and Rosie's children was born on the twenty-fifth of March, a date that Sam noted.
......'Well, Mr. Frodo,' he said. 'I'm in a bit of a fix. Rose and me had settled to call him Frodo, with your leave; but it's not him, it's her. Though as pretty a maidchild as any one could hope for, taking after Rose more than me, luckily. So we don't know what to do.'
......'Well, Sam,' said Frodo, 'what's wrong with the old customs? Choose a flower name like Rose. Half the maidchildren in the Shire are called by such names, and what could be better?'
......'I suppose you're right, Mr. Frodo,' said Sam. 'I've heard some beautiful names on my travels, but I suppose they're a bit too grand for daily wear and tear, as you might say. The Gaffer, he says: "Make it short, and then you won't have to cut it short before you can use it." But if it's to be a flower-name, then I don't trouble about the length: it must be a beautiful flower, because, you see, I think she is very beautiful, and is going to be beautifuller still.'
......Frodo thought for a moment. 'Well, Sam, what about elanor, the sun-star, you remember the little golden flower in the grass of Lothlórien?'
......'You're right again, Mr. Frodo!' said Sam delighted. 'That's what I wanted.'"
2. On this day the Fourth Age began in the reckoning of Gondor.
(from the appendices)
......"...how's Mr. Frodo? ' Sam said. 'Isn't it a shame about his poor hand? But I hope he's all right otherwise. He's had a cruel time.'
......'Yes, I am all right otherwise,' said Frodo, sitting up and laughing in his turn. 'I fell asleep again waiting for you, Sam, you sleepyhead. I was awake early this morning, and now it must be nearly noon.'
......'Noon!' said Sam, trying to calculate. 'Noon of what day?'
......'The fourteenth of the New Year,' said Gandalf; 'or if you like, the eight day of April in the Shire reckoning. But in Gondor the New Year will always now begin upon the twenty-fifth of March when Sauron fell, and when you were brought out of the fire to the King."