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Scribblings  by Baylor

Sam had never been in a bath so luxurious as the one at Rivendell. He was reluctant to sink back into it, to submerge himself to his chin, to relax completely in that cocoon of warmth.

It weren’t proper, Samwise Gamgee in a bath fit for a king. Certainly not with his master so ill. Why, a place to wash up was all he had asked for, not all these fancy soaps and those thick, soft towels.

Still, there was something mighty wonderful about elves, and that extended to their baths, Sam decided as he finally sank into the water.


“How deep is it?” Pippin asked.

“You need not fear,” the Lothlórien bath attendant assured, “though it is deep past the edges, more than twice the height of an elf. But it --”

He did not have the chance to finish as Pippin tore past them all in a running start and happily plunged feet-first into the hot spring. His curly head surfaced a moment later.

“Come on,” he urged. “It’s splendid!”

Frodo and Merry opened their mouths to scold, but before they could, a lean body streaked by them and Legolas followed the shrieking, delighted tweenager into the pool.


In Quickbeam’s house, Merry dangled his feet in the spring, and let the bubbling water wash away the dirt and grime, the filth and vileness. He peeled off his clothes and scrubbed them against a rock and laid them out to dry, and then scrubbed his hair and body as best he could.

“Here, little hobbit,” Quickbeam said, and then poured water from a pitcher over him. Merry had braced for the cold shock, but the ent had done something to the water, and it was warm and cleansing, and it purged him of the last traces of orc captivity.


Frodo sank into the steaming water and let himself drift. Here in Minas Tirith, he was pampered as never before in his life, not even in the luxury of Rivendell, and he bathed nearly every day. In Mordor, he could not recall water, even as his body screamed its need for moisture. Water was a thing forgotten, along with the rest of the world.

But now, he was surrounded by water, immersed in water, comforted by water. And some days, when the wind came from the south, Frodo imagined he smelt the salt tang of the greatest water of all.

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