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Dreamflower's Mathoms I  by Dreamflower


“Pippin?” Beregond called to him as he came away from Merry’s room.

“Hullo, Beregond.”

“How does your cousin fare?” the Gondorian asked with concern.

“He’s doing well. He’s sleeping right now.”

“I am glad to hear it; I know how worried you were for him. I wished to ask you, some of us in the Third Company were going to spend the evening visiting the taverns--our last night of freedom in the City, before we march away to the Black Gate--and I wondered if you would care to join us?”

For a brief moment, the hobbit’s face lit up, but then he shook his head. “I am afraid I can’t.” He turned and glanced quickly at Merry’s door.

“Do you still fear that your cousin may be in danger?”

Pippin shook his head. “No, I trust Strider--Lord Aragorn, I mean. He brought Merry away from the Shadow, and his arm is beginning to feel better. It’s not that.”

“Well, what is it then? For I do know from what you have said, that you do enjoy the taste of ale.”

He looked up at the Man, his face serious. “I do enjoy ale and beer. But to be honest with you Beregond, as frightened as I am for what we are going to do tomorrow, I don’t dare have one, for fear that I might not stop. I have a promise to keep, you see.”

“A promise?”

Pippin gave a bitter laugh. “Yes. When I was a good deal younger, just barely a tween--that is to say, I was only twenty--I gave in to a dare, and became so drunk that I nearly died of it. Merry was very angry with me over that, and we made a promise to one another. We would never get drunk except together. He’s eight years older than me, you know, yet for years he kept his end of the promise until I was old enough to get drunk with him. We’ve had many a jolly night since, and wakened the worse for it the next day, but since we look out for one another, it’s never been dangerous again. If Merry’s not with me, I never take more than one drink.”

Beregond’s eyebrows rose. “That is quite a promise to make, and even more difficult to keep. You are a man--or I should say--a hobbit of honor, Peregrin Took. And I think that your cousin must be as well. I am glad that he will be all right.”

“Thank you, Beregond. I am glad of that, too.” Once more he looked in the direction of Merry’s door.

Beregond took his leave and Pippin stood there thinking.

“Oh, Merry,” he sighed to himself, “if anything had happened to you, I could not have even drowned my sorrow.”

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