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From Wilderness to Cities White  by Larner

For Tiggersk8, with my best wishes, for her birthday.

A Grim Prediction

            Daisy and May Gamgee, having brought up their father and brother’s nuncheon as asked, leaned over the hedge that surrounded Bag End’s gardens, watching as Sam worked at uprooting weeds amongst the petunias that grew near the border.  “What do you think, Sam, about having young Miss Pearl as your new Mistress?” ventured Daisy.

            Sam looked up at them, blinking.  “And who says as she’ll be Mistress here at Bag End?” he asked.

            Daisy shared a glance with May before returning her attention to their younger brother.  “He squires her about when her family comes to visit in Hobbiton, and spends a good portion of his time visitin’ at their place in Whitwell in between.  And word is as him’s ready to pop the question when them gets here termorror.”

            Sam turned his own gaze down toward the flower bed he’d been tasked with clearing of weeds, but not before his sisters saw his jaw go rigid.  “Ain’t gonna happen,” he said stiffly.

            “But him and Mr. Bilbo went all the way to Michel Delving to buy the promise gifts!” May insisted.  “A pendant on a silver chain and ear drops to match, all set with big pearls, like her name!  I tell yer, Sam—he’s gonna ask her this visit!”

            Sam gave a particularly vicious jab at a stalk of grass with his weeding tool.  “And I’m a-sayin’ as it won’t happen, not when push comes t’shove,” he predicted, giving a decisive shake of his head.  “I hear her when she’s a-walkin’ out here with her sisters whilst he must attend on her parents.  Miss Pearl Took don’t want t’be Mistress where she must do the greater share o’ the work on keepin’ the house spotless.  Talks of nothin’ but of how nice it’ll be once their dad is Thain and they’ll live in the Great Smial all year long, and others do most o’the cookin’ and cleanin’ and such.  I’m not sayin’ as she’s a bad housekeeper, for I know as she’s a good’un from what her mum and dad say o’her work there on the farm in Whitwell.  But Miss Pearl Took is all for keepin’ t’her needle work once she’s a lady grown, and leavin’ the keepin’ o’the house t’others as is paid t’do it.”

            It was something to ponder on, the two Gamgee lasses agreed as they returned down the Hill to the Row once more.

            And when word went out that Pearl Took, oldest daughter to Paladin Took, the one what was most likely to be Thain next after old Mr. Ferumbras was gone, had thrown over Frodo Baggins when he asked her to be his bride and offered her his promise gifts, Sam’s expression was sad for him even as he kept himself from saying, “I told you so!”

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