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Challenge: Written for the Livejournal lotr_community drabble challenge "Gratitude". All stories submitted were to be exactly 100, 150, 200, or 300 words.
“I wonder, Frodo my dear fellow, if you would very much mind tidying things up a bit before you go? Collect all my notes and papers, and my diary too, and take them with you, if you will. You see, I haven’t much time for the selection and the arrangement and all that. Get Sam to help, and when you’ve knocked things into shape, come back, and I’ll run over it.” ‘Many Partings’, The Return of the King
As if his thoughts had been a summons, Bilbo looked up to see Sam standing in the doorway.
“Is there aught you need, Mr. Bilbo?” Sam asked.
Bilbo smiled, and motioned him inside.
“Not any longer, Samwise. My burden is gone, thanks to Frodo... and you. You’ve been so kind to my lad. And you’ll stay by him still, won’t you?”
“Mr. Bilbo,” Sam said softly, “I’d never leave him, not ever.”
“Just as I hoped,” Bilbo said contentedly. “Now then, isn’t it time for luncheon?”
“Near about,” Sam agreed. He fetched Bilbo’s sturdy cane, and helped the old hobbit to his feet.
“Thank you,” Bilbo said, patting Sam on the arm. “By the way, do you still remember your letters?”
“I do, sir,” Sam said, surprised at the sudden change in the conversation. “I practice all the time.”
“Excellent,” Bilbo said happily as they headed toward the door. “Life is full of surprises, Samwise; goodness me, a person just never knows when he'll be inspired to do a bit of writing.”
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