The Adventures
of
Frodo Gardner

Volume I
Where Many Paths and Errands Meet
By Dolores J. Nurss

Chapter 1 Part 1
A Night at the Gamgee's
(September 21, 1451)

It happened again. Frodo woke in the night to the sound of his father screaming. He joined the other Gamgee children scampering down the hall, dozens of bare hobbit feet pattering in the dark across the earthen floor, their warm, familiar jostling a comfort in the midst of that horrifying noise. In a flood they burst into the Master Bedroom, where Mama Gamgee had just lit every candle on the mantle, the window-seat, the sconces--wherever she found a safe place to put a light. All of the children except Elanor tumbled onto the bed at once, hugging their father Samwise and reassuring him that he was safe and sound in the Shire with his family. Elanor would join them soon, they knew, bringing a pot of fresh-brewed kingsfoil tea--not to drink, just to let Papa Gamgee breathe the fragrant steam. All the Travelers cultivated the weed; it seemed to comfort them when their past gave them nightmares.
 
Frodo knew what would come next. It never varied. Papa would say, "I dreamed I was back in Mordor," and nothing else need be said. What disturbed Frodo the most, though, was that Papa never had such dreams except when trouble faced the Shire and he, as mayor, would have to find some way of fixing it. The dreams came to remind him, Sam once said, that he'd handled tougher times than these and had the courage and the wits to face whatever came his way--not that he ever liked it that way.
 
Frodo did not know as much as he thought he did. This time, when Elanor came in with the sweet, herbal perfume of the kingsfoil tea wafting into the room, Sam turned to his eldest son and said, "Frodo. Come here, Frodo." And Frodo came into his father's flannel embrace, the arms strong around him and holding him tight like he'd had the nightmare, not Papa. "Frodo," Sam said, "I dreamed you were in Mordor."

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