Where Many Paths and Errands Meet
By Dolores J. Nurss
Chapter 1 Part 1
A Night at
(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."