Epilogue Go West

Othmiel stayed with Samwise for a fortnight, before she approached the old Hobbit.

He was sat in his favourite chair in the garden, smoking his long pipe and enjoying the last of the warming September sun.

"The leaves are turning, Master Gamgee," she observed "and I can hear the call of the sea. It is time I returned."

She hesitated as elderly Hobbit eyes regarded her. "They are that," Sam agreed in the end. "Appen I won't see many more."

"Still," he said as he struggled to his feet. "This old Hobbit has a few miles left in his old legs. They'll take him as far as the Far Towers. Been thinking of seeing my Elanor. Got things to pass on."

There were no tears at the parting, just a Hobbit and a she Elf standing uncomfortably beside the road, backs turned to the chill westerly breeze.

"I am in your debt," Othmiel said at last, "and it is the tradition of our people to offer gifts to Elf Friends, yet I have little to offer that is of value, unless..."

"Perhaps it is your time to pass into the West, Master Gamgee, Bearer of the light. There are many as would like to see you again, and there is a place on my boat?"

Samwise thought about this, with some muttering, "Got tatties in the patch above Bagend, they need to be turned. And the sprouts need to go in. Still I imagine Tom should be able to sort them without me reminding him. An' it would be fine to see Mr Frodo, perhaps I could do for him, just for a while. But I'll need to come back an' make sure them youngsters are looking after the garden. Then there is Mr Gandalf and Mr Bilbo!"

Finally he looked up and smiled slowly. "Perhaps I can manage a step or two more," he admitted, "Enough to see our Lady Othmiel to her boat?"

Thus Master Samwise Gamgee, last of the bearers of the One Ring, Master of the Light, sailed west of the Havens, leaving Middle Earth.

The End