’You did indeed!’ said Gandalf, laughing suddenly; and he came and stood beside Pippin, putting his arm about the hobbit’s shoulders and gazing out of the window.
Then men fell back before the command of his voice and questioned him no further, though they gazed in wonder at the hobbit that sat before him and at the horse that bore him.
’Gladly will I take it,’ said the king; and laying his long old hands upon the brown hair of the hobbit; he blessed him.
Room was made for the hobbit at the king’s left hand, but no one called for any tale.
But when they had come almost to the end of the line one looked up glancing keenly at the hobbit.
Unnoticed a Rider came up and spoke softly in the hobbit’s ear.
And ever as they talked Beregond was more amazed, and looked with greater wonder at the hobbit, swinging his short legs as he sat on the seat, or standing tiptoe upon it to peer over the sill at the lands below.
Sometimes where the way was broader he had ridden at the king’s side, not noticing that many of the Riders smiled to see the two together: the hobbit on his little shaggy grey pony, and the Lord of Rohan on his great white horse.
Thus it came to pass that when the king set out, before Dernhelm sat Meriadoc the hobbit, and the great grey steed Windfola made little of the burden; for Dernhelm was less in weight than many men, though lithe and well-knit in frame.
And still Meriadoc the hobbit stood there blinking through his tears and no one spoke to him, indeed none seemed to heed him.
Aragorn laughed, and took the hobbit by the hand.
Then the four companions went into the hobbit guard-house and made themselves as comfortable as they could.
Now there were thousands of willing hands of all ages, from the small but nimble ones of the hobbit lads and lasses to the well-worn and horny ones of the gaffers and gammers.
And there stood Meriadoc the hobbit in the midst of the slain, blinking like an owl in the daylight, for tears blinded him; and through a mist he looked on Eowyn’s fair head, as she lay and did not move; and he looked on the face of the king, fallen in the midst of his glory, For Snowmane in his agony had rolled away from him again; yet he was the bane of his master.
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…shamans, all historians, writers, politicians and diplomats, liberationists of whatever sex and persuasion, lawyers, judges, penologists, stand-up comedians, film directors, journalists, in short, anyone concerned remotely with affecting the consciousness of his fellow-man—and this would include our own beloved children, those incipient American leaders at the eighth-grade level, who should be required to study it along with The Catcher in the Rye, The Hobbit and the Constitution.