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Recaptured!: 18. Pippin Gets High
Pippin slept for a long time and eventually Gandalf had to
resort to waking him with quite a firm shake. The wizard was anxious to see if
there was any improvement in the hobbit's condition and Pippin did seem a
little brighter at first, although he could still not hear or speak. However,
after a while Pippin became more agitated and Aragorn thought he might be in
The ranger decided to examine the hobbit's broken wrist and
undid the bindings that held the limb immobile against Pippin's body. Aragorn
held his own hand level and wriggled his fingers to show Pippin what he wanted
him to do. Pippin however just grabbed Aragorn's index finger with his good hand
and stuck it in his mouth, sucking at the digit and looking pleadingly at the
"No, Pippin, no more," Aragorn said shaking his
head in despair. "You are getting far too dependent on that
medicine." Pippin of course could not understand this but could tell he
was not going to get what he wanted and shook Aragorn's finger up and down
anxiously, leaving the ranger in no doubt of his distress.
Aragorn ignored this as best he could and lifted Pippin's
broken wrist up and moved the fingers a little with his other hand. Pippin
feigned a lot of pain and the ranger was not too sure if it was real or not.
"Legolas," he called to the elf, "come and tell me if Pippin is
really hurting or playing with me."
Legolas smiled at Pippin and lifted his face in his hands. 'Hello
Pippin,' he said softly. 'How are you today?'
'legolas - bad, need paste, hurts i, say strider please
legolas, tell he i got have!'
'It's not good to have any more, Pippin,"
Legolas explained. "I don't think Strider can give you any more. Don't
cry. Pippin, you have to stop having it. Wait for a while and the need will go
away. Don't cry.'
As soon as Legolas had told Pippin he could not have any
more paste the hobbit had begun to weep and the elf tried to soothe away the
tears. He reported back to Aragorn. "He's not really in any pain, not from
the injury. The pain is real, but it is from a need for the medicine."
"I thought so." Aragorn grimaced a little. "I
should not have given him so much, but I must certainly not give him more
now." He patted Pippin on the shoulder to make him turn to him and gently
wiped his tear stained face. Then he held up the broken wrist again and made
the hobbit flex it a little to show that it was getting better.
Instead of binding it tightly again, Aragorn made a sling
for Pippin's arm, which gave him a lot more chance to use his broken limb and
would stop it from loosing too much flexibility.
Gandalf then took Pippin by the hand and led him to the
Orthanc tower. As he walked he talked as gently as he could to the worried
hobbit. 'DON'T BE FRIGHTENED, PEREGRIN, WE ARE GOING TO TALK TO SARUMAN.'
At this Pippin pulled his hand away and ran back towards
Aragorn who was following just behind. The ranger caught hold of him and
stopped his escape, pushing him back towards Gandalf.
"IT'S ALL RIGHT, PIPPIN." Gandalf reassured
him. 'I'LL BE WITH YOU ALL THE TIME AND ARAGORN AND THE OTHERS WILL BE RIGHT
THERE. HE CANNOT POSSIBLY HURT YOU. YOU DO TRUST ME – DON'T YOU?'
'trust do, not – but gandalf, you know… what did… not
'I KNOW, PIPPIN, BUT YOU HAVE TO BE BRAVE.'
'will… i can… brave for merry…!'
'THAT'S A GOOD LAD!'
Gandalf unlocked the Orthanc doors and marched into the main
throne room with Pippin following just behind him, holding nervously onto the
white cloak. Saruman was seated on the throne, although he did not cut such an
imposing figure as before. He looked shrunken, and, while still evil, he did
not seem as menacing.
"What do you want with me?" the fallen wizard
snarled at Gandalf. "I have nothing to say to you, Greyhame."
Gandalf set Pippin in the centre of the floor and lifted his
finger up indicating that he should stand there alone. He then walked to the
edge of the throne room and pointed to the hobbit. "You have a debt to
settle with this one." Gandalf pointed his staff at Pippin. "I can
direct your charm with my staff, but you must release him from the bond which
"And why should I do that?" Saruman curled his lip
at the hobbit. "He disobeyed me, he offended me, my home was ruined
because of his interference and my staff broken. I am happy to see him
"To see so great a power as yours brought to naught by
one small halfling is truly a wonder, Saruman." Gandalf laughed mockingly
as he spoke. "I am amazed that you attribute so many ills to such an
Pippin looked from one to the other, unable to follow the
exchange but filled with awe to be in the centre of an apparent argument
between such powerful beings.
"You are mistaken again, Grey Fool. It is not this one alone
that causes my wrath." Saruman smiled with malice. "You chose to send
the other swiftly from Orthanc, as it had been looked upon by the winged
messenger. That was a good choice many might think but they would be mistaken.
It was not well executed, I have looked and I have guided. Much ill has now
befallen that choice."
"The Palantír!" Gandalf gasped under his breath.
But Saruman heard. "It is still in my power, I see and
I guide." He smirked once more. "But I see you still have one of
these insignificant imps, you did not tell me what would be my incentive to
"For pity's sake alone. Is that not enough?"
Gandalf suddenly felt very anxious for Merry, but his immediate problem was
Pippin. "Restore his speech and hearing, spare him further suffering and
you shall pass from here in peace, if you agree to do no more harm."
"The harm to your pet halflings is done already, Grey
Fool! Harangue me no more with your idiocy. The fate of the two interfering
worms is out of my hands now - and yours. Their fate lies with Sauron and the
Nazgûl. I do not see clearly what it is, but I know this. Their fortunes are
bound there as sure as the Over-heaven and the Sundering Seas are part of
Middle Earth and nothing you or I can do will change that."
"Either your perfidiousness knows no bounds or your
mendacity!" roared Gandalf, "I believe it to be the latter. I will
take the spell from you if I must." The White Wizard pointed his staff at
Saruman and with his other hand pointed a long finger at Pippin. Light and sparks
spat between the two and a bewildered Pippin was caught up in a whirlwind of
force that lifted him from the ground and spun him around like a leaf in a
storm. His mouth opened in a soundless gasp of surprise and his eyes grew wide
as he whirled around off the ground.
The two wizards locked their minds together for one last
great battle and Pippin was thrown backwards and forwards on the tempest of
their wills for several minutes, his face filled with consternation but
resigned nevertheless to this violent tug-of-war. It seemed a perilous position
to be in but Pippin trusted Gandalf not to drop him and if he did, he knew one
of the others would catch him.
Gandalf suddenly realised that the force holding Pippin
aloft was emanating only from his own will. Saruman was making small waves in
the effect but Gandalf was fighting a foe with no real power left, only the
power to create illusion. Saruman's claim to have passed the enchantment
afflicting the hobbits to the Wraith king must indeed be true after all.
Gandalf checked himself, seeing that the battle was
pointless. He lowered the staff and Pippin slowly spun down to the ground and
stood shaking his head dizzily, almost losing balance and toppling over.
Legolas ran forward to deftly catch Pippin before he tumbled down.
"We will leave Saruman here." The wizard said to
Aragorn. "But not with the Palantír. I should have removed it earlier and
now I fear a terrible fate has occurred to Merry because of my oversight."
"Is he alive?" Aragorn glanced anxiously at Pippin
knowing how profound the little one's grief would be should his cousin have
perished. His heart weighed heavily for both the hobbits, "Can you tell
what fate has befallen Merry?"
"I cannot see clearly," Gandalf furrowed his brow,
"I dare not use the palantír but we must keep it safe."
"Then we should take it?" Aragorn asked.
"You should take it." Gandalf said. "You are
the heir to the Kings of Gondor and this assuredly is the palantír of Orthanc
from the treasury of Elendil. It is a dangerous charge but one to which I am
sure you are equal.
"Very well." Aragorn lifted the glass stone, still
covered in its protective cloth. "But I will not use it – yet."
As they left the Orthanc throne room, locking the door once
more on Saruman and entrusting the key to Treebeard, Gandalf turned to Legolas.
"How is Pippin? I am sorry to have waged this battle with Saruman with him
in the middle."
"He'll be all right." Legolas saw that Pippin was
shaken but not too hurt and his arm seemed undamaged. He plonked the hobbit
down amongst their baggage and went to look for the horse that he and Gimli
"We must leave directly." Gandalf explained to
King Théoden who was waiting to see the outcome of the wizards' confrontation.
"The war will be moving towards Gondor soon and, there is a smaller matter
but of great import to my companions and me, I fear greatly for young Meriadoc.
I am sure he did not reach Edoras, but I do not know what ill befell him."
"Surely not, Drâmym and Ŭnomer are good men, they
would have seen him to safety." Théoden protested.
"I don't doubt it, but I suspect it was something
beyond their control." Gandalf was busying himself to be on the road
quickly. "We must leave as soon as we can."
"Very well," Théoden instructed Éomer to ready
their men to leave. "Although I shall be sorely grieved if my protection
failed Meriadoc after I gave him my word."
"Sometimes words can fail in spite of best intentions,
My Lord." Gandalf sighed. "I just told Peregrin he would be safe from
Saruman and then got him caught up in a fight of my making."
Aragorn returned at that moment with his horse, Hasufel. He
heard the end of the conversation then, looking beyond Gandalf and Théoden to
their makeshift camp, lifted his hands in dismay. "Pippin! No!"
Théoden shook his head in concern at the halfling,
"Maybe Gandalf, but perhaps you need to keep Pippin on a leash to save him
The ranger rushed forward to where Pippin was sitting in the
midst of Aragorn's plundered belongings, happily eating the poppy paste with his
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