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Recaptured!: 42. The Plan
"You should be ready to leave in the morning,
Meriadoc." Gandalf put his hand on the hobbit’s shoulder, startling him
"Where am I to go?" Merry asked in surprise, he
had thought that he would be staying in Dunharrow.
"I have to go to Minas Tirith," Gandalf explained,
"and I think I would rather keep you close by. The Wraith will not give up
its search for you so easily and you
will be safer with me to protect you. It will not stand against me."
sounded less than enthusiastic. "I just thought I was to stay here… with
"They will also
be leaving at first light, Merry." Gandalf had known Meriadoc long enough
to sense that the hobbit was not telling him everything, but did not feel he
should pressure him. "Legolas and Gimli plan to ride with Aragorn, so
there will be none of the Fellowship left here. You cannot ride with Théoden
and his men, so I think you will be better off coming with me."
"But if Legolas
goes I might not be able to talk to Pip any more." Merry said in dismay.
He did not tell the wizard that it would also upset any plans he was hatching
for finding a way to reach Pippin.
"I think you
will," Gandalf patted his shoulder. "Legolas seems to think you don’t
need to be in close contact with him any longer as you have established a
strong telepathic bond now and that through him you will still be able to talk
"But what if
something were to happen to Legolas?" Merry asked anxiously, "If he
were lost, then Pip would be lost too. That is I may never find him
Merry," Gandalf took the hobbit’s hand to lead him to the tent. "But
that is a fate we all face at the moment. You being with Legolas will not make any
"It’s just that,
I know Pippin is going to need us really soon." Merry wished he could
articulate what he felt. "and it seems as if we can help him more when I
am beside Legolas."
Merry sat bolt upright, hands gripping onto nothingness, his heart thumping so
hard he could hear it. "Pippin!"
Merry tumbled out of
his blanket, pulling on his breeches and shirt, he groped for the tent flap. He
made it outside but then fell over a guy rope, thumping down hard on the
ground, grazing both his knees. Before he could jump up again a hand steadied
him and then two hands went under his arms and effortlessly lifted him back to
little hobbit." It was Gimli. "Are you all right?"
where’s Legolas?" Merry caught hold of the dwarf’s arm to steady himself.
"It’s Pippin, I think he needs us!"
the dwarf began steering Merry towards where the elf sat on a patch of moonlit
grass. "He asked me to see if you were all right."
worry little one, you don’t need to be by me now. We can still hear each other,
and Pippin as well, when we want to.’
‘sorry i legolas –
you go waked up?’
‘what wrong pip?
you go sad?’
‘no – i go be
‘Why are you happy
you been eating poppy paste again! Where did you get it, you bad hobbit?’
‘pip! strider be
gotted be here.’
‘then merry be
‘not find i it –
orc give – put in mouf – mou-tttthh.’
‘legolas – he go
‘Well, high, any
way. Pippin was that what you woke us up to tell us? Or was it something else?’
‘elshh – elfff –
no you go be elf – ha ha! – elssh – think – forgottened’
'try 'member pip –
is imprortran – is big thing?'
'What about the
'take i go up –
not same – not think good now be.'
slowly and do one word at a time, we can't understand you.'
'he sayed – go up
steps – got differnent orc – some bad thing gone to go happ- happnen-ed – no –
'what merr sayed –
go 'fraid bit – but poppy good'
Merry said out loud. Gimli guided the hobbit over to where Legolas was sitting
on the grass. "Do you think he's in trouble?"
"I don't think
he knows himself for sure." Legolas steered Merry down onto the grass
beside him. "Perhaps we had better wait with him and find out."
'Are you all right
we wait – you go
say things pip'
'go in dark – bad
– 'fraid it too big othrer orc'
'aaai! iimmm! mer…
h-hel-p… nooo it he… comed back m-m-mmeerrry… too 'fraid'
'what is pip?'
Pippin. Tell us slowly, little one, take a breath.'
nooo! taked i – holded i – meerrr… please… too 'fraid…'
'QUIET – BE
SILENT! YOUR THOUGHTS ARE DISPLACED AND MEANINGLESS – WHY IS THERE NO CHANGE?'
speak in Pip's head." Legolas urgently warned him out loud. "Wait
until we find out what's happening. We shouldn't have heard the wraith, but it
seems the link is growing stronger than ever."
"What should we
d-do?" Merry asked breathlessly, "We can't leave Pip alone."
"No we can't.
Gimli, could you wake Gandalf and bring him here." Legolas asked the
dwarf, "I think we may need his help before too long."
Pippin trembled in
fright and horror as the big orc threw him to the ground in front of the black
robed wraith. He thought he might be sick again, simply with fear, but the
poppy juice was the only thing in his belly. The effects of the poppy were now
turning sour, as adrenaline mingled with the opiate to send the little hobbit's
head swirling and his stomach churning.
The wraith reached
forward with its gauntlet-clad fists and plucked the terrified hobbit up,
clutching him to his ice-cold, vapour-white breast. Pippin began to
hyperventilate, his eyes grown wide with fear; he could not even struggle since
his hands were tightly bound behind his back.
Merry and Legolas sat
holding hands, listening in tense silence. They could hear Pip's rapid
breathing and an occasional whimper that echoed through his mind and filtered
anxious and concerned. He had only had the briefest explanation from Gimli, who
did not really understand himself what was happening. He put a hand each on
Merry's and Legolas's shoulders.
The elf opened his
eyes, which had been tightly closed in concentration, "Gandalf… I think it
is the wraith, the Witch-King, Lord of the Nazgûl, himself I believe. He is
holding Pip and I suspect he may be taking him to Sauron."
saying anything?" The wizard asked. "Does he sound coherent?"
opposite." Merry put in. "He's b-been at the poppy p-paste again – or
rather some orc gave it to him. B-but Gandalf –he's v-very frightened."
"He does sounds
very afraid." Legolas could not hide the anxiety in his voice either.
"What shall we do if they start to question him – about the Quest or the
"But is he
saying anything now?" Gandalf asked again.
"No, he stopped
when the wraith sh-shouted at h-him." Merry bit his tongue in annoyance at
the return of the stutter. "We k-kept quiet then t-too."
"I want to
attempt something," Gandalf knelt down on the grass next to the two.
"I need the help of both of you and it is not something I do lightly – but
much is at stake."
"Will it put
P-Pip in more d-danger?" Merry knew he would have to agree no matter what.
"It may help
Pip." Gandalf drew Merry to him in a light embrace to let him know he
understood. "It certainly won't make things any worse for him. Are you
c-course." Merry said at once.
well," Gandalf drew a deep breath. "Here's what we shall do."
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