2. A Long Awaited Party (Sam, Merry, Pippin)
Sam glumly inspected the Party Field behind Bag End. Everything was ready: sun shining, warmer than expected; canvas taut, and banners flying; squibs and crackers from Dale; fireworks; birthday cake. One-hundred-forty-four invitations accepted, but more would come. There was food and drink in plenty to serve them all.
"Speeches, " he groaned.
He heard a bottle of wine being poured behind him and a glass was thrust into his hand. "Cheer up, Sam, at least there will be no surprises."
"I wouldn't count on it, Master Merry, and I'd rather a mug o' beer."
"What?" Pippin breezed up, livery gleaming. "Toast the King's 111th birthday in beer? I should think not!"
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