The Siege of Gondor

PippinwasrousedbyGandalf.Candleswerelitintheirchamber,foronlyadimtwilightcamethroughthewindows;theairwasheavyaswithapproachingthunder.

‘Whatisthetime?’saidPippinyawning.

‘Pastthesecondhour,’saidGandalf.‘Timetogetupandmakeyourselfpresentable.YouaresummonedtotheLordoftheCitytolearnyournewduties.

‘Andwillheprovidebreakfast?’

‘No!Ihaveprovidedit:allthatyouwillgettillnoon.Foodisnowdoledoutbyorder.

Pippinlookedruefullyatthesmallloafand(hethought)veryinadequatepatofbutterwhichwassetoutforhim,besideacupofthinmilk.‘Whydidyoubringmehere?’hesaid.

‘Youknowquitewell,’saidGandalf.‘Tokeepyououtofmischief;andifyoudonotlikebeinghere,youcanrememberthatyoubroughtitonyourself.Pippinsaidnomore.

BeforelonghewaswalkingwithGandalfoncemoredownthecoldcorridortothedooroftheTowerHall.ThereDenethorsatinagreygloom,likeanoldpatientspider,Pippinthought:hedidnotseemtohavemovedsincethedaybefore.HebeckonedGandalftoaseat,butPippinwasleftforawhilestandingunheeded.Presentlytheoldmanturnedtohim:

‘Well,MasterPeregrin,Ihopethatyouusedyesterdaytoyourprofit,andtoyourliking?ThoughIfearthattheboardisbarerinthiscitythanyoucouldwish.

PippinhadanuncomfortablefeelingthatmostofwhathehadsaidordonewassomehowknowntotheLordoftheCity,andmuchwasguessedofwhathethoughtaswell.Hedidnotanswer.

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