Sackville-Bagginses show up to inspect Bilbo's will
Event Type: General
Age: 3rd Age - The Stewards
Date: September 23, 3001
An event in the aftermath of Bilbo's Farewell Party; see that entry for an overview:
Frodo had a very trying time that afternoon....
In the middle of the commotion the Sackville-Bagginses arrived. Frodo had retired for a while and left his friend Merry Brandybuck to keep an eye on things. When Otho loudly demanded to see Frodo, Merry bowed politely....
'He is resting.'
'Hiding, you mean,' said Lobelia. 'Anyway... we mean to see him. Just go and tell him so!'
Merry left them a long while in the hall, and they had time to discover their parting gift of spoons. It did not improve their tempers. Eventually they were shown into the study. Frodo was sitting at a table.... He looked indisposed — to see Sackville-Bagginses at any rate; and he stood up, fidgeting with something in his pocket. But he spoke quite politely.
The Sackville-Bagginses were rather offensive. They began by offering him bad bargain-prices... for various... unlabelled things. When Frodo replied that only the things specially directed by Bilbo were being given away, they said the whole affair was very fishy.
'Only one thing is clear to me,' said Otho, 'and that is that you are doing exceedingly well out of it. I insist on seeing the will.'
Otho would have been Bilbo's heir, but for the adoption of Frodo. He read the will carefully and snorted. It was, unfortunately, very clear and correct....
'Foiled again!' he said to his wife. 'And after waiting sixty years. Spoons? Fiddlesticks!' He snapped his fingers under Frodo's nose and slumped off. But Lobelia was not so easily got rid of. A little later Frodo... found her still about the place, investigating nooks and corners and tapping the floors. He escorted her firmly off the premises, after he had relieved her of several small (but rather valuable) articles that had somehow fallen inside her umbrella. Her face looked as if she was in the throes of thinking out a really crushing parting remark; but all she found to say... was:
'You'll live to regret it, young fellow! Why didn't you go too? You don't belong here; you're no Baggins — you — you're a Brandybuck!'
'Did you hear that, Merry? That was an insult, if you like,' said Frodo as he shut the door on her.
'It was a compliment,' said Merry Brandybuck, 'and so, of course, not true.'
Then they went round the hole, and evicted three young hobbits... who were knocking holes in the walls of one of the cellars. Frodo also had a tussle with young Sancho Proudfoot..., who had begun an excavation in the larger pantry.... The legend of Bilbo's gold excited both curiosity and hope; for legendary gold... is, as every one knows, any one's for the finding — unless the search is interrupted.
When he had overcome Sancho and pushed him out, Frodo collapsed on a chair in the hall. 'It's time to close the shop, Merry,' he said. 'Lock the door, and don't open it to anyone today, not even if they bring a battering ram.' Then he went to revive himself with a belated cup of tea.
The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 1, A Long-expected Party
Elena Tiriel 1Nov07