Pushed or Pulled? by Kathryn Ramage

After Frodo restored the jewelry to the box and locked it, he took the unfinished letter and sought out Esmeralda.

"Did you find what you were looking for, Frodo?" she asked once he'd located her in her private sitting room next to her bedchamber.

"Yes, I found the pearls--and more besides. I found a letter my mother was writing you." He handed it to her. The light was better in here; several candles had been lit, since his aunt was doing some needlework while she waited for him. As she read the letter, Esmeralda's eyes went wide.

"You've never seen this before?" he asked her. "You didn't find it while going through her things after she died, or receive a finished version of it?" But he could see by his aunt's stunned and perplexed look that she hadn't even before she quickly shook her head. "You see she wrote it on the day of the accident. Do you know what she might've meant, Aunt Esme? What could she have to say that would shock you?"

"I've no idea, Frodo. Whatever she intended to tell me, I didn't guess. I hadn't an inkling of it." Esmeralda turned the paper over in her hand as if she hoped to find more written on the other side, but the back of the unfinished letter was blank. "The only shock she had to give me was what happened that very night, and I hadn't anticipated that!"

"Is there anything else of theirs that you've kept, Aunt Esme? Other letters? My mother kept a journal--where are they now? Do you know what became of my father's things?"

"The Brandybucks never throw anything out," she replied. "That's why there are so many rooms! It's all here at the Hall, Frodo. Everything that ever belonged to one of the family has gone into a cupboard somewhere. Whatever your mother and father left behind, you've only to find it. I can't imagine what Primula meant, but I'd like to find out too. It's very peculiar."

Frodo wanted to begin searching right away, but it was growing late. It was past the children's bedtime, and he knew that Sam would be wondering where he'd gone. Instead, he asked if might come back tomorrow to look, and his aunt readily granted this request. His mother's letter appeared to be as disturbing to her as it was to him. She gave the letter back to Frodo, who tucked it into his inner waistcoat pocket.
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