‘It is past noon,’ said Gandalf,
‘and we at any rate have not eaten
since early morning.
Yet I wish to see Treebeard
as soon as may be.
Did he leave me no message,
or has plate and bottle driven it
from your mind?’
‘He left a message,’ said Merry, ‘and I was coming to it, but I have been hindered by many other questions. I was to say that, if the Lord of the Mark and Gandalf will ride to the northern wall they will find Treebeard there, and he will welcome them. I may add that they will also find food of the best there, it was discovered and selected by your humble servants.’ He bowed.
Gandalf laughed. ‘That is better!’ he said. ‘Well, Théoden, will you ride with me to find Treebeard? We must go round about, but it is not far. When you see Treebeard, you will learn much. For Treebeard is Fangorn, and the eldest and chief of the Ents, and when you speak with him you will hear the speech of the oldest of all living things.’
‘I will come with you,’ said Théoden. ‘Farewell, my hobbits! May we meet again in my house! There you shall sit beside me and tell me all that your hearts desire: the deeds of your grandsires, as far as you can reckon them; and we will speak also of Tobold the Old and his herb-lore. Farewell!’
The hobbits bowed low. ‘So that is the King of Rohan!’ said Pippin in an undertone. ‘A fine old fellow. Very polite.’