'He's a gardener, Frodo, a labourer: one of the lower class. How can you possibly think of installing him at Bag End as your equal?' exclaimed Merry in horror.
Frodo bristled, his eyes narrowing to slits of blue flame. 'Sam is my equal in every way. How can you possibly think otherwise?'
Merry laughed. 'A Gamgee the equal of a Baggins of Bag End? Do please be serious, my dear Frodo.'
'I am serious. Deadly serious.' Frodo drew himself up. 'I consider this conversation at an end, cousin. Perhaps it would be best if you took your leave.'
It was useless to expostulate. Frodo's sheer bloody-minded determination to bring ruin down upon himself and the Baggins name was clearly impossible to stop.
'On your head be it, Frodo. But don't say I didn't warn you.'
Frodo stalked to the front door and pointedly opened it. 'Good day, Meriadoc.'
Shaking his head, Merry passed through. It shut behind him with an emphatic snap.
A short ways down the lane, out of sight of the smial, he came upon Sam Gamgee.
'Mr. Merry?' Sam asked anxiously.
Merry smiled. 'Pig-headedly determined, Sam. Gave me a rare dressing-down for daring to imply that you weren't good enough for him.' He clapped Sam on the shoulder. 'Best start packing up your things.'
Whistling cheerfully, Merry went on his way, while Sam hurried off to Number Three to do as bidden.