Merry is lying awake in the Rohirrim camp, worrying about Pippin. Then:
A tall figure loomed up and stumbled over him, cursing the tree-roots. He recognized the voice of Elfhelm the marshal.
"I am not a tree-root, Sir," he said, "nor a bag, but a bruised hobbit. The least you can do in amends is to tell me what is afoot."
"Anything that can keep so in this devil's mirk," said Elfhelm. "But my lord sends word that we must set ourselves in readiness: orders may come for a sudden move. [more conversation, then, as he leaves:] "Pack yourself up, Master Bag!"
After Middle-Earth is saved and our heroes, now some of the most famous and respected people in the world, get back to the Shire, a gang of shirriffs (the closest thing the Shire has to police) tries to arrest them:
'You're arrested for Gate-breaking, and Tearing up of Rules, and Assaulting Gate-Keepers, and Trespassing, and Sleeping in Shire-buildings without Leave, and Bribing Guards with Food.'
'And what else?' said Frodo.
'That'll do to go on with.' said the Shirriff-leader.
'I can add some more, if you'd like it,' said Sam, 'Calling your Chief Names, Wishing to punch his Pimply Face, and Thinking you Shirriffs look a lot of Tom-fools.'
'There now, Mister, that’ll do. It’s the Chief’s orders that you’re to come along quiet. We’re going to take you to Bywater and hand you over to the Chief’s Men; and when he deals with your case you can have your say. But if you don’t want to stay in the Lockholes any longer than you need, I should cut the say short, if I was you.'
To the discomfiture of the Shirriffs Frodo and his companions all roared with laughter. 'Don’t be absurd!' said Frodo. 'I am going where I please, and in my own time. I happen to be going to Bag End on business, but if you insist on going too, well that is your affair.'
'Very well, Mr. Baggins,' said the leader, pushing the barrier aside. 'But don’t forget I’ve arrested you.'
'I won’t,' said Frodo. 'Never. But I may forgive you. Now I am not going any further today, so if you’ll kindly escort me to The Floating Log, I’ll be obliged.'
- Later the Shirriffs are unable to go on but Frodo and his three friends keep walking in spite of being "under arrest".
'You’re breaking arrest, that’s what you’re doing,' said the leader ruefully, 'and I can’t be answerable.'
'We shall break a good many things yet, and not ask you to answer' said Pippin. 'Good luck to you!'
- The whole Scouring of the Shire is brilliant! The bit where Rosie calls out Sam for following Mr. Frodo all around the world then "leaving just as things get dangerous." Sam just leaves rather than try to explain.