Isn't Merry great in this chapter? He starts out feeling oppressed by all the mountains and "long[ing] to shut out the immensity in a quiet room by a fire" (p. 774). He's sad because his friends "have all gone to some doom" (p. 779), and I get kind of melancholy myself over the course of this chapter. But he doesn't let that sadness get him down -- he refuses to be left behind, and when Theoden says he can't ride to war with the Rohirrim, he says, "It is a long way to run; but run I shall, if I cannot ride, even if I wear my feet off and arrive weeks too late" (p. 784). Sad and lonely, but undaunted. Dear, wonderful Merry.
Now all roads were running together to the East to meet the coming of war and the onset of the Shadow (p. 774).
Dernhelm tells Merry, "Where will wants not, a way opens" (p. 787). (In this case "wants not" means "is not lacking.") Can you think of other instances in this story so far where that's been true?
Housekeeping Note: I probably won't post another chapter until next Monday. Going to be pretty busy this weekend with Easter stuff.