Why does Merry have a key?
#1
To the gate to the tunnel leading under the Hedge from Buckland into the Old Forest?  

Actually, a key isn't mentioned explicitly, just a lock that clicked closed when the hobbits shut the gate behind them.  But if there isn't a key, one could just reach thru the gate and open it from the outer side.
"Never ask an Elf for advice, for he will say both 'Yes' and 'No'." - Frodo Baggins to Gildor Inglorion
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#2
(November 16th, 2019, 04:48 PM)Mordomin Wrote: To the gate to the tunnel leading under the Hedge from Buckland into the Old Forest?  

Actually, a key isn't mentioned explicitly, just a lock that clicked closed when the hobbits shut the gate behind them.  But if there isn't a key, one could just reach thru the gate and open it from the outer side.

Merry is the Master's son. Just by virtue of that relationship, he might have been issued a key, or he might have surreptitiously copied his dad's.

Or, as you say, maybe there isn't a key, only a latch that can be opened by anyone or anything with the requisite dexterity. "A Conspiracy Unmasked" notes that Bucklanders keep their doors locked after dark, which is unusual in the Shire.

"Why doesn't the gate through the High Hay have a lock? What if one of those creepy trees or forest-boogers or a goblin or a wight comes through it?"

"Wights, trees, and forest-boogers don't know how to work the latch."

"How do you know they can't work the latch? What keeps them from working the latch? And what about goblins?"

"They just can't. Everyone knows that. And goblins don't go in the Forest. The trees kill them. Go to sleep!"

"I can't, now."
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For I was talking aloud to myself...the old...choose the wisest person present to speak to...
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