I'm a quarter into The Two Towers. Just before Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli enter the Ent woods, they camp outside in the night as they suddenly see a sketchy, strange old man standing there, not saying a word. I've already forgotten the exact details, but he quickly disappears and they realize that their fast Rohan horsies have been released/scared away, so that they now have to walk/run again.
Gimli assumes that it's Saruman, which later actually turns out to be true.
Later, as they have found the old Ent's "lookout rock" with the stone-carved steps, an old man appears in daylight. This time, it actually turns out to be Gandalf. After the initial shock, Gimli oddly asks Gandalf if the man they saw the night before at the camp was him.
Why would he ask this?! Isn't that an absurd thing to ask? Why would Gandalf, the good-hearted wizard who is an extremely central person in the whole story and their beloved and (assumed) dead friend, come back only to sneak around their camp in the middle of the night and look at them without saying a word, and scare away their horses? It really annoys me that Gimli asked that. Everything in these books seem so well thought-through, but this is just absurd.
Naturally, if it was Gandalf, he would make himself known in some friendly way and immediately address them by name and definitely not do anything to their horses. Gandalf's answer to Gimli confused me as well, but he seems like he almost took it as a joke question. However, it's my impression that Gimli seriously asked this.
What would make the dwarf ask such a question?
Also, I found it odd that they wait so very long until they bring up the fact that Gandalf somehow survived after they had seen him fall to his death and was assumed dead by all in the Fellowship. You'd think they would be more shocked and immediately ask how he can be alive and whatnot, but they almost don't seem surprised at all. And Gandalf's way of approaching them also seems quite careless, even if he used magic to make them unable to use their weapons, but that's a side-track.
I primarily wonder why Gimli asked that stupid question and why they took so long to ask about how he survived.