Lord of the Rings

The Taming of Smeagol

"Well, master, we're in a fix and no mistake," said Sam. He and Frodo had been struggling among the rocks of the Emyn Muil for three days and now they stood at the top of a cliff, looking out across the Dead Marshes towards Mordor. "That's the one place we never wanted to go, and that's where we're trying to get to, if we can ever get down out of these cliffs."

"I hope maybe we've lost Gollum," said Frodo. Ever since the river they had heard footsteps in the night, and occasionally seen a pair of glowing eyes. "Right now I just wish we had a bit of rope to help us down."

"Rope!" exclaimed Sam to himself. "You're naught but a ninnyhammer, Sam Gamgee! Mister Frodo, I have rope in my pack that I've carried all the way from Lorien!"

They made the rope fast to a stump, and Frodo lowered Sam down, then climbed down himself.

"Well," proclaimed Frodo, "we've escaped from the Emyn Muil! Now what? Perhaps we will soon wish we had good hard rock under our feet again."

They did not find any hollow to shelter in, only bare stony ground. Finally they cast themselves on the ground beside a boulder and huddled mournfully together in the cold stony night.

"What's that?" whispered Frodo.

"It's that Gollum!" answered Sam. "I thought we would have lost him when we climbed down the cliff. Look at him, like a nasty spider."

Gollum was crawling down the cliff right above them, and they could hear his voice creaking and whistling. "Were iss it, where iss it, my Precious, my Precious? We wants it. The filthy thieves. We hates them!"

When Gollum got to the bottom of the cliff, Sam jumped him and there was a scuffle. Gollum had his hands around Sam's throat, but had to let go when Frodo drew Sting and held him at bay.

"Let's tie it up," proposed Sam, "so it can't come sneaking up after us no more."

"No," said Frodo, "if we are going to kill him, we must kill him outright. But I will not touch this creature. For now that I see him, I do pity him."

"Yess, yes indeed," said Gollum, lifting his head. "Nice hobbits! We will come with them. Find them safe paths, yes we will!"

Frodo forced Gollum to swear by the Ring that he would help them find their way across the marshes to Mordor. "We promises, yes I promise!" said Gollum. "I will serve the master of the Precious. Good master, good Smeagol, gollum, gollum!" And so Gollum led them north for a while and then down the slope away from the Emyn Muil, towards the vast fens below.

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