Lord of the Rings

The Passage of the Marshes

Note: This chapter is not quite finished, so some of the pictures are broken links.

Gollum led the two hobbits away northward until he came to a gully, with a trickle of water at the bottom. "Here! Smeagol went this way once. Yes. Now we follow it - out, out away over there." He pointed towards the marshes.

They followed along the gully for a long time, until Frodo insisted they stop to eat. At this, a light came into Gollum's eyes, "What is it they've got, precious? Have they nice fisshes?"

Frodo and Sam had no fish, but they offered Gollum a bite of their lembas. He spit it out. "Ach! No!" he spluttered. "You try to choke poor Smeagol. He can't eat that. He must starve. Poor thin Smeagol!"

Gollum led them out across the marshes. They followed attentively, paying close attention to where he stepped. If they had strayed a few feet to the left or right, they would have been lost in the stagnant fens.

Sam saw lights out of the corners of his eyes, like misty flames flickering in the marsh. "What's all this, Gollum?" he asked. "These lights are all around us. What are they?"

"The tricksy lights," answered Gollum. "Candles of corpses, yes, yes. Don't look! Don't follow them!"

Sam tripped and fell forward into a pool. He sprang back with a cry. "There are dead things, dead faces in the water," he said with horror. "Dead faces!"

"Yes, yes," said Gollum. "All dead, all rotten. Elves and Men and Orcs, from a great battle long ago. Careful, or hobbits go down to join the Dead ones and light little candles. Follow Smeagol! Don't look at the lights!"

They followed Gollum all through the night, until at last they reached firmer ground. Suddenly they heard far away a long, wailing cry, high and thin and cruel.

Then Frodo and Sam saw a dark shape, a black shadow loosed from Mordor, flying towards them. They threw themselves down against the ground, but the shape passed circled above them and flew back towards Mordor.

They had come to a desolate land, with blasted ground, piles of rock, and puddles of oozing oil. With every step towards the gates of Mordor Frodo felt the Ring grow heavier and the hostile Eye seeking for him.

F weary (going thru desolation)

When they rested, Sam woke with a start when he heard the voice of Gollum debating with himself: "Smeagol promised," came the first thought from Smeagol. "Yes, yes, my precious," came the answer from Gollum, "we promised to be good. Let's be good, eh, good to ourselfs. Take the Precious." "But there's two of them. They'll wake too quick and kill us. Not yet," whined Smeagol in a last effort. "Not yet, eh?" returned Gollum. "Perhaps not. She might help. She might, yes."

Smeagol Gollum debate

Sam lay still, listening. Each time the second thought spoke, Gollum's long hand crept slowly towards Frodo, to be drawn back sharply as Smeagol spoke again. Sam let out a loud yawn and turned over, and Gollum jumped back. They prepared to travel the last leg towards the Gate of Mordor.

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