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Mar 13, 10:44am
Post #28 of 28
Today in Middle-earth
March 13, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. Frodo captured by the Orcs of Cirith Ungol.
(from the appendices)
..."Sam had fallen to his knees by Frodo's head, his senses reeling in the foul stench, his two hands still gripping the hilt of the sword... ...out of the swoon that was upon him. Slowly he raised is head and saw her, only a few paces away, eyeing him, her beak drabbling a spittle of venom, and a green ooze trickling from below her wounded eye. There she crouched, her shuddering belly splayed upon the ground, the great bows of her legs quivering, as she gathered herself for another spring--this time to crush and sting to death...
......Even as Sam himself crouched, looking at her, seeing his death in her eyes, a thought came to him, as if some remote voice had spoken, and he fumbled in his breast with his left hand, and found... ...the Phial of Galadriel.
...'Galadriel!' he said faintly, and then he heard voices far off but clear: the crying of the Elves as they walked under the stars in the beloved shadows of the Shire, and the music of the Elves as it came through his sleep in the hall of Fire in the house of Elrond.
Gilthoniel A Elbereth!
And then his tongue was loosed and his voice cried in a language which he did not know:
A Elbereth Gilthoniel
o menel palan-díriel,
le nallan sí di' nguruthos!
A tíro nin, Fanuilos!
...And with that he staggered to his feet and was Samwise the hobbit, Hamfast's son, again.
...'Now come, you filth!' he cried. 'You've hurt my master, you brute, and you'll pay for it... ...Come on, and taste it again!'
...As if his indomitable spirit had set its potency in motion, the glass blazed suddenly like a white torch in his hand. It... ...sears the dark air with intolerable light. No such terror out of heaven had ever burned in Shelob's face before. The beams of it entered into her wounded head and scored it with unbearable pain... ...She fell back beating the air with her forelegs, her sight blasted by inner lightnings, her mind in agony. Then turning her maimed head away, she rolled aside and began to crawl, claw by claw, towards the opening in the dark cliff behind.
...Sam came on. He was reeling like a drunken man, but he came on. And Shelob, cowed at last... ...jerked and quivered as she tried to hasten from him. She reached the hole, and squeezing down, leaving a trail of green-yellow slime, she slipped in, even as Sam hewed a last stroke at her dragging legs. Then he fell to the ground.
...Sam was left alone.... ...he crawled back to his master.
...'Master, dear Master!' said Sam, and through a long silence waited, listening in vain... ...no stir of life could he find, nor feel the faintest flutter of the heart. Often he chafed his master's hands and feet, and touched his brow, but all were cold. 'Frodo, Mr. Frodo!' he called. 'Don't leave me here alone! It's your Sam calling. Don't go where I can't follow!'"
..."...suddenly he saw that he was in the picture that was revealed to him in the mirror of Galadriel in Lórien: Frodo with a pale face lying fast asleep under a great dark cliff... '...He's dead!' he said. 'Not asleep, dead!' And... ...then black despair came down on him, and Sam bowed to the ground, and drew his grey hood over his head, and night came into his heart, and he knew no more."
..."'...What shall I do, what shall I do?' he said. 'Did I come all this way with him for nothing?' And then he remembered his own voice speaking words that at the time he did not understand himself, at the beginning of their journey: I have something to do before the end. I must see it through....
...'...But what can I do? Not leave Mr. Frodo dead, unburied on the top of the mountains, and go home? Or go on? Go on?' he repeated, and for a moment doubt and fear shook him. 'Go on? Is that what I've got to do? And leave him?'
...Then at last he began to weep...'"
..."...'What am I to do then?' he cried again, and now he seemed plainly to know the hard answer: see it through. Another lonely journey, and the worst.
...'What? Me, alone, go to the Crack of Doom and all?' He quailed still, but the resolve grew. 'What? Me take the Ring from him? The council gave it to him.'
...But the answer came at once: 'And the Council gave him companions, so that the errand should not fail. And you are the last of all the Company....'"
..."'...I must make up my own mind. I will make it up. But I'll be sure to go wrong: that'd be Sam Gamgee all over... ...No chance to go back with It and get advice or permission. No, it's sit here till they come and kill me over master's body, and gets It; or take It and go.' He drew a deep breath. 'Then take It, it is!'
...He stooped. Very gently he undid the clasp at the neck and slipped his hand inside Frodo's tunic; then with his other hand raising the head, he kissed the cold forehead, and softly drew the chain over it... ...then the head lay quietly back again in rest. No change came over the still face, and by that more than by all other tokens Sam was convinced at last that Frodo had died and laid aside the Quest.
...'Good-bye, master, my dear!' he murmured. 'Forgive your Sam. He'll come back to this spot when the job's done---if he manages it. And then he'll not leave you again. Rest you quiet till I come; and may no foul creature come anigh you! And if the Lady could hear me and give me one wish, I would wish to come back and find you again. Good-bye!'"
..."'...Hai! Hola! Here's something! Lying right in the road. A spy, a spy!' There was a hoot of snarling horns and a babel of baying voices.
...With a dreadful stroke Sam was wakened from his cowering mood. They had seen his master... ...He sprang up. He flung the Quest and all his decisions away, and fear and doubt with them. He knew now where his place was and had been: at his master's side, though what he could do there was not clear. Back he ran down the steps, down the path towards Frodo...."
..."There was a wild clamour, hooting and laughing, as something was lifted from the ground... ...The whole band of orc-figures began to move. Four in the middle were carrying a body high on their shoulders. 'Ya hoi!' ...Sam came on. He drew the sword, a flicker of blue in his wavering hand, but they did not see it. Even as he came panting up, the last of them vanished into the black hole. For a moment he stood, gasping, clutching his breast. Then he drew his sleeve across his face, wiping away the grime, and sweat, and tears. 'Curse the filth!' he said, and sprang after them into the darkness."
2. The Pelennor is overrun.
(from the appendices)
...[Gandalf speaks to Denethor] " '...under the Lord of Barad-dûr the most fell of all his captains is already master of your outer walls,' said Gandalf. 'King of Angmar long ago...'
...'Then, Mithrandir, you had a foe to match you,' said Denethor. 'For myself, I have long known who is the chief captain of the hosts of the Dark Tower. Is this all that you have returned to say? Or can it be that you have withdrawn because you are overmatched?'
...Pippin trembled, fearing that Gandalf would be stung to sudden wrath, but his fear was needless. 'It might be so,' Gandalf answered softly. 'But our trial of strength is not yet come. And if words spoken of old be true, not by the hand of man shall he fall, and hidden from the Wise is the doom that awaits him...'"
..."Now the main retreat was scarcely two furlongs distant. Out of the gloom behind a small company of horsemen galloped, all that was left of the rearguard. Once again they turned at bay, facing the oncoming lines of fire….
...…then a trumpet rang from the Citadel, and Denethor at last released the sortie… …And from the walls an answering shout went up; for foremost on the field rode the swan-knights of Dol Amroth with their Prince and his blue banner at their head.
...'Amroth for Gondor!' they cried. 'Amroth to Faramir!'
...Like thunder they broke upon the enemy on either flank of the retreat; but one rider outran them all, swift as the wind in the grass: Shadowfax bore him, shining, unveiled once more, a light starting from his upraised hand.
...The Nazgûl screeched and swept away, for their Captain was not yet come to challenge the white fire of his foe...."
..."...Faramir had lost a third of his men. And where was he?
...Last of all he came. His men passed in. The mounted knights returned, and at their rear the banner of Dol Amroth, and the Prince. And in his arms before him on his horse he bore the body of his kinsman, Faramir son of Denethor, found upon the stricken field..."
..."...So now at last the City was besieged, enclosed in a ring of foes. The Rammas was broken, and all the Pelennor abandoned to the Enemy."
[furlong = .125 miles or 220 yards]
3. Faramir is wounded.
(from the appendices)
..."...Even as the Nazgûl had swerved aside from the onset of the White Rider, there came flying a deadly dart, and Faramir, as he held at bay a mounted champion of Harad, had fallen to the earth. Only the charge of Dol Amroth had saved him as he lay.
...The Prince Imrahil brought Faramir to the White Tower, and he said: 'Your son has returned, lord, after great deeds,' and he told all that he had seen. But Denethor rose and looked on the face of his son and was silent."
4. Aragorn reaches Pelargir and captures the fleet.
(from the appendices)
...[Legolas speaking to Merry & Pippin:]"'Aragorn halted and cried with a great voice; "Now come! By the Black Stone I call you!" And suddenly the Shadow Host that had hung back at the last came up like a grey tide, sweeping all away before it...
......To every ship they came that was drawn up, and then they passed over the water to those that were anchored; and all the mariners were filled with a madness of terror and leaped overboard, save the slaves chained to the oars. Reckless we rode among our fleeing foes... ...until we came to the shore. And then to each of the great ships that remained Aragorn sent one of the Dúnedain, and they comforted the captives that were aboard, and bade them put aside fear and be free...
......Strange and wonderful I thought it that the designs of Mordor should be overthrown by such wraiths of fear and darkness... ...In that hour I looked on Aragorn and thought how great and terrible a Lord he might have become in the strength of his will, had he taken the Ring to himself. Not for naught does Mordor fear him. But nobler is his spirit than the understanding of Sauron; for is he not of the children of Lúthien? Never shall that line fail...'"
5. Théoden in Druadan Forest.
(from the appendices)
..."There seemed to be some understanding between Dernhelm and Elfhelm, the marshal who commanded the éored in which the were riding. He and all his men ignored Merry and pretended not to hear if he spoke. He might have been just another bag that Dernhelm was carrying. Dernhelm was in comfort; he never spoke to anyone. Merry felt small, unwanted, and lonely... ...They were less than a day's ride from the out-walls of Minas Tirith that encircled the townlands. Scouts had been sent ahead...
......Merry wanted somebody to talk to, and he thought of Pippin. But that only increased his restless. Poor Pippin, shut up in the great city of stone, lonely and afraid. Merry wished he was a tall rider like Éomer and could blow a horn or something and go galloping to his rescue. He sat up, listening to the drums that were beating again, now nearer at hand. Presently he heard voices speaking low, and he saw dim half-shrouded lanterns passing through the trees. Men nearby began to move uncertainly in the dark.
...A tall figure loomed up and stumbled over him, cursing the tree-roots. He recognized the voice of the marshal, Elfhelm.
...'I am not a tree-root, Sir... ...nor a bag, but a bruised hobbit. The least you can do in amends is to tell me what is afoot….'
...'...the enemy is on the road, not in the hills,' said Elfhelm. 'You hear the Woses, the Wild Men of the Woods: thus they talk together from afar. They still haunt Druadan Forest, it is said.'"
March 13, 3020 (S.R. 1420)
1. Frodo is taken ill (on the anniversary of his poisoning by Shelob).
(from the appendices)
..."Sam stayed at first at the Cottons' with Frodo; but when the New Row was ready he went with the Gaffer. In addition to all his other labours he was busy directing the cleaning up and restoring of Bag End; but he was often away in the Shire on his forestry work... ...he was not at home in early March and did not know that Frodo had been ill. On the thirteenth of that month Farmer Cotton found Frodo lying on his bed; he was clutching a white gem that hung on a chain about his neck and he seemed half in a dream.
...'It is gone forever,' he said, 'and now all is dark and empty.'"
March 13, 3021 (S.R. 1421)
1. Frodo visits Maggot's Farm.
(not from the appendices-no text)
...Frodo was grateful for the early Spring weather. He had spoken to Sam and Rosie for several days about his plans to visit Farmer Maggot when the weather softened. He yearned for long walks and to visit the paths Bilbo and he had travelled together; but his true intent was to spare Sam if there was a relapse of his malady from the year before. So it was that Maggot, seeming to understand Frodo's need, gave him refuge and a quiet room for several days. It was during this time of solitude that Frodo realized these bouts of illness in the Spring and Fall were taking their toll and he worried how it would affect his friends. There would be only one way to protect them from that burden and for him to endure what he could not escape. With Maggot's help, he sent word to Rivendell.
We have been there and back again.
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