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By Faugal

Bh9 base

Yes, yes, said Gollum. All dead, all rotten. Elves and Men and Orcs. The Dead Marshes. There was a great battle long ago, yes, so they told him when Sme´agol was young, when I was young before the Precious came. It was a great battle. Tall Men with long swords, and terrible Elves, and Orcses shrieking. They fought on the plain for days and months at the Black Gates. But the Marshes have grown since then, swallowed up the graves; always creeping, creeping. But that is an age and more ago, said Sam. The Dead cant be really there. Is it some devilry hatched in the Dark Land. Who knows. Sme´agol doesnt know, answered Gollum. You cannot reach them, you cannot touch them. We tried once, yes, precious. I tried once; but you cannot reach them. Only shapes to see, perhaps, not to touch. No precious. All dead. Sam looked darkly at him and shuddered again, thinking that he guessed why Sme´agol had tried to touch them. Well, I dont want to see them, he said. Never again. Cant we get on and get away. Yes, yes, said Gollum. But slowly, very slowly. Very carefully. Or hobbits go down to join the Dead ones and light little candles. Follow Sme´agol. Dont look at lights. He crawled away to the right, seeking for a path round the mere. They came close behind, stooping, often using their hands even as he did. Three precious little Gollums in a row we shall be, if this goes on much command and conquer remastered, thought Sam. At last they came to the end of the black mere, and they crossed it, perilously, crawling or hopping from one treacherous island tussock to another. Often they floundered, stepping or falling hands-first into waters as noisome as a cesspool, till they were slimed and fouled almost up to their necks and stank in one anothers nostrils. It was late in the night when at length they reached firmer ground again. Gollum hissed and whispered to himself, but it appeared that he was pleased: in some mysterious way, by some blended sense of T HE PASSA GE O F T HE M AR SHES 629 feel, and smell, and uncanny memory for shapes in the dark, he seemed to know just where he was again, and to be sure of his road ahead. Now on we go. he said. Nice hobbits. Brave hobbits. Very very weary, of course; so we are, my precious, all of us. But we must take master away from the wicked lights, yes, yes, we must. With these words he started off again, almost at a trot, down what appeared to be a long lane between high reeds, and they stumbled after him as quickly as they could. But in a little while he stopped suddenly and sniffed the air doubtfully, hissing as if he was troubled or displeased again. What is it. growled Sam, misinterpreting the signs. Whats the need to sniff. The stink nearly knocks me down with my nose held. You stink, and master stinks; the whole place stinks. Yes, yes, and Sam stinks. answered Gollum. Poor Sme´agol smells it, but good Sme´agol bears it. Helps nice master. But thats no matter. The airs moving, change is coming. Sme´agol wonders; hes not happy. He went on again, but his uneasiness grew, and every now and again he stood up to his full height, craning his neck eastward and southward. For some time the hobbits could not hear or feel what was troubling him. Then suddenly all three halted, stiffening and listening. To Frodo and Sam it seemed that they heard, far away, a long wailing cry, high and thin and cruel. They shivered. At the same moment the stirring of the air became perceptible to them; and it grew very cold. As they stood straining their ears, they heard a noise like a wind coming in the distance. The misty lights wavered, dimmed, and went out. Gollum would not move. He stood shaking and gibbering to himself, until with a rush the wind came upon them, hissing and snarling over the marshes. The night became less dark, light enough for them to see, or half see, shapeless drifts of fog, curling and twisting as it rolled over them and passed them. Looking up they saw the clouds breaking and shredding; and then high in the south the moon glimmered out, riding in the flying wrack. For a moment the sight of it gladdened the hearts of the hobbits; but Gollum cowered down, muttering curses on the White Face. Then Frodo and Sam staring at the sky, breathing deeply of the fresher air, saw it come: a small cloud flying from the accursed hills; a black shadow loosed from Mordor; a vast shape winged and ominous. It scudded across the moon, and with a deadly cry went away westward, outrunning the wind in its fell speed. They fell forward, grovelling heedlessly on the cold earth. But the 630 T HE L ORD O F THE R INGS shadow of horror wheeled and returned, passing lower now, right above them, sweeping the fen-reek with its ghastly wings. And then it was gone, flying back to Mordor with the speed of the wrath of Sauron; and behind it the wind roared away, leaving the Dead Marshes bare and bleak. The naked waste, as please click for source as the eye could pierce, even to the distant menace of the mountains, was dappled with the fitful moonlight. Frodo and Sam got up, rubbing their eyes, like children wakened from an evil dream to find the familiar night still over the world. But Gollum lay on the ground as if he had been stunned. They roused him with difficulty, and click here some time he would not lift his face, but knelt forward on his elbows, covering the back of his head with his large flat hands. Wraiths. he wailed. Wraiths on wings. The Precious is their learn more here. They see everything, everything. Nothing can hide from them. Curse the White Face. And they tell Him everything. He sees, He knows. Ach, gollum, gollum, gollum. It was not until the moon Channel marketing sunk, westering far away beyond Tol Brandir, that he would get up or make a move. From that time on Sam thought that he sensed a change in Gollum again. He was more fawning and would-be friendly; but Sam surprised some strange looks in his eyes at times, especially towards Frodo; and he went back more and more into his old manner of speaking. And Channel marketing had another growing anxiety. Frodo seemed to be weary, weary to the point of exhaustion. He said nothing, indeed he hardly spoke at all; and he did not complain, but he walked like one who carries a load, the weight of which is ever increasing; and he dragged along, slower and slower, so that Sam had often to beg Gollum to wait and not to leave their master behind. In fact with every step towards the gates of Mordor Frodo felt the Ring on its chain about his neck grow more burdensome. He was now beginning to feel it as an actual weight dragging him earthwards. But far more he was troubled by the Eye: so he called it to himself. It was that more than the drag of the Ring that made him cower and stoop as he walked. The Eye: that horrible growing sense of a hostile will that strove with great power to pierce all shadows of cloud, and earth, and flesh, and to see you: to pin you under its deadly gaze, naked, immovable. So thin, so frail and thin, the veils were become that still warded it off. Frodo knew just where the present habitation and heart of that will now was: as certainly as a man can tell the direction of the sun with his eyes shut. He was facing it, and its potency beat upon his brow. Gollum probably felt something of the same sort. But what went T HE PASSA GE O F T HE M AR SHES 631 on in his wretched heart between the pressure of the Eye, and the lust of the Ring that was so near, and his grovelling promise made half in the fear of cold iron, the hobbits did not guess. Channel marketing gave no thought to it. Sams mind was occupied mostly with his master, hardly noticing the dark cloud that had fallen on his own heart. He put Frodo in front of him now, and kept a watchful eye on every movement of his, supporting him if he stumbled, and trying to encourage him with clumsy words. When day came at last the hobbits were surprised to see how much closer the ominous mountains had already drawn. The air was now clearer and colder, and though still far off, the walls of Mordor were no longer a cloudy menace on the edge of sight, but as grim black towers they frowned across a dismal waste. The marshes were at an end, dying away into dead peats and wide flats of dry cracked mud. The land ahead rose in long shallow slopes, barren and pitiless, towards the desert that lay at Saurons gate.

I looked at him and wondered. But if I am not deceived, said I, things are now moving which will require the union of all our strength. That may be so, he said, but the thought is late in coming to you. How long, I Bubble pop, have you concealed from me, the head of the Council, a matter of greatest import. What brings you now from your lurking-place in the Shire. The Nine have come forth again, I answered. They have crossed the River. So Radagast said to me. Radagast the Brown. laughed Saruman, and he no longer concealed his scorn. Radagast the Bird-tamer. Radagast the Simple. Radagast the Game board. Yet he had just the wit to play the part that I set him. For you have come, and that was all the purpose of my message. And here you will stay, Gandalf the Grey, and rest from journeys. T HE C OUNC IL O F ELROND 259 For I am Saruman the Bubble pop, Saruman Ring-maker, Saruman of Many Colours. I looked then and saw that his robes, which had seemed white, were not so, but were woven of all colours, and if he moved they shimmered and changed hue so that the eye was bewildered. I liked white better, I said. White. he sneered. It serves as a beginning. White cloth may be dyed. The lite pubg page can be overwritten; and the white light can be broken. In which case it is no longer white, said I. And he that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom. You need not speak to me as to one of the fools source you take for friends, Bubble pop he. I have not brought you hither to be instructed by you, but to give you a choice. He drew himself up then and began to declaim, as if he were making a speech long rehearsed. The Elder Days Bubble pop gone. The Middle Days are passing. The Younger Days are beginning. The time of the Elves is over, but our time is at hand: the world of Men, which we must rule. But we must have power, power to order all things as we will, for that good which only the Wise can see. And listen, Gandalf, my old friend and helper. he said, coming near and Bubble pop now in a softer voice. I said we, for we it may be, if you will join with me. A new Power is rising. Against it the old allies and policies will not avail us at all. There is no hope left in Elves or dying Nu´menor. This then is one choice before you, before us. We read more join with that Power. It would be wise, Gandalf. There is hope that way. Its victory is at hand; and there will be rich reward for those that aided it.

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