The Lord of the Rings – Fellowship part 11 – chefhawk – HD


Boromir stirred and Frodo looked at him
he was fingering his great horn, and frowning at length he spoke I do not
understand all this he said Saruman is at Richter but did he
not have a glimpse of wisdom why do you speak ever of hiding and destroying why
should we not think that the great ring has come into our hands to serve us in
the very hour of need wielding it the free laws of the
Freemason imme that is what he most fears ideal the men of Gondor our
valiant and they will never submit but they may be beaten down Valinor needs
first strength and then a weapon let the ring be your weapon if in as much power
as you say take it and go forth to victory alas no said Elrond we cannot
use the ruling ring that we now know too well it belongs to Sauron and was made
by him alone it is altogether evil save only those who have already a great
power of their own before them it holds an even deadlier peril the very desire
of it corrupts the heart consider Saruman
if any of the wise should with this ring overthrow the Lord of Mordor using his
own arts he would then set himself on sauron’s throne and yet another Dark
Lord would appear and that is another reason why the ring should be destroyed
as long as it is in the world it will be a danger even to the wise for nothing is
evil at the beak even Sauron was not sir I fear to take
the ring to hide it I will not take the ring to wield it no I got nothing bottom
you looked at them doubtfully but he bowed his head so be it
he said then in Gondo we must trust to such weapons as we have and at least
while The Wise Ones guard this ring we will fight Honda may have the sword that
was broken may still stem the tide but the hand that wields it has inherited
not a nail room only but the sinews of the kings of men who can tell said
Aragorn that we will put it to the test one day may the day not be too long
delayed said Boromir for though I do not ask for aid we need it it would comfort
us to know that others fought also with all the means that they have then be
comforted said Elrond but there are other powers and realms that you know
not and they are hidden from you and during the great flows past many
shores here it comes to Argonauts and the gates of Gondor still it might be
well for all said glow in the dwarf if all these strengths were joined and the
powers of each were used in league other rings there may be less treacherous that
might be used in our need the seven are lost to us if Marlin has not found the
ringing thrall which was the last alt has been heard of its straw perished in
Moria indeed I may now reveal that it was
partly and hope to find that ring that Balan went away Marlin would find no
ring in Moria said Gandalf Thrall gave it to Thrain his son but not
throwing to Thoren it was taken with torment from Thrain in the dungeons of
dole cool dude I came too late lass cried glowing when will today come of
our revenge but still there are the three what are the three rings of the
elves very mighty rings it is said do not the elf Lords keep them yet they too
were made by the Dark Lord long ago are they idle I see all floors here will
they not say they’ll pretend no answer did you not hear me join said Elrond the
three were not made by Sauron no did he ever touched them but of them it is not
permitted to speak so much only in this hour of doubt I may now say they are not
idle where they were not made as weapons of war or qualms quest that is not their
power those who made them did not desire strength or domination or hoarded wealth
but understanding making and healing to preserve all things unstained these
things the elves of middle-earth have in some measure gained though with sorrow
but all that has been wrought by those who wield the three will turn to their
undoing and their minds and hearts will become revealed to Sauron if he regains
the one it would be better if the three had never been
that is his purpose but what did would happen if the ruling ring were destroyed
is your counsel asked Lyman we do not know for certain answered
Elrond sadly some hope that the three rings which Sauron has never touched
would then become free and their rulers might heal the hurts of the world that
he is wart but maybe when the one has gone the three will fail and maybe fair
things will fade and be forgotten that is my belief yet all the elves are
willing to endure this chance so ignore Fidel if by the power of Sauron may be
broken and the fear of its Dominion be taken away forever
thus we return once more to the destroying of the ring said a restorer
and yet we come no nearer what strength have we for the finding of the fire in
which it was made that is the path of despair a falling I would say if the
long wisdom of Elrond did not forbid me despair or for me is it Gandalf it is
not despair for despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt
we do not it is wisdom to recognize necessity when all other courses have
been weighed there was falling it may appear to those who cling to false hope
yet let folly be our cloak available for the eyes of the enemy for he is very
wise and weighs old things to a nicety in the scales of his baddest we’re the
only measure that he knows is dishonour desire for power and so he judges all
hearts into his heart the thought will not enter that any will refuse it that
having the ring we may seek to destroy it if we seek this we shall put him out
of reckoning the least for a while said Elrond the road must be Trotter but it
will be very hard and neither strength nor wisdom will
carry us far opponent this quest may be attempted by the weak with as much hope
as a strong yet such is off the course of Deeds that move the wheels of the
world small hands do them because they must while the eyes of the great are
elsewhere said Bilbo suddenly say no more
it is plain enough what you are pointing at Bilbo the silly Hobbit started this
affair and Bilbo better finish it or himself it was very comfortable here and
getting on with my book if you want to know I was just writing an ending for it
I had thought of putting and he lived happily ever afterwards to the end of
his days it is a good ending and none the worse for having the news before hmm
now I shall have to alter that it does not look like coming true and anyway
there will evidently have to be several more chapters if I live up to write them
it is a frightful nuisance when ought I to start
Boromir looked in surprise at Bilbo but the laughter died on his lips when he
saw that all the others regarded the old Hobbit with grave respect only glowin
smiled but his smile came from old memories of course my dear Bilbo the
Gandalf if you had really started this affair
you might be expected to finish it but you know well enough now that starting
is too great a claim for any and that only a small part is played in great
deeds by any hero you need not bow though the word was meant and we do not
doubt that under jest you are making a valiant offer but one beyond your
strength Bilbo you cannot take this thing back it has passed on if you need
my advice any longer I should say that your part is ended unless as a recorder
finish your book and leave the ending unaltered there is still hope for it but
get ready to write a sequel when they come back
Mabel laughed I have never known you give me Pleasant advice before he said I
saw your unpleasant advisor had been good I wonder if this advice is not bad
still I don’t suppose I have the strength or luck he’ll left to deal with
the ring it has grown and I have not but tell me what do you mean by they the
messengers who are sent with the ring exactly and who are they to be that
seems to me what this council has to decide at all that it has to decide
elders may thrive on speech alone and dwarves into a great weariness but I am
only an old Hobbit and I miss my meal at noon contra thinks of some names now
I’ll put it off till after dinner no one answered
the noon bell rang still no one spoke Frodo glanced at all the faces but they
were not turned to him all the council sat with downcast eyes as if in deep
thought a great dread fell on him as if he was awaiting the pronouncement
of some dude that he had long foreseen and vainly hoped might after all never
be spoken and overwhelmed been longing to rest and remain at peace by Bilbo
side and Rivendell failed over his heart at last with the effort he spoke and
wandered to hear his own words as if some other will was using his small
voice I will take the ring he said though
I do not know the way Elrond raised his eyes and looked to him and Frodo felt
his heart pierced by the sudden keenness of the glance if I understand all right
all that I have heard he said I think that this task is appointed for you
Frodo and then if you do not find a way no one will this is the hour of the shire-folk when
they arise from their quiet fields to shake the towers and councils of the
great who of all the wise could have foreseen it or if they are wise why
should they expect to know it until the hour has struck but it is a heavy burden
so heavy that none could lay it on another I do not lay it on you but if
you take it freely I will say that your choice is right and there all the mighty
elf friends of old hard or and who lean and Toulon and Baron himself were
assembled together your seat should be among them but you won’t send it off alone surely
master cried Sam unable to contain himself any longer than jumping up from
the corner where he had been quietly sitting on the floor no indeed said
Elrond turning towards him you to smile you at least shall go with him it is
hardly possible to separate you from him even when he is summoned to a secret
Council and you are not Sam sat down blushing and muttering a nice pickle we
have landed ourselves in mr. Frodo he said shaking his head later that day the hobbits held a
meeting of their own in Bilbo’s rooms merry and pippin were indignant that
they heard that Sam had crept into the council that had been chosen as Frodo’s
companion it’s most unfair said Pippin instead of throwing him out and clapping
him in the chains Aaron goes and rewards him of his cheek rewards said Frodo I
can’t imagine a more severe punishment you’re not thinking what she’s saying
condemned to go in this hopeless journey a reward
yesterday I dream that my task was done and I could rest here a long while
perhaps for good I don’t wonder said Mary and I wish you could but we are
envying Sam not you if you have to go then it will be a punishment for any of
us to be left behind even in Rivendell we have come a long way with you and
been through some stiff times we want to go on that’s what I meant
said Pippin we hobbits ought to stick together and we will I shall go unless
they chained me up there must be someone with intelligence in the party then you
certainly will not be chosen directly took it said Gandalf looking in through
the window which was near the ground but your old worrying yourselves
unnecessarily nothing is decided yet nothing decided cried Pippin then what
were you all doing you lost shut up for hours talking
superb oh there was a deal of talk and everyone had an eye opener even old
Gandalf I think Legolas bit of news about Gollum
caught even him on the hop no he passed it off are you were wrong said Gandalf
you are inattentive I had already heard of it from quite here if you aren’t in
her the only real eye-openers as you put it with you and Frodo and I was the only
one that was smoke surprised well anyway said Bilbo nothing was
decided be on choosing poor Frodo and Sam
I was afraid all the time that it might come to that if I wasn’t it off
but if you ask me heroin will send out a fair number when the reports come in
they started yet Gandalf yes at the wizard some of the scouts has
been sent out already nor will lil tomorrow Elrond is sending
elves and they will get in touch with the Rangers and maybe with Randy wills
Falken Mirkwood and Aragorn has gone with her own sons we shall have to scour
the lands all around for many long leagues before any move is made so cheer
up Frodo you would probably make quite a long stay here said Sam gloomily we’ll
just wait long enough for winter to come that can’t be helped said Bilbo it’s
it’s your fault partly Frodo my lad insisting on waiting
for my birthday a funny way of honoring it I can’t help thinking not the day I
would have chosen letting the espys into back-end authorities you can’t wait now
to spring and you can’t go to the reports come back when winter first
begins two bites and stones crack in the frosty night when pools are black and
trees of air tis evil in the wild affair but that I
am afraid will be just your luck I am afraid it will sit Gandalf
we can’t start until we have found out about the riders I thought they were all
destroyed in the flood said Mary you cannot destroy drink race like that the
Gandalf the power of their master is in them and they stand or fall by him we
hope that they were all unhorsed and unmasked and so made for a while less
dangerous but we must find out for certain in the meantime you should try
and forget your troubles Frodo I do not know if I can do anything to help you
but I will whisper this in your ears someone said that intelligence should be
needed in your party he was right I think I shall come with you so great was
Frodo’s delight at this announcement that Gandalf left the windowsill where
he had been sitting and took off his hat and bowed
I only said I think I shall come do not count on anything yet in this matter
Elrond will have much to say and your friend the Strider it reminds me I want
to see a romp I must be off how long do you think I shall have here said Frodo
to Bilbo when Gandalf had gone I don’t know
I can’t count days in Rivendell said Bober but quite long I should think we
can have many a good talk what about helping me with my book and making a
start on the next have you thought of an ending
yes several and all are dark and unpleasant said Frodo no that won’t do
said Bilbo books ultra have good endings how would this do and they all settle
down and live together happily ever after it will do well if it ever comes
to that said Frodo and where will they live that’s what I
always wonder for a while the hobbits continued to talk and think of the past
journey and of the perils that lay ahead but such was the virtue of the land of
Rivendell that soon old fear and anxiety was
lifted from their minds the future good or ill was not forgotten but ceased to
have any power of the present health and hope grew strongly and they
were content with each good day as it came taking pleasure in every meal and
in every word and song so the daily slipped away as each morning dawned
bright and fair and each evening followed cooled and clear but Ultimo’s
waning fast slowly the golden light faded too pale silver and the lingering
leaves fell from the naked trees a wind began to blow chill from the Misty
Mountains to the east the Hunter’s Moon waxed round in the night sky and put to
flight all lesser stars but low in the south one star shone red every night as
the moon wind again which shone brighter and brighter
Frodo could see it from his window deep in the heavens burning like a watchful
eye that glared above the trees on the brink of the valley the hobbits had been
nearly two months in the house of Elrond and November had gone by with the last
shreds of autumn and December was passing when the scouts began to return
some had gone north beyond the springs of the hall well into the ettan Wars and
others had gone west with the help of Aragorn and the Rangers had searched the
lands far down the Great Flood as far as thar bad there the old North
Road crossed the river by a ruined town many had gone east and south and some of
these had crossed the mountains and entered Mirkwood while others had
climbed the pass at their source of the gladden river and had come down into the
will to land and over the mountain fields and so at length had reached the
old home of radagast at Roscoe Belle radagast was not there and they had
returned over the high path that was called the dimrill stair
the sons of Elrond aladdin and el buro here with the last to return they had
made a great journey passing down the silver lode into a strange country but
of their errand they wouldn’t speak to any save to Elrond in no region and the
messengers discovered any signs of tidings of the riders or other servants
of the enemy even from the egress of the Misty Mountains they had learned no
fresh news nothing had been seen or heard of Gollum but the wild wolves were
still gathering and they were hunting again fired up the great river three of
the black horses had been found at once drowned in the flooded Ford and the
rocks of the rapids below its searchers discovered the bodies of five more and
also a long black cloak / tattered of the Black Riders no other trace was to
be seen and nowhere was the presence to be felt it seemed that they had vanished
from the North eggs out of nine are accounted for at the least said Gandalf
it is rash to be too sure yet I think that we may hope now that the ring race
was scattered and have been obliged to return as best they could to their
master in Mordor empty and sleepless if as a surge will be sometime before they
can begin to hunt again of course the enemy has some other servants but they
will have to journey all the way the borders of Rivendell before they can
pick up our trail and if we are careful that will be hard to find
we must delay no longer Elrond summoned the hobbits to him he looked gravely a
Frodo the time has come he said if the ring is to set out it
must go soon but those who go with it must not count on their errand being
aided by war or force they must pass into the domain of the enemy far from
aid do you still hold to your words Frodo that you will be the ring bearer I
do said Frodo I will go with Sam then I cannot help you much not even
with counsel said Elrond I can foresee very little of your road and how your
task is to be achieved I do not know the shadow has crept now to the feet of the
mountains and draws nigh even to the borders of the gray flood and under the
shadow all this dark to me you will meet many foes some open and some disguised
and you may find friends upon your way when you least look for it I will send
out messages such as I can contrive to those whom I know in the wide world but
so perilous are the lands now become that some may well miscarry or come no
quicker than yourself and I will choose you companions to go with you as far as
they will or fortune allows the number must be few since your hope is in speed
and secrecy and I a host of elves in Armour of the older days it would avail
little save to arouse the power of Mordor the company of the Ring shall be
9 and the nine walkers shall be set against the nine riders that are evil
with you and your faithful servant Gandalf will go for this shall be his
great task and may be the end of his Labour’s for the rest they shall
represent the other free peoples of the world elves dwarves and Men Legolas
shall be for the elves and Gimli son of Gloin for the dwarves they are willing
to go at least to the passes of the mountains and maybe beyond
for men you shall have Aragorn son of Arathorn for the ring of Isildur
concerns him closely strike that cried Frodo yes he said with a smile
I asked leave once again to be your companion
ah I will effect you to come said Frodo how many I thought you were going to be
nasty read through the bottom yen I am said Aragorn and a sword that was broken
shall be reforged here I set out to war but your road and our road lie together
for many hundreds of miles there for Boromir will also be in the company he
is a valiant man they remain two more to be found
said Elrond these I will consider of my household I may find some that it seems
good to me to send but that will leave no place for us cried Pippin in dismay
we do not want to be left behind we want to go with Frodo that is because you do
not understand and cannot imagine what lies ahead said L want neither does
Frodo said come down unexpectedly supporting Pippin now or do any of us
see clearly it is true that if these hobbits understood the danger they would
not dare to go but they would still wish to go or wish that they dared and be
ashamed and unhappy I think Hal rond but in this matter it
would be well to trust rather to the friendship then to great wisdom even if
you chose for us an elf Lord such as Glorfindel
he could not stop the doctor now open the road to the fire by the power that
is in him used to be gravely said Elrond but I am in doubt the Shire
I followed is not free now from peril and these two I had thought to send back
if there as messages to do what they could according to their fashion of
their country to warn the people of their danger in any case I judged that
the younger of these two Peregrin took should remain my heart is against his
going then Master Elrond you’ll have to lock me in place or send me home tied in
a sack said Pippin for otherwise I shall follow the company let it be so then you
shall go said Elrond and he sighed now the tale of nine is filled in seven
days the company must depart the sword of Elendil has forged anew by
over Smith’s downs blade was traced the device of
seven stars set between the crescent moon in the raid Sun and about them was
written many rooms for Aragorn son of Arathorn was going to war upon the
Marches of world very bright was that sold by his made whole again the light
of the Sun shone red unit in the light of the moon shone current its edge was
hard and keen and Aragorn gave it a new name and
called it and real flame of the West Eragon and Gandalf walked together or
sat speaking of their road in the perils they would meet and they pondered the
storied and figured maps and books of law that were in the house of Elrond
sometimes Frodo was with them but he was content to lean on their guidance and he
spent as much time as he could with Bilbo in those last days the hobbits sat
together in the evening in the hall of fire and there are more many tales they
had told in full the lay of Beren and lúthien and the winning of the great
jewel but in the day while merry and pippin were out and about proto and Sam
were to be found with Bilbo on his own small room then Bilbo would read
passages from his book which still seem very incomplete or scraps of his verses
they all would take notes of Rhoda’s adventures on the morning of the last
day Frodo was alone with Bilbo and the old Hobbit pulled out from the under his
bed a wooden box he lifted the lid and fumbled inside ha
here is your sword he said but it was broken you know I took it to keep it
safe but I forgot them to ask if the splits could mend it no time now so I
thought perhaps you would care to have this don’t you dare he took from the box
a small sword in an old shabby leather scabbard then he drew it and it’s
polished and well tended blade glittered suddenly cold and bright this is sting
he said and thrust it with little effort deep into a wooden beam take it if you
like I shan’t want it again I expect frodo
accepted it gratefully oh so here is this said Bilbo bringing out a parcel
which seemed to be rather heavy for its size he unwound several folds of old
cloth and held up a small shirt of mail it was close smoothen of many rings as
subtle almost as linen cold as ice and harder than steel it shone like moonlit
silver and was studded with white gems it was a belt of pearl in crystal it’s a
pretty thing is bilbo moving in in the light and usual
it is my dwarf mail that Thoren gave me I got it back from my cold LV before I
started and packed it with my luggage I brought all the mementos of my journey
away with me except the ring but I did not expect to use this and I don’t deed
it down except to look at it sometimes you hardly feel any weight when you put
it on I should look well I don’t think I should look right in it said Frodo just
what I said myself said Bilbo but ever mind about looks you can wear it under
your after clothes come on you must share the secret with me don’t tell
anybody else but I should feel happier if I knew you were wearing it I have a
fancy word turn even the knives of the Black Riders he ended in a low voice very well I will take it said Frodo
Bilbo put it on him and fast and sing upon the glittering belt and then Frodo
put over the top his old weather-stained breeches tunic and jacket mm-hmm just a
plain Hobbit you look sad Bilbo but there is more about you now that appears
on the surface good luck to you he turned away and looked out of the window
trying to hum a tune I cannot thank you as I should builder
for this and for all your past kindness said Frodo them try so the old Hobbit
turning around and slapping him on the back ow he cried oh you are too hard now
to slap but there you are hobbits must stick together and
especially back in seas or well I ask your attorneys take as much care of
yourself as you can and bring back all the news you can and any old songs and
tales you can come by I’ll do my best to finish my book before you turn I should
like to write the second book if I am spared you broke off and turned to the
window again sinking softly I sit by the fire and think of all that I have sea of
meta flowers and butterflies in summers that have been oh here low leaves and
gossamer in autumns that there were with morning mist and silver Sun and wind
upon my hair I sit beside the fire and think of how the world will be when
winter comes without a spring that I shall ever see but still there are so
many things that I have never seen in every wood in every spring there is a
different green I sit by the fire and think of people long ago and people who
will see a world that I will never no but all the while I sit and think of
times there were before I listen of returning feet and voices at the door it
was a cold gray day near the end of December the east wind was streaming
through the bare branches of the trees in seething in the dark Pines on the
hills ragged clouds were hurrying overhead dark and low as the cheerless
shadows of the early evening began to fall the company made ready to set out
they were to start at dusk for Elrond counsel them to journey under cover of
night as often as they could until they were far from Rivendell you should fear
the many eyes of the servants of Sauron he said I do not doubt that the news of
the discomfiture of the riders has already reached him and he will be
filled with wrath soon now his spies on foot and wing will be abroad in the
northern lands even of the sky above you must beware as you go on your way the
company took little gear of war for their hope was in secrecy not in battle
Aragorn had an duel but no other weapon and he went forth clad only in rusty
green and brown as a ranger of the wilderness Boromir had a long sword in
fashion like Underhill but of less lineage and he bore also a
shield and his Warhol loud and clear it sounds
in the valleys of the hills he said and then they told the foes of Gondor flee
putting it to his lips he blew blast and the echoes led from rock to rock and all
that heard that voice in Riverdale sprang to their feet slow should you be to win that horn
again Boromir said Elrond until you stand once more on
the borders of your land and dire need is on you maybe said Boromir but always
I have led my home cry at setting forth and though thereafter we may walk in the
shadows I will not go forth as a thief in the
night Gimli the dwarf alone wore openly a short shirt of steel rings four
dwarves make light of burdens and in his belt was a broad-bladed axe
Legolas had a bow and a quiver and at his belt a long white knife the younger
hobbits wore the swords that they had taken from the Barrow
but Frodo took only sting and his male coat as Bilbo wished remained hidden
Gandalf bore his staff but Girt at his side was the ov installed blunt ring the
mate of or ‘christ that lay now upon the breast of Thorin
under the Lonely Mountain all were furnished by Elrond with thick warm
clothes and they had jackets and cloaks lined with fur spare food and clothes
and blankets and other needs were laid and on a pony none other than the poor
beasts that they had brought from bree the stained Rivendell had worked a great
wonder of change on him he was glossy and seemed to have the vigor of youth it
was Sam who had insisted on choosing him declaring that bill as he called him
would pine if he did not come the animal could merely talk he said and would talk
if he stayed here much longer he gave me a look as plain as mr. Pippen could
speak it if you don’t let me go with you Sam I’ll follow you Mom my own so bill
was going as the beast of burden yet he was the only member of the company that
did not seem depressed their farewells had been said in the Great Hall by the
fire and they were only waiting now for Gandalf who had not yet come out of the
house a gleam of fire light came from the open
doors and soft lights were glowing in many windows
Bilbo huddled in a cloak stood silent on the doorstep beside Frodo Aragorn set
with his head bowed to his knees only Elrond knew fully what this hour
meant to him the others could be seen as gray shapes in the darkness
Sam was standing by the pony sucking his teeth and staring moodily into the gloom
where the river road stonily below his desire for adventure was at its lowest
ebb bill my lad he said you oughtn’t to have took up with you would have stayed
here and and at the best hated on you grass comes little swished his tail and
said nothing Sam eased the pack on his shoulders and
went over anxiously in his mind all the things that he had stowed at him
wondering if he had forgotten anything his chief treasure his cooking gear in
the little box of salt that he always carried and refilled when he could a
good supply of pipe weed but not near enough I warrant flint and tinder woolen
hose linen various small belongings of his masters that Frodo had forgotten and
Sam had stowed to bring them out in triumph when they were cold for he went
through them all he muttered and only last night you said
to yourself Sam what about a bit of rope you wanted
I wanted can’t get it at that moment Elrond came out with
Gandalf he called the company to him this is my last word he said in a low
voice the ring bearer is setting out on the quest of Mount Doom on him alone is
any charge laid neither to cast away the ring nor to deliver it to any of the
servant of the enemy nor indeed to let any handle it save members of the
company and the council and only then in gravest need the others go with him as
free companions to help him on his way you may tarry or come back or turn aside
to other paths as chance allows the further you go the less easy twill be to
withdraw yet knoweth no bond is laid to go further than you will for you do not
yet know the strength of your hearts and you cannot foresee what each may meet
upon the road faithless is he that says farewell when
the road Dawkins said Gimli may be said L wanta but let him not vow to walk in
the dark who has not seen nightfall its Ward world makes strengthen quaking
heart to Gimli or break it said Elrond look not too far ahead but go now with
good hearts farewell and may the blessing of elves and Men and old free
folk go with you may the stars shine upon your faces good good good good good
luck cried Bilbo stuttering in the cold I don’t suppose you will be able to keep
a diary Frodo my lad but I shall expect a full account when you get back and
don’t be too long there will many others of Elrond’s household stood
in the shadows and watched them go bidding them farewell with soft voices
there was no laughter and no song or music at last they turned away and faded
silently into the dusk they crossed the bridge and wound slowly up the long
steep paths that led out to the cloven Vale of Rivendell and they came at
length to the Highmore where the wind hissed through the heaven then with one
glance at the last homely house twinkling below them they strode away
far to the night at the ford of bruinen and they left the road and turning
southwards went on by narrow paths among the folded
landless their purpose was to hold this course west of the mountains for many
miles and days the country was much rougher and more barren than the green
Vale of the great river and Wilderland on the other side of the range and their
going would be slow but they hoped in this way to escape the notice of
unfriendly eyes the spies of Sauron had hitherto seldom been seen in this empty
country and the paths were little known except to the people of Rivendell
gandalf walked in front and with him went to ever go
new this land even in the dark the others were in fire behind and Legolas
whose eyes were keen was the rearguard the first part of their journey was
hardened really and Frodo remembered little and saved the wind for many
sunless days an icy blast came from the mountains in the east and no garments
seemed able to keep out a search of hills so the company was well clad they
seldom felt warm either moving or at rest they slept uneasily during the
middle of the day it’s some hollow of the light or hidden under the tangled
thorn bushes that grew in thickets in many places in the late afternoon they
were roused by the watch and took their chief me cold and cheerless as a rule
but they could seldom risk the lighting of a fire in the evening they went on
again always as nearly southward as they could find a way at first seemed to the
hobbits although they walked and stumbled until they were weary they were
creeping forwards like snails and getting nowhere each day the land looked
much the same as it had the day before yet steadily the mountains were drawing
nearer south of Rivendell they rose ever higher and bent westwards and about the
feet of the main range there was tumbled and ever wider land of bleak hills and
deep valleys filled with turbulent waters paths were few and winding and
led them often only to the edge of some fresh air fall or down into treacherous
swamps they had been a fortnight on the way when the weather changed the wind
suddenly fell and then veered round to the south the shift flowing clouds
lifted and melted away and the Sun came out pale and bright there came a cold
clear dawn at the end of a long stumbling night March the travellers
reached a slow Ridge crowd with ancient holly trees whose grey green trunks
seemed to have been built out of the very stone of the hills their dark
leaves shone and their berries grow dread in the light of the Rising Sun
away in the south Frodo could see the dim shapes of lofty mountains that
seemed now to stand across the paths that the
company was taking at the left of this high range rose three peaks the tallest
and nearest stood up like a tooth tipped with snow its Great Bear northern
precipice were still largely in the shadow but where the sunlight slanted
upon it it glowed red gandalf stood at frodo side and looked
out under his hand we have done well he said we have reached the borders of the
country that men called Holland many elves lives here in happier days when
Arabian was its name five and forty leagues is a crow flies
we have come there are many long miles further our feet have walked the land
and the weather will be wild an hour but perhaps all the more dangerous dangerous
or not a real Sun rises mighty welcome said Frodo throwing back his hood and
letting the morning light fall on his face but the mountains are ahead of us
say Pippin you must have turned eastwards in the night no said Gandalf
but you see further ahead in the clear light beyond those Peaks the range bends
round southwest there are many maps in everyone’s house
but I suppose you never thought to look at them yes I did sometimes said Pippin
but they don’t remember them Frodo has a better head for that sort of thing I
need no map said Gimli who had come up with Legolas and was gazing out before
him with a strange light in his deep eyes there is the land where our fathers
worked too old and we have roped the image of those mountains into many works
of metal and of stone and into many songs and tales they stand tall in our
dreams bugs xeric shafu only once before I have
seen them from afar in waking life but I know them in their names but under them
lies Qasr do the duero health that is now called the black pit Moria in the
elvish top he understands berezin mark red hole cruel caradhras and beyond him
of silver tile and cloudy head Caleb deal the white Anthony we hold a
gray that we call Xerox zeal and pollution there the Misty Mountains
divide and between their arms lies the deep shadowed valley which we cannot
forget as a dual bazaar the timbrel Dale which the elves call Nandu hurry up it
is for the timbrel Dale that we are making sedan Dolph if we climb the pass
that is called red horn gate under the far side of caradhras we shall come down
by the dimpled stare into the deep veil of the dwarves their lives the mirror
mayor and their the river silver load rises in his icy springs the ark is the
water of Kellen’s Arum said Kim Lee and Cole are the springs of Keeble Nala my
heart trembles at the thought that I may see them soon may here have joy in this
sight my good wolf said Gandalf but whatever you may do we at least cannot
stay in that Valley we must go down the silver lode into the
secret woods and so to the great river and then he paused yes and where then
asked Mary to the end of the journey in the end said Gandalf we cannot look too far ahead let us be
glad that the first stage is safely over I think we will rest here not only today
but tonight as well there is a wholesome air about Holland much evil must befall
a country before it wholly forgets the elves if once they dwelt there that is
true said Legolas but the elves of this land would have a race strange to us in
the Sylvan folk and the trees and grass do not now remember them only I hear the
stones lament them deep they dealt us fair they brought us high they builded
us but they are gone they are gone they sought the havens long ago that morning
they lit a fire in a deep hollow shrouded by great bushes of Holly and
their supper breakfast was merrier than it had been since they set out they did
not hurry to bed afterwards for they expected to have all the night to sleep
in and they did not mean to go on again until the evening of the next day only
Aragorn was silent and restless after a while he left the company and
wandered on to the ridge there he stood in the shadow of a tree looking out
southwards and westwards with his head posed as if he was
listening then he returned to the brink of the Dell and looked down at the
others laughing and talking what’s the matter Strider Mary called up
what are you looking for do you miss the east wind no indeed he answered but I
missed something I have been in the country of Holland
for many reasons no folk dwell here now but many other creatures live here at
all times especially birds it now all things but you are silent I can feel it
there is no sound of four miles about us in your voices seemed to make the ground
echo I do not understand it Gandalf looked up with a sudden interest well
what do you guess is the reason he asked is there more in it that surprised it
seeing four hobbits not to mention the rest of us where people are so seldom
seen or heard I hope that it is answered Aragon but I
have a sense of watchfulness and a fear that I have never had here before then
we must be more careful said Gandalf if you bring a ranger with you it is well
to pay attention to him especially if the Ranger is aragorn we must stop
talking aloud rest quietly and set the watch

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