Frodo and Sam strike the Orc-path to Isenmouthe
Event Type: General
Age: 3rd Age - Ring War
Date: March 15, 3019
An event in the prelude to the Destruction of the One Ring; see that entry for an overview:
Frodo and Sam plodded on. The light ... was now enough for them to see that they were deep in the valley between the mountains. It sloped up gently northward, and at its bottom went the bed of a now dry and withered stream. Beyond its stony course they saw a beaten path that wound its way under the feet of the westward cliffs. Had they known, they could have reached it quicker, for it was a track that left the main Morgul-road at the western bridge-end and went down by a long stair cut in the rock to the valley's bottom. It was used by patrols or by messengers going swiftly to lesser posts and strongholds north-away, between Cirith Ungol and the narrows of Isenmouthe....
It was perilous for the hobbits to use such a path, but they needed speed, and Frodo felt that he could not face the toil of scrambling ... in the trackless glens of the Morgai. And he judged that northward was, maybe, the way that their hunters would least expect them to take. The road east to the plain, or the pass back westward, those they would first search most thoroughly. Only when he was well north of the Tower did he mean to turn and seek for some way to take him east.... So now they crossed the stony bed and took to the orc-path, and for some time they marched along it. The cliffs at their left were overhung, and they could not be seen from above; but the path made many bends, and at each bend they gripped their sword-hilts and went forward cautiously. ...
They had trudged for more than an hour when they heard a sound that brought them to a halt. ... Water trickling [out] of a gully on the left ...
They drank their fill, and Sam replenished his water-bottle. After that ... they went on for several miles, until the broadening of the road and the beginnings of a rough wall along its edge warned them that they were drawing near to another orc-hold.
'This is where we turn aside, Sam,' said Frodo. 'And we must turn east.' He sighed as he looked at the gloomy ridges across the valley. 'I have just about enough strength left to find some hole away up there. And then I must rest a little.'
The Return of the King, LoTR Book 6, Ch 2, The Land of Shadow
Elena Tiriel 22Aug06