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Timeline Event

Sam scavenges in the Tower for Orc-gear to wear into Mordor

Event Type: Artifacts

Age: 3rd Age - Ring War

Date: March 15, 3019


An event in Frodo's Capture by Orcs at Cirith Ungol and the prelude to the Destruction of the One Ring; see those entries for an overview:
[Frodo] was naked, lying as if in a swoon on a heap of filthy rags....

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 6, Ch 1, The Tower of Cirith Ungol

Sam unclasped his grey cloak and cast it about Frodo's shoulders. Then unslinging his pack he laid it on the floor. He drew Sting from its sheath. Hardly a flicker was to be seen upon its blade.... 'No, they didn't get everything! You lent me Sting, if you remember, and the Lady's glass.... But lend them to me a little longer, Mr. Frodo. I must go and see what I can find. You stay here.... I shan't be long. I shan't have to go far.'

'Take care, Sam!' said Frodo. 'And be quick! There may be orcs still alive, lurking in wait.'

'I've got to chance it,' said Sam. He stepped to the trap-door and slipped down the ladder. In a minute his head reappeared. He threw a long knife on the floor.

'There's something that might be useful,' he said.... 'Now you draw up the ladder, if you can, Mr. Frodo; and don't you let it down till you hear me call the password. Elbereth I'll call.... No orc would say that.'

Frodo sat for a while and shivered.... Then he got up... and to keep his mind occupied, began to walk to and fro, prying and peering into every corner of his prison.

It was not very long, though fear made it seem an hour at least, before he heard Sam's voice calling softly from below: Elbereth, Elbereth. Frodo let down the light ladder. Up came Sam, puffing, heaving a great bundle on his head....

'Quick now. Mr. Frodo!' he said. 'I've had a bit of a search to find anything small enough for the likes of us. We'll have to make do. But we must hurry. I've met nothing alive, and I've seen nothing but I'm not easy. I think this place is being watched.... [It] feels to me as if one of those foul flying Riders was about, up in the blackness where he can't be seen.'

He opened the bundle. Frodo looked in disgust at the contents, but... he had to put the things on, or go naked. There were long hairy breeches of some unclean beast-fell, and a tunic of dirty leather. He drew them on. Over the tunic went a coat of stout ring-mail, short for a full-sized orc, too long for Frodo and heavy. About it he clasped a belt, at which there hung a short sheath holding a broad-bladed stabbing-sword. Sam had brought several orc-helmets. One of them fitted Frodo well enough, a black cap with iron rim, and iron hoops covered with leather upon which the evil Eye was painted in red above the beaklike nose-guard.

'The Morgul-stuff, Gorbag's gear, was a better fit and better made,' said Sam; 'but it wouldn't do, I guess, to go carrying his tokens into Mordor, not after this business here. Well, there you are, Mr. Frodo. A perfect little orc, if I may make so bold - at least you would be, if we could cover your face with a mask, give you longer arms, and make you bow-legged.'.... He put a large black cloak round Frodo's shoulders. 'Now you're ready! You can pick up a shield as we go.'

'What about you, Sam?' said Frodo. 'Aren't we going to match?'

'Well, Mr. Frodo, I've been thinking,' said Sam. 'I'd best not leave any of my stuff behind.... And I can't wear orc-mail over all my clothes, can I? I'll just have to cover up.'

He knelt down and carefully folded his elven-cloak... into a surprisingly small roll. This he put into his pack that lay on the floor. Standing up, he slung it behind his back, put an orc-helm on his head, and cast another black cloak about his shoulders. 'There!' he said. 'Now we match, near enough. And now we must be off!'....

They picked up two shields to complete their disguise and then went on.

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 6, Ch 1, The Tower of Cirith Ungol

Elena Tiriel 15Aug06

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