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Timeline Event

Orcs seize Frodo's body in Cirith Ungol

Event Type: Military/Strategic

Age: 3rd Age - Ring War

Date: March 13, 3019


'Hola! Gorbag! What are you doing up here? Had enough of war already?'

'Orders, you lubber. And what are you doing, Shagrat? Tired of lurking up there? Thinking of coming down to fight?'

'Orders to you. I'm in command of this pass. So speak civil.'....

'Hai! hai! yoi!' A yell broke into the exchanges of the leaders. The Orcs lower down had suddenly seen something. They began to run....

'Hai! Hola! Here's something! Lying right in the road. A spy, a spy!'....

With a dreadful stroke Sam was wakened from his cowering mood. They had seen his master. What would they do? He had heard tales of the Orcs to make the blood run cold. It could not be borne.... He flung the Quest and all his decisions away.... 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.

'How many are there?' he thought. 'Thirty or forty from the tower at least, and a lot more than that from down below, I guess. How many can I kill before they get me? They'll see the flame of the sword, as soon as I draw it, and they'll get me sooner or later. I wonder if any song will ever mention it: How Samwise fell in the High Pass and made a wall of bodies round his master. No, no song. Of course not, for the Ring'll be found, and there'll be no more songs. I can't help it. My place is by Mr. Frodo. They must understand that — Elrond and the Council.... Their plans have gone wrong. I can't be their Ring-bearer. Not without Mr. Frodo.'

But the Orcs were out of his dim sight now. He had had no time to consider himself, but now he realized that he was weary, weary almost to exhaustion.... He was too slow. The path seemed miles long. Where had they all got to in the mist?

There they were again! A good way ahead still. A cluster of figures round something lying on the ground; a few seemed to be darting this way and that, bent like dogs on a trail. He tried to make a spurt.

'Come on, Sam!' he said, 'or you'll be too late again.' He loosened the sword in its sheath. In a minute he would draw it, and then —

There was a wild clamour, hooting and laughing, as something was lifted from the ground....

Then a voice shouted: 'Now off! The quick way. Back to the Undergate! She'll not trouble us tonight by all the signs.' The whole band of orc-figures began to move. Four in the middle were carrying a body high on their shoulders. 'Ya hoi!'

They had taken Frodo's body. They were off. He could not catch them up.... The Orcs reached the tunnel and were passing in. Those with the burden went first, and behind them there was a good deal of struggling and jostling. 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.... 'Curse the filth!' he said, and sprang after them into the darkness.

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 4, Ch 10, The Choices of Master Samwise

Elena Tiriel 13Mar07

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