The Lord of the... whatever, Book I, Chapter 12:
Flight To The Ford
When Frodo came to he was still clutching the folded letter desperately.
His companions were stumbling around, feeling for him and cursing him quite
"Frodo! Frodo! Where is that addlepate?"
"Master Frodo! Master! Oh, Frodo, me dear, me dear! This is your Sam
calling for you! You still owe me two weeks' wages, dammit!"
"You should have agreed to suck his fingers," mumbled Strider.
"You're a fine one to scold!" flared Sam, whose suspicions of Strider had
been amply confirmed. "Don't you think I realize you helped those Riders
find us? Did they bribe you to do so?"
"Er... yes," said Stider. "I have to get money from somewhere, and you
cheapskates are not directly assisting."
"Traitor!" shouted Frodo. They all turned towards the sound of his voice.
"All right, Frodo," said Morrie coldly. "You can take off the Ring now."
Frodo obliged and said accusingly to Strider: "I trusted you to take us to
"And I will," said Strider unconcernedly. "But you can't blame me if I
earn a bit of money on the way. Well, you can if you want to, but I couldn't
care less. And now that they have given you that piece of paper I think the
Nazdaq will leave us alone for a while."
"Yes, the paper!" shouted Pipsqueak. "What is that piece of paper you hold
in your hand? Tell us what that paper is! What's on that paper? Tell us,
tell us, tell us!"
Frodo gave him a tired glance. "You're an even bigger nuisance than that
half-brother of yours, Fatty Bolger," he said.
"Well, what is it, anyway?" asked Morrie.
Frodo ground his teeth. "It's a letter from a law firm called Goatleg,
Goose & Gander," he answered. "They inform me that my distant relative Hippo
Baggins has died and left me his estate by Lake Nurnen, and his title. (He
belonged to a southern branch of hobbits.) He was terribly rich, being a
racist slave-trader in Haradrim and Easterlings, and I am now Sir Frodo
Baggins of Moneybags Hall, Nurnenshire."
"Well, what's so awful about that?" demanded Morrie. "A nice estate in
Mordor is nothing to turn up your nose at, particularly since you can't ever
return to the Shire. The creditors Gandalf got for you would tear you to
"Of course I want the estate!" shouted Frodo. "But the paper says I must
appear in the local court in Mordor within two weeks after receiving this
paper, or else forfeit my inheritance! It will go to the state, that is to
say to Sauron, instead" He turned accusingly towards Strider. "That's why
the Black Riders really tried to get hold of me! They are working for
Sauron. AND YOU HELPED THEM!"
"For a consideration," said Strider calmly. "And for a consideration, I'll
help you come into your inheritance."
"But I have to get to that court within two weeks!" stormed Frodo. "And
there is no way I can do that, unless the Eagles carry me there." He
stopped, obviously struck by an idea. Then he said to Strider: "Would the
Eagles do that? Could you summon them -"
"No," said Strider decisively. "The eagles will NOT carry you to Mordor.
They are not some kind of talking aircabs. But if you get to Rivendell
within two weeks, El Rond, as a local magistrate, can grant you a deferment
about appearing at that court. I'll help you get to Rivendell in time, if
you'll just sign this little IOU." He held forth a piece of paper. Frodo
took it, read it and reeled backwards with a shout.
"Fifty thousand gold coins! You want fifty thousand gold coins to help me
get there in time!"
"And it's legally binding for both of us," remarked Strider, studying his
fingernails. He gave Frodo a keen glance. "I really do not see how you
will be able to make it to Rivendell without my help. Or with me working
aginst you," he added with a light, jocular laugh which chilled the blood of
"OK, you blood-sucker," groaned Frodo. He signed the paper and tossed it
back to Strider. "There!"
Strider looked carefully at the document before stowing it away. "We'll
move out now," he declared. "I think we have had enough of Gambletop."
"I want to know what the Black Riders looked like!" shouted Pipsqueak. The
others looked at him in distaste.
"Oh, very well," said Frodo. "I'll tell you anything if you will just shut
up after that. They were dressed all in black... black all the way. One of
them seemed to be dressed in nothing except black lingerie."
"Yes," said Strider. "A couple of them are into crossdressing. One of them
actually likes to disguise himself as Arwen, my fiancé. And he's quite good
at it; he won a contest for Arwen imitators some years ago."
"One of them had a pale crown."
"That would be the Leech-king. He went bald thousands of years ago, and he
never walks under the sun, so of course his crown is pale."
"Well, I agree about getting off this hill," said Morrie. "I don't like
the wind. I think it's going to rain."
"Or snow," said Strider. "In that case we might see the Sand-Orcs throw
snowballs at each other. Some peope come here to watch it."
"Well, I don't," said Morrie.
"My point is that a day's march from here is the Forsaken Inn, which
caters to the tourists. If we start now we might be there in time for
supper." Strider rubbed his stomach. "I'm so hungry!" he moaned. "I haven't
eaten properly since we left the Prancing Pony."
The evening saw them installed at the Forsaken Inn, which was run by a
chuckling, cold-eyed man called Benjamin Butterball, the brother of Barliman
at the Prancing Pony. Before they arrived there, Strider had warned them
about this fact and advised them not to flaunt the towels they had stolen
from Barliman. After having paid in advance, they sat down to a meal of
fried Mûmak's ear with Gondorean fries and garlic butter, though Strider's
slobbering, greedy way of wolfing down his food made the others lose their
"If you keep eating like that you'll be known as Waddler instead," Morrie
said to him. Strider glared at him and then defiantly ordered buttered
muffins with his after-dinner coffee.
"Why didn't the Nazdaq take the Ring from Frodo?" asked Pipsqueak. Since
this was actually a quite clever question, nobody glared at him.
"Aparently, those three didn't know that Frodo carries the Ring. They are
even more stupid than their master, thank Eru," said Strider through a huge
mouthful of muffins while melted butter dribbled down his chin. The sight
was so disgusting that the others left the able and went to bed.
The following morning saw Strider complaining at the breakfast table about
the fact that the inn did not serve Choco-Frosted Sugar Bombs. For some
reason, this made the others enjoy their toast and marmalade more than they
might possibly have done otherwise. Frodo improved his mood further by
smuggling Westfarthing Chinook into his coffee; when they once more hit the
road he was decidedly tipsy.
"Sam, why don't you recite a poem for us?" he burbled as he staggered last
in line down the road.
"Very well, Master Frodo," said Sam with a faint sneer. "I hope you like
this one." He began to sing to an old tune.
Squire, the fool, he sat on his stool,
counting his gains as a plutocrat's tool;
For many a year he had gnawed the poor,
For gold was all he cared for.
Cared for! Dared for!
In his house on the hill he dwelt alone,
For gold was all he cared for.
Up came Tom with his big boots on.
Said he to the squire: "Pray, what is yon?
For it looks like the coins o' my nuncle Tim,
Who belonged to the struggling masses,
This many a year has Tim been gone,
Who belonged to the struggling masses."
"My lad," said Squire, "this gold I stole.
But what be bones that lie in a hole?
Thy nuncle owed me for food and rent,
To pay for that his coins he spent.
I lent! He went!
He can spare a share for a poor old mole,
For his money for better folks was meant."
Said Tom: "I don't see why the likes o' thee
Without axin' leave should go makin' free
With the money belongs to my father's kin:
So hand the mazuma over!
Though dead he be, it belongs to me;
So hand the mazuma over!"
"For a couple o' pins," says Squire, and grins,
"I'll flay thee too, and gnaw thy skins.
A bit o' fresh mint will go down sweet!
I'll try my bailiff on thee now.
See how! Cash cow!
I'm tired of gnawing old bones and skins;
I've a mind to plunder thee now."
But just as he thought his profit was caught,
He found his hands had hold of naught.
Before he could mind, Tom slipped behind
And gave him the boot to larn him.
Warn him! Darn him!
A bump o' the boot on the seat, Tom thought,
Would be the way to larn him.
The class-conscious prole took back what Squire stole
and hanged him and buried him in a hole.
We'll kick the toffs from their fancy homes,
And give them the rope to still them.
Kill them! Fill them!
Yes, we Reds will take back what the Squires stole,
And give them the rope to still them.
"Well, that's a warning to us all!" laughed Morrie. "That will be the day,
eh, Sam, lad?"
"It will indeed, and no mistake," said Sam darkly. They walked on in
silence, Frodo hiccoughing.
The Road lay quiet under the long shadows of early evening. There was no
sign of any other travellers to be seen, but suddenly they heard a sound
behind them: a strange, rattling, coughing sound. While they hesitated, a
dilapidated old T-Ford came in sight. As it drew nearer they saw that a huge
frog was sitting behind the wheel. The car stopped and the frog got out.
"Haista paska!" it shouted. This is a vulgar term in an Elvish dialect and
roughly means: "Ah, you at last!"
"Haista paska yourself," answered Morrie. "And who may you be?"
"I'm Morton the Frog," declared the driver, "and I have been sent by El
Rond to help you."
"Help us?" said Strider. "He sent a frog to help us?"
"Do not underestimate the green side of the frog," said Morton. "Kiss me
and find out!"
Strider was about to answer something intemperate, but checked himself.
Suddenly, a strange gleam lit in his eyes. To the amazement of the others,
he strode (or possibly waddled) up to the frog, grasped it in his arms and
kissed it. The frog turned into Arwen, the Elven princess.
They all stared at her in silence. When Arwen had been born, she had been
a very beautiful maid, but that was thousands of years ago. With every
mortal life span she laid to her age, she had also added the beauty of one
mortal maid. To put it another way, she was by now very good-looking indeed.
The effect on the rest of the company was stunning, but Frodo was filled
with madness. For the first time he truly realized what sex was all about.
Suddenly, as in a dream, he saw once more Cassiopeia Took's benippled
glories in front of him, like two enchanted bombs of desire. There was a
roar of passion in his ears; it was drowned by the piercing cries of his
blood as it carried him away. Then Frodo felt himself falling, and the
roaring and confusion seemed to rise and engulf him. He heard and saw no
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