The Lord of the... whatever, Book IV, Chapter 11:
The Stars Of Cirith Ungallant
Accompained by a soft stream of saddams, Gulible viewed the
company in disgust. Sam was wearing a happy yet resolute face which
practically screamed, "I'm a continually failing, eternally doubting
revolutionary, but at least I know how to handle the ladies"; and he
kept throwing quick glances at Spiegel, who ignored them with a
mysterious inward smile. Frodo kept tugging at his clothes for no
obvious reason, except perhaps for a crawling slug he had noticed on
the roadside. Gulible sighed.
"We can't stay here, precious, no, saddam," he said, and noticing
how little effect his voice had on them, raised it from a wheeze to a
rasp. "Would any of you like to see the pleasures this place has to
offer?" he asked with a sly grin.
For lack of better suggestions they followed him, through lush
green parks and stately piazzas, until they reached the pulsating
entertainment district of Disgiliath, known for some unknown reason as
Cirith Ungallant. All of a sudden they found themselves surrounded by
it all: flashing lights, flashing dresses, leering orcs singing
operettas in falsetto. "It's a fallen place, and that's a fact," said
Sam, regarding a dancing southron of the female variety with all the
disapproval he could muster.
"Yeah, and it's horribly sexist," said Spiegel, who was busy
condemning a display of imaginatively shaped dildos.
At the call of Gulible they ran to a store of leatherwares where
Frodo sat in the innermost corner, refusing to come out. "They're mine,
precious! We wants them!" he screamed whenever someone tried to take
away the studded collar and leash he was clutching. The proprietor's
assurances that the items were meant for dogs only did not help one
little bit, but at last Sam managed to lure him out with a promise of
a chic poodle trim at the next dog hairdresser they spotted.
"Hopefully he'll think he's a tortoise by then," Sam muttered to
Spiegel, "that idiot, inbred aristocrat." His confidante failed to
answer, however, too occupied in admiring a shiny leather corset.
Finally they were out in the street again, Spiegel several parcels
heavier. "They're the new me," she explained to Sam when he questioned
her latest investments. "You don't own me, you know." They continued
their ideological discussion as Gulible led them past a gloomy joint
called "The Mouldy Vampire" decorated with an enormous replica of a
bat. As Frodo stopped and stared longingly at the giant creature of
the night, the doors swung open and a dark crowd emerged. They wore
all sorts of black clothes: coal-black velvet, soot-black silk,
gleaming black PVC. But all their faces were pale, and their angsty
expressions filled the company with fear.
"It is too late! All is lost! I am so hungry," Frodo suddenly
wailed, as someone pushed him out of eye contact with his favourite
flying rodent. (Of course bats aren't rodents, really. But this
particular one - long-eared, long-toothed and carrying a magnificent
carrot - could certainly pass for one.)
"Be quiet, Frodo," said everyone; and then Gulible explained:
"They're just a band of wandering visit-goths, on their way to destroy
some empire or other. They're none of our business, saddam."
Frodo looked at their guide with newfound respect. "By jove,
Gulible!" he exclaimed. "For one with such freakish speech impediments,
you sure know a lot!"
"Yes, saddam," muttered Gulible softly and turned away.
They did their best to mingle with the Disgillians - in order to
better understand their culture, they all agreed. "The bush... the
barsh will not be burned against the wall, come the revolution," said
Sam loudly, after they had had a thorough introduction to the drinking
customs of the area. Spiegel nodded and smiled while Gulible desperately
tried to edge his barstool closer to hers.
As it finally tipped over, she gasped and pointed. "Oh my Eru...
Sam looked up, suddenly sober, and saw Frodo up at the bar, doing
an extravagant performance of the Bree-dance.
"Quick, take Gulible!" he barked, knowing they had to stop his
master at once. Spiegel understood immediately, and together they swung
their guide through the air so that he collided with Frodo with a
"I can see stars, Gulible," whispered Frodo later. He giggled
insanely. "But my head is in the ocean."
"That's because we're in the gutter, preciousss," said Gulible, and
fought a sudden urge to kick the drunken hobbit. Getting the group to
the goal seemed more and more difficult. "Sam? Spiegel? Where are
youssss?" he cried, fearing the worst.
"We're coming... soon, Gulible," answered Sam in a muffled voice,
and some minutes afterwards they emerged from a back alley, Spiegel
rearranging her parcels with elaborate care.
"Look, Frodo," she said at last, handing him a small paper bag.
"I bought you one after all." Frodo dried his tears and opened the
"It's beautiful!" he exclaimed, suddenly happy again. "May I put
it on now?"
"If you wish, Master," said Sam solemnly. "And I'll take the leash,
if you allow, Sir."
And so they were on their way again, Gulible in the lead, Frodo in
the leash, and Sam and Spiegel in an inexplicable fit of giggles. The
scenes were becoming even more spectacular, there were lights, colours
and cheerful people (or something similar) everywhere. Frodo stopped
and said: "What is this place, Gul...omph!"
As they walked on, Gulible answered: "We're now in the heart of
Cirith Ungallant. This is the original entertainment district, of which
all other glitzy places are mere copies. They say a new position is
discovered every day here." He glanced at Sam and Spiegel. "With
certain restraints, of course. Saddam."
Loud music and cheers erupted from a palace-like building at the
end of the street. Gulible quickened his pace as he walked towards it,
Spiegel ran after as she remembered she really had to do a thing not
always mentioned by authors, and Sam marched briskly after them,
dragging Frodo behind him. Gulible greeted the bouncer as an old
friend and Spiegel scurried past him looking for the closest loo. The
guide turned around with a great smile as he said to the bouncer: "And
thiss is the Ringbearer."
Sam had just reached the door and was panting heavily. "I'm
afraid," he gasped, "I'm afraid I just strangled the Ringbearer."
This chapter of this epic work is presented through the courtesy of
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is to be preferred.
Spiegel's wardrobe provided by Stormy Leather.