The Lord of the... whatever, Rare Manuscripts:

The Passage Of The Marshes

Saddam moved quickly, with his head and neck thrust forward often using
his hands as well as his feet, prehensible ears, nose, and long naked
tail. Frodo and Sam were hard put to it to keep up with him; but he seemed
no longer to have any thought of escaping, and if they fell behind, he
would turn and massage Frodo's ankles. The Ring had left its imprint on
Saddam, leaving him open to its summons. After a time he brought them to
the brink of the narrow open-air sewage canal they had used earlier, but
now they were further from the hills.

'Here it is!' he cried. 'There is a way down inside, yes. Now we follows
it--out, out away over there.' He pointed south and west toward the
aeration ponds. The reek of them came to their nostrils, heavy and foul as
a barmaid's pits.

Saddam cast his fishing line up and down along the brink, and at its
unravelled length he called to them. 'Here! We get down with our bad
selves here. Sméagol went this way once: I went this way, hiding from the

He led the way, and following him the hobbits climbed down into the gloom.
It was not difficult with the stench thick enough to walk on. The hobbits
watched out warily for what they had deposited upstream. There was oozing
water at the bottom: it was in fact the bed of many small outlets that
trickled down from the cheap cardboard slums to feed the sewage treatment
plant beyond. Saddam turned right, southward more or less, and splashed
along. He seemed greatly delighted to squish the lumps under his toes, and
he chuckled, sometimes even croaking in a sort of song:

        The cold hard landlord
        he bites the landyards,
            and rats he bred.
        The peeling paint
        is taste so quaint
            of arsenic lead.
        But convulsing frame
        my nerves defame:
            so nice in bed!
        And now we drool----

'Ha! ha! What does we drool for?' he said, looking sidelong at the
hobbits. We'll tell you,' he croaked. 'He guessed it long ago, Baggins
guessed it.' A glint came into his eyes, and Sam catching the gleam in the
darkness surmised that indeed Durincell lasts longer.

        Alive without breath,
        as cold as death;
        never pausing, ever plunging;
        clad in plastic, legs a-lunging.
        Grinds in three speeds,
        meeting her needs
        in the darkness;
        a threat from Loch Ness
        could match its flair.
        So sleek, so fair!
            What a joy to meet!
        We only drool
        for our lady's tool,
            her juice is sweet!

The words only made more pressing to Sam's mind a problem that had been
troubling him from the moment when he understood that his master was going
to have Saddam as guide: the problem of lubricants. It did not occur to
him that his master might also have thought of it, but he supposed Saddam
had. Indeed how had Saddam been satisfying himself in all his lonely
wandering? 'Not too well,' Sam thought. 'He looks fair in the nightie.
Not too dainty to try a hobbit, if there ain't no tools. I'll
wager--supposing as he could catch us napping. Well, he won't: not Sam
Gamgee for one.'

They stumbled along in the concrete channel for a long time, or so it
seemed to the tired feet of Frodo and Sam. Saddam had shown no signs of
tiring, but now he looked up and halted. 'The Intake Sieve is near,' he
whisperred, as if the Sieve was something that might overhear him and
spring close. 'Sméagol will stay here: I will stay here, and the plant
workers won't see me.' He preceded to dig a small hole for his head, and
then heaped the dirt on top of his scalp.

'We should be glad to see the Sun,' said Frodo, 'but we will stay here: we
are too tired to go any further at present.'

Saddam mumbled something about Dorks and sensible hosiery through the
heaped soil.

They settled to rest against the rough, stained concrete wall. 'We must
take a little food,' said Frodo. 'Are you hungry, Sméagol?' At the word
hungry Saddam shook loose the dirt. For a moment he relapsed into his
old Saddam-manner. 'We are famished, yes famished we are, precious. What
is it they eats? Organickally grown spinach? Fresh picked cucumbers?'

'No,' said Frodo. 'We only have this'-- he held a wafer of twinkies. 

Frodo broke off a portion of a wafer and hand it to him on its plastic
wrapping. Saddam sniffed at the wrapping and his faced changed: a spasm of
disgust came over it, and a hint of his old malice. 'Sméagol smells it!'
he said. 'PVC out of the elf-country, gah! They stinks. He walked in those
markets, and he couldn't wash the smell off his hands, my nice hands.'
Dropping the wrapping, he took a corner of the twinkies and nibbled it.
He spat, and a fit of coughing shook him.

'Ach! No!' he splutterred. 'You try to choke poor Sméagol. White flour,
refined sugar, and polysaturated animal lard, he can't eat that. He must
starve. But Sméagol doesn't mind. Nice hobbits! Sméagol has promised. He
will starve. He can't eat hobbits's food. He will starve. Poor thin

When Sam woke up the sky was dim, not lighter but darker than when they
had breakfasted. Sam leapt to his feet. Not least from his own feeling of
vigour and hunger, he suddenly understood that he slept the daylight away,
nine hours at least. Frodo was still fast asleep, lying now stretched out
in his side. Sam gingerly checked his zipper. They were at any rate both
alive and unmolested.

It was not long before Saddam returned; but he came so quietly that they
did not hear him till he stood before them. His fingers and face were
soiled brown. He was still chewing and slavering. What he was chewing,
they did not ask or like to think.

'The big chunks always float to the top,' thought Sam.

Saddam said nothing to them, until he had drunk deeply and splashed
himself with the channel's unique fragrance. 'Are we rested? Ready to go
on? Nice hobbits, they sleep beautifully. Trust Sméagol now? Very, very

They started out and quickly came to the Sieve Gate where the various
sewage lines joined together and dumped their loads. The largest pieces of
debris could not pass through the sieve where they would have clogged the
narrow pipes beyond. A drone Dork should be assigned to clean out the gate
from time to time, but usually they waited for a storm to overflow the
intake basin and wash it into the Anduin.

The two hobbits and Saddam slipped through the chain link fence and crept
slowly into the sewage plant. Frodo seemed the most weary of the three,
and slow though they went, he often lagged. The hobbits soon found that
what had looked like one vast plant was really an endless network of
aeration ponds, settling pools, and winding half-rusted pipes. Among these
a cunning eye and foot could thread a wanderring path. Saddam certainly
had that cunning, and needed all of it. His head on its thick neck was
ever turning this way and that, while he sniffed and mutterred about the
UN sanctions all the time to himself.

It was dreary and worrisome. One rancid pool was the same as the next,
with ancient pumps groaning like grandpa Simpson. It seemed to go on

It was dreary and worrisome. One rancid pool was the same as the next,
with ancient pumps groaning like grandpa Simpson. It seemed to go on

It was dreary and worrisome. One rancid pool was the same as the next,
with ancient pumps groaning like grandpa Simpson. It seemed to go on

It was dreary and worrisome. One rancid pool was the same as the next,
with ancient pumps groaning like grandpa Simpson. It seemed to go on

It was dreary and worrisome. One rancid pool was the same as the next,
with ancient pumps groaning like grandpa Simpson. It seemed to go on

They walked slowly, stooping, keeping close in line, following attentively
every move that Saddam made: every move move he made, every step he took,
they were watching him. The ponds grew more fetid, opening into wide
stagnant settling pools, among which it grew more and more difficult to
find firmer places where feet could tread without tripping on the crumbled
cement. The travellers were light fingered, or maybe none of them would
ever have found a way through.

Presently it grew altogether dark: all the inspection lamps had burnt out
and the drone Dorks had not replaced them. When the lights appeared Sam
rubbed his eyes: he thought his head was going queerer. He first saw one
with the corner of his left eye, a wisp of pale methane flame soundlessly
oxidating in the air that faded away; then others appeared soon after:
some like dimly shining smoke, some throwing up prussic acid and hydrogen
sulfide as well. But neither of his companions spoke a word.

At last Sam could bear it no longer. 'What's all this, Saddam?' he said in
a whisper. 'These lights? They're all around us now. Are we trapped? Who
are they?'

Saddam looked up. 'Yes, they are all around us,' he whisperred. 'The
tricksy lights. Candles of corpses, yes, yes. Don't heed you heed them!
Don't look! Don't follow them! Where's the master?'

Sam looked back and found that Frodo had lagged again. He could not see
him. He went some paces into the darkness, not daring to move far, or to
call in more than a horse whisper, 'Neigh.' Suddenly he stumbled against
Frodo, who was standing looking at the pale lights. His hands hung loose
in front of him; sewage and filth were dripping from them. 'I'm
com-com-coming,' he explained. 'Go on!'

Hurrying forward again, Sam tripped, catching his foot on some old pipe
fitting. He fell and came heavily on his hands, which sank heavily into
the stinky ooze, so that his face was brought close to the surface of the
dark pool. Sam wrenched his hand out of the filth, springing back with a
cry. 'There are dead things, dead faces in the water,' he cried with
horror. 'Dead faces!'

Saddam laughed. 'The Grateful Dead Memorial Sewage Treatment Plant, yes,
yes: that is their name,' he cackled. 'You should not look in when the
lighters are lit.'

'Who are they? What are they?' asked Sam shudderring, turning to Frodo,
who was now behind him.

'Dorothy Stratten,' said Frodo in a dreamlike voice. 'I have seen them
too. In the pools where the lighters were lit. They lie in their concrete
shoes, or heavy chains. Junked out hookers, mafiosos, cheap hit men. Many
faces sallow and twisted with weed in their mouths. But all foul, all
rotting, all gratefully dead.' Frodo hid his Polaroid in his hands.

'Yes, yes,' said Saddam. 'All dead, all rotten. Mobsters and Feds and
Molls. The Grateful Dead Plant. There was a great gangwar long ago, yes,
so they told him when Sméagol was young. Tall G-Men with search warrants,
terrible Mafiosos, and Molls freaking on cocaine. They fought in the 'hood
for days and months. But the Sewage Plant has grown since then, swallowed
up the graves; always creeping, creeping. Sewage crawlers, keep on
crawling, got to get up to get out.'

'But that was the Seventies,' said Sam. 'The Grateful Dead can't really be

'Who knows? Sméagol does not know. So much acid dropped in the water, you
can still trip on it,' answered Saddam. 'You cannot reach them, you
cannot touch them. Only shapes to see, perhaps, not to caress. No
precious, all dead.'

Sam looked darkly at him and shuddered again, thinking that he guessed
why Sméagol had tried to touch them.

Saddam crawled away to the right of Reagan's legacy, seeking a path around
Pat Robertson. At last the reached the end of the black pool, and they
crossed it periously, crawling or hopping from one treacherous pipehead to
another. Often they floundered, stepping or falling hands-first into
waters of the noisome cesspits. It was late in the night when they
reached the firmer ground of the people's collective compost heaps. Saddam
hissed and whispered to himself, but it appeared that he was pleased: in
some mysterious way, by some sense of feel, and smell, and low power
radar, he seemed to know just where he was again, and to be sure of his
road ahead.

'Now on we go!' he said. 'Nice hobbits! Brave hobbits! Very wearisome, of
course; so we are, my precious, all of us. But we must take the master
away from the wicked lights, yes, yes, we must.' With that he set off
again, almost at a trot despite the trots, down what appeared to be long
lane between high reeds, or perhaps a dragon's trail to its lair. But in a
little while he stopped suddenly and sniffed the air doubtfully.

'What is it?' growled Sam, misinterpreting the signs. 'What's the need to

'Yes, yes, and Sam stinks!' answerred Saddam. 'Poor Sméagol smells it, but
good Sméagol bears it. Helps nice master. But's that no matter. Southern
no-fly zone. The air's moving, change is coming. Sméagol wonders; he's not

It came screaming out of the mountains from the south, a fighting falcon
bearing some dark shadow. They fell forward, grovelling heedlessly on the
cold earth. But the shadow of the horror wheeled and returned, passing
lower now, right above them, sweeping the fen-reek with its ghastly
turbowings. And then it was gone, flying back to Mordor with the speed of
the wrath of Sauron; and behind it the downwash roared away, leaving the
Grateful Dead Memorial Sewage Control Plant bare and bleak. The naked
waste, as far as the eye could pierce, even to the distant menace of the
mountains, was dappled with fitful searchlights, mercury vapour
streetlights, neon porch lights, deadly bug lights, and the flashlights of
night patrols.

From that time on Sam thought he sensed a change in Saddam, as if he were
no longer taking his meds. He was more fawning and would-be friendly; but
Sam surprised some strange looks at his times, especially towards Frodo's
pantaloons; and he went back more and more to his old manner of speaking.
And Sam had another growing anxiety. So long without feminine
companionship, Frodo seemed to be weary, weary to the point of exhaustion.
He walked like one who carries a load, a weight which is ever increasing,
pulsing, throbbing; and he dragged along, slower and slower.

[In fact with every paragraph in this chapter, the reader felt the text
grow more burdensome. They reached the Black Gate, and Saddam was plotting

[In fact I had derived my text from MS Cotton Calligua A. XIII. which had
been badly damaged in the Cotton Library fire, so I faked that last
paragraph rather than explain why freebasing and scholarly research don't
mesh. Luckily, it turns out the Silk Library also had a copy of this old
yarn, so I will spin this out for in this thread.]

In fact with every step towards the gates of Mordor Frodo felt the Ring on
its chain work an enormous and embarassing physical transformation on him.
His head and muscles seemed drained of blood, weary, the weight dragging
him earthwards. But far more he was troubled by the ...[this folio was
also damaged in the Silk copy; I hope to consult the Wool library at some
point in the future]...

When day came at last, the hobbits were surprised to see how much larger
the ominous mountains had already drawn, standing stiffly in the morning
air. The air was now clearer and colder, and though still two transfers
and a layover away, the walls of Mordor were no longer a cloudy menace of
a tax return on the edge of sight, but as grim black auditors they frowned
across the dismal waiting room.

It took two more days for them to struggle out of the parking lots of the
Grateful Dead Memorial Sewage Treatment Plant, a journey made more
interminable by Saddam's insistence on playing license plate Bingo. Before
them dark in the dawn the mountains reached up to roofs of smoke, issuing
from the many burning wells.  Frodo looked around in horror. The sands
were stained with pools of oil where adolescent orcs had been combing
their hair. It was as if the mountains themselves had vomited out their
filth upon the land. Frodo took an involuntary sniff. Or rather curry
night for the orc guards. The pools were choked with writs, and liens
appeared on every cliff face. High mounds of subpeonas and transcripts had
been piled up, like an obscene graveyard.

They had come to the desolation of that lay before Mordor: the lasting
monument to the dark labour of its lawyers and process servers that should
endure when their final appeal had been denied; a land defiled, diseased
beyond all healing--unless the People's Revolution should enter and wash
it clean.

Too weary to continue, they took refuge behind the Simpson Trial
transcripts, but foul fumes leaked out of it, catching their throats and
choking them. Saddam was the first to get up. Sputtering and cursing he
rose and crawled away, with the hobbits following him until they came to a
pit with a large pendulum above it. They slept through another miserable

Suddenly Sam woke up thinking that he felt his master stroking him. It was
evening. Frodo was asleep at the bottom of the pit. Saddam was at his
side. And first Sam thought that he was trying to rouse Frodo; then he saw
it was not so. Saddam was talking to himself. Sméagol was holding a debate
with some other thought.

'Sméagol promised.'

'Yes, yes, my precious,' came the answer, 'we made a promise, a
cease-fire. But look how they starve us and deny us our soverignity.'

'We must comply. We lost.'

'Yes, yes. To save our personal integrity. But nasty hobbit violates us
every day.'

'No, nice master. Master stopped the air attacks.'

'We hates all imperialists. Take the Ring. Become the Saddam. Lord Saddam.
Saviour of the Peoples of Middle-Eastern-Earth. Saddam the Great. We kick
those nasty stingy dwarves out.'

'No. Made cease-fire. Sméagol cannot hurt the master.'

'We wants it! We wants it!' Saddam paused a moment. 'No, cannot hurt the
master. But she can.' Each time Saddam spoke his long hand slowly crept
near Frodo's knickers, but when Sméagol spoke his hand withdrew.

Sam decided enough was enough. He yawned and sat up, and woke Frodo. With
one last effort they made their way to very threshold of the Black Gate.
High overhead, perhaps, was the sudden presence of an air patrol.
Convinced that the flying wraiths were planning to retaliate against
Saddam's recalcitrance, Saddam wanted only to hide in a deep shelter.

Pleading and kind words were no longer of any avail. It was not until
Frodo threatened with the French maid's uniform that Saddam would get up.
Then at last he rose with a snarl, and went before them like a dog.

They stumbled through another weary night, seeing nothing, hearing
nothing, totally oblivious to the flying monkeys carrying a screaming
girl, or that a lion, a scarecrow, and a mechanical man paralled their

Draft of Book IV, Chapter One / Table of Contents / Draft of Book IV, Chapter Three
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This exciting piece of draft material is presented through the courtesy of All the Tea in China Blue <mlindanne-aaaaaaat-hotmail-dawt-com>. Copyright © 2000 by the author. All rights reserved. Some variance between this e-text and the original printed material by Professor Tolkien is inevitable. Using this as an electronic resource for scholarly or research purposes may lead to a certain degree of academic embarassment. All agree that the printed version of the text, available from respectable publishers such as Houghton Mifflin and Ballantine Books, is to be preferred. Anyone with information about the Nylon Library's copy of this MS is urged to contact Marquette University immediately.