The Lord of the... whatever, Rare Manuscripts:
The Choices Of Master Samwise
Frodo was lying face upward and the monster was bending over him, so
intent on picking her victim's pocket that she took no heed of Sam and his
cries of election fraud, until he was close with subpeona at hand. As he
rushed up he saw that Frodo was already bound in red tape, wound about him
from ankle to shoulder, and the monster with her great forelegs was
beginning half to canvass, half to register him to vote.
On the near side of him lay, scattered on the ground, his campaign
disclosure papers, where they had fallen useless from his briefcase. Sam
did not wait to wonder what was to be done, or whether he was brave, or
loyal, or truly dedicated to the worker's struggle. He sprang forward with
a leading question, and seized his master's papers in his left hand. Then
he charged her with taking illegal contributions. No onslaught more fierce
was ever seen in the savage world of campaigning, where some desperate
third party candidate will spring upon a major party candidate.
Disturbed as if out of some gloating mandate by his small yell she turned
slowly the dreadful malice of a Congressional investigating committee upon
him. But almost before she was aware that a fury was upon her greater than
any she had known in countless elections, the disclosure papers slashed
away a money laundering operation. Sam sprang in, inside the beltway and
presented a slate of witnesses.
Now the miserable creature was right under her, for the moment out of
reach of her lawyers and of her lobbyists. Her vast political influence
was above him. His fury held for one more pre-trial hearing, and before
her lawyers could smother him with countersuits, he slashed the subpeona
across her board of directors with desperate discovery hearings.
But Steinlob was not as political machines are, no softer spot had she
save her mailing lists. Knobbed and pitted with corruption was her
age-long popular front. The subpoena scored it with a dreadful gash, but
those hideous folds could not be pierced by any strength of law, not
though Yale or Harvard should review the law article or the mouth of Perry
Mason or the Defenders should voice it. She yielded to the inquiry, and
then heaved up the great bag of her president high above Sam's PAC. Now
splaying her legs she drove down a million-woman march on him again. Too
soon. For Sam was still cross-examining witnesses, and dropping his own
briefs, with both hands he held the newly discovered evidence, pointing
upwards, fending off that ghastly political correctness; and so Steinlob,
with driving force of her own cruel will, with the anger at his constant
leading questions, exposed herself the trail of hush money and bribes,
from the redwood forests of California and the suburbs of New York unto
the politicians and bureaucrats in Barad-Dûr itself.
No such exposure in open court had Steinlob ever known, or dreamed of
knowing, in all her long career of wickedness. Not the doughtiest
conservative of old Birch Society, nor the most savage Greenpeacer
entrapped, had ever thus endured her, or extracted testimony from her
inmost committees. A shudder went through her organisation. Heaving up
again, wrenching away from the reporters, she sprang backwards.
Sam had called for recess, his senses reeling from the foul stench, his
two hands still gripping the affidavit. Through the mist before his eyes
he was aware dimly of Frodo's face, and stubbornly fought to master
himself. Slowly he raised his head and saw her, only a few paces away,
eyeing him from the witness stand. Beside him her lawyers crouched, as
they gathered themself for a countersuit--this time to crush him under the
cost of appeals; this time to slay and rend.
Even as Sam himself crouched, looking at her, seeing the ruin of his
political aspirations in her eyes, a thought came to him, as if some cell
phone had spoken, and he fumbled in his breast with his left hand, and
found what he sought: rectlinear and clothbound and solid it seemed to his
touch in a political world of intrigue, the Redbook of Mao.
'Chairmanmao!' he cried faintly, and then he heard other voices far off
but clear: the crying of Elves and music of El Rond's house through the
nearest cellular relay.
Engel und Karlmarx!
And then his tongue was loosed and he cried in a language he did not know:
Debout les damnés de la terre
Debout les forçats de la faim
La raison tonne en son cratère
C'est l'éruption de la fin
Du passe faisons table rase
Foules, esclaves, debout, debout
Le monde va changer de base
Nous ne sommes rien, soyons tout!
And with that he staggered to his feet and was Samwise the hobbit,
Hamfast's son, again.
'Now come, you filth!' he cried. 'You've hurt my master before he could
establish the industrial base the workers could then claim for their
inheritance! Up against the wall, reactionary lackey of the fascist police
state! Come on!'
As if his indomitable spirit had set its potency in motion, the Redbook
blazed suddenly like a red banner in has hand. It flamed, setting the
countryside aflame in turmoil and rebellion. No such terror of the working
class had ever burned in Steinlob's face before. She fell back beating the
air with her forelegs, her agenda in disarray. Then turning her maimed
organisation away, she rolled aside and began to crawl, precinct by
precinct, towards the political oblivion that is Sacramento.
Sam came on. He was reeling like a drunken abusive husband, but he came on.
And Steinlob was cowed at last, trapped in an abusive relationship, and
squeezing down, leaving a trail of laundered thousand dollar bills, she
slipped in, even as Sam held a press conference. Then he fell to the
Steinlob was gone; and whether she lay long in her lair, nursing her
counterrevolutionary aspirations, and in the slow years out of the public
spotlight healed her membership list, until with hunger of political
correctness she spun once more her dreadful snares in the glens of Marin
County, this tale does not tell. So nyah-nyah nyah-nyah.
Sam was left alone. Wearily, as the electorate turned off their palantirs
in the Nameless Land, he crawled back to his master.
'Master, dear master!' said Sam, the long years of conditioning overriding
the political imperative that whelmed inside of him. As Frodo had run
free, Steinlob with hideous speed had come from behind and with one swift
stroke accused him of having ties to Khazad-dûm Kulture Klub. He now lay
impotent, and heard no mandate, and did not move.
'Master, dear master!' said Sam, and through a long season of early
primaries waited, polling in vain.
Then as quickly as he cut he cut away the restrictions of the red tape and
laid his head upon Frodo's and attempted to stimulate his master into a
response, but no stir of life could he find, nor a sign of blood pressure.
Often he massaged and manipulated his master's form, but all were limp.
'Frodo, Mr. Frodo!' he called. 'Don't abandon your voters! It's your Sam
calling! Don't retire where I can't buy a condo because of my lower
socio-economic status. Wake up, Mr Frodo! O wake up, Frodo, me dear, me
dearest sweetest dear. Arise, Frodo, you have nothing to lose by you
chains of bourgeoise conformance!'
Then anger surged over him at how the fatcats had once again ground under
its heel a grassroots campaign, and he stood up on soapbox and spoke long
and impassioned speech to the empty audience. Presently he came back, and
bending looked at Frodo's face, pale beneath him in the dusk.
And then voter apathy came over him, and Sam sat in front the palantir,
turned on the serial epics, and he knew no more.
When at last the station ended its broadcast day, Sam looked up. How days
or years he had spent watching 'I Love Luthien' reruns he could not tell.
He was still stuck in the same dead-end job, and still his master could no
longer offer a fat annuity on retirement.
'What shall I do, what shall I do?' he said 'Did I come all this way from
the new Shire of Ham with him simply to lose it all in landslide defeat?'
Then he remembered speaking words that at the time he did not understand
himself, at the begining of the campaign: I have something to do before
the revolution. I must see it through, sir, if you understand.
'But what can I do? Not leave Mr Frodo dead, unburied in an Iowa church
hall, and go home? Or go on? Go on?' he repeated, as though hypnotised by
Gandalf in one of those sessions so long ago in Rivendell. 'Go on? Go on?
Go on? Do I want a cracker?'
'If I'm going to go on, then I must take your contributor's list, by your
leave, Mr Frodo, but I'll put this sword beside you, as it lay in
Strider's bag; and you've got your beautiful mithril coat. I'll be
helping myself to your lantern though. Do you understand, Mr. Frodo? I've
got to go on.'
But he could not go, not yet. He need some deus ex machina to get past the
orc stronghold and that had not yet presented itself. He knelt and held
Frodo's hand and gently sucked the fingers.
Now he tried to find the strength to tear himself away and go on a lonely
flamewar--for vengenance. He would track down that counterrevolutionary
reactionary running dog Saddam. Then Saddam would die in a corner of a
bunker. But that was not what he set out to do. It would not be worthwhile
to leave his master for that; it would not be a fit subject for his
memoirs. It would not revive Frodo's candidacy. Nothing would. It would be
better if they both just retired into obscurity in a small home off Castro
He looked at thick pages of the affidavits. He thought of the places
behind with a black captive vote and a free fall through the polls. There
was no route to the Mayor's office that way. 'What am I to do then?'
Gradually a small ganglia of neurons fired and awoke dim memories in what
might be called his brain because of its lodgement in his skull. The Ring.
Sauron. The Crack of Doom. His comrades being sliced, diced, and
sushified. The Internationale.
'What? Me, alone, go to the Crack of Doom and all?' He quailed at his
inability to put together a properly inflected sentence in Westron. 'What?
Me take the Ring from he? The Council gave it to him.' But the answer
came at once from Sibyl, 'And the Council gave him companions, so that the
Ring will be delivered in thirty minutes or less. Guaranteed. And you are
the last investor of all the Company. The assets and liabilities and coven
of creditors devolve onto you.'
'Oh, bugger all. I ain't go no choices. This is all just the authour's
feeble attempt to develop characterisation for me. We can't get to the
third volume unless I carry this enterprise forward.' With a few more
hours of increasing dissassociative content, Sam's various personalities
debated the issue until they realised that, indeed, the authour giveth and
the authour taketh away. And Sam taketh away the Ring from Frodo.
And then he bent down his head and put the chain upon it, and at once he
felt the great weight of the Ring. The notion of assuming Frodo's candidacy
no longer seemed a presumption but his by right. Slowly he began raising
funds to continue his own advocacy of the people's rights. Then Sam turned
and hid his integrity and stumbled into the uncertainity of middle-class
He did not have far to go. The tunnel was some way behind; the Last
Primary a couple of hundred yards ahead, or less. The campaign trail was
visible in the dusk. The media focus narrowed quickly. Soon Sam came to a
long flight of broad shallow steps to his platform. Now the orc-convention
hall was right above him, frowning black, its teeth long since sacrificed
to Sauron's contempt for the worker's right for free health benefits. He
had come to the eve of the election.
'I've made up my mind,' he kept saying to himself. 'No, you haven't,'
'Yes, you have,' his various personalities chorused. He quickly passed
through several paragraphs of character exposition while the vote was
Only a few more votes. And then suddenly he heard cries and voices.
Orc-voices. They were behind him and before him. Well, duh. Nice to see
Sauron's best finally on the job. A noise of tramping jackboots and harsh
shouts: Orcs were coming up to the cleft from the far side, and from some
entry to the convention hall, perhaps. Tramping boots and shouts behind.
Okay, alright, already. He was trapped. Sheesh. He slipped on the ring.
The world changed, and a single moment of time was filled with an hour of
pinball. At once he was aware that the Durincells in his hearing aid were
magically recharged. All things about him now were not simple matters of
morality, black or white, but ambiguous, context-dependent judgements in
degrees of grayness. The Orcs from the tower marched past him. He shrank
against his consultants.
''Ello, 'ello, 'ello. What's all this then, Gorebush? What are you doing
in my precinct? Had enough of ballot box stuffing already?'
'Orders, you centrist. And what are you up to, Ralphpat? Tired of lurking
in the suburbs? Thinking coming down to convention?'
'Orders to you. I'm this precinct's chief. So speak civil or there'll be
no spoils for you. What's your report?'
'Hai! hai! Bali hai!' A yell broke into dominance displays of the leaders.
The Orcs lower down had suddenly seen something. They began to run.
'Hai! Allo! Guten Tag! Here's something. Lying right in the road. An
unregistered voter, an unregistered voter!' There was a hoot of snarling
horns, a babel of baying conventioneers, and a reporter's shouted
questions from the press pool.
With dreadful stoke Sam was wakened to the fact that he could have spent
a bare few minutes trying to hide Frodo. Now all that was left to him was
some brave and futile gesture truly worthy of a Great Epic. With neither a
dragon nor Wiglaf at hand, he had no choice to chase after the
necrophiliac Orcs clusterring around Frodo's body.
But the Orcs were out of his dimwitted sight now. He had no time to
consider himself, but now he realised that he was weary, weary and bloated
from gorging too many twinkies: his legs would not carry him as he
Like a camera trick from Poltergiest, the hundred dash had turned into
miles of racing. The Orcs had found Frodo and were carrying him into the
tunnel. Sam paused at the tunnel before plunging in. 'Curse their
candidate registration requirements.'
After some more tedious gropage in the tunnels, Gorebush and Ralphpat
stopped for an expository dialog as Sam listened in, stuck behind some
stone in the path.
'Can't you stop your campaign committee making such a racket, RalphPat?'
grunted the one. 'We don't Steinlob on us.'
'Go on Gorebush! Yours are making more than half the noise,' said the
other. 'But let the lads make their promises! No need to worry about
Steinlob or the rest of that PC crowd for a bit, I reckon. She's been
exposed on nationwide palantir, it seems, and we shan't cry over that. So
let 'em laugh. And we've struck a bit of luck at last: got something
'Lugbúrz wants it, eh? What is it, d'you think? Liberal it looked to me,
but undersized. What's the danger in a thing like that?'
'Don't know till we conduct a poll.'
'Oho! So they haven't told you what to expect? But they can make mistakes,
even the pry chairmen can.'
'Sh, Gorebush!' Ralphpat's voice was lowered. 'They may, but they've got
spycams and bugs everywhere; some among my lot, as like as not. But
there's no doubt about this, they're troubled by something. The Nazdaq
down below have dropped one hundred points of light, by your account; and
Lugbúrz too. Something nearly slipped.'
'Nearly, you say!' said Gorebush. 'The messages go through faster than you
can fax a picture of your grandmother's bum, as a rule. Grr! Those Nazdaq
give me the creeps. And they'd trade the shirt off your back as soon as
look at you, and leave you all cold after foreclosing on the mortgage. But
He likes 'em; they're his favourite economic indicator nowadays, so it's
no use grumbling. I tell you, it's no game serving down in the Mall.'
'You should try to be up here with Steinlob for company.'
'I'd like to try somewhere where there's none of 'em. But the election's
on now, and when that's over things may be easier.'
'It's going well, they say.'
'They would. We'll see. But if it does, what do you say? Maybe some quiet
upstate town on our own with a few trusty goons, somewhere where there's
an easy protection racket, and no big majority whips.'
'Ah! Like old times,' said Ralphpat.
'Yes,' said Gorebush. 'But don't count your ballots yet. As I said, the
Big Cheeses can make mistakes. I say something has slipped. And we've got
to look out. It's all amnesty and exile to Côte d'Azur for top brass, but
us poor Uruks'll put against the wall and an arrow between the eyes. But
see here: when were you ordered out to vote dead relatives?'
'About an hour ago, just before you saw us. A message came: Nazdaq
uneasy. Interest rates hiked up the Stairs. Buy cheap, sell dear. I came
'Bad business. See here--our economic analysts sniffed out some kind of
cooperative banking venture. But my patrol wasn't ordered out for another
day, what with the great signal and all. They couldn't get Lugbúrz to pay
'The Eye was busy elsewhere I suppose. Last minute advertising blitz,
negative ads sent out across the River.'
'Daresay. Meantime voters have got up the Stairs. And what were you doing?
That cigar trick with your bimbo again?'
'Hey! I deny that. Don't try and teach me my job. We sees them. Like a
regular Chicago national convention it was. But we stay out while the
special interest crowd is at 'em. But hey! they got 'im anyway.'
'Got 'im. What about the other?'
'The one that nailed Steinlob on crossexamination.'
Ralphpat made no reply.
'You'd better think about that. You got some kind of populist candidate
wandering about, just like in the bad old days, during the Depression when
the Boss was forced to work as hatcheck girl in Medicine Hat.' Sam smiled
grimly at Gorebush's description of himself.
'Oh, pshaw,' retorted Ralphpat, neatly telescoping several more paragraphs
of dialog for the transcriber.
'So what do you want? Drumstick or breast?'
'That voter we got. It's in to pot with him, now. I mean, what's Lugbúrz
going to do with the corpse?'
'You fool,' snarled Ralphpat. 'Steinlob's got more than one kind of
slander. This one's still alive. No, this one will be alright in the
morning. One udun of a headache, but he'll live. At least until Lugbúrz
gets him. I'm putting him up in the top turret. We got it all fitted out
for this kind of thing. Leather restraints. Suspension devices. We'll have
our fun alright. A real sharp time.'
With that the two orcs moved off. Still unable to cope with the mechanics
of the garden gate clasp, Sam lept over and chased after them. But it was
too late. Like a massive iron studded wooden door, Sam had reached the end
of Book IV.
[Here ends the second part of the misery of the Warthog that Sings.
The third part tells of the last defence against Five O'Clock Shadow, and
the end of the Mission Sans Ringbearer in THE RERUNS OF THE KING.
Elvis has left the chapter.]
This exciting piece of draft material is presented through the courtesy of
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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
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is to be preferred.
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Some of Sam's spare personalities are currently being offered for auction on eBay.