The Lord of the... whatever, Book IV, Chapter 13:
The Very Long Night Of Samwise Gamgee
Sam awakened to find himself in bonds, gagged and tied to a tree.
Not far away was Boromir, sharpening his sword and looking around. Sam
struggled against the gag, making unpardonable noises.
"Awake, sirrah?" boomed Boromir. "'Tis a fair game hast played me.
Wilt not try to bite me upon the shank like thy now-unconscious companion,
wiltow?" He pointed toward a similarly trussed Frodo.
Sam shook his head. Boromir approached and removed the gag,
allowing Sam to unleash a torrent of proletarian vituperation.
"Monarchist scum! Untie me, or you'll live to see Gondor a
Socialist Republic, and yourself lined up against the Wall with your
deluded allies for your just retribution!" He continued in that vein for
quite a while. Boromir laughed, but a little nervously, and continued
to pace and look through the trees. They were, Sam guessed, in a glade of
Ethelien, with its usual appurtenances of pond and babbling brook,
somewhere to the east of Disgiliath. At least, that was where he thought
he had been when Sauron and Shelob had taken them Mordor-wards; the memory
was somewhat confused.
"Enough, halfling!" Boromir said after some time. "I'll not
debate thy strange and decidedly post-medieval political views with thee.
Know then, that thou hast been most foully deluded and cozened by the base
lies of Sauron."
"Liar!" Sam flung back. "I know for a fact that you're a
narcoterrorist and an accomplice of Gandalf the Gruesome. And I'm
Lenindil, the Heir of Isildur!"
"Sam, Sam!" Boromir laughed. "Listen to thyself! Wert thou
not the champion of freedom from tyranny and exploitation by the
aristocrats? And here art thou claiming meaningless, archaic titles and
even glorying in them? And associating me with Gandalf? What next?
Know that I have no interest other than that of Gondor and assorted
franchises. Think about it, Sam. Think about it."
Sam thought about it. He thought of Sauron's promises of power.
He thought of the Red Flag. He thought of Annúminas. He recalled that
Annúminas was a draughty ruin. He thought of the warm embraces of
Revolutionary Rosie. "Kinko... Pinko... Pinko... Kinko..." he mumbled.
"But what about the opera? Surely a cultured intellectual like Sauron
couldn't be up to no good..."
Boromir laughed scornfully. "Opera? Let me ask you, my good
Sam, hast ever heard of Mario Lanza?" Sam shook his head. "Well, then,
let me assure thee that opera may be Neanderthally lowbrow. And what has a
card-carrying member of the Hobbit Labour Party got to do with
Sam shook his head. The lies of Sauron now seemed dull, false, and
unbelievable. He could not understand how he had ever been gulled. "Very
well," he said slowly. "I still think yer a right stinkin' monarchist
snob. But I'll overlook that for now. What about Master, er, Mr. Frodo?"
"Hath babbled for hours about his 'Nurnenshire Estate', 'Moneybags
Hall' and all that, until one of my Rangers -- NOT narcoterrorists, by any
means -- swatted him on the occiput with his hilts. He's yet more deluded
than thee. But I'll release him, if you'll take him under your care."
"All right. I'll be responsible for him."
"The third of your troop hath escaped us. We broke the Orkish
guard that escorted you out of Disgiliath; but in the mêlée your gangrel
"Er, which gangrel friend?"
"I saw but the one. If there was another, it is doubtless still
with the Orks."
"What about Sauron and Shelob? Did they get away?" Sam asked.
"Sauron and Shelob? Art mad, my friend? Sauron abideth in the
Dark Tower in Mordor, hatching his evil plans. Shelob I know not, but we
slew nought but Orks."
"But I saw..." Sam began. But as he tried to put words to his
memory, it became muddled and fragmented.
"You were deceived by the phantoms of Sauron, no doubt, that emerge
from the spiral depths of Minas Epcot and wend their way up and down
Ethelien. Nay, Sauron will not emerge from the Dark Tower until all is
lost, and the Tower of Commerce is fallen. But we must away. The Orks
have only been driven off. The longer we wait, the sooner they will be
upon us. We shall go down from the Crossroads to below Disgiliath, into a
ferry I have waiting there, and across the Anduin to Minas Tirith,
where thou and thy Master shall be safe. Arouse him! For we must go."
Boromir released Sam's bonds, and Sam went over to Frodo. He had a
bad bruise on the back of his head, and was breathing heavily. "Mr. Frodo,
Sir!" he called. "Wake up, its your Sam, your own dear Sam, your dear,
dear beloved true-hearted faithful Sam."
Frodo woke with a scream. "Argh! My Estates! My Estates!" he
cried, and then collapsed back, sobbing. "Don't let them take my Estates
away, Sam!" As Sam freed his legs, he jumped up and tried to run, but
Boromir's Rangers blocked the way.
Sam grabbed Frodo's arm. "We're stuck here, Mr. Frodo, and that's
a fact. We might as well go with these gentlemen."
Frodo struck Sam's arm away. "No! They want my money, they do!
My Estates! My rightfully inherited Estates! My precious Estates! They
can't have them, no indeed, no precious!" He was panting hard at this
point, and sweating; his eyes, swollen and reddened, bulged from his
Boromir growled. "Thy 'Estates', as thou callest them," he said,
"are nought but the merest paper. There is no 'Nurnenshire'! 'Tis but a
vast, desolate wasteland! As thou wouldst have found, had I not freed thee
from the clutches of the Mordor-Orks. But thou art freed now, and soon
shall be safe within the walls of Minas Tirith.
Frodo shivered and looked around him with the gaze of a hunted,
cornered animal. "Lies, all lies," he panted. "I have Sauron's word on
it. I have the Deed! Everything comes down to Contracts, and mine is
signed and sealed! It's my Estate, mine I tell you!" His voice had become
a high-pitched whine.
Sam stepped up to him. "Oh, Mr. Frodo," he said plaintively, "you
can always come back for your Estate later. Now just follow these nice
Frodo spat at him. "You. You're in league with them! Just as I
always suspected. Trying to get my money, aren't you. Nice Sam, good Sam,
clever Sam. Always does what he's told, eh? And why is Mr. Sam so
devoted? Because he wants to pick Squire's pockets, that's why! Dog!
He burst upon Sam with both fists, punching and scratching, when
the heavy hand of a Ranger came down upon his shoulder and hauled him back.
Frodo's teeth sank deep into that hand, and were only released when a
mailed glove came down upon his head.
"Seest how he is, Sam," said Boromir. "Here, I think thou
hadst better take this; thou shalt be the safer guardian." He removed the
Ring from Frodo's neck and passed it to Sam. But Sam was deep in tears.
Frodo had rejected him! His own, dear, sweet master Frodo had decided that
money -- real or imaginary, it mattered not -- meant more to him than dear
Sam. Dear faithful Sam. The ground was soon damp with his sobs.
"We'd best be onward, Lord," quoth a Ranger. "Orks are a prowling.
And where an Ork prowls, there hoot all the owls."
"Aye," said Boromir. "And it's an ill wind that blows no one
With that the Orks came crashing through the trees, armed to the
teeth with Lugers, Mausers, and all manner of automatic weaponry. They
aimed their fire at the tall people (whom they could see), giving Sam a
chance to hide in a fernbrake and cover the unconscious Frodo over with
some branches. So Sam saw the whole massacre: Rangers falling or flying,
while Boromir fought on with his hopelessly anachronistic sword and
shield, until at last he fell with thirty bullets in the chest, and fell
back into the pond, which at once turned a gruesome red. So passed
Boromir, best of the house of the Stewards to fail to rule in Gondor.
Sam stayed hidden until the Orks had gone. The sun set and the
moon rose. Frodo woke, but Sam powered him to the ground and kept his hand
firmly over his mouth. A sound came from out toward the battlefield.
"Head bone connects to de neck bone, yess, neck bone connects to
juicy backbone, yes, backbone connects to scrumptious hip bone, yess, hip
bone connects to meaty thigh bone, yum!"
"Gullible!" Sam called softly. "Is that you?"
"Sss..." came the sibilant answer. "Is that silly hobbits? Still
chasing after imaginary Estatess?"
"No, we're over it," Sam replied. "Or I am, anyway. I don't know
about Mr. Frodo. What happened to you?"
"We escapes, we does. Runs away on fast feet with scampers and
"Losst, lost, saddam. But what does we care? She betrays us
with Gorbush, precious."
Sam shrugged. He had always been dubious about two people going
around saying saddam all the time, and although one was bad enough, he
supposed he could live. "Well," he said, "we'd better figure out a plan
from here. We were going to take the Ring to Mt. Viagra, I think..."
"NO!" The choking scream came from Frodo. "You can't! You'll
sell us all out to Gandalf!"
"Ss, stupid hobbit," said Gullible. "He is wrong to want the
Wogah-ring; steals precious bodily fluids, it does. It should be
"That's two against one, Frodo," Sam replied cheerfully, surprised
to find Gullible on his side in the debate. "So, are you with us, or do we
need to hogtie you with this excellent elven rope that I managed to bring
100 ells of? I thought I might need it, I did, or I'd be nowt but a
ninnyhammer, as my Gaffer used to say. And that's a fact."
Frodo looked at Sam and Gullible hungrily. A pale light gleamed in
his eyes. "To Mordor?" he whispered. "You're going to Mordor? I can
take you there. I know the way." A thin smile played upon his features.
So the three hobbits set forth on the last leg of their journey to
Mordor. Before them lay the great mountains of Ethel Duwap, and ahead of
them the road led to the Enemy's citadel of Minas Goofy. Minas Ethel long
ago, the former Tower of the Moonies had once seen mass marriages beyond
count. But long since the Enemy had occupied it, and the Leech-king's
hopelessly amateur tenor had rung throughout the long valley, filling it
with the sound of music. On the topmost tower of Minas Goofy a
long-snouted, buck-toothed head topped with a shapeless cap still revolved,
leering into the night. Sam and Gullible stood aghast at the sight, but
Frodo, apparently unmoved, pulled them forward. They came to the bridge
that led into the valley toward the yawning gate of Minas Goofy; and Sam
fell reeling to his knees, as the sickly sweet scent of cotton candy that
rose from the fields about almost overwhelmed him. "Not that way!" Frodo
hissed, and Sam shook off the horror and tottered after him. They attained
a path that climbed up the side of the valley into the slopes of Ethel
Duwap. But as they passed, a weariness as of a thousand exploited workers
overcame Sam and Gulible, and they felt the need to rest.
"Not rest here!" said Frodo. "Eyes can see us. Must go on, and
on, money awaits us, riches and power!"
"All right," said Sam quietly, "I'll try, Master."
But it was too late. All of a sudden the rocks trembled, and with
the blast of ten thousand sousaphones, floodlights illuminated the whole
valley. And out of Minas Goofy they came: the Army of Sauron, terrible
upon the march.
All that host was clad in scarlet and cream, and there were
drummers, trumpeters, sousaphonists and saxophonists, baton twirlers, flag
wavers, and Those who Marched in Step. Rank upon rank they came forth, and
the Leech-king, brandishing a mighty baton, was at their head. Frodo
smiled, recalling that day long since, when the deed to Moneybags Hall had
been handed to him.
And Sam, beholding the red flags waving, thought that perhaps the
Revolution had come. His hand, as if obeying historical necessity, crept
toward the Ring around his neck. Then his own will stirred, and his hand
sought and found another thing hidden near his breast: the Little Red Book
that had been his constant companion on his adventures. He sighed and bent
'The storm has burst at last,' he thought. 'Now the Sauronite
fascists are going to Disgiliath, to fight the Imperialists. Damn the
Party for voting for war credits! A pox on both their houses.' But deeper
down he remembered his ancient anti-fascism.
Then he heard Gullible's voice. "Wake up, Ssam! They're gone."
And indeed the sound of sousaphones was fading down the road, and the
floodlights had been turned out. Sam arose and, turning from the city of
Goofy, prepared to take the upward road. Frodo, it seemed, had gone on
ahead, and now came back. "Silly hobbits!" he said. "Must go on, on and
on, seek wealth and fame and fortune!"
So they proceeded, step by step. A long stair lead them high up
into the alpine meadows of Ethel Duwap, where the edelweiss grew and
alphorns sounded amidst the snowy peaks. Up and up they climbed, until at
last, in the dead of night, they could see the horns of the chalet of
Cirith Iodel. A yellow light burned in the window of the chalet.
"Sss! Tricksy hobbit!" hissed Gullible. "Frodo cheats us, he
does! This way is guarded!"
Frodo shrugged. "Could be," he said. "Maybe it's least guarded.
"A long way yet," said Sam mournfully. "I could use a good rest
They rested upon an flowered alpine carpet and built a fire and
toasted marshmallows. The stars shone bright in the sky above them, as Sam
and Gullible sang old campfire songs that they found they both knew. After
the third chorus of "Up in the Air, Junior Nazgûl," Sam said to Gullible,
"You know, you're not such a bad sort after all. I'll make sure to put in
a good word for you when Mr. Frodo finally writes this story."
"And who will read this story, eh precious?" Gullible snickered.
"I don't know. People will buy anything these days, as my Gaffer
used to say, bless his apophthegmatic soul. If nothing else, Minas
Tirith could make it into a movie. I'm the hero of course, and you're
the cute talking animal with big eyes, but we'll need a villain. Now
where's Master Frodo got to?"
They looked around. Frodo was nowhere to be seen. Sam sighed. "I
should keep a closer eye on him. But he's got strange fancies these days.
Still, we must humor him."
"Ss, no use worrying about him, no precious," said Gullible.
"Worry about us, yes!" Sam found Gullible's gaze slightly unnerving, but
also endearing; he assumed that Gullible had moved into Stage #3 of the
Five Stages of Sidekicking, i.e. Hero Worship. "He's gone after his
Estates, yes, that's his whole plan: the Estates for poor Frodo."
"You're a cynic, Gullible," Sam laughed. "Let's hope for the best
and prepare for the worst. For all's well that ends better!"
When Frodo returned, he saw Sam and Gullible sleeping, Sam's head
in Gullible's lap, Gullible's eyes closed and his hand caressing Sam's
hair. Frodo's shriek woke them both.
"Cheat!" he cried out. "Wicked Sam cheats on us! Whatever
happened to Faithful Sam! And now I see you sleeping with -- yes, I said
sleeping with this wretch, this Gullible! Nice Sam! Loving Sam!
Precious Sam! Oooh! I could just kill you!"
"Sorry," Sam said a bit remorsefully. "But I wasn't sleeping with
Gullible, just resting, and he's taken rather a shine to me, so..."
"Don't even start," Frodo said angrily. "I know the whole story.
So it's my fault, is it? Everything's always my fault. Always blame
poor Frodo. Very nice Sam, very nice."
"So where've you been, Frodo?"
"Cheating on you, just like you've been cheating on me."
"Oh well," replied Sam. "I suppose it's not far from the truth.
Well, let's go on. Come on, Gullible."
"Yes, let's," Frodo said sniffily. "You and Gullible. Cheats.
But you can't get there without me. No time for rest. Come along."
The hobbits climbed the slope, marching as straight as they could
toward the comforting-looking lights of the chalet. An easy slope led up
before them, covered with soft green turf. Gullible breathed in the sweet
alpine air. "Last one there's a rotten egg!" he cried and set off. Sam
was hot on his heels. Only a little higher now. The cleft, Cirith Iodel,
was before them, a dim notch in the alpine ridge, and the chalet darkling
against the sky. A short race, a sprinter's course, and they would be
But Sam was still digesting the marshmallows (of which he had eaten
most), and Gullible's legs were too fast for him. As he slowed, panting,
he felt a clammy hand over his mouth. Taken off guard he toppled back into
"Got him!" Frodo said. "The so-called faithful Sam! Don't think I
haven't searched your pockets at night. 'Death to the Aristocrats'! 'Long
live the Revolution!' We'll see about revolution when I'm esconced in
Moneybags Hall. Did you think you had me fooled? You're nothing but a
sanctimonious liberal-leftist petty bourgeois armchair revolutionary. But
I've got you at last, you nasty filthy cheat!"
Armchair revolutionary. Those words burned a fire in Sam's brain
that overcame his remembered love for Frodo and allowed him to fight back.
A heel came up in Frodo's groin, and an elbow in his gut. Frodo retched
and staggered back. Sam was on him, punching and stomping. "Had enough,
pig?" he asked after he relented long enough for Frodo to catch his breath.
But that was a mistake.
"Hey-yo-ee-oh! Yo-ee-oh!" A deafening yodel burst from Frodo's
lips. And out of the sky, rending the air like a butter-knife, came a
Nazdaq flying upon some strange Fierce Beast. Frodo leaped up and grasped
a claw, and the Nazdaq swooped away with him, leaving only a call that
echoed down the mountainside. "So long, suckaz!" Frodo's plot had
Sam raised his head from the ground, weeping with anger. Gullible
was nowhere in sight. The love for Frodo that had filled him had turned to
hatred. Now, at last, there was a real purpose for his lonely journey into
the land of Mordor. Vengeance. If once he could go, his anger would bear
him down all the roads of the world, pursuing, until he had him at last:
Frodo. Then Frodo would die in a corner. Yes, Sam mused to himself.
This was what he had set out to do. It might not bring about the
Revolution, but it would be uniquely satisfying.
Gullible came creeping back down the slope and found Sam there.
"Ssam dear," he said, "you'd better look at this." Sam followed wearily.
They came to the top of the ridge, where the chalet stood.
But there was only one wooden wall. The chalet was a false front,
the inviting yellow light seen from a distance just a single candle burning
behind an empty window. And before them the alpine meadows ended. On the
far side of the Ethel Duwap, the delightful music-filled glades dropped
into sheer, slaty precipices. Far below Sam could see the vast parking
lots of the Mall of Gorgoroth and Lithlad Station; their asphalt surfaces
stretched to the horizon. In the gloom, no trace of the Dark Tower or
Mount Viagra could be seen. Sam clenched his hands into fists and glared
into the distance. Somewhere out there was Frodo: alive, and taken in by
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Copyright © 2001 by the author. All rights reserved. Some variance between this
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