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Chapter 13 The Passage of the Marshes_The Two Towers双塔奇兵



Gollum moved quickly, with his head and neck thrust forward, often using his hands as well as his feet. 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 wait for them. After a time he brought them to the brink of the narrow gully that they had struck before; but they were now 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 east towards the marshes. The reek of them came to their nostrils, heavy and foul even in the cool night air. .

Gollum cast up and down along the brink, and at length he called to them. 'Here! We can get down here. Smjagol went this way once: I went this way, hiding from Orcs.'

He led the way, and following him the hobbits climbed down into the gloom. It was not difficult, for the rift was at this point only some fifteen feet deep and about a dozen across. There was running water at the bottom: it was in fact the bed of one of the many small rivers that trickled down from the hills to feed the stagnant pools and mires beyond. Gollum turned to the right, southward more or less, and splashed along with his feet in the shallow stony stream. He seemed greatly delighted to feel the water, and chuckled to himself, sometimes even croaking in a sort of song.

The cold hard lands,
they bites our hands,
they gnaws our feet.
The rocks and stones
are like old bones
all bare of meat.
But stream and pool
is wet and cool:
so nice for feet!
And now we wish --

'Ha! ha! What does we wish?' 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 thought it far from pleasant.

Alive without breath;
as cold as death;
never thirsting, ever drinking;
clad in mail, never clinking.
Drowns on dry land,
thinks an island
is a mountain;
thinks a fountain
is a puff of air.
So sleek, so fair!
What a joy to meet!
We only wish
to catch a fish,
so juicy-sweet!

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

They stumbled along in the dark winding gully for a long time, or so it seemed to the tired feet of Frodo and Sam. The gully turned eastward, and as they went on it broadened and got gradually shallower. At last the sky above grew faint with the first grey of morning. Gollum had shown no signs of tiring, but now he looked up and halted. 'Day is near,' he whispered, as if Day was something that might overhear him and spring on him. 'Smjagol will stay here: I will stay here, and the Yellow Face won't see me.' '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.' 'You are not wise to be glad of the Yellow Face,' said Gollum. 'It shows you up. Nice sensible hobbits stay with Smjagol. Orcs and nasty things are about. They can see a long way. Stay and hide with me! '

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