Sam finds water and glimpses Gollum skulking nearby
Event Type: General
Age: 3rd Age - Ring War
Date: March 18, 3019
An event in the prelude to the Destruction of the One Ring; see that entry for an overview:
'Before you start any more plodding, you need sleep and food, Mr. Frodo. Come and take what you can get of them!'
He gave Frodo water and an additional wafer of the waybread, and he made a pillow of his cloak for his master's head. Frodo was too weary to debate the matter, and Sam did not tell him that he had drunk the last drop of their water, and eaten Sam's share of the food as well as his own. ... 'Well, here goes, Master!' Sam muttered to himself. 'I'll have to leave you for a bit and trust to luck. Water we must have, or we'll get no further.'
Sam crept out, and ... he went down to the water-course, and then followed it for some way as it climbed north, until he came to the rock-steps where ... its spring had come gushing down.... All now seemed dry and silent; but ... to his delight he caught the sound of trickling. Clambering a few steps up he found a tiny stream of dark water that came out from the hill-side and filled a little bare pool, from which again it spilled, and vanished then under the barren stones.
Sam tasted the water, and it seemed good enough. Then he drank deeply, refilled the bottle, and turned to go back. At that moment he caught a glimpse of a black form ... flitting among the rocks away near Frodo's hiding-place. Biting back a cry, he leapt down from the spring and ran.... It was a wary creature..., but Sam had little doubt about it: he longed to get his hands on its neck. But it heard him coming and slipped quickly away. Sam thought he saw a last fleeting glimpse of it..., before it ducked and disappeared.
'Well, luck did not let me down,' muttered Sam, 'but that was a near thing!' ... He sat down by Frodo and did not rouse him; but he did not dare to go to sleep himself. At last ... he wakened Frodo gently.
'That Gollum's about again, I'm afraid, Mr. Frodo,' he said. ... 'I went away to find some water and spied him nosing round just as I turned back. I reckon it isn't safe for us both to sleep together, and begging your pardon, but I can't hold up my lids much longer.'
'Bless you, Sam!' said Frodo. 'Lie down and take your proper turn! But I'd rather have Gollum than orcs. At any rate he won't give us away to them - not unless he's caught himself.'
'But he might do a bit of robbery and murder on his own,' growled Sam. 'Keep your eyes open, Mr. Frodo! There's a bottle full of water. Drink up. We can fill it again when we go on.' With that Sam plunged into sleep.
Light was fading when he woke. Frodo sat propped against the rock behind, but he had fallen asleep. The water-bottle was empty. There was no sign of Gollum.
Mordor-dark had returned..., when the hobbits set out again on the most dangerous stage of all their journey.
The Return of the King, LoTR Book 6, Ch 2, The Land of Shadow
Elena Tiriel 22Aug06