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Book IV, Chapters 1-3
We’re in a fix and no mistake. There are no roads in this country to speak of. I know what you’re thinking, no roads means no inns, and you’d be right, no inns, neither. We can see where we want to go, but getting there’s another story. Lots of green where we’re going, but not a good wholesome green like in the Shire, and from the stink I fear it’s a nasty bog ahead of us.
We’ve come the wrong way, and
I got to put my new rope to use today and though I know you won’t half credit it, it’s as good as any of Uncle Andy’s.
Sorry, Dad, I scratched that last bit out because it was grumbly and not fit to write. It wasn’t anything to write home about.
We did stop and ask directions, and the fellow said he’d go one better and show us the way himself, though I wouldn’t trust him any further than I could paddle a boat. Still, Mr. Frodo welcomed him to join us. You know how trusting he always is. He does want a good bit of looking after, Mr. Frodo does, for his own good.
But it’s time to sleep, so I’ll try to write again when there’s news to tell. Best to Mari.
I could do without marshes. First Midges, and now this. Dreary stinking place, and tricksy lights, and the food is not all I could wish, though I suppose it’s better than going without.
One of those unpleasant fellows tried to find Mr. Frodo again, up to no good, but we managed to give him the slip.
More mountains ahead, but these are bare rock, and make me sick somehow to see them. They badly need a good gardener here, but I don’t think the wages would suit.
Our guide is even less trustworthy than I thought. I’m keeping a close eye on the wretch, though Mr. Frodo is as fair-spoken to him as ever. I never saw such a gentlehobbit for minding his manners.
You often said I’d come to a bad end if I didn’t watch my step, and well, I’d give most anything to hear you say I told ‘ee so, Sam. O’ course, you wouldn’t know me to look at, to say it to. We all badly need a wash, even Mr. Frodo. I know, you always say Ponies sweat, gardeners perspire, and gentlehobbits sort of glow but to tell the truth, even gentlehobbits can be in need of a bath sometimes, though it would never do to say so.
We tried one way to get where we’re going but came smack up against a gate, locked shut, like Mr. Proudfoot’s back garden when the cherry trees are bearing and the young hobbits come around with more hope than sense.
We’re going to have to find another way. I only hope our guide will lead us true, and that Mr. Frodo knows what we are doing.
Saw four of those unpleasant fellows today, but they didn’t see us. Good thing, too.
Have seen more big folk hereabouts, all in red and gold, than you could shake a stick at, sure as Shiretalk. But no Oliphaunts. Perhaps there ain’t no such beasts after all, if the Swertings don’t have ‘em.
But it is time to take our rest, and then it'll be time to move on again.
I dearly would like to have seen an Oliphaunt.
Oops, almost forgot this disclaimer. There are a few words and phrases from The Two Towers, by J.R.R. Tolkien, scattered throughout this chapter.
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