Hey, a chapter where the title doesn’t explicitly say what’s going to happen! Handy, that. All we can tell is that one point there will be herbs and stewed rabbit.
None yet, though. Frodo and Sam finish up their rest by eating a little, as Gollum explains that more food and fresh water will be in abundance further on their chosen path. They set out once again, marching just to the side of the road leading west. The night is dark, with the only real light coming from a red glow at the top of the towers at the Black Gate. When that disappears, they can tell that they’ve turned the corner south around the mountains. It’s been a long night’s walk. Gollum is trying to push them as fast as they can go.
Today’s Gollum Meter: 78 – “You’re better at pushing the hobbits to keep walking than anyone else I’ve seen so far!”
Like I was saying, Gollum actually has a plan for how far he wants to get each night, and he’s sticking to it. It seems like every other march so far has been defined by how far our heroes can walk before they get too tired to go on. Then it’s time to stop! With Gollum, he won’t let them stop until they’ve gotten as far as is necessary. They’ve only gotten one rest as it is.
Thinking back earlier, this probably wasn’t a problem in the marshes. With so many obstacles, they could only go so far before day would break, making them call a halt. Distance tiring them out wasn’t really a thing. Now, with less impeding them, they could walk forever, if it weren’t for that problem of weariness.
With almost eight leagues behind them, Gollum allows the march to end. If it’s around 30 leagues to the crossroads, he’s on his pace to get there in around four days. Hopefully nothing will go wrong. It never does, right?
No one dies today.
“They had then walked almost eight leagues, and the hobbits could not have gone any further, even if they had dared.”