کتاب چهارم - فصل 04-02
- زمان مطالعه 21 دقیقه
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متن انگلیسی فصل
In the end he had to find what he wanted for himself; but he did not have to go far, not out of sight of the place where his master lay, still sleeping. For a while Sam sat musing, and tending the fire till the water boiled. The daylight grew and the air became warm; the dew faded off turf and leaf. Soon the rabbits cut up lay simmering in their pans with the bunched herbs. Almost Sam fell asleep as the time went by. He let them stew for close on an hour, testing them now and again with his fork, and tasting the broth.
When he thought all was ready he lifted the pans off the fire, and crept along to Frodo. Frodo half opened his eyes as Sam stood over him, and then he wakened from his dreaming: another gentle, unrecoverable dream of peace.
“Hullo, Sam! ‘ he said. “Not resting? Is anything wrong? What is the time? ‘
“About a couple of hours after daybreak,” said Sam, “and nigh on half past eight by Shire clocks, maybe. But nothing’s wrong. Though it ain’t quite what I’d call right: no stock, no onions, no taters. I’ve got a bit of a stew for you, and some broth, Mr. Frodo. Do you good. You’ll have to sup it in your mug; or straight from the pan, when it’s cooled a bit. I haven’t brought no bowls, nor nothing proper.”
Frodo yawned and stretched. “You should have been resting Sam,” he said. “And lighting a fire was dangerous in these parts. But I do feel hungry. Hmm! Can I smell it from here? What have you stewed? ‘
“A present from Sméagol,” said Sam: “a brace o’ young coneys; though I fancy Gollum’s regretting them now. But there’s nought to go with them but a few herbs.”
Sam and his master sat just within the fern-brake and ate their stew from the pans, sharing the old fork and spoon. They allowed themselves half a piece of the Elvish waybread each. It seemed a feast.
“Wheew! Gollum! ‘ Sam called and whistled softly. “Come on! Still time to change your mind. There’s some left, if you want to try stewed coney.” There was no answer.
“Oh well, I suppose he’s gone off to find something for himself. We’ll finish it,” said Sam.
“And then you must take some sleep,” said Frodo.
“Don’t you drop off, while I’m nodding, Mr. Frodo. I don’t feel too sure of him. There’s a good deal of Stinker-the bad Gollum, if you understand me-in him still, and it’s getting stronger again. Not but what I think he’d try to throttle me first now. We don’t see eye to eye, and he’s not pleased with Sam, O no precious, not pleased at all.”
They finished, and Sam went off to the stream to rinse his gear. As he stood up to return, he looked back up the slope. At that moment he saw the sun rise out of the reek, or haze, or dark shadow, or whatever it was, that lay ever to the east, and it sent its golden beams down upon the trees and glades about him. Then he noticed a thin spiral of blue-grey, smoke, plain to see as it caught the sunlight, rising from a thicket above him. With a shock he realized that this was the smoke from his little cooking-fire, which he had neglected to put out.
“That won’t do! Never thought it would show like that! ‘ he muttered, and he started to hurry back. Suddenly he halted and listened. Had he heard a whistle or not? Or was it the call of some strange bird? If it was a whistle, it did not come from Frodo’s direction. There it went again from another place! Sam began to run as well as he could uphill.
He found that a small brand, burning away to its outer end, had kindled some fern at the edge of the fire, and the fern blazing up had set the turves smouldering. Hastily he stamped out what was left of the fire, scattered the ashes, and laid the turves on the hole. Then he crept back to Frodo.
“Did you hear a whistle, and what sounded like an answer? ‘ he asked. “A few minutes back. I hope it was only a bird, but it didn’t sound quite like that: more like somebody mimicking a bird-call, I thought. And I’m afraid my bit of fire’s been smoking. Now if I’ve gone and brought trouble, I’ll never forgive myself. Nor won’t have a chance, maybe! ‘ “Hush! ‘ whispered Frodo. “I thought I heard voices.”
The two hobbits trussed their small packs, put them on ready for flight, and then crawled deeper into the fern. There they crouched listening.
There was no doubt of the voices. They were speaking low and furtively, but they were near, and coming nearer. Then quite suddenly one spoke clearly close at hand.
“Here! Here is where the smoke came from! ‘ it said. ““Twill be nigh at hand. In the fern, no doubt. We shall have it like a coney in a trap. Then we shall learn what kind of thing it is.”
“Aye, and what it knows! ‘ said a second voice.
At once four men came striding through the fern from different directions. Since flight and hiding were no longer possible, Frodo and Sam sprang to their feet, putting back to back and whipping out their small swords.
If they were astonished at what they saw, their captors were even more astonished. Four tall Men stood there. Two had spears in their hands with broad bright heads. Two had great bows, almost of their own height, and great quivers of long green-feathered arrows. All had swords at their sides, and were clad in green and brown of varied hues, as if the better to walk unseen in the glades of Ithilien. Green gauntlets covered their hands, and their faces were hooded and masked with green, except for their eyes, which were very keen and bright. At once Frodo thought of Boromir, for these Men were like him in stature and bearing, and in their manner of speech.
“We have not found what we sought,” said one. “But what have we found? ‘
“Not Orcs,” said another, releasing the hilt of his sword, which he had seized when he saw the glitter of Sting in Frodo’s hand.
“Elves? ‘ said a third, doubtfully.
“Nay! Not Elves,” said the fourth, the tallest, and as it appeared the chief among them. “Elves do not walk in Ithilien in these days. And Elves are wondrous fair to look upon, or so”tis said.”
“Meaning we’re not, I take you,” said Sam. “Thank you kindly. And when you’ve finished discussing us, perhaps you’ll say who you are, and why you can’t let two tired travellers rest.”
The tall green man laughed grimly. “I am Faramir, Captain of Gondor,” he said. “But there are no travellers in this land: only the servants of the Dark Tower, or of the White.”
“But we are neither,” said Frodo. “And travellers we are, whatever Captain Faramir may say.”
“Then make haste to declare yourselves and your errand,” said Faramir. “We have a work to do, and this is no time or place for riddling or parleying. Come! Where is the third of your company? ‘
“The third? ‘
“Yes, the skulking fellow that we saw with his nose in the pool down yonder. He had an ill-favoured look. Some spying breed of Orc, I guess, or a creature of theirs. But he gave us the slip by some fox-trick.”
“I do not know where he is,” said Frodo. “He is only a chance companion met upon our road; and I am not answerable for him. If you come on him, spare him. Bring him or send him to us. He is only a wretched gangrel creature, but I have him under my care for a while. But as for us, we are Hobbits of the Shire, far to the North and West, beyond many rivers. Frodo son of Drogo is my name, and with me is Samwise son of Hamfast, a worthy hobbit in my service. We have come by long ways - out of Rivendell, or Imladris as some call it.” Here Faramir started and grew intent. “Seven companions we had: one we lost at Moria, the others we left at Parth Galen above Rauros: two of my kin; a Dwarf there was also, and an Elf, and two Men. They were Aragorn; and Boromir, who said that he came out of Minas Tirith, a city in the South.”
“Boromir! ‘ all the four men exclaimed.
“Boromir son of the Lord Denethor?” said Faramir, and a strange stern look came into his face. “You came with him? That is news indeed, if it be true. Know, little strangers, that Boromir son of Denethor was High Warden of the White Tower, and our Captain-General: sorely do we miss him. Who are you then, and what had you to do with him? Be swift, for the Sun is climbing!”
“Are the riddling words known to you that Boromir brought to Rivendell? ‘ Frodo replied.
Seek for the Sword that was Broken.
In Imladris it dwells.
“The words are known indeed,” said Faramir in astonishment. “It is some token of your truth that you also know them.”
“Aragorn whom I named is the bearer of the Sword that was Broken,” said Frodo. “And we are the Halflings that the rhyme spoke of.”
“That I see,” said Faramir thoughtfully. “Or I see that it might be so. And what is Isildur’s Bane? ‘
“That is hidden,” answered Frodo. “Doubtless it will be made clear in time.”
“We must learn more of this,” said Faramir, “and know what brings you so far east under the shadow of yonder-,” he pointed and said no name. “But not now. We have business in hand. You are in peril. and you would not have gone far by field or road this day. There will be hard handstrokes nigh at hand ere the day is full. Then death, or swift flight bark to Anduin. I will leave two to guard you, for your good and for mine. Wise man trusts not to chance-meeting on the road in this land. If I return, I will speak more with you.”
“Farewell!” said Frodo, bowing low. “Think what you will, I am a friend of all enemies of the One Enemy. We would go with you, if we halfling folk could hope to serve you, such doughty men and strong as you seem, and if my errand permitted it. May the light shine on your swords!”
“The Halflings are courteous folk, whatever else they be,” said Faramir. “Farewell!”
The hobbits sat down again, but they said nothing to one another of their thoughts and doubts. Close by, just under the dappling shadow of the dark bay-trees, two men remained on guard. They took off their masks now and again to cool them, as the day-heat grew, and Frodo saw that they were goodly men, pale-skinned, dark of hair, with grey eyes and faces sad and proud. They spoke together in soft voices, at first using the Common Speech, but after the manner of older days, and then changing to another language of their own. To his amazement, as he listened Frodo became aware that it was the Elven-tongue that they spoke, or one but little different; and he looked at them with wonder, for he knew then that they must be Dúnedain of the South, men of the line of the Lords of Westernesse.
After a while he spoke to them; but they were slow and cautious in answering. They named themselves Mablung and Damrod, soldiers of Gondor, and they were Rangers of Ithilien; for they were descended from folk who lived in Ithilien at one time, before it was overrun. From such men the Lord Denethor chose his forayers, who crossed the Anduin secretly (how or where, they would not say) to harry the Orcs and other enemies that roamed between the Ephel Dúath and the River.
“It is close on ten leagues hence to the east-shore of Anduin,” said Mablung,”and we seldom come so far afield. But we have a new errand on this journey: we come to ambush the Men of Harad. Curse them! ‘
“Aye, curse the Southrons! ‘ said Damrod. “ “Tis said that there were dealings of old between Gondor and the kingdoms of the Harad in the Far South; though there was never friendship. In those days our bounds were away south beyond the mouths of Anduin, and Umbar, the nearest of their realms, acknowledged our sway. But that is long since. “Tis many lives of Men since any passed to or fro between us. Now of late we have learned that the Enemy has been among them, and they are gone over to Him, or back to Him-they were ever ready to His will-as have so many also in the East. I doubt not that the days of Gondor are numbered, and the walls of Minas Tirith are doomed, so great is His strength and malice.”
“But still we will not sit idle and let Him do all as He would,” said Mablung. “These cursed Southrons come now marching up the ancient roads to swell the hosts of the Dark Tower. Yea, up the very roads that craft of Gondor made. And they go ever more heedlessly, we learn, thinking that the power of their new master is great enough, so that the mere shadow of His hills will protect them. We come to teach them another lesson. Great strength of them was reported to us some days ago, marching north. One of their regiments is due by our reckoning to pass by, some time ere noon-up on the road above, where it passes through the cloven way. The road may pass, but they shall not! Not while Faramir is Captain. He leads now in all perilous ventures. But his life is charmed, or fate spares him for some other end.”
Their talk died down into a listening silence. All seemed still and watchful. Sam, crouched by the edge of the fern-brake, peered out. With his keen hobbit-eyes he saw that many more Men were about. He could see them stealing up the slopes, singly or in long files, keeping always to the shade of grove or thicket, or crawling, hardly visible in their brown and green raiment, through grass and brake. All were hooded and masked, and had gauntlets on their hands, and were armed like Faramir and his companions. Before long they had all passed and vanished. The sun rose till it neared the South. The shadows shrank.
“I wonder where that dratted Gollum is? ‘ thought Sam, as he crawled back into deeper shade. “He stands a fair chance of being spitted for an Orc, or of being roasted by the Yellow Face. But I fancy he’ll look after himself.” He lay down beside Frodo and began to doze.
He woke, thinking that he had heard horns blowing. He sat up. It was now high noon. The guards stood alert and tense in the shadow of the trees. Suddenly the horns rang out louder and beyond mistake from above, over the top of the slope. Sam thought that he heard cries and wild shouting also, but the sound was faint, as if it came out of some distant cave. Then presently the noise of fighting broke out near at hand, just above their hiding-place. He could hear plainly the ringing grate of steel on steel, the clang of sword on iron cap, the dull beat of blade on shield; men were yelling and screaming, and one clear loud voice was calling Gondor! Gondor!
“It sounds like a hundred blacksmiths all smithying together,” said Sam to Frodo. “They’re as near as I want them now.”
But the noise grew closer. “They are coming!” cried Damrod. “See! Some of the Southrons have broken from the trap and are flying from the road. There they go! Our men after them, and the Captain leading.”
Sam, eager to see more, went now and joined the guards. He scrambled a little way up into one of the larger of the bay-trees. For a moment he caught a glimpse of swarthy men in red running down the slope some way off with green-clad warriors leaping after them, hewing them down as they fled. Arrows were thick in the air. Then suddenly straight over the rim of their sheltering bank, a man fell, crashing through the slender trees, nearly on top of them. He came to rest in the fern a few feet away, face downward, green arrow-feathers sticking from his neck below a golden collar. His scarlet robes were tattered, his corslet of overlapping brazen plates was rent and hewn, his black plaits of hair braided with gold were drenched with blood. His brown hand still clutched the hilt of a broken sword.
It was Sam’s first view of a battle of Men against Men, and he did not like it much. He was glad that he could not see the dead face. He wondered what the man’s name was and where he came from; and if he was really evil of heart, or what lies or threats had led him on the long march from his home; and if he would not really rather have stayed there in peace-all in a flash of thought which was quickly driven from his mind. For just as Mablung stepped towards the fallen body, there was a new noise. Great crying and shouting. Amidst it Sam heard a shrill bellowing or trumpeting. And then a great thudding and bumping. like huge rams dinning on the ground.
“Ware! Ware!” cried Damrod to his companion. “May the Valar turn him aside! Mûmak! Mûmak!”
To his astonishment and terror, and lasting delight, Sam saw a vast shape crash out of the trees and come careering down the slope. Big as a house, much bigger than a house, it looked to him, a grey-clad moving hill. Fear and wonder, maybe, enlarged him in the hobbit’s eyes, but the Mûmak of Harad was indeed a beast of vast bulk, and the like of him does not walk now in Middle-earth; his kin that live still in latter days are but memories of his girth and majesty. On he came, straight towards the watchers, and then swerved aside in the nick of time, passing only a few yards away, rocking the ground beneath their feet: his great legs like trees, enormous sail-like ears spread out, long snout upraised like a huge serpent about to strike. his small red eyes raging. His upturned hornlike tusks were bound with bands of gold and dripped with blood. His trappings of scarlet and gold flapped about him in wild tatters. The ruins of what seemed a very war-tower lay upon his heaving back, smashed in his furious passage through the woods; and high upon his neck still desperately clung a tiny figure-the body of a mighty warrior, a giant among the Swertings.
On the great beast thundered, blundering in blind wrath through pool and thicket. Arrows skipped and snapped harmlessly about the triple hide of his flanks. Men of both sides fled before him, but many he overtook and crushed to the ground. Soon he was lost to view, still trumpeting and stamping far away. What became of him Sam never heard: whether he escaped to roam the wild for a time, until he perished far from his home or was trapped in some deep pit; or whether he raged on until he plunged in the Great River and was swallowed up.
Sam drew a deep breath. “An Oliphaunt it was!” he said. “So there are Oliphaunts, and I have seen one. What a life! But no one at home will ever believe me. Well, if that’s over, I’ll have a bit of sleep.”
“Sleep while you may,” said Mablung. “But the Captain will return, if he is unhurt; and when he comes we shall depart swiftly. We shall be pursued as soon as news of our deed reaches the Enemy, and that will not be long.”
“Go quietly when you must!” said Sam. “No need to disturb my sleep. I was walking all night.”
Mablung laughed. “I do not think the Captain will leave you here, Master Samwise,” he said. “But you shall see.”
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