کتاب چهارم - فصل 06-02

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سه گانه ارباب حلقه ها

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کتاب چهارم - فصل 06-02

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At that moment the great black shape of Anborn loomed up behind him and came down on him. A large strong hand took him in the nape of the neck and pinned him. He twisted round like lightning, all wet and slimy as he was, wriggling like an eel, biting and scratching like a cat. But two more men came up out of the shadows.

“Hold still! ‘ said one. “Or we’ll stick you as full of pins as a hedgehog. Hold still!”

Gollum went limp, and began to whine and weep. They tied him, none too gently.

“Easy, easy! ‘ said Frodo. “He has no strength to match you. Don’t hurt him, if you can help it. He’ll be quieter, if you don’t. Sméagol! They won’t hurt you. I’ll go with you, and you shall come to no harm. Not unless they kill me too. Trust Master! ‘ Gollum turned and spat at him. The men picked him up, put a hood over his eyes, and carried him off.

Frodo followed them, feeling very wretched. They went through the opening behind the bushes. and back, down the stairs and passages, into the cave. Two or three torches had been lit. Men were stirring. Sam was there, and he gave a queer look at the limp bundle that the men carried. “Got him?” he said to Frodo.

“Yes. Well no, I didn’t get him. He came to me, because he trusted me at first, I’m afraid. I did not want him tied up like this. I hope it will be all right; but I hate the whole business.”

“So do I,” said Sam. “And nothing will ever be all right where that piece of misery is.”

A man came and beckoned to the hobbits, and took them to the recess at the back of the cave. Faramir was sitting there in his chair, and the lamp had been rekindled in its niche above his head. He signed to them to sit down on the stools beside him. “Bring wine for the guests,” he said. “And bring the prisoner to me.”

The wine was brought, and then Anborn came carrying Gollum. He removed the cover from Gollum’s head and set him on his feet standing behind him to support him. Gollum blinked, hooding the malice of his eyes with their heavy pale lids. A very miserable creature he looked, dripping and dank, smelling of fish (he still clutched one in his hand); his sparse locks were hanging like rank weed over his bony brows, his nose was snivelling.

“Loose us! Loose us! ‘ he said. “The cord hurts us, yes it does, it hurts us, and we’ve done nothing.”

“Nothing? ‘ said Faramir, looking at the wretched creature with a keen glance, but without any expression in his face either of anger, or pity, or wonder. “Nothing? Have you never done anything worthy of binding or of worse punishment? However, that is not for me to judge, happily. But tonight you have come where it is death to come. The fish of this pool are dearly bought.”

Gollum dropped the fish from his hand. “Don’t want fish,” he said.

“The price is not set on the fish,” said Faramir. “Only to come here and look on the pool bears the penalty of death. I have spared you so far at the prayer of Frodo here, who says that of him at least you have deserved some thanks. But you must also satisfy me. What is your name? Whence do you come? And whither do you go? What is your business? ‘ “We are lost, lost,” said Gollum. “No name, no business, no Precious, nothing. Only empty. Only hungry; yes, we are hungry. A few little fishes, nasty bony little fishes, for a poor creature, and they say death. So wise they are; so just, so very just.”

“Not very wise,” said Faramir. “But just: yes perhaps, as just as our little wisdom allows. Unloose him Frodo! ‘ Faramir took a small nail-knife from his belt and handed it to Frodo. Gollum misunderstanding the gesture, squealed and fell down.

“Now, Sméagol! ‘ said Frodo. “You must trust me. I will not desert you. Answer truthfully, if you can. It will do you good not harm.” He cut the cords on Gollum’s wrists and ankles and raised him to his feet.

“Come hither! ‘ said Faramir. “Look at me! Do you know the name of this place? Have you been here before? ‘

Slowly Gollum raised his eyes and looked unwillingly into Faramir’s. All light went out of them, and they stared bleak and pale for a moment into the clear unwavering eyes of the man of Gondor. There was a still silence. Then Gollum dropped his head and shrank down, until he was squatting on the floor, shivering. “We doesn’t know and we doesn’t want to know,” he whimpered. “Never came here; never come again.”

“There are locked doors and closed windows in your mind, and dark rooms behind them,” said Faramir. “But in this I judge that you speak the truth. It is well for you. What oath will you swear never to return; and never to lead any living creature hither by word or sign?”

“Master knows,” said Gollum with a sidelong glance at Frodo. “Yes, he knows. We will promise Master, if he saves us. We’ll promise to It, yes.” He crawled to Frodo’s feet. “Save us, nice Master! ‘ he whined. “Sméagol promises to Precious, promises faithfully. Never come again, never speak, no never! No, precious, no!”

“Are you satisfied? ‘ said Faramir.

“Yes,” said Frodo. “At least, you must either accept this promise or carry out your law. You will get no more. But I promised that if he came to me, he should not be harmed. And I would not be proved faithless.”

Faramir sat for a moment in thought. “Very good,” he said at last. “I surrender you to your master, to Frodo son of Drogo. Let him declare what he will do with you! ‘

“But, Lord Faramir,” said Frodo bowing, “you have not yet declared your will concerning the said Frodo, and until that is made known, he cannot shape his plans for himself or his companions. Your judgement was postponed until the morning; but that is now at hand.”

“Then I will declare my doom,” said Faramir. “As for you, Frodo, in so far as lies in me under higher authority, I declare you free in the realm of, Gondor to the furthest of its ancient bounds; save only that neither you nor any that go with you have leave to come to this place unbidden. This doom shall stand for a year and a day, and then cease, unless you shall before that term come to Minas Tirith and present yourself to the Lord and Steward of the City. Then I will entreat him to confirm what I have done and to make it lifelong. In the meantime, whomsoever you take under your protection shall be under my protection and under the shield of Gondor. Are you answered? ‘ Frodo bowed low. “I am answered,” he said, “and I place myself at your service, if that is of any worth to one so high and honourable.”

“It is of great worth,” said Faramir. “And now, do you take this creature, this Sméagol, under your protection? ‘

“I do take Sméagol under my protection,” said Frodo. Sam sighed audibly; and not at the courtesies, of which, as any hobbit would, he thoroughly approved. Indeed in the Shire such a matter would have required a great many more words and bows.

“Then I say to you,” said Faramir, turning to Gollum,”you are under doom of death; but while you walk with Frodo you are safe for our part. Yet if ever you be found by any man of Gondor astray without him, the doom shall fall. And may death find you swiftly, within Gondor or without, if you do not well serve him. Now answer me: whither would you go? You were his guide, he says. Whither were you leading him? ‘ Gollum made no reply.

“This I will not have secret,” said Faramir. “Answer me, or I will reverse my judgement! ‘ Still Gollum did not answer.

“I will answer for him,” said Frodo. “He brought me to the Black Gate, as I asked; but it was impassable.”

“There is no open gate into the Nameless Land,” said Faramir.

“Seeing this, we turned aside and came by the Southward road ‘ Frodo continued;”for he said that there is, or there may be, a path near to Minas Ithil.”

“Minas Morgul,” said Faramir.

“I do not know clearly,” said Frodo; “but the path climbs, I think, up into the mountains on the northern side of that vale where the old city stands. It goes up to a high cleft and so down to - that which is beyond.”

“Do you know the name of that high pass? ‘ said Faramir.

“No,” said Frodo.

“It is called Cirith Ungol.” Gollum hissed sharply and began muttering to himself. “Is not that its name? ‘ said Faramir turning to him.

“No! ‘ said Gollum, and then he squealed, as if something had stabbed him. “Yes, yes, we heard the name once. But what does the name matter to us? Master says he must get in. So we must try some way. There is no other way to try, no.”

“No other way? ‘ said Faramir. “How do you know that? And who has explored all the confines of that dark realm? ‘ He looked long and thoughtfully at Gollum. Presently he spoke again. “Take this creature away, Anborn. Treat him gently, but watch him. And do not you, Sméagol, try to dive into the falls. The rocks have such teeth there as would slay you before your time. Leave us now and take your fish! ‘ Anborn went out and Gollum went cringing before him. The curtain was drawn across the recess.

“Frodo, I think you do very unwisely in this,” said Faramir. “I do not think you should go with this creature. It is wicked.”

“No, not altogether wicked,” said Frodo.

“Not wholly, perhaps,” said Faramir;”but malice eats it like a canker, and the evil is growing. He will lead you to no good. If you will part with him, I will give him safe-conduct and guidance to any point on the borders of Gondor that he may name.”

“He would not take it,” said Frodo. “He would follow after me as he long has done. And I have promised many times to take him under my protection and to go where he led. You would not ask me to break faith with him?”

“No,” said Faramir. “But my heart would. For it seems less evil to counsel another man to break troth than to do so oneself, especially if one sees a friend bound unwitting to his own harm. But no - if he will go with you, you must now endure him. But I do not think you are holden to go to Cirith Ungol, of which he has told you less than he knows. That much I perceived clearly in his mind. Do not go to Cirith Ungol!”

“Where then shall I go? ‘ said Frodo. “Back to the Black Gate and deliver myself up to the guard? What do you know against this place that makes its name so dreadful? ‘

“Nothing certain,” said Faramir. “We of Gondor do not ever pass east of the Road in these days, and none of us younger men has ever done so, nor has any of us set foot upon the Mountains of Shadow. Of them we know only old report and the rumour of bygone days. But there is some dark terror that dwells in the passes above Minas Morgul. If Cirith Ungol is named, old men and masters of lore will blanch and fall silent.

,The valley of Minas Morgul passed into evil very long ago, and it was a menace and a dread while the banished Enemy dwelt yet far away, and Ithilien was still for the most part in our keeping. As you know, that city was once a strong place, proud and fair, Minas Ithil, the twin sister of our own city. But it was taken by fell men whom the Enemy in his first strength had dominated, and who wandered homeless and masterless after his fall. It is said that their lords were men of Númenor who had fallen into dark wickedness; to them the Enemy had given rings of power, and he had devoured them: living ghosts they were become, terrible and evil. After his going they took Minas Ithil and dwelt there, and they filled it, and all the valley about, with decay: it seemed empty and was not so, for a shapeless fear lived within the ruined walls. Nine Lords there were, and after the return of their Master, which they aided and prepared in secret, they grew strong again. Then the Nine Riders issued forth from the gates of horror, and we could not withstand them. Do not approach their citadel. You will be espied. It is a place of sleepless malice, full of lidless eyes. Do not go that way! ‘ “But where else will you direct me? ‘ said Frodo. “You cannot yourself, you say, guide me to the mountains, nor over them. But over the mountains I am bound, by solemn undertaking to the Council, to find a way or perish in the seeking. And if I turn back, refusing the road in its bitter end, where then shall I go among Elves or Men? Would you have me come to Gondor with this Thing, the Thing that drove your brother mad with desire? What spell would it work in Minas Tirith? Shall there be two cities of Minas Morgul, grinning at each other across a dead land filled with rottenness? ‘ “I would not have it so,” said Faramir.

“Then what would you have me do? ‘

“I know not. Only I would not have you go to death or to torment. And I do not think that Mithrandir would have chosen this way.”

“Yet since he is gone, I must take such paths as I can find. And there is no time for long searching,” said Frodo.

“It is a hard doom and a hopeless errand,” said Faramir. “But at the least, remember my warning: beware of this guide, Sméagol. He has done murder before now. I read it in him.” He sighed.

“Well, so we meet and part, Frodo son of Drogo. You have no need of soft words: I do not hope to see you again on any other day under this Sun. But you shall go now with my blessing upon you, and upon all your people. Rest a little while food is prepared for you.

“I would gladly learn how this creeping Sméagol became possessed of the Thing of which we speak, and how he lost it, but I will not trouble you now. If ever beyond hope you return to the lands of the living and we retell our tales, sitting by a wall in the sun, laughing at old grief, you shall tell me then. Until that time, or some other time beyond the vision of the Seeing-stones of Númenor, farewell! ‘ He rose and bowed low to Frodo, and drawing the curtain passed out into the cave.

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