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Release date: 2022-07-07 09:29:05 Author:MnqCxgDS

I am sorry, Sam, said the wizard But when the Door opens I do not think you will be able to drag your Bill inside, into the long dark of Moria You will have to choose between Bill and your master

We must find a way round the northern edge, said Gimli The first thing for the Company to do is to climb up by the main path and see where that will lead us Even if there were no lake, we could not get our baggage pony up this stair

At length they came to a sharp bend There the road, which had been veering southwards between the brink of the channel and a steep fall of the land to the left, turned and went due east again Rounding the corner they saw before them a low cliff, some five fathoms high, with a broken and jagged top Over it a trickling water dripped, through a wide cleft that seemed to have been carved out by a fall that had once been strong and full

When they came to the northernmost corner of the lake they found a narrow creek that barred their way It was green and stagnant, thrust out like a slimy arm towards the enclosing hills Gimli strode forward undeterred, and found that the water was shallow, no more than ankle deep at the edge Behind him they walked in file, threading their way with care, for under the weedy pools were sliding and greasy stones, and footing was treacherous Frodo shuddered with disgust at the touch of the dark unclean water on his feet

But you cant leave poor old Bill behind in this forsaken place, Mr Gandalf

I have heard both, said Gandalf and I will not give judgement now But I beg you two, Legolas and Gimli, at least to be friends, and to help me I need you both The doors are shut and hidden, and the sooner we find them the better Night is at hand

We must find a way round the northern edge, said Gimli The first thing for the Company to do is to climb up by the main path and see where that will lead us Even if there were no lake, we could not get our baggage pony up this stair

I have heard both, said Gandalf and I will not give judgement now But I beg you two, Legolas and Gimli, at least to be friends, and to help me I need you both The doors are shut and hidden, and the sooner we find them the better Night is at hand

Indeed things have changed

The day was drawing to its end, and cold stars were glinting in the sky high above the sunset, when the Company, with all the speed they could, climbed up the slopes and reached the side of the lake In breadth it looked to be no more than two or three furlongs at the widest point How far it stretched away southward they could not see in the failing light but its northern end was no more than half a mile from where they stood, and between the stony ridges that enclosed the valley and the waters edge there was a rim of open ground They hurried forward, for they had still a mile or two to go before they could reach the point on the far shore that Gandalf was making for and then he had still to find the doors

When this was done they turned to watch Gandalf He appeared to have done nothing He was standing between the two trees gazing at the blank wall of the cliff, as if he would bore a hole into it with his eyes Gimli was wandering about, tapping the stone here and there with his axe Legolas was pressed against the rock, as if listening

He walked forward to the wall Right between the shadow of the trees there was a smooth space, and over this he passed his hands to and fro, muttering words under his breath Then he stepped back

Turning to the others he said: While I am searching, will you each make ready to enter the Mines? For here I fear we must say farewell to our good beast of burden You must lay aside much of the stuff that we brought against bitter weather: you will not need it inside, nor, I hope, when we come through and journey on down into the South Instead each of us must take a share of what the pony carried, especially the food and the water skins

The day was drawing to its end, and cold stars were glinting in the sky high above the sunset, when the Company, with all the speed they could, climbed up the slopes and reached the side of the lake In breadth it looked to be no more than two or three furlongs at the widest point How far it stretched away southward they could not see in the failing light but its northern end was no more than half a mile from where they stood, and between the stony ridges that enclosed the valley and the waters edge there was a rim of open ground They hurried forward, for they had still a mile or two to go before they could reach the point on the far shore that Gandalf was making for and then he had still to find the doors

I have heard both, said Gandalf and I will not give judgement now But I beg you two, Legolas and Gimli, at least to be friends, and to help me I need you both The doors are shut and hidden, and the sooner we find them the better Night is at hand

They found the stone steps without difficulty, and Gimli sprang swiftly up them, followed by Gandalf and Frodo When they reached the top they saw that they could go no further that way, and the reason for the drying up of the Gate stream was revealed Behind them the sinking Sun filled the cool western sky with glimmering gold Before them stretched a dark still lake Neither sky nor sunset was reflected on its sullen surface The Sirannon had been dammed and had filled all the valley Beyond the ominous water were reared vast cliffs, their stern faces pallid in the fading light: final and impassable No sign of gate or entrance, not a fissure or crack could Frodo see in the frowning stone

We must find a way round the northern edge, said Gimli The first thing for the Company to do is to climb up by the main path and see where that will lead us Even if there were no lake, we could not get our baggage pony up this stair

When this was done they turned to watch Gandalf He appeared to have done nothing He was standing between the two trees gazing at the blank wall of the cliff, as if he would bore a hole into it with his eyes Gimli was wandering about, tapping the stone here and there with his axe Legolas was pressed against the rock, as if listening

But you cant leave poor old Bill behind in this forsaken place, Mr Gandalf

He walked forward to the wall Right between the shadow of the trees there was a smooth space, and over this he passed his hands to and fro, muttering words under his breath Then he stepped back

Gandalf now pressed on at a great pace, and the others followed as quickly as they could They reached the strip of dry land between the lake and the cliffs: it was narrow, often hardly a dozen yards across, and encumbered with fallen rock and stones but they found a way, hugging the cliff, and keeping as far from the dark water as they might A mile southwards along the shore they came upon holly trees Stumps and dead boughs were rotting in the shallows, the remains it seemed of old thickets, or of a hedge that had once lined the road across the drowned valley But close under the cliff there stood, still strong and living, two tall trees, larger than any trees of holly that Frodo had ever seen or imagined Their great roots spread from the wall to the water Under the looming cliffs they had looked like mere bushes, when seen far off from the top of the Stair but now they towered overhead, stiff, dark, and silent, throwing deep night shadows about their feet, standing like sentinel pillars at the end of the road

Sam stood sullenly by the pony and returned no answer Bill, seeming to understand well what was going on, nuzzled up to him, putting his nose to Sams ear Sam burst into tears, and fumbled with the straps, unlading all the ponys packs and throwing them on the ground The others sorted out the goods, making a pile of all that could be left behind, and dividing up the rest

It was not the fault of the Dwarves that the friendship waned, said Gimli

But in any case we cannot take the poor beast into the Mines, said Gandalf The road under the mountains is a dark road, and there are places narrow and steep which he cannot tread, even if we can

Gandalf now pressed on at a great pace, and the others followed as quickly as they could They reached the strip of dry land between the lake and the cliffs: it was narrow, often hardly a dozen yards across, and encumbered with fallen rock and stones but they found a way, hugging the cliff, and keeping as far from the dark water as they might A mile southwards along the shore they came upon holly trees Stumps and dead boughs were rotting in the shallows, the remains it seemed of old thickets, or of a hedge that had once lined the road across the drowned valley But close under the cliff there stood, still strong and living, two tall trees, larger than any trees of holly that Frodo had ever seen or imagined Their great roots spread from the wall to the water Under the looming cliffs they had looked like mere bushes, when seen far off from the top of the Stair but now they towered overhead, stiff, dark, and silent, throwing deep night shadows about their feet, standing like sentinel pillars at the end of the road

When they came to the northernmost corner of the lake they found a narrow creek that barred their way It was green and stagnant, thrust out like a slimy arm towards the enclosing hills Gimli strode forward undeterred, and found that the water was shallow, no more than ankle deep at the edge Behind him they walked in file, threading their way with care, for under the weedy pools were sliding and greasy stones, and footing was treacherous Frodo shuddered with disgust at the touch of the dark unclean water on his feet

But you cant leave poor old Bill behind in this forsaken place, Mr Gandalf

I have heard both, said Gandalf and I will not give judgement now But I beg you two, Legolas and Gimli, at least to be friends, and to help me I need you both The doors are shut and hidden, and the sooner we find them the better Night is at hand

We must find a way round the northern edge, said Gimli The first thing for the Company to do is to climb up by the main path and see where that will lead us Even if there were no lake, we could not get our baggage pony up this stair

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