The Choices of Master Samwise

“Can’t you stop your rabble making such a racket, Shagrat?” grunted the one. “We don’t want Shelob on us.”

“Go on, Gorbag! Yours are making more than half the noise,” said the other. “But let the lads play! No need to worry about Shelob for a bit, I reckon. She’s sat on a nail, it seems, and we shan’t cry about that. Didn’t you see: a nasty mess all the way back to that cursed crack of hers? If we’ve stopped it once, we’ve stopped it a hundred times. So let ‘em laugh. And we’ve struck a bit of luck at last: got something that Lugbúrz wants.”

“Lugbúrz wants it, eh? What is it, d’you think? Elvish it looked to me, but undersized. What’s the danger in a thing like that?”

“Don’t know till we’ve had a look.”

“Oho! So they haven’t told you what to expect? They don’t tell us all they know, do they? Not by half. But they can make mistakes, even the Top Ones can.”

“Sh, Gorbag!” Shagrat’s voice was lowered, so that even with his strangely sharpened hearing Sam could only just catch what was said. “They may, but they’ve got eyes and ears everywhere; some among my lot, as like as not. But there’s no doubt about it, they’re troubled about something. The Nazgûl down below are, by your account; and Lugbúrz is too. Something nearly slipped.”

Nearly you say!” said Gorbag.

“All right,” said Shagrat, “but we’ll talk of that later. Wait till we get to the Under-way. There’s a place where we can talk a bit, while the lads go on.”

“No, I don’t know,” said Gorbag’s voice. “The messages go through quicker than anything could fly, as a rule. But I don’t enquire how it’s done. Safest not to. Grr! Those Nazgûl give me the creeps. And they skin the body off you as soon as look at you, and leave you all cold in the dark on the other side. But he likes ‘em; they’re His favourites nowadays, so it’s no use grumbling, I tell you, it’s no game serving down in the city.”

“You should try being up here with Shelob for company,” said Shagrat.

“I’d like to try somewhere where there’s none of ‘em. But the war’s on now, and when that’s over things may be easier.”

“It’s going well, they say.”

“They would,” grunted Gorbag. “We’ll see. But anyway, if it does go well, there should be a lot more room. What d’you say? – if we get a chance, you and me’ll slip off and set up somewhere on our own with a few trusty lads, somewhere where there’s good loot nice and handy, and no big bosses.”

“Ah!” said Shagrat. “Like old times.”

“Yes,” said Gorbag. “But don’t count on it. I’m not easy in my mind. As I said, the Big Bosses, ay,” his voice sank almost to a whisper, “ay, even the Biggest, can make mistakes. Something nearly slipped, you say. I say, something has slipped. And we’ve got to look out. Always the poor Uruks to put slips right, and small thanks. But don’t forget: the enemies don’t love us any more than they love Him, and if they get topsides on Him, we’re done too.”

(J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Lord of the Rings”)


Sometimes my good friend Maurizio has a long a complex way to explain things, but I really love when we talk together, he’s of extraordinary culture, our difference in age could be the one between father and son and I learn very much from him. With Maurizio too I share this passion for Fantasy and writing. I think I understand what’s that part of “The Lord of the Rings” you were referring to, Maurizio, and I put a bit of it here …


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Roberto Srelz

About Roberto Srelz

Editore e direttore responsabile, presidente del gruppo centoFoto , è nato a Trieste. Professionista presso una grande azienda internazionale, è scrittore biografico (ha pubblicato il romanzo breve ‘Per Due Volte’ con ‘Luglio Editore’ ) e fantastico (ama in particolare il Fantasy nordeuropeo e scrive racconti brevi sul Web). Nel 2010 e 2012, con ‘Esaedro’, è stato editore di ‘Lions & Saints’ (Guendal – Ramella) e di ‘Pin Up’ (‘Accademia di Fumetto’, Trieste), collaboratore di dotART, e dal 2009 al 2014 ha organizzato la manifestazione ‘Fumetti per Gioco‘ assieme ad altri collaboratori. Insegna fotografia ed ha partecipato a mostre fotografiche in Italia (l'ultima delle quali su Steve Kaufman con "American Pop Art") e all’estero (Croazia, Polonia e Ungheria).