'I made a promise . . .'
Leaves and brached slapped at my face as I raced towards the river.
I gasped for breath--I don't think I have ever ran so fast in my life. But
i knew where Frodo was and I needed to stop him . . . he couldn't go alone.
I burst out onto the shore. I looked about and
I saw, to my utter amazement, a boat with no one in it pulling away from
the shore, the oar rowing away. I stood there a moment before pulling my
"Mr. Frodo!" I cried, racing to the edge of the river. "Mr. Frodo! Come back! Don't go alone."
Suddenly Frodo appeared there in the boat, having
pulled the Ring from his finger. He looked back at me, pain in his eyes I
could see from the shore.
"Go back, Sam." he choked. "I'm going to Mordor alone!"
"Of course you are. And I'm coming with you!" I
said, eyeing the deep waters of the river anxiously. Frodo stared at me from
the Elven boat. He seemed torn between whether to leave me standing on the
shore or to come back. I wasn't about to let him go. I took and deep breath
and then I leapt out towards the boat, landing with a splash! a good yard
short of the boat.
"Sam!" Frodo cried in horror. I struggled towards
him, doggy-paddling as best I could, but the boat was too far. "Sam!" Frodo
screamed again as I fell below the water.
The river surged over my head and I looked up
to see the sun shinning bravely into the water, attempting to light the murk
below me. It was a futile attempt.
I kicked and struggled, my hands grasped in vain
for a hold that was not there. I felt my lungs burning, screaming for air,
but I seemed to be no closer to Frodo, to air--to anything.
My vision began to go dark and slowly I let the
peace of the water take me. But even as I began to let go, a dark shape move
over me. I watched in detached amusement as a hand shot down into the water,
fingers wrapping around my wrist. And without knowing why, I gripped back.
The hand that gripped me pulled and suddenly my head broke into air. I gasped
for breath as Frodo hauled me into the boat, nearly tipping it over in the
process. I looked up to see him staring at me, his eyes large, tears streaming
down his cheeks.
"I made a promise, Mr. Frodo, a promise!" I gasped,
water running down my face. "'Don't you leave him, Samwise Gamgee!' And I
don't mean to. . . I don't mean to . . ."
Frodo stared at me.
"Oh, Sam." he sobbed. He threw his arms about me
and we held on to each other, the little boat rocking wildly in the little
boat. Both of us cried, though neither of us seemed to care. Finally, Frodo
pulled away--his face wet and puffy from crying--and looked me in the eye.
"Come on then." he said. And we took up out paddles--far too large for us--and
headed for the opposite shore.
"I doubt we'll ever see them agian . . ." Frodo said quietly, never turning. I stared at his back.
"We may yet, Mr. Frodo. We may."
And we left the others then, never really knowing
what would become of Strider or Boromir or Legolas or Gimli or Merry and
Pippin. But I did know one thing--I certainly wasn't letting Frodo go off
alone, because a Gamgee never breaks his promise.