Book III

The Departure of Boromir

Aragornspedonupthehill.Everynowandagainhebenttotheground.Hobbitsgolight,andtheirfootprintsarenoteasyevenforaRangertoread,butnotfarfromthetopaspringcrossedthepath,andinthewetearthhesawwhathewasseeking.

’Ireadthesignsaright,’hesaidtohimself.’Frodorantothehill-top.Iwonderwhathesawthere?Buthereturnedbythesameway,andwentdownthehillagain.

Aragornhesitated.Hedesiredtogotothehighseathimself,hopingtoseetheresomethingthatwouldguidehiminhisperplexities;buttimewaspressing.Suddenlyheleapedforward,andrantothesummit,acrossthegreatflag-stones,andupthesteps.Thensittinginthehighseathelookedout.Butthesunseemeddarkened,andtheworlddimandremote.HeturnedfromtheNorthbackagaintoNorth,andsawnothingsavethedistanthills,unlessitwerethatfarawayhecouldseeagainagreatbirdlikeaneaglehighintheair,descendingslowlyinwidecirclesdowntowardstheearth.

Evenashegazedhisquickearscaughtsoundsinthewoodlandsbelow,onthewestsideoftheRiver.Hestiffened.Therewerecries,andamongthem,tohishorror,hecoulddistinguishtheharshvoicesofOrcs.Thensuddenlywithadeep-throatedcallagreathornblew,andtheblastsofitsmotethehillsandechoedinthehollows,risinginamightyshoutabovetheroaringofthefalls.

’ThehornofBoromir!’hecried.’Heisinneed!’Hesprangdownthestepsandaway,leapingdownthepath.’Alas!Anillfateisonmethisday,andallthatIdogoesamiss.

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