The Two Towers Book 4, Chapter 4
They rest for the remainder of the daylight. At dusk, they travel again for many miles until dawn. Gollum wants to keep moving away from the gates of Mordor and hopes to travel 30 leagues in four nights. They rest for the day, but hunger keeps Sam from sleeping. He wishes for something different to eat. At night, they follow an ancient road that turns into a dirt path. They come into a land that was once called Ithilien. When day sheds light on the plains, there are groves of trees and wild flowers. The smell of the earth is sweeter here. At a clear lake, they wash and fill their water flasks. Sam looks around and finds a thicket for them to rest in. Sam cannot stop thinking of food, and when Gollum begins to leave to hunt, he asks him if he can find something for hobbits to eat.
Frodo sleeps and Sam watches his face. He thinks that he looks old and also, "'I love him. He's like that and sometimes it shines through, somehow. But I love him, whether or no.'" Book 4, Chapter 4, pg. 330. Gollum returns with rabbits and Sam thinks about how he should cook them. He asks Gollum to fill a pot with water for him. Then he builds a small fire. Gollum freaks out when he sees the fire and is very upset that Sam is planning to ruin the rabbits by cooking them. Sam asks him to find some herbs, but Smeagol refuses. Sam collects them himself and makes a stew. Frodo wakes and says that the fire was a dangerous plan but he enjoys the stew anyway.
Sam goes to the lake to wash the pots, but Frodo tells him to be quiet because he hears voices. Four men enter the thicket and do not know what to think of the hobbits. The first man introduces himself as Faramir from Gondor. He asks who they are and where they are from. He also asks about Gollum, who has disappeared. Frodo announces his name and those of his original companions. Faramir asks him about Boromir and gets very agitated. Frodo repeats part of the dream Boromir recounted at Rivendell. Faramir is interested in the story and tells them that they must be careful. He departs to attend to some business and Frodo finds out that the men are rangers of Ithilien commissioned by the steward of Minas Tirith. They are worried about the rising numbers of southern men fighting under the banner of Sauron. One of them worries that the orcs and men outnumber Gondor greatly. The talk dies down and Sam sees that there are many of these men about. He hopes that Gollum will be found and killed as an orc. Frodo takes a nap.
He wakes up later to hear the sound of men fighting. The rangers are fighting southern men. One of them falls near Sam who is shocked; this is the first time he has ever seen men fighting men. A large gray creature with tusks and a long snout stumbles towards them and is cut to the ground. A southern man falls off of him. Sam knows that this is an oliphaunt and is frightened. The rangers defeat the southern men and the hobbits sleep for a while longer.