I wasn't going to do this, but the first two questions were so popular that I think we can go for the hat trick.

enter image description here

The full size image is available here.

Note: Once again, I can't ask you to transcribe it yourself, but if you do, you will get a bounty. However, you can't possibly transcribe it. I don't think anyone can. I'm almost tempted to accuse Christopher Tolkien of making up whatever transcription he has published.

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    Fun fact: in History of Middle-earth, Christopher Tolkien literally says: "From about this point the text becomes increasingly rough and increasingly difficult to read". His attempt at transcribing the page is full of ellipsis, as well. So even he's not confident in it Jun 2, 2015 at 23:13
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    The words "The rope lay" is visible at the top of the written portion and the lower center of the typed portion, so that could be the case.
    – HDE 226868
    Jun 2, 2015 at 23:18
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    I was going by the asterisk and the note at the bottom beginning "At this..." [point]
    – Wad Cheber
    Jun 2, 2015 at 23:20
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    It actually starts on the other side of the page, I'm pretty sure. In that image, you can just make out a note from CT saying "At this point the text of the manuscript reproduced on p. 90 begins" Jun 2, 2015 at 23:20
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    Oh, dear. Is this his real handwriting?!
    – Secko
    Jun 4, 2015 at 1:51

1 Answer 1


Source at http://www.e-reading.club/bookreader.php/138997/Tolkien_08_The_War_of_the_Ring.pdf

The rope lay slack for a long while as Sam stared at it. Suddenly it drew taut, and nearly caught him at unawares. He braced his feet, and wondering [read wondered] what had happened and whether his master was now dangling in mid-air at the far rope's end, but not [read no] cry came, and the rope went slack again. After a long while as it seemed he thought he heard a faint hail. He listened, it came again, and cautiously he crawled to the brink taking in the slack as he went. The darkness was drawing nearer - and it seemed dim below; but in his grey cloak Frodo if he was there was quite invisible. But something white fluttered and the shout came up clear now. 'It's all right, not too difficult at all except in one place. I'm down. [?I've] 3 ells of rope to spare. Slowly [?to take] my weight ... I'm coming up and shall use the rope.'
In about 10 mins. he reappeared over the edge and threw himself down by Sam. 'That's that,' he said. 'I'll be glad of a short rest. Down you go now - he described the route as best he could and direct[ed] Sam to hail when he came to the bad place. 'I slipped there,' he said, 'and [?should have gone] but for the rope, a little over halfway down, quite a drop [?start to finish]. But I think I can just ... you.(12) Pay it out slowly and take the weight off on any ledge you come on. Good luck.'

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    You didn't transcribe it by hand, but you deserve a 100 point bounty anyway. I can create it in 3 hours and award it tomorrow.
    – Wad Cheber
    Jun 4, 2015 at 19:13
  • You'll have your bounty around this time tomorrow.
    – Wad Cheber
    Jun 4, 2015 at 23:06
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    If you're the one who took that picture and you had that volume of History of Middle-Earth in front of you, it's a bit strange that you missed the transcript of that page being right next to it. Anyhoo, Superplane copy&pasted it for you, so Christopher's interpretation is the best we have. I don't think anyone else could have decoded that writing.
    – Maksim
    Jun 5, 2015 at 7:30
  • @Maksim - I found the picture online. I didn't take it myself, and I don't have the book.
    – Wad Cheber
    Jun 5, 2015 at 21:59
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    @Superplane - There you go!
    – Wad Cheber
    Jun 5, 2015 at 23:19

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