Combining his remarkable skill in swimming with the roping talents he had acquired from his uncle André, Samouard swiftly released himself from the sack and swam underwater for seven lieues, until he judged himself distant enough from the Château de Locqueholles to emerge from the watery abyss without that his erstwhile captors perceived him. The nearest land was two lieues distant. Observing wrily that he did not possess Élouine's talent for transforming into a seabird when far from land, the intrepid hobbit made a supreme effort, and pulled himself to shore, where he collapsed, passing out of time and knowledge.
When he awoke, he found himself surrounded by masked outlaws dressed in Lincoln green.
"Would you care for some venison?" said the leader. "It's not quite first-rate, since we ran out of Mordeaux when the tarques confiscated it several moons since. But I hope it will serve."
"To a starving man I am sure it will be more than adequate," laughed Gamgès, and promptly threw himself on the rather rare meat his benefactor held out to him.
"To whom do I owe this favour?" he inquired.