Frodo patted his pocket nervously but his Prayer Gohonzon was still there.
Thank goodness! All those biggies relying on him. It would be terrible if he
was caught now. Sam bent to the oars and the boat moved away from the shore into the
Suddenly the terrified hobbits heard a splashing in the dark and a thin
voice pleading with them,
"Has it done gongyo, Preciousssss?
Has it been to its divisssional meeting?
Oh, we hope its been asssiduousssss?"
Frodo bit his tongue with sheer fright and Sam's toes turned white under
their fur. "What has it in its pocketsssss?" the creature continued, holding the side of the boat with long wet fingers. "Something narsssty, I can guesssss. Give it to me, it's mine, it's mine.
Narsty hobbitses mustn't have it. It's mine."
Frodo looked at Sam who looked back at him and suddenly they started to
snort, then giggle, then they fell to laughing hysterically till they were rolling
around in the bottom of the frail craft, their sides aching.
The creature screeched and fell back into the gloom with a mighty splash.
When Frodo and Sam came to their senses, they rowed on, whistling a merry
tune, out of the dark and into the sunnny lands.