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Pippin and Merry, in the custody of the Orcs, lie captive awaiting their fates. By listening to the conversation, Pippin learns that there are two groups of Orcs. In the course of taking the captives, the two groups have fought one another. Pippin gets hold of a knife and cuts his bonds, tying a loose knot around his wrists.
The prisoners are picked up and after another short journey, the Orcís messenger tells them that a single horseman was seen nearby. This time Merry and Pippin are made to walk instead of being carried. Pippin manages to break free, but is caught. Fortunately before he is caught, he manages to lose his cloak pin, a broach. He loses consciousness and only regains it when the Orcs stop.
Eomer and his men attack the Orcs and Merry and Pippin manage to escape into Fangorn.
This chapter is a sort of narrative flashback, explaining the pin that the other men found in their search. This narrative layering reveals a thoroughness on the part of Tolkien, who wants to explain all the loose ends he includes.