. . . the three hunters plunged into the forest of Fangorn. Legolas and Gimli left the tracking to Aragorn. There was little for him to see. The floor of the forest was dry and covered with a drift of leaves; but guessing that the fugitives would stay near the water, he returned often to the banks of the stream. So it was that he came upon the place where Merry and Pippin had drunk and bathed their feet. There plain for all to see were the footprints of two hobbits, one somewhat smaller than the other.
‘This is good tidings,’ said Aragorn. ‘Yet the marks are two days old. And it seems that at this point the hobbits left the water-side.’
‘Then what shall we do now?’ said Gimli. ‘We cannot pursue them through the whole fastness of Fangorn. We have come ill supplied. If we do not find them soon, we shall be of no use to them, except to sit down beside them and show our friendship by starving together.’
‘If that is indeed all we can do, then we must do that,’ said Aragorn.
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers 96 (Random House 1965)(1954).