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TIME - October 13
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Oct 13 2023, 1:55pm

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Today in Middle-earth

October 13, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Bilbo, Fili, Kili and Balin scout up to River Running and go part way toward the Front Gate.
(determined from text – referencing Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."Before setting out to search the western spurs of the Mountain for the hidden door, on which all their hopes rested, Thorin sent out a scouting expedition to spy out the land to the South where the Front Gate stood. For this purpose he chose Balin and Fili and Kili, and with them went Bilbo. They marched under the grey and silent cliffs to the feet of Ravenhill. There the river, after winding a wide loop over the valley of Dale, turned from the Mountain on its road to the Lake, flowing swift and noisily.... ...they could see in the wide valley shadowed by the Mountain's arms the grey ruins of ancient houses, towers, and walls.
..."There lies all that is left of Dale," said Balin. "The mountain's sides were green with woods and all the sheltered valley rich and pleasant in the days when the bells rang in that town." He looked... ...grim as he said this: he had been one of Thorin's companions on the day the Dragon came.
...They did not dare to follow the river much further towards the Gate; but they went on beyond the end of the southern spur, until lying hidden behind a rock they could look out and see the dark cavernous opening in a great cliff wall between the arms of the Mountain. Out of it the waters of the Running River sprang; and out of it too there came a stream and a dark smoke. Nothing moved in the waste, save vapour and the water.... ...The only sound was the sound of the stony water, and every now and again the harsh croak of a bird. Balin shuddered.
..."Let us return!" he said. "We can do no good here! And I don't like these dark birds, they look like spies of evil."
..."The dragon is still alive and in the halls under the Mountain then---or I imagine so from the smoke," said the hobbit.
..."That does not prove it," said Balin, "though I don't doubt you are right. But he might be gone away some time, or he might be lying out on the mountain-side keeping watch, and still I expect smokes and steams would come out of the gates... ...the halls within must be filled with his foul reek."
...With such gloomy thoughts, followed ever by croaking crows above them, they made their weary way back to the camp."

October 13, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. Frodo crosses the bridge.
(from the appendices)

..."...Next day, early in the morning, they came down again to the borders of the Road. Sam and Strider went forward, but they found no sign of any travellers or riders. Here under the shadow of the hills there had been some rain. Strider judged that it had fallen two days before, and had washed away all footprints. No horseman had passed since then...
......They hurried along with all the speed they could make, and after a mile or two they saw the Last Bridge ahead, at the bottom of a short steep slope. They dreaded to see black figures waiting there, but they saw none. Strider made them take cover in a thicket at the side of the Road, while he went forward to explore.
...Before long he came hurrying back. 'I can see no sign of the enemy... ...and I wonder very much what that means. But I have found something very strange.'
...He held out his hand, and showed a single pale-green jewel. 'I found it in the mud in the middle of the Bridge,' he said. 'It is a beryl, an elf-stone. Whether it was set there, or let fall by chance... ...it brings hope to me. I will take it as a sign that we may pass the Bridge; but beyond that I dare not keep to the Road, without some clearer token.'
...At once they went on again... ...Strider turned aside, and soon they were lost in a sombre country of dark trees winding among the feet of sullen hills... ...As they went forward the hills about them steadily rose... ...they caught glimpses of ancient walls of stone, and the ruins of towers: they had an ominous look. Frodo, who was not walking, had time to gaze ahead and to think. He recalled Bilbo's account of his journey and the threatening towers on the hills north of the Road, in the country near the Troll's wood where his first serious adventure had happened. Frodo guessed that they were now in the same region...."

2. Glorfindel backtracks from his pursuit of the Black Riders searching for the Company.
(not from the appendices-no text)

3. Gandalf makes his way to Rivendell.
(not from the appendices-no text)

October 13, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. Gandalf and the hobbits make their way to Bree.
(not from the appendices - no text - a drabble)

... Gandalf found a soft nest of moss under the tree he rested against. He sat quietly smoking in the evening's camp and delighted in the humorous banter between Merry and Pippin as they debated whatever topic that appeared. He marvelled at Sam's intuitive care for preparing the camp and meal while keeping a subtle eye on Frodo who sat wrapped in a blanket quietly watching the campfire. Softly blown smoke rings rode the night air as he pondered Sam's devotion to Frodo. He shook his head to himself.
..."Their return to the Shire will decide much. Who can know what will follow?"


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Oct 14 2023, 2:59pm

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Today in Middle-earth

October 14, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. The camp is moved to the western valley.
(determined from text – referencing Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."Now strange to say Mr. Baggins had more [spirit] than the others. He would often borrow Thorin's map and gaze at it, pondering over the runes and the message of the moon-letters Elrond had read. It was he that made the dwarves begin the dangerous search on the western slopes for the secret door. They moved their camp then to a long valley... ...and walled with lower spurs of the Mountain. Two of these here thrust forward west from the main mass in long steep-sided ridges that fell ever downwards towards the plain. On this western side there were fewer signs of the dragon's marauding feet, and there was some grass for their ponies."

October 14, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. Strider and the hobbits continue through the wild of the Trollshaws Forest.
(not from the appendices)

..."'Who lives in this land?' Frodo asked. 'And who built these towers? Is this troll-country?'
...'No!' said Strider. 'Trolls do not build. No one lives in this land. Men once dwelt here, ages ago; but none remain now. They became an evil people, as legends tell, for they fell under the shadow of Angmar. But all were destroyed in the war that brought the North Kingdom to its end... ...though a shadow still lies on the land.'
...'Where did you learn such tales, if all the land is empty and forgetful?' asked Peregrin. 'The birds and beasts do not tell tales of that sort.'
...'The heirs of Elendil do not forget all things past,' said Strider; 'and many more things than I can tell are remembered in Rivendell.'
...'Have you often been to Rivendell?' asked Frodo.
...'I have,' said Strider. 'I dwelt there once, and still I return when I may. There my heart is; but it is not my fate to sit in peace, even in the fair house of Elrond.'"


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Oct 15 2023, 2:08pm

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Today in Middle-earth

October 15, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. The Company continues to search the western valley.
(determined from text – referencing Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."From this western camp, shadowed all day by cliff and wall until the sun began to sink towards the forest, day by day they toiled in parties searching for paths of the mountain-side….”

October 15, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. Strider and the Hobbits struggle on through the Wild.
(not from the appendices)

..."They had been two days in this country (near the Troll's woods) when the weather turned wet. The wind began to blow steadily out of the West and pour the water of the distant seas on the dark heads of the hills in fine drenching rain. By nightfall they were all soaked, and their camp was cheerless, for they could not get any fire to burn."

October 15, 2010
... The Hobbit films finally get the green light with Peter Jackson directing (2-pts) – release dates Dec 2012 & 2013. Eventually, a third film was added to the series for 2014:
December 14, 2012 – US release / premier of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
December 13, 2013 – US release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
December 17, 2014 – US release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies


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Oct 16 2023, 12:49pm

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Today in Middle-earth

October 16, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. Strider and the hobbits make their way through the wild.
(not from the appendices)

..."...the hills rose still higher and steeper before them, and they were forced to turn away northwards out of their course. Strider seemed to be getting anxious: they were nearly ten days out from Weathertop, and their stock of provisions was beginning to run low. It went on raining.
...That night they camped on a stony shelf with a rockwall behind them, in which there was a shallow cave... ...Frodo was restless. The cold and wet had made his wound more painful than ever, and the ache and sense of deadly chill took away all sleep. He lay tossing and turning and listening fearfully to the stealthy night-noises... ...He felt that black shapes were advancing to smother him; but when he sat up he saw nothing but the back of Strider sitting hunched up, smoking his pipe, and watching. He lay down again and passed into an uneasy dream, in which he walked on the grass in his garden in the Shire, but it seemed faint and dim, less clear than the tall black shadows that stood looking over the hedge."

2. Glorfindel marks where Strider and the hobbits returned to the road and made for the bridge.
(not from the appendices)

..."...I have searched for your trail... ...I found it, and followed it over the Bridge...""


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Oct 17 2023, 1:04pm

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**Today and Tomorrow in Middle-earth**

October 17, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. The Company searches for the Hidden Door.
(determined from text – referencing Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."… if the map was true, somewhere high above the cliff at the valley's head must stand the secret door. Day by day they came back to their camp without success."

**Tomorrow in Middle-earth**

Tomorrow is a pivotal TIME for the Fellowship, so let's expand the event into today's post… for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

Pre-October 18, 3018 (S.R.1418)
1. From "Glorfindel finds Frodo at dusk" post.
(from the appendices)

... "As quickly as they could they scrambled off the beaten way... ...until they peered out from among the bushes [and] they could see the Road... ...some thirty feet below them. The sound of hoofs drew nearer. They were going fast, with a light clippety-clippety-clip. Then faintly, as if it was blown away from them by the breeze, they seemed to catch a dim ringing, as of small bells tinkling.
...'That does not sound like a Black Rider's horse!' said Frodo, listening intently. The other hobbits agreed hopefully that it did not... ...They had been in fear of pursuit for so long that any sound from behind seemed ominous and unfriendly. But Strider was now leaning forward, stooped to the ground, with a hand to his ear, and a look of joy on his face.
...The light faded... ...Clearer and nearer now the bells jingled, and clippety-clip came the quick trotting feet. Suddenly into view below came a white horse, gleaming in the shadows, running swiftly. In the dusk its headstall flickered and flashed, as if it were studded with gems like living stars the rider's cloak streamed behind him, and his hood was thrown back; his golden hair flowed shimmering in the wind of his speed. To Frodo it appeared that a white light was shining through the form and raiment of the rider, as if through a thin veil.
...Strider sprang from hiding... ...leaping with a cry through the heather; but even before he had moved or called, the rider had reined his horse and halted, looking up towards the thicket where they stood. When he saw Strider, he dismounted and ran to meet him calling out: "Ai na vedui Dúnadan! Mae govannen!" His speech and clear ringing voice left no doubt in their hearts: the rider was of the Elven-folk... ...But there seemed to be a note of haste or fear in his call, and they saw that he was now speaking quickly and urgently to Strider.
...Soon Strider beckoned to them, and the hobbits left the bushes and hurried down to the road. 'This is Glorfindel, who dwells in the house of Elrond...'"


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Oct 18 2023, 2:40pm

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Today in Middle-earth

October 18, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Bilbo, Fili and Kili find the Hidden Door
(determined from text – referencing Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."...at last unexpectedly they found what they were seeking. Fili and Kili and the hobbit went back one day down the valley and scrambled among the tumbled rocks at its southern corner. About midday, creeping behind a great stone that stood alone like a pillar, Bilbo came on what looked like rough steps going upwards. Following these excitedly, he and the dwarves found traces of a narrow track... ...that wandered on to the top of the southern ridge and brought them at last to a still narrower ledge, which turned north across the face of the Mountain. Looking down they saw that they were at the top of the cliff at the valley's head and were gazing down on to their own camp below. Silently, clinging to the rocky wall on their right, they went in single file along the ledge, till... ...they turned into a little steep-walled bay, grassy-floored, still and quiet. Its entrance which they had found could not be seen from below because of the overhang of the cliff, nor from further off because it was so small that it looked like a dark crack and no more. It was not a cave and was open to the sky above; but at its inner end a flat wall rose up that in the lower part, close to the ground, was as smooth and upright as mason's work, but without a joint or crevice to be seen. No sign was there of... ...threshold, nor any sign of bar or bolt or key-hole; yet they did not doubt that they had found the door at last.
...They beat on it, they thrust and pushed at it, they implored it to move, they spoke fragments of broken spells of opening, and nothing stirred. At last tired out they rested on the grass at its feet, and then at evening began their long climb down."

October 18, 3018 (S.R. 1418) [continued]
1. Glorfindel finds Frodo at dusk.
(from the appendices)

..."'Hail, and well met at last!' said the Elf-lord to Frodo. 'I was sent from Rivendell to look for you. We feared that you were in danger upon the road.'
...'Then Gandalf has reached Rivendell?' cried Frodo joyfully.
...'No. He had not when I departed; but that was nine days ago,' answered Glorfindel.... '...today I marked where you descended from the hills again. But come! There is no time for further news. Since you are here we must risk the peril of the Road and go. There are five behind us, and when they find your trail... ...they will ride after us like the wind. And they are not all. Where the other four may be, I do not know. I fear that we may find the Ford is already held against us.'
...While Glorfindel was speaking the shades of evening deepened. Frodo felt a great weariness come over him. Ever since the sun began to sink the mist before his eyes had darkened, and he felt that a shadow was coming between him and the faces of his friends. Now pain assailed him, and he felt cold. He swayed, clutching at Sam's arm.
...'My master is sick and wounded,' said Sam angrily. 'He can't go on riding after nightfall....'
...Glorfindel caught Frodo as he sank to the ground, and taking him gently in his arms he looked in his face with grave anxiety.
...Briefly Strider told of the attack on their camp under Weathertop, and of the deadly knife. He drew out the hilt... ...and handed it to the Elf. Glorfindel shuddered as he took it, but he looked intently at it.
...'There are evil things written on this hilt,' he said; 'though maybe your eyes cannot see them. Keep it, Aragorn, till we reach the house of Elrond! But be wary, and handle it as little as you may! Alas! the wounds of this weapon are beyond my skill to heal. I will do what I can—but all the more do I urge you now to go on without rest.'
...He searched the wound on Frodo's shoulder with his fingers, and his face grew graver, as if what he learned disquieted him. But Frodo felt the chill lessen in his side and arm… …a little warmth crept down from his shoulder to his hand, and the pain grew easier. The dusk of evening seemed to grow lighter about him, as if a cloud had been withdrawn. He saw his friends' faces more clearly again, and a measure of new hope and strength returned.
...'You shall ride my horse... ...I will shorten the stirrups up to the saddle-skirts, and you must sit as tight as you can. But you need not fear: my horse will not let any rider fall that I command him to bear.'"

2. Gandalf reaches Rivendell.
(from the appendices)

..."'I reached here at last by a long hard road, up the Hoarwell and through the Ettenmoors... ...It took me nearly fourteen days from Weathertop for I could not ride among the rocks of the troll-fells, and Shadowfax departed. I sent him back to his master; but a great friendship has grown between us, and if I have need he will come at my call. But so it was that I came to Rivendell only three days before the Ring, and news of its peril had already been brought here—which proved well indeed.'"


We have been there and back again.

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Oct 19 2023, 12:50pm

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Today in Middle-earth

October 19, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. The camp is moved to the hidden bay.
(determined from text – referencing Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

... "...they made their third camp [in the evening], hauling up what they needed from below with their ropes. Down the same way they were able occasionally to lower one of the more active dwarves, such as Kili, to exchange such news as there was, or to take a share in the guard below... ...Bombur would not come up either the rope or the path.
..."I am too fat for such fly-walks... ...I should turn dizzy and tread on my beard, and then you would be thirteen again..."
... ...meanwhile some of them explored the ledge beyond the opening and found a path that led higher... ...but they did not dare to venture very far that way... ...up there a silence reigned, broken by no bird or sound except that of the wind... ...They spoke low and never called or sang, for danger brooded in every rock. The others who were busy with the secret of the door had no more success... ...too eager to trouble about the runes or the moon-letters, but tried without resting to discover where exactly in the smooth face of the rock the door was hidden. They had brought picks and tools... ...from Lake-town, and at first they tried to use these. But when they struck the stone the handles splintered and jarred their arms cruelly, and the steel heads broke or bent like lead. Mining work, they saw clearly was no good against the magic that had shut this door; and they grew terrified, too, of the echoing noise."

October 19, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. Glorfindel leads the Company towards the Ford of Bruinen.
(not from the appendices)

..."There was neither star nor moon. Not until the grey of dawn did he allow them to halt. Pippin, Merry, and Sam were by that time nearly asleep on their stumbling legs; and even Strider seemed by the sag of his shoulders to be weary. Frodo sat upon the horse in a dark dream.
...They cast themselves down in the heather a few yards from the road-side, and fell asleep immediately. They seemed hardly to have closed their eyes when Glorfindel, who had set himself to watch while they slept, awoke them again....
...'...Drink this!' said Glorfindel to them, pouring for each in turn a little liquor from his silver-studded flask of leather. It was clear as spring water and had no taste, and it did not feel either cool or warm in the mouth; but strength and vigour seemed to flow into all their limbs as they drank it. Eaten after that draught the stale bread and dried fruit (which was now all that they had left) seemed to satisfy their hunger better than many a good breakfast in the Shire had done.
......the Road bent right and ran down towards the bottom of the valley, now making straight for the Bruinen... ...there had been no sign or sound of pursuit that the hobbits could see or hear; but often Glorfindel would halt and listen for a moment, if they lagged behind, and a look of anxiety clouded his face. Once or twice he spoke to Strider in the elf-tongue.
...But however anxious their guides might be, it was plain that the hobbits could go no further that night. They were stumbling along dizzy with weariness... ...Frodo's pain had redoubled, and during the day things about him faded to shadows of ghostly grey. He almost welcomed the company of night, for then the world seemed less pale and empty."

2. Gandalf waits for word of the company in Rivendell.
(not from the appendices-no text)

... The wizard's anxiety grew. He knew time was running out and the delays that separated him from Frodo while Black Riders hunted him in the wild could spell doom for the hobbit and all. His only hope rested on his faith in Aragorn. Fear was ever in his heart as he brooded over the fate of the travellers.

October 19, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
Supplemental: J.R.R. Tolkien's estimated date for Durin's Day
(from John D. Rateliff, The History of The Hobbit)

...Tolkien made the calculation that October 19 was the date of Durin's Day in the year T.A. 2941, although it's not known if this estimate was made before his construction of the Shire Reckoning calendar. So we will continue to use our "determined from text" date of October 22.


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Oct 20 2023, 12:25pm

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Today in Middle-earth

October 20, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Bilbo and the Dwarves think of what to do next at the Hidden Door.
(determined from text – referencing Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."Bilbo found sitting on the doorstep lonesome and wearisome—there was not a doorstep, of course, really, but they used to call the little grassy space between the wall and the opening the "doorstep" in fun, remembering Bilbo's words long ago at the unexpected party in his hobbit-hole, when he said they could sit on the doorstep till they thought of something...
......Their spirits had risen a little at the discovery of the path, but now they sank into their boots; and yet they would not give it up and go away. The hobbit was no longer much brighter than the dwarves. He would do nothing but sit with his back to the rock-face and stare away west through the opening... ...If the dwarves asked him what he was doing he answered:
... "You said sitting on the doorstep and thinking would be my job, not to mention getting inside, so I am sitting and thinking." But I am afraid he was not thinking much of the job, but of what lay beyond the blue distance, the quiet Western Land and the Hill and his hobbit-hole under it.
...A large grey stone lay in the centre of the grass and [Bilbo] stared moodily at it or watched the great snails. They seemed to love the little shut-in bay with its walls of cool rock, and there were many of them of huge size crawling slowly and stickily along its sides."

October 20, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. Escape across the Ford of Bruinen.
(from the appendices)

..."'Our peril will be greatest just ere we reach the river,' said Glorfindel; 'for my heart warns me that the pursuit is now swift behind us, and other danger may be waiting by the Ford....'
......In the late afternoon, they came to a place where the Road went suddenly under the dark shadow of tall pine-trees, and then plunged into a deep cutting with steep moist walls of red stone.... ...here at the bottom of a sharp incline they saw before them a long flat mile, and behind that the Ford of Rivendell...

......There was still an echo as of following feet in the cutting behind them; a rushing noise as if a wind were rising and pouring through the branches of the pines. One moment Glorfindel turned and listened, then he sprang forward with a loud cry.
...'Fly!' he called. 'Fly! The enemy is upon us!'
...The white horse leaped forward. The hobbits ran down the slope. Glorfindel and Strider followed as rearguard. They were only half way across the flat, when suddenly there was a noise of horses galloping. Out of the gate in the trees that they had just left rode a Black Rider. He reined his horse in, and halted, swaying in his saddle. Another followed him, and then another; then again two more.
...'Ride forward! Ride!' cried Glorfindel to Frodo.
...He did not obey at once, for a strange reluctance seized him. Checking the horse to a walk, he turned and looked back. The Riders seemed... ...dark and solid while all the woods and land about them receded as if into a mist. Suddenly he knew in his heart that they were silently commanding him to wait. Then at once fear and hatred awoke in him. His hand left the bridle and gripped the hilt of his sword, and with a red flash he drew it.
...'Ride on! Ride on!' cried Glorfindel, and then loud and clear he called to the horse in the elf-tongue: 'noro lim, noro lim, Asfaloth!'
...At once the white horse sprang away and sped like the wind along the last lap of the Road... ...the black horses leaped down the hill in pursuit, and from the Riders came a terrible cry, such as Frodo had heard filling the woods... ...It was answered; and to the dismay of Frodo and his friends out from the trees and rock away on the left four other Riders came flying. Two rode towards Frodo: two galloped madly towards the Ford to cut off his escape. They seemed to him to run like the wind and to grow swiftly larger and darker, as their courses converged with his.
...Frodo looked back for a moment over his shoulder. He could no longer see his friends. The Riders behind were falling back: even their great steeds were no match in speed for the white elf-horse of Glorfindel. He looked forward again, and hope faded. There seemed no chance of reaching the Ford before he was cut off... ...He could see them clearly now; they appeared to have cast aside their hoods and black cloaks, and they were robed in white and grey. Swords were naked in their pale hands; helms were on their heads. Their cold eyes glittered, and they called to him with fell voices.
...Fear now filled all Frodo's mind... ...No cry came from him. He shut his eyes and clung to the horse's mane. The wind whistled in his ears and the bells upon the harness rang wild and shrill. A breath of deadly cold pierced him like a spear, as with a last spurt, like a flash of white fire, the elf-horse speeding as if on wings, passed right before the face of the foremost Rider.
...Frodo heard the splash of water. It foamed about his feet. He felt the quick heave and surge as the horse left the river and struggled up the stony path... ...He was across the Ford.
...But the pursuers were close behind. At the top of the bank the horse halted and turned about neighing fiercely. There were Nine Riders at the water's edge below, and Frodo's spirit quailed before the threat of their uplifted faces. He knew of nothing that would prevent them from crossing as easily as he had done; and he felt that is was useless to try to escape... ...he felt that he was commanded urgently to halt. Hatred again stirred in him, but he had no longer the strength to refuse.
...Suddenly the foremost Rider spurred his horse forward. It checked at the water and reared up. With a great effort Frodo sat upright and brandished his sword.'
...'Go back!' he cried. 'Go back to the Land of Mordor, and follow me no more!' His voice sounded thin and shrill in his own ears. The Riders halted, but Frodo had not the power of Bombadil. His enemies laughed at him with a harsh and chilling laughter. 'Come back! Come back!' they called. 'To Mordor we will take you!'
...'Go back!' he whispered.
...'The Ring! The Ring!' they cried with deadly voices… …immediately their leader urged his horse forward into the water... .
...'...By Elbereth and Lúthien the Fair,' said Frodo with a last effort, lifting up his sword, 'you shall have neither the Ring nor me!'
...Then the leader, who was now half across the Ford, stood up menacing in his stirrups, and raised up his hand. Frodo was stricken dumb. He felt his tongue cleave to his mouth, and his heart labouring. His sword broke and fell out of his shaking hand. The elf-horse reared and snorted. The foremost of the black horses had almost set foot upon the shore.
...At that moment there came a roar and a rushing... ...Dimly Frodo saw the river below him rise, and down along its course there came a plumed cavalry of waves. White flames seemed to Frodo to flicker on their crests and he half fancied that he saw amid the waters white riders upon white horses with frothing manes. The three Riders that were still in the midst of the Ford were overwhelmed: they disappeared... ...Those that were behind drew back in dismay.
...With his last failing senses Frodo heard cries, and it seemed to him that he saw, beyond the Riders that hesitated on the shore, a shining figure of white light; and behind it ran small shadowy forms waving flames, that flared red in the grey mist that was falling over the world.
...The black horses were filled with madness, and leaping forward in terror they bore their riders into the rushing flood. Their piercing cries were drowned in the roaring of the river as it carried them away. Then Frodo felt himself falling, and the roaring and confusion seemed to rise and engulf him together with his enemies. He heard and saw no more."

2. Gandalf and Elrond perceive the Black Riders at the Ford of Bruinen.
(not from the appendices)
... [Gandalf later tells Frodo:]"'The river of this valley is under [Elrond's] power, and it will rise in anger when he has great need to bar the Ford. As soon as the captain of the Ringwraiths rode into the water the flood was released. If I may say so, I added a few touches of my own; you may have noticed, but some of the waves took the form of great white horses with shining white riders... ...For a moment I was afraid that we had let loose too fierce a wrath, and the flood would get out of hand and wash you all away.'"

3. Frodo is brought to Rivendell as told by Gandalf.
(not from the appendices)

..."'The Elves brought you from the Ford on the night of the twentieth, and that is where you lost count. We have been very anxious, and Sam has hardly left your side, day or night, except to run messages. Elrond is a master of healing, but the weapons of our Enemy are deadly. To tell you the truth, I had very little hope; for I suspected that there was some fragment of the blade still in the closed wound...'"

October 20, 1955
1. The Return of the King is published.

...The third of 3 volumes of The Lord of the Rings was published in the United Kingdom. This volume contains the final 2 of Tolkien's 6 "books" of his epic tale and an extensive appendices. It introduces us to a history of Middle-earth, the main characters, the tale of the Ring of Sauron, the creation of the Fellowship, and the launch of the Quest to destroy the Ring.

October 20, 2005
50th Anniversary of The Return of the King publication and the completion of The Lord of the Rings saga on 10/20/1955

October 20, 2015
60th Anniversary of The Return of the King publication and the completion of The Lord of the Rings saga on 10/20/1955

October 20, 1958
1. Viggo Mortensen born in New York City.

...Danish-American Viggo Mortensen's birthday falls on the Anniversary of The Return of the King publication. How poetic is that? :)


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(This post was edited by grammaboodawg on Oct 20 2023, 12:29pm)


Oct 20 2023, 10:22pm

Post #9 of 32 (4907 views)
Happy ROTK Day & HBD, Viggo! [In reply to] Can't Post

It's nice timing for me personally, as we've just reached The Ride of the Rohirrim in our read through.

And wow, Viggo's 65...time has flown!

Join us every weekend in the Hobbit movie forum for this week's CHOW (Chapter of the Week) discussion!


Oct 21 2023, 1:20pm

Post #10 of 32 (4862 views)
*geeky hand clapping* I love it! :D // [In reply to] Can't Post



We have been there and back again.

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Oct 21 2023, 1:23pm

Post #11 of 32 (4866 views)
TIME - October 21 [In reply to] Can't Post

Today in Middle-earth

October 21, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. The Dwarves become more impatient waiting at the Hidden Door.
(determined from text)

...""Tomorrow begins the last week of Autumn," said Thorin...
..."...What is our burglar doing for us? [asked Dwalin] Since he has got an invisible ring, and ought to be a specially excellent performer now... ...I am beginning to think he might go through the Front Gate and spy things out a bit!"
...Bilbo heard this—the dwarves were on the rocks just above the enclosure where he was sitting... "...Good Gracious!" he thought, "so that is what they are beginning to think, is it? It is always poor me that has to get them out of their difficulties, at least since the wizard left. Whatever am I going to do..? I... ...don't think I could bear to see the unhappy valley of Dale again...""


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Oct 22 2023, 3:05pm

Post #12 of 32 (4795 views)
TIME - October 22 [In reply to] Can't Post

Today in Middle-earth

(A slight refresher)
[from Elrond's examination of the map of the Lonely Mountain on June 30 - 1 Lithe, 2941 (S.R. 1341) Midsummer's Eve]
... ""He took it and gazed long at it... ...The moon was shining in a broad silver crescent. He held up the map and the white light shone through it. "What is this?" he said. "There are moon-letters here, beside the plain runes..."
..."...What do they say?" asked Gandalf and Thorin together...
..."...Stand by the grey stone when the thrush knocks," read Elrond, "and the setting sun with the last light of Durin's Day will shine upon the key-hole...""

October 22, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Bilbo finds and opens the Secret Door.
(determined from text)

... "As the sun turned west [Bilbo] saw the orange ball of the sun sinking... ...and there pale and faint was a thin new moon above the rim of Earth.
... At that very moment he heard a sharp crack behind him. There on the grey stone in the grass was an enormous thrush... ...Crack! It had caught a snail and was knocking it on the stone. Crack! Crack!
... Suddenly Bilbo understood. Forgetting all danger he stood on the ledge and hailed the dwarves, shouting and waving...
... ...Quickly Bilbo explained. They all fell silent... ...The sun sank lower and lower, and their hopes fell. It sank into a belt of reddened cloud and disappeared. The dwarves groaned, but still Bilbo stood almost without moving. The little moon was dipping to the horizon.... ...Then suddenly when their hope was lowest a red ray of the sun escaped like a finger through a rent in the cloud. A gleam of light came straight through the opening into the bay and fell on the smooth rock-face... ...There was a loud crack. A flake of rock split from the wall and fell. A hole appeared suddenly about three feet from the ground.
... Quickly, trembling lest the chance should fade, the dwarves rushed to the rock and pushed—in vain.
... "The key! The key!" cried Bilbo. "Where is Thorin?"
... Thorin hurried up... ...and drew the key on its chain from round his neck. He put it to the hole. It fitted and it turned! Snap! The gleam went out, the sun sank, the moon was gone, and evening sprang into the sky.
... Now they all pushed together... ...Long straight cracks appeared and widened. A door five feet high and three broad was outlined, and slowly without a sound swung inwards. It seemed as if darkness flowed out like a vapour from the hole in the mountain-side... ...a yawning mouth leading in and down."

2. A plan to search the secret passage is made.
(determined from text)

... "For a long time the dwarves stood in the dark before the door and debated, until at last Thorin spoke:
...... "Now is the time for our esteemed Mr. Baggins, who has proved himself a good companion on our long road, and a hobbit full of courage and resource far exceeding his size... ...now is the time for him to perform the service for which he was included in our Company; now is the time for him to earn his Reward..."

... ...Bilbo felt impatient... ...and he knew what he was driving at.
... "If you mean you think it is my job to go into the secret passage first, O Thorin Thrain's son Oakenshield, may your beard grow ever longer," he said crossly, "say so at once and have done! I might refuse... ...But 'third time pays for all' as my father used to say, and somehow I don't think I shall refuse... ...I think I will go and have a peep at once and get it over. Now who is coming with me?"
... He did not expect a chorus of volunteers, so he was not disappointed... ...the others made no pretence of offering—except old Balin, the look-out man, who was rather fond of the hobbit. He said he would come inside at least and perhaps a bit of the way too..."

3. Bilbo descends into Smaug’s lair.
(determined from text)

...""Is that a kind of a glow I seem to see..."
... ...As he went forward it grew and grew, till there was no doubt about it... ...it was now undoubtedly hot in the tunnel. Wisps of vapour floated up and past him and he began to sweat. A sound, too, began to throb in his ears, a sort of bubbling... ...This grew to be the unmistakable gurgling noise of some vast animal snoring in its sleep down there in the red glow in front of him.
... It was at this point that Bilbo stopped. Going on from there was the bravest thing he ever did. The tremendous things that happened afterward were as nothing compared to it. He fought the real battle in the tunnel alone... ...Before him lies the great bottommost cellar or dungeon-hall of the ancient dwarves right at the Mountain's root. It is almost dark... ...but rising from the near side of the rocky floor there is a great glow. The glow of Smaug!
... There he lay, a vast red-golden dragon, fast asleep... ...Beneath him, under all his limbs and his huge coiled tail, and about him on all sides stretching away across the unseen floors, lay countless piles of precious things, gold wrought and unwrought, gems and jewels, and silver red-stained in the ruddy light.
... Smaug lay with wings folded like an immeasurable bat, turned partly on one side, so that the hobbit could see his underparts and his long pale belly crusted with gems and fragments of gold from his long lying on his costly bed...
... ...To say that Bilbo's breath was taken away is no description at all. There are no words left to express his staggerment... ...the splendour, the lust, the glory of such treasure had never yet come home to him...

... ...almost against his will, he stole from the shadow of the doorway, across the floor to the nearest edge of the mounds of treasure. Above him the sleeping dragon lay, a dire menace even in his sleep. He grasped a great two-handled cup, as heavy as he could carry, and cast one fearful eye upwards. Smaug stirred a wing, opened a claw, the rumble of his snoring changed its note.
... Then Bilbo fled. But the dragon did not wake... "...I've done it! This will show them. 'More like a grocer than a burglar' indeed! Well, we'll hear no more of that."
... Nor did he. Balin was overjoyed to see the hobbit again... ...He picked Bilbo up and carried him out into the open air. It was midnight... ...but Bilbo lay with his eyes shut, gasping and taking pleasure in the feel of the fresh air again and hardly noticing the excitement of the dwarves, or how they praised him and patted him on the back and put themselves and all their families for generations to come at his service."

4. The cup is missed.
(determined from text)

... "The dwarves were still passing the cup from hand to hand and talking delightedly of the recovery of their treasure, when suddenly a vast rumbling woke in the mountain underneath as if it was an old volcano... ...The door behind them was pulled nearly to, and blocked from closing with a stone, but up the long tunnel came the dreadful echoes, from far down in the depths, of a bellowing and a trampling that made the ground beneath them tremble.
... Then the dwarves forgot their joy and their confident boasts... ...and cowered down in fright. Smaug was still to be reckoned with... ...Dragons may not have much real use for all their wealth, but they know it to an ounce as a rule, especially after long possession; and Smaug was no exception. He had passed from an uneasy dream (in which a warrior, altogether insignificant in size but provided with a bitter sword and great courage, figured most unpleasantly) to a doze, and from a doze to wide waking. There was a breath of strange air in his cave. Could there be a draught from that little hole? He... ...glared at it in suspicion and wondered why he had never blocked it up... ...he had half fancied he had caught the dim echoes of a knocking sound from far above that came down through it to his lair. He stirred and stretched forth his neck to sniff. Then he missed the cup!
... Thieves! Fire! Murder! Such a thing had not happened since first he came to the Mountain! His rage passes description... ...His fire belched forth, the hall smoked, he shook the mountain-roots... ...then coiling his length together, roaring like thunder underground, he sped from his deep lair through its great door, out into the huge passages of the mountains-palace and up towards the Front Gate.
... To hunt the whole mountain till he had caught the thief and had torn and trampled him was his one thought. He issued from the Gate... ...and up he soared blazing into the air and settled on the mountain-top in a spout of green and scarlet flame. The dwarves heard the awful rumour of his flight, and they crouched against the walls of the grassy terrace cringing under boulders...
... ...There they would have all been killed, if it had not been for Bilbo once again. "Quick! Quick!" he gasped. "The door! The tunnel! It's no good here...."
... ...Those were perhaps the worst moments they had been through yet. The horrible sounds of Smaug's anger were echoing in the stony hollows far above; at any moment he might come blazing down or fly whirling round and find them there, near the perilous cliff's edge hauling madly on the ropes. Up came Bofur... ...Up came Bombur... ...Up came some tools and bundles of stores, and then danger was upon them.
... A whirring noise was heard... ...The dragon came.
... They had barely time to fly back to the tunnel, pulling and dragging in their bundles, when Smaug came hurtling from the North, licking the mountains-sides with flame, beating his great wings with a noise like a roaring wind. His hot breath shrivelled the grass before the door, and drove in through the crack they had left and scorched them as they lay hid... ...They crept further down the tunnel, and there they lay and shivered though it was warm and stuffy... ...through the night they could hear the roar of the flying dragon grow and then pass and fade, as he hunted round and round the mountain-sides."


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Oct 23 2023, 1:00pm

Post #13 of 32 (4708 views)
TIME - October 23 [In reply to] Can't Post

Today in Middle-earth

October 23, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. An angered Smaug searches the mountain.
(determined from text)

...[Smaug] guessed from the ponies, and from the traces of the camps he had discovered, that men had come up from the... ...lake and had scaled the mountain-side from the valley where the ponies had been standing; but the door withstood his searching eye, and the little high-walled bay had kept out his fiercest flames. Long he had hunted in vain till the dawn chilled his wrath and he went back to his golden couch to sleep—and to gather new strength. He would not forget or forgive the theft, not if a thousand years turned him to smouldering stone, but he could afford to wait. Slow and silent he crept back to his lair and half closed his eyes.

2. Bilbo returns to Smaug's chamber in the afternoon.
(determined from text)

..."Smaug certainly looked fast asleep… …when Bilbo peeped once more from the entrance. He was just about to step out on to the floor when he caught a sudden thin and piercing ray of red from under the drooping lid of Smaug's left eye. He was only pretending to sleep! ...Hurriedly Bilbo stepped back and blessed the luck of his ring. Then Smaug spoke.
..."Well, thief! I smell you and I feel your air. I hear your breath. Come along! Help yourself again, there is plenty and to spare!"
...But Bilbo was not quite so unlearned in dragon-lore as all that, and if Smaug hoped to get him to come nearer so easily he was disappointed. "No thank you, O Smaug the Tremendous!" he replied. "I did not come for presents. I only wished to have a look at you and see if you were truly as great as tales say…"
..."…Do you now?" said the dragon somewhat flattered, even though he did not believe a word of it.
..."Truly songs and tales fall utterly short of the reality, O Smaug the Chiefest and Greatest of Calamities," replied Bilbo.
..."You have nice manners for a thief and a liar… …You seem familiar with my name, but I don't seem to remember smelling you before. Who are you and where do you come from, may I ask?"
..."You may indeed! I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led. And through the air, I am he that walks unseen."
..."So I can well believe… …but that is hardly your usual name."
..."I am the clue-finder, the web-cutter, the stinging fly. I was chosen for the lucky number."
..."Lovely titles!" sneered the dragon…
..."…I am he that buries his friends alive and drowns them and draws them alive again from the water. I came from the end of a bag, but no bag went over me."
..."These don't sound so creditable," scoffed Smaug.
..."I am the friend of bears and the guest of eagles. I am Ringwinner and Luckwearer; and I am Barrel-rider," went on Bilbo beginning to be pleased with his riddling.
..."That's better!" said Smaug. "But don't let your imagination run away with you!"
...This of course is the way to talk to dragons, if you don't want to reveal your proper name… …and don't want to infuriate them by a flat refusal… …No dragon can resist the fascination of riddling talk and of wasting time trying to understand it. There was a lot here which Smaug did not understand at all… …but he thought he understood enough…
...…he smiled to himself. "Lake-men, some nasty scheme of those miserable tub-trading Lake-men, or I'm a lizard. I haven't been down that way for an age and an age; but I will soon alter that!"

......Bilbo was now beginning to feel really uncomfortable. Whenever Smaug's roving eye… …flashed across him, he trembled, and an unaccountable desire seized hold of him to rush out and reveal himself and tell all the truth to Smaug. In fact he was in grievous danger of coming under the dragon-spell....

[Smaug has had enough…]

..."I kill where I wish and none dare resist. I laid low the warriors of old and their like is not in the world today. Then I was but young and tender. Now I am old and strong, strong, strong, Thief in the Shadows!" he gloated. "My armour is like tenfold shields, my teeth are swords, my claws spears, and the shock of my tail a thunderbolt, my winds a hurricane, and my breath death!"
..."I have always understood," said Bilbo in a frightened squeak, "that dragons were softer underneath, especially in the region of the—er—chest; but doubtless one so fortified has thought of that."
...The dragon stopped short in his boasting. "Your information is antiquated… …I am armoured above and below with iron scales and hard gems. No blade can pierce me."
..."I might have guessed it," said Bilbo. "Truly there can nowhere be found the equal of Lord Smaug the Impenetrable. What magnificence to possess a waistcoat of fine diamonds!"
..."Yes, it is rare and wonderful, indeed," said Smaug absurdly pleased. He did not know that the hobbit had already caught a glimpse of his peculiar under-covering on his previous visit, and was itching for a closer view for reasons of his own....

......the dragon spouted terrific flames after him… …the nostrils sent forth fire and vapour to pursue him, and he was nearly overcome, and stumbled blindly on in great pain and fear. He had been feeling rather pleased with the cleverness of his conversation with Smaug, but his mistake at the end shook him into better sense.
..."Never laugh at live dragons, Bilbo you fool!" he said to himself, and it became a favourite saying of his later, and passed into a proverb....

......[The dwarves] had difficulty in getting anything out of him… …he was now regretting some of the things he had said to the dragon, and was not eager to repeat them. The old thrush was sitting on a rock near by with his head cocked on one side, listening to all that was said. It shows what an ill temper Bilbo was in: he picked up a stone and threw it at the thrush, which merely fluttered aside and came back.
..."Drat the bird… …I believe he is listening, and I don't like the look of him."
..."Leave him alone!" said Thorin. "The thrushes are good and friendly---this is a very old bird indeed, and is maybe the last left of the ancient breed… …tame to the hands of my father and grandfather. They were a long-lived and magical race, and this might even be one of those that were alive then, a couple of hundreds of years or more ago. The Men of Dale used to have the trick of understanding their language, and used them for messengers to fly to the Men of the Lake and elsewhere...."
..."…Well, he'll have news to take to Lake-town all right..," said Bilbo; "…though I don't suppose there are any people left there that trouble with thrush-language."
...'Why what has happened?" cried the dwarves. "Do get on with your tale!"
...So Bilbo told them all he could remember…
......All the while they talked the thrush listened, till at last when the stars began to peep forth, it silently spread it wings and flew away...."

3. Smaug smashes the Secret Door.
(determined from text)

... "Darkness grew deeper and [Bilbo] grew ever more uneasy. "Shut the door!" he begged them. "I fear that dragon in my marrow. I like this silence far less than the uproar of last night. Shut the door before it is too late!"
... Something in his voice gave the dwarves an uncomfortable feeling... ...[Thorin] kicked away the stone that wedged the door... ...they thrust upon it, and it closed with a snap and a clang. No trace of a keyhole was there left on the inside. They were shut in the Mountain...
... ...They had hardly gone any distance down the tunnel when a blow smote the side of the Mountain... ...The rock boomed, the walls cracked and stones fell from the roof on their heads... ...They fled further down the tunnel glad to be still alive, while behind them outside they heard the roar and rumble of Smaug's fury. He was breaking rocks to pieces, smashing wall and cliff with the lashings of his huge tail, till... ...an avalanche of splintered stones fell over the cliff into the valley below.
... Smaug had left his lair in silent stealth, quietly soared into the air, and then floated heavy and slow in the dark... ...down the wind towards the west of the Mountain... ...spying the outlet to the passage which the thief had used. This was the outburst of his wrath when he could find nobody and see nothing, even where he guessed the outlet must actually be.
... After he had let off his rage... ...he had further vengeance to take. "Barrel-rider!" he snorted. "Your feet came from the waterside and up the water you came without a doubt. I don't know your smell, but if you are not one of those men of the Lake, you had their help. They shall see me and remember who is the real King under the Mountain!"
... He rose in fire and went away south towards the Running River."

4. Smaug attacks Lake-town.
(determined from text)

..."'...suddenly a great light appeared in the low place in the hills and the northern end of the lake turned golden. "The King beneath the Mountain!" they shouted. "His wealth is like the Sun, his silver like a fountain, his rivers golden run...!"
...There was once more a tremendous excitement and enthusiasm. But the grim-voiced fellow ran hotfoot to the Master. "The dragon is coming or I am a fool... ...Cut the bridges! To arms! To arms!"
...Then warning trumpets were suddenly sounded, and echoed along the rocky shores. The cheering stopped and the joy was turned to dread. So it was that the dragon did not find them quite unprepared.
...Before long, so great was his speed, they could see him as a spark of fire rushing towards them and growing ever huger and more bright... ...Still they had a little time. Every vessel in the town was filled with water, every warrior was armed, every arrow and dart was ready, and the bridge to the land was thrown down and destroyed before the roar of Smaug's terrible approach grew loud, and the lake rippled red as fire beneath the awful beating of his wings....
......Roaring he swept back over the town. A hail of dark arrows leaped up and snapped and rattled on his scales and jewels, and their shafts fell back kindled by his breath burning and hissing into the lake.... ...At the twanging of the bows and the shrilling of the trumpets the dragon's wrath blazed to its height, till he was blind and mad with it. No one had dared to give battle to him for many an age; nor would they have dared now, if it had not been for the grim-voiced man (Bard was his name), who ran to and fro cheering on the archers and urging the Master to order them to fight to the last arrow.
...Fire leaped from the dragon's jaws. He circled for a while high in the air above them lighting all the lake... ...Then down he swooped straight through the arrow-storm, reckless in his rage, taking no heed to turn his scaly sides towards his foes, seeking only to set their town ablaze....

......But there was still a company of archers that held their ground among the burning houses. Their captain was Bard, grim-voiced and grim-faced... ...he shot with a great yew bow, till all his arrows but one were spent. The flames were near him. His companions were leaving him. He bent his bow for the last time.
...Suddenly out of the dark something fluttered to his shoulder. He started—but it was only an old thrush. Unafraid it perched by his ear and it brought him news. Marvelling he found he could understand its tongue, for he was of the race of Dale.
..."Wait! Wait..! ...The moon is rising. Look for the hollow of the left breast as he flies and turns above you!" And while Bard paused in wonder it told him of tidings up in the Mountain and of all that it had heard.
...Then Bard drew his bow-string to his ear. The dragon was circling back, flying low, and as he came the moon rose above the eastern shore and silvered his great wings...
..."...Black arrow! I have saved you to the last. You have never failed me and always I have recovered you. I had you from my father and he from of old. If ever you came from the forges of the true king under the Mountain, go now and speed well!"
...The dragon swooped once more... ...and as he turned and dived down his belly glittered white with sparkling fires of gems in the moon—but not in one place. The great bow twanged. The black arrow sped straight from the string, straight for the hollow by the left breast where the foreleg was flung wide. In it smote and vanished, barb, shaft and feather, so fierce was its flight. With a shriek that deafened men, felled trees and split stone, Smaug shot spouting into the air, turned over and crashed down from on high in ruin.
...Full on the town he fell. His last throes splintered it to sparks and gledes... ...A vast steam leaped up, white in the sudden dark under the moon. There was a hiss, a gushing whirl, and then silence. And that was the end of Smaug and Esgaroth, but not of Bard."

5. Lake-town in the aftermath.
(determined from text)

..."...down the wind came the voices of the people of Esgaroth lamenting their lost town and goods and ruined houses. But they had really much to be thankful for... ...though it could hardly be expected that they should just then: three quarters of the people of the town had at least escaped alive; their woods and fields and pastures and cattle and most of their boats remained undamaged; and the dragon was dead. What that meant they had not yet realized.
...They gathered in mournful crowds upon the western shores, shivering in the cold wind, and their first complaints and anger were against the Master, who had left the town so soon, while some were still willing to defend it... ...they praised the courage of Bard and his last mighty shot. "If only he had not been killed," they all said, "we would make him a king. Bard the Dragon-shooter of the line of Girion! Alas that he is lost!"
...And in the very midst of their talk, a tall figure stepped from the shadows. He was drenched with water, his black hair hung wet over his face and shoulders, and a fierce light was in his eyes.
..."Bard is not lost!" he cried. "He dived from Esgaroth when the enemy was slain. I am Bard, of the line of Girion; I am the slayer of the dragon!"
... "King Bard! King Bard!" they shouted; but the Master ground his chattering teeth...."

October 23, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. Elrond's third day in his battle to save Frodo.
(not from the appendices)

..."[Gandalf shared] -- Elrond is a master of healing, but the weapons of our Enemy are deadly. To tell you the truth, I had very little hope; for I suspected that there was some fragment of the blade still in the closed wound. But it could not be found until last night. Then Elrond removed a splinter. It was deeply buried, and it was working inwards... ...'It is gone now. It has been melted.'"

October 23, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. Gandalf and the hobbits make their way home from Rivendell.
(not from the appendices)

..."At length they came to Weathertop; and it was then drawing towards evening and the shadow of the hill lay dark on the road. Then Frodo begged them to hasten, and he would not look towards the hill, but rode through its shadow with head bowed and cloak drawn close about him. That night the weather changed, and a wind came from the West laden with rain, and it blew loud and chill, and the yellow leaves whirled like birds in the air."


We have been there and back again.

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Oct 24 2023, 1:54pm

Post #14 of 32 (4616 views)
TIME - October 24 [In reply to] Can't Post

Today in Middle-earth

[Gird yourself… this is long!]

October 24, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Surviving Smaug attack, but now locked inside.
(determined from text)

..."[Bilbo and] the dwarves sat in darkness, and utter silence fell about them. Little they ate and little they spoke. They could not count the passing of time… …they scarcely dared to move, for the whisper of their voices echoed and rustled in the tunnel. If they dozed, they woke still to darkness and to silence going on unbroken.”

2. The people of Esgaroth struggle to find shelter and food.
(determined from text)

..."Bard took the lead, and ordered things as he wished, though always in the Master's name, and he had a hard task to govern the people and direct the preparations for their protection and housing. Probably most of them would have perished in the winter that now hurried after autumn, if help had not been to hand... ...help came swiftly; for Bard at once had speedy messengers sent up the river to the Forest to ask the aid of the King of the Elves of the Wood... ...these messengers had found a host already on the move..."

3. The Elves learn of Smaug's fall.
(determined from text)

..."The Elvenking... ...received news from his own messengers and from the birds that loved his folk..."

October 24, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. Frodo recovers and wakes.
(from the appendices)

..."Frodo woke and found himself lying in bed. At first he thought that he had slept late, after a long unpleasant dream that still hovered on the edge of memory... '...Where am I, and what is the time?' he said aloud to the ceiling.
...'In the house of Elrond, and it is ten o'clock in the morning,' said a voice. 'It is the morning of October the twenty-fourth, if you want to know.'
...'Gandalf!' cried Frodo, sitting up. There was the old wizard, sitting in a chair by the open window.
...'Yes,' he said, 'I am here. And you are lucky to be here, too, after all the absurd things you have done since you left home...'
...'...Where is Sam?' Frodo asked at length. 'And are the others all right?'
...'Yes, they are all safe and sound,' answered Gandalf. Sam was here until I sent him off to get some rest, about half an hour ago.'
...'What happened at the Ford? ...It all seemed so dim, somehow; and it still does.'
...'Yes, it would. You were beginning to fade,' answered Gandalf. 'The wound was overcoming you at last. A few more hours and you would have been beyond our aid. But you have some strength in you, my dear hobbit! As you showed in the Barrow. That was touch and go: perhaps the most dangerous moment of all. I wish you could have held out at Weathertop.'
...'We should never have done it without Strider,' said Frodo. 'But we needed you. I did not know what to do without you.'
...'I was delayed... ...and that nearly proved our ruin. And yet I am not sure: it may have been better so.'
...'I wish you would tell me what happened!'
...'All in good time! You are not supposed to talk or worry about anything today, by Elrond's orders.'
...'But talking would stop me thinking and wondering, which are quite as tiring,' said Frodo. 'I am wide awake now, and I remember so many things that want explaining. Why were you delayed...?'
...'...You will hear all you wish to know,' said Gandalf. 'We shall have council, as soon as you are well enough... ...I will only say that I was held captive.'
...'You?' cried Frodo.
...'Yes, I, Gandalf the Grey,' said the wizard solemnly. 'There are many powers in the world, for good or for evil. Some are greater than I am. Against some I have not yet been measured. But my time is coming. The Morgul-lord and his Black Riders have come forth. War in preparing!'
...'Then you knew of the Riders already—before I met them?'
...'Yes, I knew of them. Indeed I spoke of them once to you; for the Black Riders are the Ringwraiths, the Nine Servants of the Lord of the Rings. But I did not know that they had arisen again or I should have fled with you at once. I heard news of them only after I left you in June... ...For the moment we have been saved from disaster, by Aragorn.'
...'Yes,' said Frodo, 'it was Strider that saved us. Yet I was afraid of him at first. Sam never quite trusted him, I think, not at any rate until we met Glorfindel.'
...Gandalf smiled. 'I have heard all about Sam... ...He has no more doubts now.'
...'I am glad,' said Frodo. 'For I have become very fond of Strider. Well, fond is not the right word. I mean that he is dear to me; though he is strange, and grim at times.... ...he reminds me often of you. I didn't know that any of the Big People were like that. I thought, well, that they were just big, and rather stupid: kind and stupid like Butterbur; or stupid and wicked like Bill Ferny. But then we don't know much about Men in the Shire...'
...'...You don't know much even about them, if you think old Barliman is stupid,' said Gandalf. 'He is wise enough on his own ground. He thinks less than he talks, and slower; yet he can see through a brick wall in time... ...But there are few left in Middle-earth like Aragorn son of Arathorn. The race of the Kings from over the Sea is nearly at an end. It may be that this War of the Ring will be their last adventure.'
...'Do you really mean that Strider is one of the people of the old Kings?' said Frodo in wonder. 'I thought they had all vanished long ago. I thought he was only a Ranger.'
...'Only a Ranger!' cried Gandalf. 'My dear Frodo, that is just what the Rangers are: the last remnant in the North of the great people, the Men of the West. They have helped me before; and I shall need their help in the days to come; for we have reached Rivendell, but the Ring is not yet at rest….'"

2. Sam is reunited with Frodo.
(not from the appendices)

..."…As the evening drew on, Frodo woke up again, and he found that he no longer felt in need of rest or sleep, but had a mind for food and drink, and probably for singing and story-telling afterwards. He... ...discovered that his arm was already nearly as useful again as it had ever been. He found laid ready clean garments of green cloth... ...Looking in a mirror he was startled to see a much thinner reflection of himself than he remembered: it looked remarkably like the young nephew of Bilbo who used to go tramping with his uncle in the Shire; but the eyes looked out at him thoughtfully.
...'Yes, you have seen a thing or two since you last peeped out of a looking-glass,' he said to his reflection. 'But now for a merry meeting!' He stretched out his arms and whistled a tune.
...At that moment there was a knock on the door, and Sam came in. He ran to Frodo and took the left hand, awkwardly and shyly. He stroked it gently and then he blushed and turned hastily away.
...'Hullo, Sam!' said Frodo.
...'It's warm! ...Meaning your hand, Mr. Frodo. It has felt so cold through the long nights. But glory and trumpets!' he cried, turning round again with shining eyes and dancing on the floor. 'It's fine to see you up and yourself again, sir! Gandalf asked me to come and see if you were ready to come down, and I thought he was joking.'
...'I am ready... ...Let's go and look for the rest of the party!'
...'I can take you to them, sir… …'It's a big house this, and very peculiar. Always a bit more to discover… …no knowing what you'll find around a corner. And Elves, sir! Elves here, and Elves there! Some like kings, terrible and splendid… …some as merry as children. And the music and the singing--not that I have had the time or the heart for much listening since we got here. But I'm getting to know some of the ways of the place.'
...'I know what you have been doing, Sam,' said Frodo, taking his arm. 'But you shall be merry tonight, and listen to your heart's content. Come on, guide me round the corners…!'

..."'...Hurray!' cried Pippin, springing up. 'Here is our noble cousin! Make way for Frodo, Lord of the Ring!'
...'Hush!' said Gandalf from the shadows at the back of the porch. 'Evil things do not come into this valley; but all the same we should not name them. The Lord of the Ring is not Frodo, but the master of the Dark Tower of Mordor whose power is again stretching out over the world! We are sitting in a fortress. Outside it is getting dark.'
...'Gandalf has been saying many cheerful things like that,' said Pippin. 'He thinks I need keeping in order...'"

3. Boromir arrives in Rivendell at night.
(from the appendices)

..."...a tall man with a fair and noble face, dark-haired and grey-eyed, proud and stern of glance. He was cloaked and booted as if for a journey on horseback; and indeed though his garments were rich, and his cloak was lined with fur, they were stained with long travel. He had a collar of silver in which a single white stone was set; his locks were shorn about his shoulders. On a baldric he wore a great horn tipped with silver...."

4. The Great Hall and a gathering of the Greats.
(not from the appendices)

... "The hall of Elrond's house was filled with folk: Elves for the most part, though there were a few guests of other sorts. Elrond… …sat in a great chair at the end of the long table upon the dais… …next to him on the one side sat Glorfindel, on the other side sat Gandalf.
...Frodo looked at them in wonder, for he had never before seen Elrond… …and as they sat upon his right hand and his left, Glorfindel, and even Gandalf, whom he thought he knew so well, were revealed as lords of dignity and power.
...Gandalf was shorter in stature… …but his long white hair, his sweeping silver beard, and his broad shoulders, made him look like some wise king of ancient legend. In his aged face under great snowy brows his dark eyes were set like coals that could leap suddenly into fire."

5. Frodo meets the Dwarf-lord Gloin.
(not from the appendices)

...[At the long banquet table in the Great Hall] "Next to Frodo on his right sat a dwarf of important appearance, richly dressed… …Frodo stopped eating to look at him.
...'Welcome and well met!' said the dwarf, turning towards him. Then he actually rose from his seat and bowed. 'Glóin at your service.…'
...'…Frodo Baggins at your service and your family's,' said Frodo correctly, rising in surprise and scattering his cushions. 'Am I right in guessing that you are the Glóin, one of the twelve companions of the great Thorin Oakenshield?'
... 'Quite right,' answered the dwarf, gathering up the cushions and courteously assisting Frodo back into his seat. 'And I do not ask, for I have already been told that you are the kinsman and adopted heir of our friend Bilbo the renowned. Allow me to congratulate you on your recovery.'
...'Thank you very much,' said Frodo.
...'You have had some very strange adventures, I hear,' said Glóin. 'I wonder greatly what brings four hobbits on so long a journey. Nothing like it has happened since Bilbo came with us. But perhaps I should not inquire too closely, since Elrond and Gandalf do not seem disposed to talk of this?'
...'I think we will not speak of it, at least not yet,' said Frodo politely… '…But I am equally curious… …to learn what brings so important a dwarf so far from the Lonely Mountain.'
...Glóin looked at him. 'If you have not heard, I think we will not speak yet of that either. Master Elrond will summon us all ere long… …and then we shall all hear many things….'"

6. The Hall of Fire.
(not from the appendices)

..."Frodo found himself walking with Gandalf. 'This is the Hall of Fire,' said the wizard. 'Here you will hear many songs and tales--if you can keep awake… …except on high days it usually stands empty and quiet, and people come here who wish for peace, and thought. There is always a fire here, all the year round… …there is little other light.'
...As Elrond entered and went towards the seat prepared for him, elvish minstrels began to make sweet music. Slowly the hall filled, and Frodo looked with delight upon the many fair faces that were gathered together; the golden firelight played upon them and shimmered in their hair.
...Suddenly he noticed, not far from the further end of the fire, a small dark figure seated on a stool with his back propped against a pillar… …on the ground was a drinking-cup and some bread. Frodo wondered whether he was ill… …and had been unable to come to the feast. His head seemed sunk in sleep on his breast, and a fold of his dark cloak was drawn over his face."

7. Frodo is reunited with Bilbo.
(not from the appendices)

... "Elrond went forward and stood beside the silent figure. 'Awake, little master!' he said, with a smile. Then, turning to Frodo, he beckoned to him. 'Now at last the hour has come that you have wished for, Frodo… …Here is a friend that you have long missed.'
... The dark figure raised its head and uncovered its face.
... 'Bilbo!' cried Frodo with sudden recognition, and he sprang forward.
...'Hullo, Frodo my lad… …So you have got here at last. I hoped you would manage it. Well, well! So all this feasting is in your honour, I hear. I hope you enjoyed yourself?'
... 'Why weren't you there?' cried Frodo 'And why haven't I been allowed to see you before?'
... 'Because you were asleep. I have seen a good deal of you. I have sat by your side with Sam each day. But as for the feast, I don't go in for such things much now….'
... '…What were you doing?'
... 'Why, sitting and thinking. I do a lot of that nowadays, and this is the best place to do it in… …Wake up, indeed!' he said, cocking an eye at Elrond. There was a bright twinkle in it and no sign of sleepiness that Frodo could see…."
... "… Frodo and Bilbo sat side by side, and Sam came quickly and placed himself near them. They talked together in soft voices, oblivious of the mirth and music in the hall about them…."

8. Frodo sees Arwen for the first time.
(not from the appendices)

... [In the Great Hall] "…[In] a chair under a canopy… …there sat a lady fair to look upon… …Young she was and yet not so. The braids of her dark hair were touched by no frost; her white arms and clear face were flawless and smooth, and the light of stars was in her bright eyes, grey as a cloudless night… …queenly she looked, and thought and knowledge were in her glance…"
... …So it was that Frodo saw her whom few mortals had yet seen; Arwen, daughter of Elrond, in whom it was said that the likeness of Lúthien had come on earth again… …she was called Undómiel… …the Evenstar of her people…
... …Such loveliness in living thing Frodo had never seen before nor imagined in his mind…."

... [In the Hall of Fire]"'…It is difficult to keep awake here, until you get used to it,' said Bilbo... '…What do you say to slipping off for some more quiet talk..?'
... …They got up and withdrew quietly into the shadows, and made for the doors… …In spite of his delight in Bilbo's company Frodo felt a tug of regret as they passed out of the Hall of Fire…
... …Frodo halted for a moment, looking back. Elrond was in his chair… …Near him sat the Lady Arwen. To his surprise Frodo saw that Aragorn stood beside her; his dark cloak was thrown back… …he seemed to be clad in elven-mail, and a star shone on his breast. They spoke together, and… …suddenly it seemed to Frodo that Arwen turned towards him, and the light of her eyes fell on him from afar and pierced his heart.
... He stood still enchanted, while the sweet syllables of the elvish song fell like clear jewels of blended word and melody…"


We have been there and back again.

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Oct 25 2023, 11:43am

Post #15 of 32 (4546 views)
TIME - October 25 [In reply to] Can't Post

Today in Middle-earth

October 25, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. The Dwarves venture into the Mountain.
(determined from text)

...""Now do be careful!" whispered the hobbit, "and as quiet as you can be! There may be no Smaug at the bottom, but then again there may be. Don't let us take any un-necessary risks!"
...Down, down they went. The dwarves could not... ...compare with the hobbit in real stealth, and they made a deal of puffing and shuffling which echoes magnified alarmingly... ...every now and again Bilbo in fear stopped and listened, not a sound stirred below....

......They saw the little dark shape of the hobbit start across the floor holding his tiny light aloft. Every now and again, while he was still near enough, they caught a glint and a tinkle as he stumbled on some golden thing. The light grew smaller as he wandered away into the vast hall; then it began to rise dancing into the air. Bilbo was climbing the great mound of treasure. Soon he stood upon the top... ...Then they saw him halt and stoop for a moment; but they did not know the reason.
...It was the Arkenstone, the Heart of the Mountain. So Bilbo guessed from Thorin's description; but indeed there could not be two such gems, even in so marvellous a hoard, even in all the world....

......The great jewel shone before his feet of its own inner light, and yet, cut and fashioned by the dwarves, who had dug it from the heart of the mountain long ago, it took all light that fell upon it and changed it into ten thousand sparks of white radiance shot with glints of the rainbow.
...Suddenly Bilbo's arm went towards it drawn by its enchantment. His small hand would not close about it, for it was a large and heavy gem; but he lifted it, shut his eyes, and put it in his deepest pocket....

......"Mr. Baggins!" Thorin cried. "Here is the first payment of your reward! Cast off your old coat and put on this!"
...With that he put on Bilbo a small coat of mail, wrought for some young elf-prince long ago. It was of silversteel, which the elves call mithril, and with it went a belt of pearls and crystals. A light helm of figured leather, strengthened beneath with hoops of steel, and studded about the brim with white gems, was set upon the hobbit's head.
..."I feel magnificent... ...but I expect I look rather absurd. How they would laugh on the Hill at home! Still I wish there was a looking-glass handy!"

2. The Elvenking's host leave Mirkwood for Erebor.
(determined from text)

..."...the Elvenking rode forth... ....marching with many spearmen and bowmen; and crows were gathered thick, above him, for they thought that war was awakening again, such as had not been in those parts for a long age."

October 25, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. Council of Elrond.
(from the appendices)

..."Suddenly... ...a single clear bell rang out. 'That is the warning bell for the Council of Elrond,' cried Gandalf. 'Come along now! Both you and Bilbo are wanted.'
...Frodo and Bilbo followed the wizard quickly along the winding path back to the house; behind them, uninvited and for the moment forgotten, trotted Sam...
......Elrond was there, and several others were seated in silence about him. Frodo saw Glorfindel and Glóin; and in a corner alone Strider was sitting, clad in his old travel-worn clothes again. Elrond drew Frodo to a seat by his side, and presented him to the company, saying:
...'Here, my friends, is the hobbit, Frodo son of Drogo. Few have ever come hither through greater peril or on an errand more urgent...' ...And seated a little apart was a tall man with a fair and noble face, dark-haired and grey-eyed, proud and stern of glance... ...He gazed at Frodo and Bilbo with sudden wonder....

......all listened while Elrond in his clear voice spoke of Sauron and the Rings of Power, and their forging in the Second Age of the world long ago....

...'...What shall we do with the Ring, the least of rings, the trifle that Sauron fancies? That is the doom that we must deem.
...'That is the purpose for which you are called hither. Called, I say, though I have not called you to me, strangers from distant lands. You have come and are here met, in this very nick of time, by chance as it may seem. Yet it is not so. Believe rather that it is so ordered that we who sit here, and none others, must now find counsel for the peril of the world....'

......Boromir stood up, tall and proud, before them.... '...In this evil hour I have come on an errand over many dangerous leagues...
......a dream came to my brother in a troubled sleep; and afterwards a like dream came oft to him again, and once to me. 'In that dream I thought the eastern sky grew dark and there was a growing thunder, but in the West a pale light lingered, and out of it I heard a voice, remote but clear, crying:

Seek for the Sword that was broken:
In Imladris it dwells;
There shall be counsel taken
Stronger than Morgul-spells.
There shall be shown a token
That Doom is near at hand,
For Isildur's Bane shall waken,
And the Halfling forth shall stand.

...Of these words we could understand little, and we spoke to our father, Denethor, Lord of Minas Tirith, wise in the lore of Gondor. This only would he say, that Imladris was of old the name among the Elves of a far northern dale, where Elrond the Halfelven dwelt, greatest of lore-masters. Therefore my brother... ...was eager to heed the dream and seek for Imladris; but since the way was full of doubt and danger, I took the journey upon myself... ...I wandered by roads forgotten, seeking the house of Elrond, of which many had heard, but few knew where it lay.
...'And here in the House of Elrond more shall be made clear to you,' said Aragorn, standing up. He cast his sword upon the table that stood before Elrond, and the blade was in two pieces. 'Here is the Sword that was Broken!' he said.
...'And who are you, and what have you to do with Minas Tirith?' asked Boromir, looking in wonder at the lean face of the Ranger and his weather-stained cloak.
...'He is Aragorn son of Arathorn,' said Elrond; 'and he is descended through many fathers from Isildur Elendil's son of Minas Ithil. He is the Chief of the Dúnedain in the North, and few are now left of that folk.'
...'Then it belongs to you, and not to me at all!' cried Frodo in amazement, springing to his feet, as if he expected the Ring to be demanded at once.
...'It does not belong to either of us,' said Aragorn; 'but it has been ordained that you should hold it for a while....'

... [Then Gandalf spoke of his fears] 'I was lulled by the words of Saruman the Wise; but I should have sought for the truth sooner, and our peril would now be less.'
...'We were all at fault,' said Elrond, 'and but for your vigilance the Darkness, maybe, would already be upon us. But say on!'
...'From the first my heart misgave me, against all reason that I knew,' said Gandalf, 'and I desired to know how this thing came to Gollum, and how long he had possessed it. So I set a watch for him, guessing that he would ere long come forth from his darkness to seek for his treasure. He came, but he escaped and was not found. And then alas! I let the matter rest, watching and waiting only, as we have too often done.
...'Time passed with many cares, until my doubts were awakened again to sudden fear... ...That was seventeen years ago. Soon I became aware that spies of many sorts, even beasts and birds, were gathered round the Shire, and fear grew. I called for the help of the Dúnedain, and their watch was doubled; and I opened my heart to Aragorn, the heir of Isildur....'

...'...And then in my despair I thought again of a test that might make the finding of Gollum unneeded. The ring itself might tell if it were the One. The memory of words at the Council came back to me: words of Saruman, half-heeded at the time. I heard them now clearly in my heart.
...'"The Nine, the Seven, and the Three," he said, "had each their proper gem. Not so the One. It was round and unadorned, as it were one of the lesser rings; but its maker set marks upon it that the skilled, maybe, could still see and read..."

...[Much later after it's established they had the One Ring, it was time to decide what to do] "...The noon-bell rang. Still no one spoke. Frodo glanced at all the faces, but they were not turned to him. All the Council sat with downcast eyes, as if in deep thought. A great dread fell on him, as if he was awaiting the pronouncement of some doom that he had long foreseen and vainly hoped might after all never be spoken. An overwhelming longing to rest and remain at peace by Bilbo's side in Rivendell filled all his heart. At last with an effort he spoke, and wondered to hear his own words, as if some other will was using his small voice.
...'I will take the Ring,' he said, 'though I do not know the way.'"

2. Council of Hobbits… and a Wizard.
(not from the appendices)

..."Later that day the hobbits held a meeting of their own in Bilbo's room. Merry and Pippin were indignant when they heard that Sam had crept into the Council, and he had been chosen as Frodo's companion.
...'It's most unfair,' said Pippin. 'Instead of throwing him out... ...Elrond goes and rewards him for his cheek!'
...'Rewards!' said Frodo. 'I can't imagine a more severe punishment. You are not thinking what you are saying: condemned to go on this hopeless journey, a reward? Yesterday I dreamed that my task was done, and I could rest here, a long while, perhaps for good.'
...'I don't wonder,' said Merry... ...But we are envying Sam, not you. If you have to go, then it will be a punishment for any of us to be left behind, even in Rivendell. We have come a long way with you and have been through some stiff times. We want to go on.'
...'That's what I meant, said Pippin. 'We hobbits ought to stick together... ...I shall go, unless they chain me up. There must be someone with intelligence in the party.'
...'Then you certainly will not be chosen, Peregrin Took!' said Gandalf, looking in through the window, which was near the ground. 'But you are all worrying yourselves unnecessarily. Nothing is decided yet...'

...'...Well, anyway,' said Bilbo, 'nothing was decided beyond choosing poor Frodo and Sam. I was afraid all the time that it might come to that, if I was let off. But if you ask me, Elrond will send out a fair number, when the reports come in. Have they started yet, Gandalf?'
...'Yes,' said the wizard. 'Some of the scouts have been sent out already... ...We can't start until we have found out about the Riders.'
...'I thought they were all destroyed in the flood,' said Merry.
...'You cannot destroy Ringwraiths like that... ...The power of their master is in them, and they stand or fall by him. We hope that they were all unhorsed and unmasked, and so made... ...less dangerous; but we must find out for certain. In the meantime you should try and forget your troubles, Frodo. I do not know if I can do anything to help you; but I will whisper this in your ears. Someone said that intelligence would be needed in the party. He was right. I think I shall come with you.'
...So great was Frodo's delight at this announcement that Gandalf left the window-sill, where he had been sitting, and took off his hat and bowed. 'I only said I think I shall come. Do not count on anything yet. In this matter Elrond will have much to say, and your friend the Strider.'"


We have been there and back again.

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Oct 25 2023, 1:48pm

Post #16 of 32 (4516 views)
The Company of Thorin in Erebor [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
October 24, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Surviving Smaug attack, but now locked inside.
(determined from text)

..."[Bilbo and] the dwarves sat in darkness, and utter silence fell about them. Little they ate and little they spoke. They could not count the passing of time… …they scarcely dared to move, for the whisper of their voices echoed and rustled in the tunnel. If they dozed, they woke still to darkness and to silence going on unbroken.”

That's not entirely accurate. The tunnel is sealed now at the outside end but Thorin and his companions do have access to Smaug's lair and will eventually exit through the main gates. They just haven't yet attempted this.

“Hell hath no fury like that of the uninvolved.” - Tony Isabella


Oct 26 2023, 1:21pm

Post #17 of 32 (4488 views)
TIME - October 26 [In reply to] Can't Post

Today in Middle-earth

October 26, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Thorin learns news of Smaug's death from the ravens.
(determined from text)

...[Balin speaks of ravens] "They live many a year, and their memories are long, and they hand on their wisdom to their children. I knew many among the ravens of the rocks when I was a dwarf-lad. This very height was once named Ravenhill, because there was a wise and famous pair, old Carc and his wife, that lived here above the guard-chamber. But I don't suppose that any of that ancient breed linger here now."
...No sooner had he finished speaking than the old thrush gave a loud call, and immediately flew away.
..."We may not understand him, but that old bird understands us, I am sure," said Balin...
......Before long there was a fluttering of wings, and back came the thrush; and with him came a most decrepit old bird. He was getting blind, he could hardly fly, and the top of his head was bald. He was an aged raven of great size. He alighted stiffly on the ground before them... ...and bobbed towards Thorin.
..."O Thorin son of Thráin, and Balin son of Fundin," he croaked (...he used ordinary language and not bird-speech). "I am Roäc son of Carc. Carc is dead, but he was well known to you once. It is a hundred years and three and fifty since I came out of the egg, but I do not forget what my father told me. Now I am the chief of the great ravens of the Mountain... ...we remember still the king that was of old. Most of my people are abroad, for there are great tidings in the South—some are tidings of joy to you, and some you will not think so good.
..."Behold! the birds are gathering back again to the Mountain and to Dale from South and East and West, for word has gone out that Smaug is dead!"
..."Dead! Dead?" shouted the dwarves. "Dead! Then we have been in needless fear—and the treasure is ours!" They all sprang up and began to caper about for joy...

......[Thorin asks] I would beg of you, if any of you are still young and strong of wing, that you would send messengers to our kin in the mountains of the North... ...and tell them of our plight. But go specially to my cousin Dáin in the Iron Hills, for he has many people well-armed, and dwells nearest to this place. Bid him hasten!""

2. The Elves make their way to the mountain.
(determined from text)

..."...the [Elven] king, when he received the prayers of Bard, had pity, for he was the lord of a good and kindly people; so turning his march, which had at first been direct towards the Mountain... ...hastened now down the river to the Long Lake. He had not boats or rafts enough for this host, and they were forced to go the slower way by foot; but great store of goods he sent ahead by water."


We have been there and back again.

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Oct 26 2023, 1:30pm

Post #18 of 32 (4489 views)
True, they have access to the lair [In reply to] Can't Post

But they don't know that Smaug's not there. He just chased and singed Bilbo up the tunnel, so they assumed it wasn't safe to travel back down.
I'll change "locked inside" to "trapped inside the tunnel" so I'm not implying they can't escape. :)


We have been there and back again.

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(This post was edited by grammaboodawg on Oct 26 2023, 1:31pm)


Oct 27 2023, 12:32pm

Post #19 of 32 (4446 views)
TIME - October 27 [In reply to] Can't Post

Today in Middle-earth

October 27, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. News travels of Smaug's defeat.
(determined from text)

..."Very great indeed was the commotion among all things with wings that dwelt on the borders of the Desolation of the Dragon. The air was filled with circling flocks, and their swift-flying messengers flew here and there across the sky.... ...Far over Mirkwood tidings spread: "Smaug is dead!" Leaves rustled and startled ears were lifted. Even before the Elvenking rode forth the news had passed west right to the pinewoods of the Misty Mountains; Beorn had heard it in his wooden house, and the goblins were at council in their caves."

October 27, 2949 (S.R. 1349)
1. Bilbo has some unexpected guests.
(not from the appendices—determined from text & referencing tuckborough.net]

...[Eight years after the Quest] "One autumn evening … Bilbo was sitting in his study writing his memoirs—he thought of calling them "There and Back Again, a Hobbit's Holiday"—when there was a ring at the door. It was Gandalf and a dwarf; and the dwarf was actually Balin.
..."Come in! Come in!" said Bilbo, and soon they were settled in chairs by the fire. If Balin noticed that Mr. Baggins' waistcoat was more extensive (and had real gold buttons), Bilbo also noticed that Balin's beard was several inches longer, and his jewelled belt was of great magnificence.
...They fell to talking of their times together... ...and Bilbo asked how things were going in the lands of the Mountain. It seemed they were going very well. Bard had rebuilt the town in Dale and men had gathered to him from the Lake and from South and West, and all the valley had become tilled again and rich, and the desolation was now filled with birds and blossoms in spring and fruit and feasting in autumn. And Lake-town was refounded and was more prosperous than ever, and much wealth went up and down the Running River; and there was friendship in those parts between elves and dwarves and men.
...The old Master had come to a bad end...
..."...The new Master is of wiser kind," said Balin, "and very popular... ...he gets most of the credit for the present prosperity. They are making songs which say that in his day the rivers run with gold."
..."Then the prophecies of the old songs have turned out to be true, after a fashion!" said Bilbo.
..."Of course!" said Gandalf. "And why should not they prove true? Surely you don't disbelieve the prophecies, because you had a hand in bringing them about yourself? You don't really suppose... ...that all your adventures and escapes were managed by mere luck, just for your sole benefit? You are a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I am very fond of you; but you are only quite a little fellow in a wide world after all!"
..."Thank goodness!" said Bilbo laughing, and handed him the tobacco-jar."

October 27, 2010 and all is well.
... After years, months, weeks and days of peril and adjustments, it was announced that "The Hobbit" was greenlit and that Peter Jackson is producing and directing the 2-part film project and that filming of The Hobbit is staying in New Zealand on October 15, 2010. Then today, October 27, 2010...it was announced that "The Hobbit" is expanded from 2 films into 3!!!


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Oct 27 2023, 2:13pm

Post #20 of 32 (4440 views)
I'm glad that Balin was able to visit Bilbo [In reply to] Can't Post

one last time, before heading to Moria...Unsure


"I desired dragons with a profound desire"


Oct 28 2023, 2:01pm

Post #21 of 32 (4387 views)
TIME - October 28 [In reply to] Can't Post

Today in Middle-earth

October 28, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Elves reach Lake-town.
(determined from text)

..."...elves are light-footed, and though they were not in these days much used to the marches and the treacherous lands between the Forest and the Lake, their going was swift. Only five days after the death of the dragon they came upon the shores and looked on the ruins of the town. Their welcome was good... ...and the men and their Master were ready to make any bargain for the future in return for the Elvenking's aid."

October 28, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. Rivendell does its magic
(not from the appendices)

..."For a while the hobbits continued to talk and think of the past journey and of the perils that lay ahead; but such was the virtue of the land of Rivendell that soon all fear and anxiety was lifted from their minds. The future, good or ill, was not forgotten, but ceased to have any power over the present."

October 28, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. They reach Bree at nightfall.
(from the appendices)

..."'So it was that near the end of a wild and wet evening in the last days of October the five travellers rode up the climbing road and came to the South-gate of Bree. It was locked fast; and the rain blew in their faces, and in the darkening sky low clouds went hurrying by, and their hearts sank a little, for they had expected more welcome.
...When they had called many times, at last the Gate-keeper came out... ...He looked at them with fear and suspicion; but when he saw that Gandalf was there, and that his companions were hobbits, in spite of their strange gear, then he brightened and wished them welcome.
...'Come in!' he said unlocking the gate. 'We won't stay for news out here in the cold and the wet....'

......When they came to Bill Ferny's house they saw that the hedge there was tattered and unkempt, and the windows were all boarded up.
...'Do you think you killed him with that apple, Sam?' said Pippin.
...'I'm not so hopeful, Mr. Pippin,' said Sam. 'But I'd like to know what became of that poor pony. He's been on my mind many a time, and the wolves howling and all.'
...At last they came to The Prancing Pony... ...and there were lights behind the red curtains in the lower windows. They rang the bell, and Nob came to the door, and opened it a crack and peeped through; and when he saw them standing under the lamp he gave a cry of surprise.
...'Mr. Butterbur! Master!' he shouted. 'They've come back!'
...'Oh have they? I'll learn them,' ...and out he came with a rush, and he had a club in his hand. But when he saw who they were he stopped short, and the black scowl on his face changed to wonder and delight.
...'Nob, you wooly-pated ninny!' he cried. 'Can't you give old friends their names? You shouldn't go scaring me like that, with times as they are. Well, well! And where have you come from? I never expected to see any of you folk again, and that's a fact: going off into the Wild with that Strider, and all those Black Men about. But I'm right glad to see you, and none more than Gandalf. Come in! Come in...!'
...…He led them down the passage to the parlour that they had used on that strange night more than a year ago; and they followed him, a little disquieted, for it seemed plain to them that old Barliman was putting a brave face on....

...'...You see, we're not used to such troubles; and the Rangers have all gone away, folk tell me. I don't think we've rightly understood till now what they did for us. For there's been worse than robbers about. Wolves were howling round the fences last winter. And there's dark shapes in the woods, dreadful things that makes the blood run cold to think of....'
...'...I expect it has,' said Gandalf. 'Nearly all lands have been disturbed these days... ...But cheer up, Barliman! You have been on the edge of very great troubles, and I am only glad to hear that you have not been deeper in. But better times are coming. Maybe, better than you remember. The Rangers have returned. We came back with them. And there is a king again, Barliman. He will soon be turning his mind this way....'
...'...Well, that sounds more hopeful, I'll allow,' said Butterbur. 'And it will be good for business, no doubt. So long as he lets Bree alone.'
...'He will,' said Gandalf. 'He knows it and loves it.'
...'Does he now? ...Though I'm sure I don't know why he should, sitting in his big chair up in his great castle, hundreds of miles away. And drinking wine out of a golden cup, I shouldn't wonder. What's The Pony to him, or mugs o' beer? Not but what my beers good, Gandalf. It's been uncommon good, since you came in the autumn of last year and put a good word on it. And that's been a comfort in trouble, I will say.'
...'Ah!' said Sam. 'But he says your beer is always good.'
...'He says?'
...'Of course he does. He's Strider. The chief of the Rangers. Haven't you got that into your head yet?'
...It went in at last, and Butterbur's face was a study in wonder. The eyes in his broad face grew round, and his mouth opened wide, and he gasped. 'Strider!' he exclaimed when he got back his breath. 'Him with a crown and all and a golden cup! Well, what are we coming to?'
...'Better times, for Bree at any rate,' said Gandalf.
...'I hope so, I'm sure,' said Butterbur.... '...Nob, you slowcoach!'
...'Nob!' he said to himself, slapping his forehead. 'Now what does that remind me of?'
...'Not another letter you've forgotten, I hope, Mr. Butterbur?' said Merry.
...'Now, now, Mr. Brandybuck, don't go reminding me of that! But there, you've broken my thought. Now where was I? Nob, stables, ah! that was it. I've something that belongs to you. If you recollect Bill Ferny and the horse-thieving: his pony as you bought, well, it's here. Come back all of itself, it did. But where it had been to you know better than me. It was as shaggy as an old dog and as lean as a clothes-rail, but it was alive. Nob's looked after it.'
...'What! My Bill?' cried Sam. 'Well, I was born lucky, whatever my gaffer may say. There's another wish come true! Where is he?' Sam would not go to bed until he had visited Bill in his stable."


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Oct 30 2023, 12:34pm

Post #22 of 32 (4244 views)
TIME - October 29 [In reply to] Can't Post

Today in Middle-earth

October 29, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. With the help of the Elves, Bard arranges shelter and food for the townsfolk.
(determined from text)

..."Their plans were soon made. With the women and the children, the old and the unfit, the Master remained behind; and... ...men of crafts and many skilled elves; and they busied themselves felling trees, and collecting the timber sent down from the Forest... ...they set about raising many huts by the shore against the oncoming winter; and also under the Master's direction they began the planning of a new town, designed more fair and large even than before, but not in the same place. They removed northward higher up the shore; for ever after they had a dread of the water where the dragon lay... ...stretched cold as stone, twisted upon the floor of the shallows. There for ages his huge bones could be seen in calm weather amid the ruined piles of the old town. But few dared to cross the cursed spot, and none dared to dive into the shivering water or recover the precious stones that fell from his rotting carcase."

October 29, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. The hobbits rest in Rivendell.
(not from the appendices - no text - a drabble)

...The Elves know well the quality of Bilbo the Hobbit through decades of dwelling with them. They first knew him as the companion of Gandalf and the Quest to Erebor and were amused with his quick humour and unique stature. Later they learned of his steadiness, courage, and loyalty, raising him to the status of Lordly in the kindred of hobbits. Upon meeting Bilbo's kin and friends, they discover the quality of hobbits is not unique to their long-time friend. With the faith in them of both Gandalf and Aragorn, hope rises against the threatening darkness that covers the lands.

October 29, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. The Company rests at the Prancing Pony.
(not from the appendices)

..."...Mr. Butterbur could not complain of his business next evening at any rate. Curiosity overcame all fears, and his house was crowded. For a while out of politeness the hobbits visited the Common Room in the evening and answered a good many questions. Bree memories being retentive, Frodo was asked many times if he had written his book.
...'Not yet... ...I am going home now to put my notes in order.' He promised to deal with the amazing events at Bree, and so give a bit of interest to a book that appeared likely to treat mostly of the remote and less important affairs 'away south'.
...Then one of the younger folk called for a song. But at that a hush fell, and he was frowned down, and the call was not repeated. Evidently there was no wish for any uncanny events in the Common Room again."


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Oct 30 2023, 12:37pm

Post #23 of 32 (4245 views)
TIME - October 30 [In reply to] Can't Post

Today in Middle-earth

October 30, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. They leave Bree.
(from the appendices)

..."The Bree folk were all out to see them off, and were in merrier mood than they had been for a year; and those who had not seen the strangers in all their gear before gaped with wonder at them: at Gandalf with his white beard, and the light that seemed to gleam from him... ...and at the four hobbits like riders upon errantry out of almost forgotten tales. Even those who had laughed at all the talk about the King began to think there might be some truth in it.
...'Well... ...good luck to your home-coming!' said Mr. Butterbur. 'I should have warned you before that all's not well in the Shire... ...Funny goings on, they say. But one thing drives out another, and I was full of my own troubles. But if I may be so bold, you've come back changed from your travels, and you look now like folk as can deal with troubles out of hand. I don't doubt you'll soon set all to rights. Good luck to you! And the oftener you come back the better I'll be pleased....'"

...'...I wonder what old Barliman was hinting at,' said Frodo.
...'I can guess some of it,' said Sam gloomily. 'What I saw in the Mirror: trees cut down and all, and my old gaffer turned out of the Row. I ought to have hurried back quicker....'"

2. The 'Travellers' come to the Brandywine Bridge at dark.
(from the appendices)

..."It was after nightfall when, wet and tired, the travellers came at last to the Brandywine, and they found the way barred. At either end of the Bridge there was a great spiked gate; and on the further side of the river they could see that some new houses had been built: two-storeyed... ...bare and dimly lit, and very gloomy and un-Shirelike.
...They hammered on the outer gate and called, but there was at first no answer; and then... ...someone blew a horn, and the lights in the windows went out. A voice shouted in the dark:
...'Who's that? Be off! You can't come in. Can't you read the notice: No admittance between sundown and sunrise?'
...'Of course we can't read the notice in the dark,' Sam shouted back. 'And if hobbits of the Shire are to be kept out in the wet on a night like this, I'll tear down your notice when I find it.'

......Merry and Pippin climbed the gate, and the hobbits fled. Another horn sounded. Out of the bigger house... ...a large heavy figure appeared....
...'...What's all this,' he snarled as he came forward. 'Gate-breaking? You clear out, or I'll break your filthy little necks!' Then he stopped, for he had caught the gleam of swords.
...'Bill Ferny,' said Merry, 'if you don't open that gate in ten seconds... ...I shall set steel to you... ...And when you have opened the gates you will go through them and never return. You are a ruffian and a highway-robber.'
...Bill Ferny flinched and shuffled to the gate and unlocked it. 'Give me the key!' said Merry. But the ruffian flung it at his head and then darted out into the darkness. As he passed the ponies one of them let fly with his heels and just caught him as he ran. He went off with a yelp into the night and was never heard of again.
...'Neat work, Bill,' said Sam..."


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Oct 31 2023, 1:34pm

Post #24 of 32 (4200 views)
It's time for some BS! [In reply to] Can't Post

Today in Middle-earth: Peter's Birthday!

There are only 30 days in the Shire Reckoning... but it's Peter's day... so we'll make some extra TIME just for him!

October 30, 3018 (S.R. 1418) EXPANDED FOR PETER'S BIRTHDAY!!!
1. The hobbits rest in Rivendell.
(not in the appendices – continuing October 30th posts)

..."Health and hope grew strong in them, and they were content with each good day as it came, taking pleasure in every meal, and in every word and song."

October 30, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. A Brandywine gate is barred.
(not in the appendices – continuing October 30th posts)

..."The hobbits at the gate still seemed ill at ease, evidently some rule or other was being broken; but there was no gainsaying four such masterful travellers, all armed, and two of the uncommonly large and strong-looking. Frodo ordered the gates to be locked again. There was some sense... ...in keeping a guard, while ruffians were still about. Then the four companions went into the hobbit guard-house and made themselves as comfortable as they could. It was a bare and ugly place, with a mean little grate that would not allow a good fire... ...on every wall there was a notice and a list of Rules. Pippin tore them down. There was no beer and very little food, but with what the travellers brought and shared out they all made a fair meal; and Pippin broke Rule 4 by putting most of the next day's allowance of wood on the fire.
...'Well now, what about a smoke, while you tell us what has been happening in the Shire?' he said.
...'There isn't no pipe-weed now,' said Hob; 'at least only for the Chief's men... ...We do hear that waggon-loads of it went away down the old road out of the Southfarthing, over Sarn Ford way. That would be the end o' last year, after you left. But it had been going away quietly before that... ...That Lotho----'
...'Now you shut up, Hob Hayward!' cried several of the others. 'You know talk o' that sort isn't allowed. The Chief will hear of it, and we'll all be in trouble.'
...'He wouldn't hear naught, if some of you where weren't sneaks,' rejoined Hob hotly.
...'All right, all right!' said Sam. 'That's quite enough. I don't want to hear no more. No welcome, no beer, no smoke, and a lot of rules and orc-talk instead. I hoped to have a rest, but I can see there's work and trouble ahead.'"

October 30, 3021 (S.R. 1421)
1. As the Shire recovers from its wounds.
(not in the appendices-no text–continuing October 30th posts)

...Rosie watches Sam as he caringly leads in the renewal of the Shire, tends to their gardens outside the windows of Bag End, and delights in play with baby Elanor; but she also sees him as he stands alone in the garden resting heavily against the hoe looking to the distant west beyond the mountains and across the sea.

October 31, 1961
1. Peter Jackson is born to Bill and Joan Jackson of Pukerua Bay.

...One person can make a difference. Vigilant, devoted, a passionate steward of the works of Tolkien and his beloved homeland. Happy Birthday, Peter!

Peter T-shirt

Peter's film collage by Allan Barbeau


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Nov 1 2023, 1:35pm

Post #25 of 32 (4152 views)
TIME - November 1 [In reply to] Can't Post

Today in Middle-earth

November 1, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. The dwarves fortify the Front Gate while the ravens bring news.
(determined from text)

... "As they worked the ravens brought them constant tidings. In this way they learned that the Elvenking had turned aside to the Lake... ...they still had a breathing space. Better still, they heard that three of their ponies had escaped and were wandering wild far down the banks of the Running River, not far from where the rest of their stores had been left. So while the others went on with their work, Fili and Kili were sent, guided by a raven, to find the ponies and bring back all they could."

November 1, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. The hobbits rest in Rivendell as scouts search the lands for news of the enemy.
(not in the appendices)

..."'How long do you think I shall have here?' said Frodo to Bilbo…
... '…Oh, I don't know. I can't count days in Rivendell,' said Bilbo. 'But quite long, I should think. We can have many a good talk. What about helping me with my book, and making a start on the next? Have you thought of an ending?'
... 'Yes, several… …all are dark and unpleasant,' said Frodo.
... 'Oh, that won't do!' said Bilbo. 'Books ought to have good endings. How would this do: and they all settled down and lived together happily ever after'?
... 'It will do well, if it ever comes to that,' said Frodo.
... 'Ah!' said Sam. 'And where will they live? That's what I often wonder.'

... For a while the hobbits continued to talk and think of the past journey and of the perils that lay ahead; but such was the virtue of the land of Rivendell… …soon all fear and anxiety was lifted from their minds. The future, good or ill, was not forgotten, but ceased to have any power over the present. Health and hope grew strong in them… …they were content with each good day as it came, taking pleasure in every meal, and in every word and song."

November 1, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. They are arrested at Frogmorton.
(from the appendices)

..."As they came to the east end of the village they met a barrier with a large board saying NO ROAD; and behind it stood a large band of Shirriffs with staves in their hands and feathers in their caps, looking both important and rather scared.
...'What's all this?' said Frodo, feeling inclined to laugh.
...'This is what it is, Mr. Baggins,' said the leader of the Shirriffs, a two-feather hobbit: 'You're arrested for Gate-breaking, and Tearing up of Rules, and Assaulting Gate-keepers, and Trespassing, and Sleeping in Shire-buildings without Leave, and Bribing Guards with Food…'

...'…I can add some more, if you'd like it,' said Sam. 'Calling your Chief Names, Wishing to punch his Pimply Face, and Thinking you Shirriffs look a lot of Tom-fools.'
...'There now, Mister, that'll do. It's the Chief's orders that you're to come along quiet. We're going to take you to Bywater and hand you over to the Chief's Men… …To the discomfiture of the Shirriffs Frodo and his companions all roared with laughter. 'Don't be absurd!' said Frodo. 'I am going where I please, and in my own time. I happen to be going to Bag End on business, but if you insist on going too, well that is your affair.'
...'Very well, Mr. Baggins… …But don't forget I've arrested you.'
...'I won't,' said Frodo. 'Never. But I may forgive you. Now I am not going any further today, so if you'll kindly escort me to The Floating Log, I'll be obliged… …Go on and we'll follow.'
...Sam had been looking the Shirriffs up and down and had spotted one that he knew. 'Hey, come here Robin Smallburrow!' he called. 'I want a word with you....'
...'...You should be ashamed of yourself having anything to do with such nonsense,' said Sam. 'You used to like the inside of an inn better than the outside yourself. You were always poppin in, on duty or off.'
...'And so I would be still, Sam, if I could… …You know how I went for a Shirriff… …Gave me a chance of walking round the country and seeing folk, and hearing the news, and knowing where the good beer was. But now it's different.'
...'But you can give it up, stop Shirriffing, if it has stopped being a respectable job,' said Sam.
...'We're not allowed to,' said Robin.
...'If I hear not allowed much oftener,' said Sam, 'I'm going to get angry....'"


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