The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again Chapter 16
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A Thief in the Night
- Roäc the raven asks Thorin how he plans to make it through the winter alone in the mountain.
- Thorin reminds Roäc that it will be equally cold for the armies on the plain.
- Bilbo realizes Thorin is never going to change his mind without outside prodding.
- So Bilbo hatches a plan.
- He takes the Arkenstone (which he still has in secret) and goes to relieve Bombur of his watch duties.
- As soon as Bombur is asleep, Bilbo sneaks down to the human/elf camp.
- He meets with both the Elvenking and Bard.
- Bilbo explains that absolutely nothing will change Thorin's mind.
- What's more, the humans and the elves don't know that Thorin is waiting for reinforcements from Dain, Thorin's cousin.
- Bilbo wants peace and to save his friends.
- So Bilbo gives Bard the Arkenstone of Thrain.
- He wants Bard to use the Arkenstone to negotiate peace with Thorin.
- Bilbo heads back to the dwarves.
- On his way out of the human/elf camp, an old man in a dark cloak tells him, "Well done! Mr. Baggins!" (16.43).
- It's Gandalf! He's back!
- Gandalf promises Bilbo, "There is an unpleasant time just in front of you; but keep your heart up! You may come through all right" (16.45).
- Bilbo is confused but cheerful as he climbs back up the side of the mountain to his friends.