HASA Resources

Timeline Event

Khamûl arrives in Hobbiton and questions the Gaffer

Event Type: Military/Strategic

Age: 3rd Age - Ring War

Date: September 23, 3018

Description:

From notes recounting in detail the movements of the Black Riders in the Shire it emerges that it was Khamûl who came to Hobbiton and spoke to Gaffer Gamgee....

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 4, The Hunt for the Ring: Notes, Note 1

[Frodo]... heard voices, just round the corner by the end of Bagshot Row. One voice was certainly the old Gaffer's; the other was strange, and somehow unpleasant. He could not make out what it said, but he heard the Gaffer's answers, which were rather shrill. The old man seemed put out.

'No, Mr. Baggins has gone away. Went this morning, and my Sam went with him: anyway all his stuff went. Yes, sold out and gone, I tell'ee. Why? Why's none of my business, or yours. Where to? That ain't no secret. He's moved to Bucklebury or some such place, away down yonder. Yes it is — a tidy way. I've never been so far myself; they're queer folks in Buckland. No, I can't give no message. Good night to you!'

Footsteps went away down the Hill. Frodo wondered vaguely why the fact that they did not come on up the Hill seemed a great relief.... He had half a mind to go and ask the Gaffer who the inquirer was; but he thought better (or worse) of it, and turned and walked quickly back to Bag End.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 3, Three Is Company

According to an unpublished manuscript by Tolkien (Marquette MSS 4/2/36):

Drawn by the Ring [Khamûl] goes to Hobbiton which he reaches at evening on Fri. Sep. 23rd. [His companion] keeps an eye on the East Road and Stock Road, lurking probably between the two, just south of Whitfurrows. [Khamûl] just misses Frodo, and misled by the Gaffers [sic] starts out east again.

The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, by Wayne G Hammond and Christina Scull, Book 1, Ch 3, Three is Company

'I have never heard of anything like this rider. I wonder where he comes from.'

'Begging your pardon,' put in Sam suddenly, 'I know where he comes from. It's from Hobbiton that this here black rider comes, unless there's more than one. And I know where he's going to.'

'What do you mean?' said Frodo sharply, looking at him in astonishment. 'Why didn't you speak up before?'

'I have only just remembered, sir. ... [When] I got back to our hole yesterday evening with the key, my dad, he says to me: Hello, Sam! he says. I thought you were away with Mr. Frodo this morning. There's been a strange customer asking for Mr. Baggins of Bag End, and he's only just gone. I've sent him on to Bucklebury. Not that I liked the sound of him. He seemed mighty put out, when I told him Mr. Baggins had left his old home for good. Hissed at me, he did. It gave me quite a shudder. What sort of a fellow was he? says I to the Gaffer. I don't know, says he; but he wasn't a hobbit. He was tall and black-like, and he stooped over me. I reckon it was one of the Big Folk from foreign parts. He spoke funny.

'I couldn't stay to hear more, sir, since you were waiting; and I didn't give much heed to it myself. The Gaffer is getting old, and more than a bit blind, and it must have been near dark when this fellow come up the Hill and found him taking the air at the end of our Row. I hope he hasn't done no harm, sir, nor me.'

'The Gaffer can't be blamed anyway,' said Frodo. 'As a matter of fact I heard him talking to a stranger, who seemed to be inquiring for me, and I nearly went and asked him who it was. I wish I had, or you had told me about it before. I might have been more careful on the road.'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 3, Three Is Company

Contributors:
Elena Tiriel 25Jul07

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