4. In the Wild
(For the "Bequeath" prompt.)
In the Wild
There's a thread of smoke rising from the clearing; Bilbo tiptoes around its edge, unwilling to show himself till he's taken a good look. But the figure hunched over the fire calls, without turning round: "Come, Master Hobbit; there is warmth and food here for two."
"Far too quiet for Dwarf or Man, and I'd know were you an Elf," the shaggy-haired stranger explains. "My people have guarded the Shire-borders for many a year, and know Hobbit foot-falls." Fine lines around his eyes, bequeathed by years in the open, crinkle as he smiles and proffers tobacco. "Where are you bound?"
'I have often kept watch on the borders of the Shire in the last few years, when [Gandalf] was busy elsewhere. He seldom left it unguarded.' The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 10, Strider.
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