At the Sign of the Prancing Pony
"Good evening, little master. Barliman Butterbur's the name. Welcome to my inn."
"Nob! We've guests from the Shire. Get Bob to stable their ponies."
Later that evening, Frodo, Pippin, and Sam decided to visit the inn's common room ...
... while Merry went out for a walk.
Pippin and Sam fell into conversation with some local hobbits, while Frodo was approached by a strange-looking weather-beaten man. "I am called Strider," he said. "If I were you, I'd stop your young friends from talking too much."
Alarmed that Pippin and Sam would give away their identities, Frodo jumped up on a table and offered a song.
He leaped into the air too vigorously, and fell with a crash. The audience started to laugh, but then gasped, for Frodo had disappeared.
Frodo crawled back to the corner and took off his Ring. "Well," said Strider, coming up beside him, "you have put your foot in it! Or should I say your finger? I have much to discuss with you in your room."
Back in their room, Strider offered to lead the hobbits through the wilderness. Sam was initially quite suspicious.
Butterbur came to the door. "I'm sorry sir. I've just remembered. I've got a letter for you from Mr. Gandalf."
"Not much use is it, Sam?"
Meanwhile, Merry is attacked by Black Riders.
Nob finds him, and brings him back to the inn.
The four hobbits decide to leave with Strider first thing in the morning.
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