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The Fellowship of the Ring
Book I
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Book II
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Book I - Chapter 9
At the Sign of the Prancing Pony

Image by Ted Nasmith
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Frodo and his three friends, tired and hungry, arrive at the town of Bree. It is a small village situated at the intersection of the Great East Road and the ancient north-south road known as the Greenway. Hobbits and Men have lived there peacably together for as long as anyone can remember.

Its chief attraction is the well-know inn The Prancing Pony. The four travellers find it just inside the town gate and enter its smoky Common Room. The proprietor, Barliman Butterbur, greets them at the door and Frodo introduces himself as Mr. Underhill. He explains that he and his friends are in Bree on a fact finding mission for a book. Butterbur takes them to a suite he has available and suggests that the hobbits might enjoy the company in the Common Room.

Merry declines and opts to go outside for a walk and a bit of fresh air, but Frodo, Sam and Pippin decide to go have a pint of ale and perhaps mingle with some of the other guests. They are greeted by the local hobbits and Men, all of whom have some wisdom they'd like to share for Frodo's 'book'. The three hobbits from the Shire find themselves the center of attention and finally Frodo is asked to give the room a song from beyond the Brandywine River.

Frodo obliges them and, standing on a table, sings one of Bilbo's cheerful songs (There is an inn, a merry old inn..). The crowd enjoys the tune immensely and Frodo begins to enjoy himself a bit too much. He has another drink, and in a rousing encore manages to slip and fall from his perch atop the table. He hits the floor with a thud, but the bar patrons are stunned to see him disappear as he lands beneath the table.

Quite by accident and certainly by no design of Frodo's the Ring had slipped onto his finger causing him to vanish. Not sure what to do, he crawls away into a corner where he leans against the wall and takes off the Ring. He is immediately noticed by the Strider the Ranger who eyes him curiously and asks if he can have a word with him. Still shaken by what just happened, Frodo agrees to speak later with Strider and quickly retires to the room with Pippin and Sam.

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