The Fellowship of the Ring Book 1, Chapter 11
Back in Buckland, Fatty Bolger watches a black shadow move around Frodo's house. The sound of horses frightens him. A voice demands that he open the door for Mordor. He runs through the back door and sounds the alarm. "There Brandybucks were blowing the horn-call of Buckland, that had not been sounded for a hundred years, not since the white wolves came in the fell winter, when the Brandywine was frozen over." Book 1, Chapter 11, pg. 219. The black shadows soon disappear and leave Buckland.
Frodo wakes from a deep sleep to see Strider alertly watching. He falls back to sleep. Strider wakes all of them later and they discover that their ponies were stolen. Strider tells them that they are going to have to carry their food on their backs. Barliman finds an underfed pony for them that they can use for a pack animal. He pays for it because he feels that it is his duty since the ponies were stolen from his stable. The town is abuzz when they leave too late in the morning. They take the main road and many people watch them leave. A man in a dark house stares at them. Sam throws an apple at him and hits. Not too far out of town, they leave the road and start to travel through the forest. It is a nice day and the walking is not too unpleasant. Strider is sure that they will be followed. The ground gets damper and a swampy region slows their advance. The day becomes hot and miserable. When they make their campsite and night falls, it becomes cold and wet. Far away, to the east, they see light flashing on top of a large hill. On the fifth day, they finally make it to a place where they can see Weathertop and they move out of the swamp. Strider still hopes to meet Gandalf at this halfway point. He thinks that they should approach it from the north side to avoid any possible ambush
They camp that night and there is a frost in the air in the morning. The walking gets more difficult and the hobbits are losing weight. Near the hills they can see ruins of stone. This used to be the border of an Elf kingdom. The next day they arrive at Weathertop and Strider finds a stone with Gandalf's mark on it. He had been there three days before. It is another twelve days to Rivendell. Frodo cries out and they see black shapes of riders coming toward them in the distance. When Strider descends from the peak, Merry and Pippin point out strange footprints to him. "'I cannot now be certain, but I think there were many hoofed feet.'" Book 1, Chapter 11, pg. 233. Strider decides that they will stay to the north of the road and keep traveling. He tells them that it was foolish that he exposed himself on top of the hill. Then he says that the dark riders can follow the feel of the ring. They light a fire and wait. Frodo is worried that they are going to run out of food, but Strider assures them that they will find more. Strider chants a story of an Elf woman who gave up her immortality to be with a man she loved. The Kings of his line came from their marriage. The moon rises and they look up. Merry thinks he sees shapes moving towards them. They gather around the fire and in the shadows they can see five riders. Frodo panics and slips on the ring. He sees them more clearly. They rush forward at him. He tries to defend himself but is wounded in the shoulder.