The Fellowship of the Ring Book 1, Chapter 9
Bree is the chief city of a group of wilderness towns located near the intersection of the east and the north roads. It is inhabited by men and hobbits. There are wanderers called Rangers who patrol the woods of this region. The hobbits of Bree are successful and often associate with the hobbits of Buckland. When the travelers get to the gate, it is shut. The guard asks their names and business. Merry responds "'The Bree fold used to be fair-spoken to travelers, or so I had heard.'" Book 1, Chapter 9, pg. 191. The guard tells them that there have been strange people about and there are many other guests at the Prancing Pony. When they see the inn, Sam wants to find somewhere else to stay. They hesitate outside while they listen to the singing coming from within. The innkeeper, Barliman, comes around from the stable and welcomes them. He is surprised to see a party from the Shire. He tells them there are special rooms available designed just for hobbits. A hobbit brings food and beer to them. Barliman encourages them to come downstairs and join the other guests who are anxious to talk to people from the Shire.
Downstairs, there is a large gathering in the main room of the inn. There are many men but there are also dwarves and hobbits. They welcome the new hobbits and introduce themselves. Frodo tells him they are traveling because he is interested in writing a book. The other guests talk of all the men who have been moving to the area looking for peace. In the corner is a weather beaten figure who beckons for Frodo to come to him. His name is Strider and he is a ranger. He warns Frodo not to let his friends talk too much. Pippin is busy telling the tale of Bilbo's birthday party so many years ago. Frodo is worried that he will mention the ring. Frodo jumps up on a table and starts talking. They ask him for a song and he makes up a long one about an Inn. They love the song and make Frodo drink a couple beers and then sing it again. He falls to the floor and slips the ring on his finger to disappear. He crawls over and reappears near Strider who calls him 'Baggins' instead of the name he gave, 'Underhill'. He says that they must meet later. Frodo stays in the shadow and listens to the others argue about where he went. He shows himself and apologizes. As he goes to his room, Barliman says he wants to speak to Frodo alone.