The Hobbit Chapter 2
Bilbo wakes late and his kitchen is a disaster with the signs of a large breakfast. He is relieved because he thinks that the dwarves have left without him. He begins to wash up. Before long, Gandalf appears and asks what happened to his early start. He points to a letter on the mantlepiece that Bilbo did not notice. It sets the terms of his involvement with travel expenses and his share of the treasure. It also tells Bilbo to meet them at their inn at 11. It is ten minutes before 11 and Gandalf sets Bilbo running without a hat or money. He arrives just in time to find the dwarves all prepared to leave. Dwalin gives him a hood to wear and Gandalf appears with his pipe, tobacco, and three handkerchiefs. They begin to travel and stop only for meals, which are not as frequent as Bilbo would have liked. They pass through the hobbit lands and beyond. The landscape begins to get darker and gloomy. It is cold and wet and Bilbo cannot believe that it will soon be June.
They look for a dry patch to sleep and suddenly realize that Gandalf has disappeared. They camp in a grove of trees, but it is too wet to make a fire. The pony carrying the food runs away and falls into a river. Just when they are the most depressed, they see a light in the trees. At first they argue about who should go to investigate, but when they remember that they hired a thief, they decide to send Bilbo. They move ahead with him, but they send Bilbo out alone for the last dozen feet or so. Fortunately for Bilbo, hobbits are skilled at moving silently. He sees three large trolls eating mutton around a fire. Their leader's name is William. They are large and grotesque. One of them complains about having to eat mutton every day of the week and another complains of being led by William into barren terrain. William barks for them to shut up as he bites into a lamb shank. Bilbo is too shocked by the sight to warn the dwarves, steal some mutton, or kill the trolls (even if he could). He stands in the shadows and then tries to pick William's pocket. William snaps around and grabs the hobbit. The other two trolls want to eat Bilbo, but William argues that he wouldn't be more than a mouthful. They ask him if he has any companions and he says yes, but thinking better, then says no. He begs, "'please don't cook me, kind sirs!...I'll cook beautifully for you!'" Chapter 2, pg. 37. William wants to let him go, but the other will not let him. They begin to fight. Bilbo is dropped and he lies on the ground. Balin runs into the melee. The trolls stop fighting each other and start to stuff the dwarves into sacks. Thorin tries to fight them but eventually ends up in a sack too. Bilbo hides in the brush.
Gandalf has returned, but he is also hiding. One of the trolls wants to roast the dwarves immediately but a voice says that this will take too long. They compromise and decide to sit on the sacks one by one. The voice asks which sack they will sit on first and two of the trolls think that the other is talking to himself. They fight again, but soon dawn breaks and all three of them turn to stone. Gandalf is pleased with this, because he was the voice that caused them to fight. He and Bilbo untie the dwarves. Gandalf reminds them that there should be a treasure hoard nearby. They find a cave with a door that is locked. At first they are dismayed, but Bilbo takes out a key that he stole from William's pocket. In the cave there is gold as well as weapons and the stench of dead bodies. Gandalf and Thorin take new swords. Bilbo takes a dagger that is long enough to be a short sword for him. They take the trolls' mutton and have plenty of food. After they eat, they sleep for a while. Gandalf tells them that he had been looking ahead and rushed back when he heard there were trolls in the area. He warns the travelers to be more careful in the future.