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The fellowship of the ring
J. R. R. Tolkien
Adult Fiction TOLKIEN

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ContentsPage
The Lord of the Rings the Fellowship of the Ring Book One
Chapter 1 A Long-Expected Party When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton
Bilbo was very rich and very peculiar, and had been the wonder of the Shire for sixty years, ever since his remarkable disappearance and unexpected return
The riches he had brought back from his travels had now become a local legend, and it was popularly believed, whatever the old folk might say, that the Hill at Bag End was full of tunnels stuffed with treasure
And if that was not enough for fame, there was also his prolonged vigour to marvel at
Time wore on, but it seemed to have little effect on Mr. Baggins
At ninety he was much the same as at fifty
At ninety-nine they began to call him well-preserved; but unchanged would have been nearer the mark
There were some that shook their heads and thought this was too much of a good thing; it seemed unfair that anyone should possess (apparently) perpetual youth as well as (reputedly) inexhaustible wealth
"It will have to be paid for," they said
"It isn"t natural, and trouble will come of it!"
But so far trouble had not come; and as Mr. Baggins was generous with his money, most people were willing to forgive him his oddities and his good fortune
He remained on visiting terms with his relatives (except, of course, the Sackville-Bagginses), and he had many devoted admirers among the hobbits of poor and unimportant families
But he had no close friends, until some of his younger cousins began to grow up
The eldest of these, and Bilbo"s favourite, was young Frodo Baggins
When Bilbo was ninety-nine he adopted Frodo as his heir, and brought him to live at Bag End; and the hopes of the Sackville- Bagginses were finally dashed. Bilbo and Frodo happened to have the same birthday, September 22nd
"You had better come and live here, Frodo my lad," said Bilbo one day; "and then we can celebrate our birthday-parties comfortably together."
At that time Frodo was still in his tweens, as the hobbits called the irresponsible twenties between childhood and coming of age at thirty-three
Twelve more years passed
Each year the Bagginses had given very lively combined birthday-parties at Bag End; but now it was understood that something quite exceptional was being planned for that autumn. Bilbo was going to be eleventy-one, 111, a rather curious number, and a very respectable age for a hobbit (the Old Took himself had only reached 130); and Frodo was going to be thirty- three, 33, an important number: the date of his "coming of age"
Tongues began to wag in Hobbiton and Bywater; and rumour of the coming event travelled all over the Shire
The history and character of Mr. Bilbo Baggins became once again the chief topic of conversation; and the older folk suddenly found their reminiscences in welcome demand
No one had a more attentive audience than old Ham Gamgee, commonly known as the Gaffer
He held forth at The Ivy Bush, a small inn on the Bywater road; and he spoke with some authority, for he had tended the garden at Bag End for forty years, and had helped old Holman in the same job before that. Now that he was himself growing old and stiff in the joints, the job was mainly carried on by his youngest son, Sam Gamgee
Both father and son were on very friendly terms with Bilbo and Frodo
They lived on the Hill itself, in Number 3 Bagshot Row just below Bag End
"A very nice well-spoken gentlehobbit is Mr. Bilbo, as I"ve always said," the Gaffer declared
With perfect truth: for Bilbo was very poli


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main characters Frodo Baggins
Male
Hobbit
Holder of the Ring of Power.

Samwise "Sam" Gamgee
Male
Hobbit
Trustworthy; faithful.
Gardener

Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck
Male
Hobbit

Gandalf the Grey
Male
Wizard
Wanderer; wise.

Sauron, the Dark Lord
Male
Evil

Saruman the White
Male
Wizard
Oldest of the wizards; leader of the White Council.



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