Bilbo and his friends wait fearfully inside the mountain for a long, dark while; it feels like they have been there for days. Finally Thorin suggests trying to open the gate even if the dragon is on the other side. The dwarves try, but that entire part of the mountain has been crushed; no one will ever enter or exit by that way again. Everyone falls into despair except Bilbo, who points out that he has been down the tunnel to the dragon’s lair twice without getting caught. He suggests going again—this time all together.
The dwarves agree, and they all walk as quietly as...
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