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Chapter Ten of The Hobbit, entitled "A Warm Welcome," opens with the dwarves and Bilbo's leaving the Mirkwood forest at last. As the tree line dwindles, Bilbo sees the open prospect before him unfold, revealing open marshes with small isles and a steady, wide river. Far in the distance, the Lonely Mountain looms with "its dark head in a torn cloud" (170). The mountain seems like a dark omen, and Bilbo does not like the looks of it. As Bilbo continues his journey into the open land, he realizes that his decision to escape via river was a sound one, for most of the roads running along the river have fallen into disrepair.
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