In The Hobbit, who delights Bilbo with his presence just as the hobbit is preparing to depart the "enemy" camp for his return to the Mountain?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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"As they passed through the camp an old man, wrapped in a dark cloak, rose from a tent door where he was sitting and came towards them" (244).

The old man is, of course, Gandalf, who immediately claps Bilbo on the shoulder and praises him for his actions with the Arkenstone.  Bilbo would have liked to stay and chat with Gandalf indefinitely, but Gandalf only heads off his questions, telling him that there is simply too much going on to be explained.  He warns Bilbo that there may still be difficult times ahead for the hobbit and hints that there are events afoot that not even the ravens know.  Gandalf's sudden presence feels reassuring to Bilbo who feels "puzzled but cheered" (245).  The hobbit returns to the Gate, wondering what will happen next. 

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