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Almost six years have passed already since the last time you were here. I remember very well everything you and Gandalf said when we met. You were alarmed, and I took your warnings at heart, but I don’t think you would find it surprising to know that news of a nameless threat is hard to believe here in the dear old Shire. Gandalf came to see me again, on several occasions. He seems to care about our friendship, and he says I should indeed be worried, but his vague words of warning hardly make even less of a dent in the general sense of peace and protection that we enjoy here, away in the north-west.
But don’t think that I am completely clueless! All I need to know is to have a look at… the stuff I collected in my adventures to remember that there is a wide and dangerous world out there. Sometimes I even miss it, the road, the thrill, the narrow escapes. It’s my Tookish side. But then I look at my beautiful garden, my snapdragons and sunflowers, my trailing nasturtians… how they glow, red and golden, more beautiful than any Dragon-hoard that ever was, and I am back to being a Baggins.
I hope that what I say won’t be too much of a disappointment to you. You haven’t asked yet, but I know that you mean to invite me to join you in that Moria adventure you are always talking about. I am afraid that I have spent enough time crawling in the dark under the Misty Mountains not to wish to do that ever again! But there’s a good bunch of eager lads and lasses here that you might find to your liking. Why, they are just waiting for no more than a nod in their direction from me or from our Grey friend to go off into the blue for mad adventures! Theirs is an age that is more appropriate to that type of business, believe me, and I have taught them a thing or two. I suspect that Gandalf has too...
From a letter from Bilbo Baggins, Esq. to Balin son of Fundin