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Frodo learns about the Conspirators in Crickhollow.

Consisting of Samwise Gamgee, Meriadoc Brandybuck, Peregrin Took, and Fatty Bolger, the self-described "Conspirators" were friends of Frodo Baggins who discovered that he was making plans to leave the Shire in order to escape some danger related to the Ring and conspired to assist him without his knowledge - this often meant spying and eavesdropping on Frodo's daily activities and conversations, until finally revealing themselves to Frodo just before he set out to leave, much to his surprise.

Without their preparations, Frodo would likely have been captured by the Black Riders before he even escaped the Shire.