A Thief in the Night
|A Thief in the Night
|Chapter of The Hobbit
|Bilbo takes the Arkenstone of Thráin to Dale and gives it to Bard.
|< The Gathering of the Clouds
|The Clouds Burst >
A Thief in the Night is the 16th chapter of The Hobbit.
Thorin and Company stayed in Erebor for many days. For a time the dwarves ordered the treasure of Smaug, but soon Thorin began to think only of the Arkenstone. He bade the others search every corner for it. Bilbo heard of Thorin's eagerness of finding it and feared that the Arkenstone would be found in his bundle. Meanwhile, the Ravens began to return to Thorin with messages that Dáin was hurrying from the Iron Hills to aid Thorin. The Ravens gave Thorin counsel that Dáin's appearance in the valley might start a battle, but Thorin was set in his ways. That night, Bilbo made up his mind to leave Erebor in the night and reach Erebor. He offered to Bombur, who was on watch for the earlier part of the night, to take the watch for him and let Bombur sleep until midnight. When Bombur agreed, Bilbo put on his magic ring and slipped off into the night.
As he reached a stream that crossed between him and Bard's camp, he lost his footing on a round stone and made a splash noise as he fell in the water. He had hardly just made to the other side when Elves came there with lanterns, searching for the cause of the noise. Bilbo then sneezed, and the Elves discovered him. He introduced himself and bade the Elves lead him to their camp.
When Bilbo came to the camp of Bard and the Elvenking, they did not quite understand why he was there. So Bilbo explained that he meant well for everyone, and wished for there to be no battle. He then gave Bard the Arkenstone and explained that he took it as his fourteenth share in the treasure, as Thorin had promised him. Bard and the Elvenking both tried to stop him from leaving and offer him to stay with them, but Bilbo refused and made ready to return to Erebor to wake Bombur. As he left, though, he met Gandalf, who was proud of him for his gift to Bard. Gandalf then referenced news that even the Ravens did not know of. This referred to the Battle of Five Armies, but Bilbo did not know about it at the time and left him puzzled. When he returned, he woke Bombur and was soon dreaming of eggs and bacon.