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Three is Company
Frodo prepares to leave on his fiftieth birthday, following the path that Bilbo took many years earlier. He sells Bag End to the Sackville Bagginses. Rumor suggests that Frodo has run out of money and must go live with relatives in Buckland. Some others insist that Frodo is only leaving because of some dark plot perpetrated by Gandalf. In truth, Frodo plans to go to Rivendell, as he has discussed with Gandalf. Meanwhile Gandalf has left, not even staying behind to say good-bye to Frodo. Pippin and Merry are also going along on the trip.
On the way, the band of travelers hear the sound of horses. They think Gandalf is joining them, so they hide in order to surprise him. Instead of Gandalf, a black rider on a black horse arrives. He sniffs the air as if sensing their presence and Frodo gets a sudden urge to put his Ring on. But the rider moves on. Sam tells Frodo that this very rider had been asking questions about Frodo. The travelers become suspicious and move on, more cautious than before.
Later, they meet a group of elves. The Lord of the Elves, Gildor Inglorian, asks the travelers to join him and his group. After they reach a safe place and have their fill of food and drink, Frodo asks Gildor for news and advice. Gildor tells him of the gathering darkness, the wars of men and the flight of the elves. He tells Frodo that the Black Riders are the servants of his enemies and that he must be careful. He extends his friendship and that of is people to Frodo and his group. Sam is delighted, since he has always dreamed of being on an adventure with elves.
There is no explanation for Gandalf’s disappearance. Readers of The Hobbit will recall that he did the same when he sent Bilbo on his adventure.
Frodo’s adventures begin here, as he is followed by a menacing band of Black Riders. Fortunately the Elflord arrives to fill him in on the potential threat presented by these menacing riders. Frodo and his companions proceed more cautiously.
On a side note, Sam is the only one whose fear is offset by his excitement and thrill for adventure.