Fellowship of the Ring
1-1-3. The Precious
While Bilbo Baggins was making his speech, he had been fingering a golden ring in his pocket: the very ring that Gollum had once possessed and lost. And as he said good-bye, he slipped it on his finger, vanished, and was never seen by any hobbit in Hobbiton again.
He walked briskly back indoors and changed into some travelling clothes.
Ah, Gandalf. I wondered if you'd come to see me off.
I'm glad to find you visible, Bilbo.
Hm. I suppose you feel that everything has gone off splendidly, and according to plan?
Well, yes I do. But that last firework was rather surprising. It quite startled me. A little addition of your own, I suppose?
It was. You've wisely kept that ring secret all these years, and it seemed to me necessary to give your guests something else that would seem to explain your sudden vanishment.
You are an interfering old busybody. But I expect you know best, as usual.
I do, when I know anything. But I... I don't feel too sure about this whole affair. Are you going any further with it?
Well, yes I am. I feel I need a holiday, a very long holiday. Probably a permanent holiday: I don't expect I shall return.
In fact, I don't meant to.
I am old, Gandalf. I don't look it, but I am beginning to feel sort of stretched, like butter that has been scraped over too much bread. That can't be right.
Hmm... no, it doesn't seem right. No, I believe your plan probably is for the best.
Well, I've made up my mind, anyway. I want to see the mountains again; and then find somewhere where I can rest in peace and quiet without a lot of relatives prying around, and a string of confounded visitors hanging on the bell. Gandalf?
You'll keep an eye on Frodo, for me, won't you?
Yes, I will - two eyes, as often as I can spare them.
He would come with me, of course, if I asked him. But he doesn't really want to, yet. He's still in love with the Shire, with woods and fields and little rivers. Anyway, he ought to be comfortable here. I'm leaving everything to him.
Everything? The ring as well?
Well, er, yes, yes, I - I suppose so.
Where is it?
In an envelope, if you must know. There on the mantelpiece.
Where, Bilbo? I don't see it.
What? Oh, bless my soul! No, no, no... no, it's here; it's here in my pocket.
[He pulls the envelope from his pocket]
Now isn't that odd? Well then, after all, why not? Why shouldn't it stay there?
There's no need to get angry about it.
I'm angry because it's mine. It's my own. My precious.
Yes, my precious.
Ah - it's been called that before, but not by you.
Well, I will say it now. Even if that horrid Gollum creature said the same once. It's not his now. He lost it, and I found it, and now it belongs to me, and I shall keep it.
If you say that again, Bilbo, I shall get angry. And then you shall see Gandalf the Grey uncloaked.
But the ring is mine, isn't it? I mean, I - I found it. And Gollum would have killed me if I hadn't kept it and used it to escape from him...
The hobbit must have a competition with us, precious. If it asks us a riddle, and we doesn't answer, then we does what it wants, and shows it the way out. If Precious asks, and it doesn't answer, then...
...then we eats it, my precious.
[Gollum laughs in anticipation]
Ask us, ask us, ask us a riddle!
Er - what have I got in my pocket?
Not fair! Not fair! That's not a riddle, it isn't fair, my precious. It isn't fair to ask us what its got in its nasty little pocketses.
What have I got in my pocket?
Must give us three guessesss, my precious, three guessesss.
Very well, guess away.
Wrong. Guess again.
Last guess. Come on, time's up.
String - or nothing!
Both wrong! Now you must show me the way out of here.
Did we say so, precious? Show the nasty little Bagginses the way out, yes, yes? But what has it got in its pocketses, eh? Not string, precious - but not nothing.
Never you mind, a promise is a promise.
Course it is! Impatient, precious...
[He laughs to himself, but his laugh quickly fades]
Gollum... gollum! We can guess what its got in its pocketses, can't we, precious? We've lost it, yes, and he's found it! Yes, he must have. Curse the Baggins.
Where's it gone? Where's the Baggins? Vanished, it has. Curse the Baggins! We hates it! We hates it! We hates it forever!
I'm not a thief, whatever he said.
I've never called you one. And I'm not one either. I'm not trying to rob you, but to help you.
I'm sorry, but I felt so strange. You see, the ring has been growing on my mind lately. I'm always wanting to put it on and disappear, or wondering if it's safe, and pulling it out to make sure. Sometimes I felt it was like an... like an eye, looking at me.
Then go away and leave it behind. Stop possessing it. Give it to Frodo, and I will look after him.
All right, I will. After all, that's what this party business was all about, really. To give away lots of presents and somehow make it easier to give it away at the same time. It hasn't made it any easier in the end, but it would be a pity to spoil the joke.
Very well, the ring goes to Frodo with all the rest. And now, I, I really must be starting, or somebody else will catch me.
You still have the ring in your pocket.
What? Ah, bless my soul, so I have. It's still in the envelope, with my will. You better take it and deliver it for me.
No! No, no, don't give the ring to me. Put it on the mantelpiece. It will be safe enough there, ‘til Frodo comes. I shall wait for him.
All right, if you say so. There. Well, that's that, then. And now I'm off.
[He opens the door]
Oh, what fun! Good-bye, dear Gandalf.
Good-bye for the present, Bilbo. Take care of yourself.
Don't worry about me. I'm as happy now as I've ever been. Good-bye.
[His voice slowly fades into the distance]
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can.
Goodbye, my dear Bilbo - until our next meeting.
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it join some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And wither then? I cannot say.
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