The next day, trumpets sounded early in the camp and a single runner was sent up to the mountain. Seeing if Thorin would finally listen to them. By early afternoon, a small company of Men and Elves set out for the mountain, Silvren staying behind, waiting anxiously for their return as she tried to busy herself without other tasks.
“Hail, Thorin!” Bard called out once they had reached the mountainside. “Have you changed your mind yet?”
“My mind does not change with the rising and the setting of the sun.” The Dwarf answered. “The Elven-king and his men are still with you and until they have left, I will not bargain with you. “
“Is there nothing that you would surrender any of your gold for? ” asked Bard.
“Nothing that you or your friends have to give.” he replied stubbornly.
“What about the Arkenstone of Thrain? ” he asked, and at the same time an old man stepped forth and opened the casket that he had been holding. The old man held the gem up high for all to see, the light of the sun shinning down on it with a brilliant glow. Thorin’s jaw dropped in bewilderment and not a sound was to be heard for some time.
“That stone was my father’s and is rightfully mine.” he muttered in a confused tone of voice. “How did you get your filthy hands on the heirloom of my house? “
“We did not steal it, if that is what you mean.”
“How did you come by it!” Thorin shouted in outrage.
“I gave it to them!” squeaked Bilbo from where he stood in the comer.
“You?! You!” Thorin screamed, grasping the poor, little Hobbit with both hands. “You miserable, little Hobbit! You thief! Burglar!” he shouted at the top of his lungs as he shook Bilbo like a little rabbit. “Why, I wish Gandalf was here! I would curse him for choosing you to come along with us!” Thorin cried as he lifted Bilbo in the air.
“Stop! Your wish is granted!” a voice cried out from below. The old an threw aside the casket and cast his hood and cloak to the ground. “Gandalf is here-and not a moment too soon I see. If you don’t like my burglar, please do not hurt him. Set him down and at least listen to what he has to say.”
Thorin dropped Bilbo on top of the stone wall and glared angrily at him. “Well, what do you have to say?”
“Oh, well. Dear me! You did say that I may choose my own fourteenth share. Perhaps, I took it too literally, but take it that I have disposed of my share as I wished and let it go at that. “
“I will. ” the Dwarf said grimly. “And I hope we never meet again! Get down to your friends before I throw you down there!” he shouted.
Bilbo scurried down the mountain to join Gandalf and the others, glad to be getting away from Thorin, “We will return at noon tomorrow. In the meantime. Farewell!” Bard called out to Thorin.
That day passed by fairly slowly and night crept by as well. Legolas lay awake in the dark tent, the sun had not yet risen but would at any minute. He stared up at the woolen ceiling that hung limply across the thin rods that held it up. The fires from outside had died out during the night, but their fumes still lingered in the air.
Legolas sat up and rubbed his eyes, staring at the tent door that flapped gently in the breeze. Legolas turned and looked down at Silvren who slept beside him. She was snuggled warmly in her blanket, her hair laying about her head as she lay facing Legolas.
Legolas scrambled to his feet and tossed the tent door to the side as he walked out the door. The camp was quiet with only a few others awake and walking about. He noticed that the wind had shifted west and the sunrise was hidden behind dark and gloomy clouds.
Legolas was walking back to his tent when a young man darted by him, making his way towards Thranduil’s tent.
“What is wrong? ” Legolas asked when he had caught up to the man and cut him off. “I must speak to the king… and Bard. ” he breathed heavily.
“What is so important that you must bother them at this hour in the morning? ” asked Legolas, looking the young man over. “The Dwarves, they are coming this way. Dain and his men, have come.”