Bilbo and the Dwarves navigate through the Lonely Mountain while Smaug is away. Bilbo finds the Arkenstone, a valuable dwarf treasure, and pockets it; Bilbo also is given a chain-mail shirt of Mithril from Thorin. Bilbo and the Dwarves reach the front gate and head for the outpost of Ravenhill, and wonder where Smaug might be.
The Company, troubled by how quiet the mountain is, debates their next move. Thorin suggests they make their way to the front gate, now that the secret door has been destroyed by Smaug. The dwarves are upset, but Bilbo tells them that as long as they have their lives, they have hope. They head down the tunnel and reach the great hall, and there is no sign of Smaug other than the lingering stench. Bilbo yells a taunt to the absent dragon to encourage the nervous dwarves. There is no sound, only his echo, as the dwarves huddle in the tunnel's mouth. Bilbo goes out over the mound of treasure with a torch to scout the area. He reaches down and finds a large white gem. From Thorin's descriptions, he recognizes it as the Arkenstone, and without any real plan, he hides it in his pocket. As he descends to the other side of the mound, a bat flies past him and puts the torch out. He yells for a light and the dwarves come out, led by Balin.
The dwarves explore the great hall and fill their pockets and bags with treasure. They put on new coats of mail and choose the finest weapons. Thorin gives Bilbo a coat of Elvish mail and a leather studded helmet. Bilbo laughs, but before long he becomes wary of the treasure and the extent of time they are spending in Smaug's lair.
Eventually, Thorin decides it is time to leave, and leads the way to the front gate. Along the way, they enter the chamber of Thorin's grandfather, where natural light still finds its way inside. They spot many skeletons on the floor and weapons covered in dust. Finally they come across the river that begins in the heart of the mountain and flows into the front gate. Thorin tells them that there is an abandoned lookout point five hours away called Ravenhill that would be a good place for them to camp. It is a difficult climb, and Bilbo grumbles because he is hungry. They arrive at Ravenhill that night and find the chamber within dry and safe, and the summit offers a good view for scouting. Thorin is in good spirits, but Bilbo is still troubled about Smaug's whereabouts. The Company decides to stay at Ravenhill for the time being, and they notice an odd excess of birds flying around the mountain.
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