An Unexpected Party

Inaholeinthegroundtherelivedahobbit.Notanasty,dirty,wethole,filledwiththeendsofwormsandanoozysmell,noryetadry,bare,sandyholewithnothinginittositdownonortoeat:itwasahobbit-hole,andthatmeanscomfort.

Ithadaperfectlyrounddoorlikeaporthole,paintedgreen,withashinyyellowbrassknobintheexactmiddle.Thedooropenedontoatube-shapedhalllikeatunnel:averycomfortabletunnelwithoutsmoke,withpanelledwalls,andfloorstiledandcarpeted,providedwithpolishedchairs,andlotsandlotsofpegsforhatsandcoats-thehobbitwasfondofvisitors.Thetunnelwoundonandon,goingfairlybutnotquitestraightintothesideofthehill-TheHill,asallthepeopleformanymilesroundcalledit-andmanylittlerounddoorsopenedoutofit,firstononesideandthenonanother.Nogoingupstairsforthehobbit:bedrooms,bathrooms,cellars,pantries(lotsofthese),wardrobes(hehadwholeroomsdevotedtoclothes),kitchens,dining-rooms,allwereonthesamefloor,andindeedonthesamepassage.Thebestroomswereallontheleft-handside(goingin),fortheseweretheonlyonestohavewindows,deep-setroundwindowslookingoverhisgardenandmeadowsbeyond,slopingdowntotheriver.

Thishobbitwasaverywell-to-dohobbit,andhisnamewasBaggins.TheBagginseshadlivedintheneighbourhoodofTheHillfortimeoutofmind,andpeopleconsideredthemveryrespectable,notonlybecausemostofthemwererich,butalsobecausetheyneverhadanyadventuresordidanythingunexpected:youcouldtellwhataBagginswouldsayonanyquestionwithoutthebotherofaskinghim.

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