I have started re-reading the book at long last and it is like revisiting a much beloved place and time and meeting with old friends again. I marvel at how this book holds me captive.
Is this where Tolkien picked up the name Trotter in his early writings, and later discarded it?He paused, silent for a moment. Then without another word he turned away from the lights and voices in the fields and tents, and followed by his three companions went around his garden, and trotted down the path. He jumped over a low place in the hedge at the bottom, and took to the meadows, passing into the night like a rustle of wind in the grass.
Gandalf remiained for a while staring after him into the darkness. 'Good-bye dear Bilbo - until our next meeting!' he said softly and went back indoors.
I feel the journey/quest beginning here already.