The Hobbit

Chapter 15 The Gathering of the clouds

Dwarves' war preparation:

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The dwarves fortified the main entrance, and remade the road. Fili and Kili went back to get their provisions, while the others blocked the gate and preparedfor war.

So now they began to labour hard in fortifying the main entrance, and in remaking the road that led from it. Tools were to be found in plenty that the miners and quarriers and builders of old had used; and at such work the dwarves were still very skilled.

They were four days gone, and by that time they knew that the joined armies of the Lake-men and the Elves were hurrying towards the Mountain. But now their hopes were higher; for they had food for some weeks with care-chiefly cram, of course, and they were very tired of it; but cram is much better than nothing-and already the gate was blocked with a wall of squared stones laid dry, but very thick and high across the opening. There were holes in the wall through which they could see (or shoot) but no entrance. They climbed in or out with ladders, and hauled stuff up with ropes. For the issuing of the stream they had contrived a small low arch under the new wall; but near the entrance they had so altered the narrow bed that a wide pool stretched from the mountain-wall to the head of the fall over which the stream went towards Dale. Approach to the Gate was now only possible, without swimming, along a narrow ledge of the cliff, to the right as one looked outwards from the wall.


The Hobbit