in the hobbit
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This sickness has been applied to the master of the Lake, but think about the Dragon....... his sickness is that no matter the cost........ he must protect his gold. During the gold rush in the United States, we called it gold fever. Gold, has a tendency to make even people with good sense lose their heads and act in ways they'd never think of had it not appeared.....
"So the Master of Lake-town is a bit of a hypocrite. He may be a shrewd businessman, but he's also quite deceptive. Roäc the raven sees this quality in the Master and warns Thorin, "If you will listen to my counsel, you will not trust the Master of the Lake-men" (15.20). And this mistrust proves justified way down the line. When Balin comes to visit Bilbo at the end of the novel, he tells our hobbit that the Master of Lake-town has "come to a bad end" (19.33). He received many riches from Bard after Smaug's death, but "he fell under the dragon-sickness" (19.33). In other words, he gets really greedy, runs away with as much gold as he can snatch, and dies alone of starvation in the wilderness."