Bilbo and the dwarves have scaled lonely mountain, the secret door has been opened, and this is what awaits them: It seemed as if darkness flowed out like a vapour from the hole in the mountain-side, and deep darkness in which nothing could be seen lay before their eyes, a yawning mouth leading in and down.
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They're entering the mountain, or Smaug's lair if you prefer. The vaporous darkness puts the reader on edge............ they're being consumed by the mouth of the mountain, and they are indeed the heroes we expect up until the time the dwarves get close to the treasure. Then everything is up for grabs!