There was a flat space on the top of the hill of stone
and a well worn path with many steps leading down it to the river,
across which a ford of huge flat stones led to the grass-land beyond the stream.
There was a little cave (a wholesome one with a pebbly floor)
at the foot of the steps and near the end of the stony ford.
Here the party gathered and discussed what was to be done.

«I always meant to see you all safe (if possible) over the mountains,»
said the wizard,
«and now by good management and good luck I have done it.
Indeed we are now a good deal further east than I ever meant to come with you,
for after all this is not my adventure.
I may look in on it again before it is all over,
but in the meanwhile I have some other pressing business to attend to.»