“What had become of that old sod?” Loamsdown thought as he churned curds in the cool dark cellar of the Floating Log Inn. Every theory that came to him seemed more ridiculous than the last. He just giggled to himself.
Suddenly, the humor was dampened. A bitterly cold and sharp gust flew past the imperturbable man, causing him to tremble. And ominous stillness was in the air. A beam of sunlight sone down through the holes in the cellar doors, through which dust could be seen suspended in air, perfectly still. Loamsdown cautiously clambered the rungs up to the surface. Emerging out into a now eerily cool afternoon, a dark and portentous cloud swelled in the distance, the center becoming almost pitch black. Something sinister was impending in the Shire.