The remaining dwarves are captured by the wood-elves, with... well no fight at all (due to their immense hunger, in case you'd somehow managed to forget that they were starving!).
Now prisoners of the elf king until they tell him why they were in his forest, which they won't do because they don't want to have to split their treasure with him, at least they are well fed (cos that's what matters when you're wrongly imprisoned) and seemingly in no hurry to come up with an escape plan.
Thorin and all the dwarves are placing their hopes on Bilbo to rescue them. I despair of these dwarves. A warrior race? They surrender faster than the French!
Anyway, Bilbo does come up with a plan (after a good few weeks mind) and they travel out of the palace down a river where the empty barrels get sent onto the next town like an aquatic laundry chute but for empty beer and wine barrels.
Though some barrels are heavy for empty ones, the elves still haul them into the water. Though some sit lower in the water than they should, they still get passed on through the gates onto Laketown. It seems that Elves are none too bright either.
When the chapter finishes we do not know who is alive and who (if anyone) is dead. Right now I'd say they all deserve to be dead.
|Thorin in the clink!|
Since they are away from home for so long (they left in spring and it is now becoming autumn) you would have thought that the dwarves might mention missing a wife or loved one. But maybe there are no lady dwarves. Perhaps they are they hermaphrodites? Asexual, perhaps? Maybe they're all clones?
Is is making babies all Middle Earth women are good for? Yeah, I guess so. Not even the evil species like the goblins or the animal species, like the wolves and owls seem to have any females among their rank. Perhaps it is illegal for women of all species to do anything but raise children?
My preferred theory though, is that the women got so sick and tired of these dumb-as-a-rock men and have made their own communities in the North.