"You are familiar with Thorin's style on important occasions, so I will not give you any more of it, though he went on a good deal longer than this."
Oh the delicious irony of that statement!
They have opened the door in the mountain side and the cowardly dwarves sent Bilbo into the mountain. He encounters a sleeping dragon but rather than killing him while his guard is down, Bilbo just steals a gold cup. When the dragon awakes he notices it is missing and begins hunting for the thief but the dwarves take refuge inside the mountain and Smaug is left chasing their ponies for his tea since they are the only sign that anyone else was there.
One thing I notice again with this chapter is that Tolken kills a lot of ponies. While our hero's always manage to escape unharmed, it always seems to be the poor ponies who pay the price for their adventures. I make it 29 ponies now who have bitten the dust.
It seems that dragons are an over confident species and I am sure this will be Smaug's downfall. When Bilbo sneaks close to the dragons lair the next day (the cowardly dwarves sending him alone once again) after enjoying a little chat with Bilbo, Smaug doesn't seem in any hurry to capture the thieves.
It also turns out that the dwarves had no plan for what to do with the treasure once they had re-captured it. I always assumed they wanted the whole mountain back and planned to slay the dragon since it was once their kingdom, and move back into it. Alas no; they planned to steal the treasure and leave again, except that haven't given any thought to how they might leave without being seen by the dragon nor how they might transport such a large hoard of gold.
They have no plan A let alone a plan B.
I'm picturing something like Die Hard 3 where they used 14 truck to clear out the gold bullion reserves.
They take refuge in the entrance to the mountain tunnel once again as Smaug has another go at finding them and then as Smaug damages the entrance to the tunnel they find that they are trapped inside the mountain. Smaug then travels to Laketown to reap vengeance on the people who he believes sent the theives.
There is mention of a great gem under the mountain and I can't help but feel that this gem, the Arkenstone, will be their salvation.