From The Fellowship of the Ring, I, Chapter 9, “At the Sign of the Prancing Pony” (pp. 161)
But in the wild lands beyond Bree there were mysterious wanderers. The Bree-folk called them Rangers, and knew nothing of their origin. They were taller and darker than the Men of Bree and were believed to have strange powers of sight and hearing, and to understand the languages of beasts and birds. They roamed at will southwards, and eastwards even as far as the Misty Mountains; but they were now few and rarely seen. When they appeared they brought news from afar, and told strange forgotten tales which were eagerly listened to; but the Bree-folk did not make friends of them.
. . .
The Shire-hobbits referred to those of Bree, and to any others that lived beyond the borders, as Outsiders, and took very little interest in them, considering them dull and uncouth. There were probably many more Outsiders scattered about in the West of the World in those days than the people of the Shire imagined. Some, doubtless, were no better than tramps, ready to dig a hole in any bank and stay only as long as it suited them.
. . .
His house was a meeting place for the idle, talkative, and inquisitive among the inhabitants, large and small, of the four villages; and a resort of Rangers and other wanderers, and for such travellers (mostly dwarves) as still journeyed on the East Road, to and from the Mountains.
. . .
“We don't get Outsiders - travellers from the Shire, I should say, begging your pardon – often”
. . .
Suddenly Frodo noticed that a strange-looking weather-beaten man, sitting in the shadows near the wall, was also listening intently to the hobbit-talk. He had a tall tankard in front of him, and was smoking a long-stemmed pipe curiously carved. His legs were stretched out before him, showing high boots of supple leather that fitted him well, but had seen much wear and were now caked with mud. A travel-stained cloak of heavy dark-green cloth was drawn close about him, and in spite of the heat of the room he wore a hood that overshadowed his face; but the gleam of his eyes could be seen as he watched the hobbits.
. . .
[Butterbur:] “I don't rightly know. He is one of the wandering folk—Rangers we call them. He seldom talks: not but what he can tell a rare tale when he has the mind. He disappears for a month, or a year, and then he pops up again. He was in and out pretty often last spring; but I haven't seen him about lately. What his right name is I've never heard: but he's known round here as Strider. Goes about at a great pace on his long shanks; though he don't tell nobody what cause he has to hurry.”
. . .
[Strider:] “There are queer folk about. Though I say it as shouldn't, you may think,” he added with a wry smile, seeing Frodo's glance.
From The Fellowship of the Ring, I, Chapter 10, “Strider” (pp. 175)
[Frodo:] “What have you to say?”
“Several things,” answered Strider. “But, of course, I have my price.”
“What do you mean?” asked Frodo sharply.
“Don't be alarmed! I mean just this: I will tell you what I know, and give you some good advice - but I shall want a reward.”
“And what will that be, pray?” said Frodo. He suspected now that he had fallen in with a rascal, and he thought uncomfortably that he had brought only a little money with him. All of it would hardly satisfy a rogue, and he could not spare any of it.
“No more than you can afford,” answered Strider with a slow smile, as if he guessed Frodo's thoughts. “Just this: you must take me along with you, until I wish to leave you.”
“Oh, indeed!”replied Frodo, surprised, but not much relieved. “Even if I wanted another companion, I should not agree to any such thing, until I knew a good deal more about you, and your business.”
. . .
[Strider:] “No, I don't think any harm of old Butterbur. Only he does not altogether like mysterious vagabonds of my sort.” Frodo gave him a puzzled look. “Well, I have rather a rascally look, have I not?” said Strider with a curl of his lip and a queer gleam in his eye.
. . .
[Sam:] “This Strider here, he warns and he says take care; and I say yes to that, and let's begin with him. He comes out of the Wild, and I never heard no good of such folk. He knows something, that's plain, and more than I like; but it's no reason why we should let him go leading us out into some dark place far from help, as he puts it.”
. . .
[Strider:] “In any case, I did not intend to tell you all about myself at once. I had to study you first, and make sure of you. The Enemy has set traps for me before now. As soon as I had made up my mind, I was ready to tell you whatever you asked. But I must admit,” he added with a queer laugh, “that I hoped you would take to me for my own sake. A hunted man sometimes wearies of distrust and longs for friendship. But there, I believe my looks are against me.”
. . .
[Pippin:] “But handsome is as handsome does, as we say in the Shire; and I daresay we shall all look much the same after lying for days in hedges and ditches.”
“It would take more than a few days, or weeks, or years, of wandering in the Wild to make you look like Strider,” he answered. “And you would die first, unless you are made of sterner stuff than you look to be.”
Pippin subsided; but Sam was not daunted, and he still eyed Strider dubiously. “How do we know you are the Strider that Gandalf speaks about?” he demanded. “You never mentioned Gandalf, till this letter came out. You might be a play-acting spy, for all I can see, trying to get us to go with you. You might have done in the real Strider and took his clothes. What have you to say to that?”
. . .
[Frodo:] “You have frightened me several times tonight, but never in the way that servants of the Enemy would, or so I imagine. I think one of his spies would - well, seem fairer and feel fouler, if you understand.”
From The Fellowship of the Ring, I, Chapter 11, “A Knife in the Dark” (pp. 188)
The lands ahead were empty of all save birds and beasts, unfriendly places deserted by all the races of the world. Rangers passed at times beyond the hills, but they were few and did not stay. Other wanderers were rare, and of evil sort: trolls might stray down at times out of the northern valleys of the Misty Mountains. Only on the Road would travellers be found, most often dwarves, hurrying along on business of their own, and with no help and few words to spare for strangers.
From The Hobbit, Chapter 2, “Roast Mutton” (rev. ed., p. 41)
Now they had gone on far into the Lone-lands, where there were no people left, no inns, and the roads grew steadily worse. ... Others said: "These parts are none too well known, and are too near the mountains. Travellers seldom come this way now. The old maps are no use: things have changed for the worse and the road is unguarded. They have seldom even heard of the king round here, and the less inquisitive you are as you go along, the less trouble you are likely to find."
From The Return of the King, Appendix A.I.v, “The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen” (pp. 337)
'Then Aragorn took leave lovingly of Elrond; and the next day he said farewell to his mother, and to the house of Elrond, and to Arwen, and he went out into the wild. For nearly thirty years he laboured in the cause against Sauron; and he became a friend of Gandalf the Wise, from whom he gained much wisdom. With him he made many perilous journeys, but as the years wore on he went more often alone. His ways were hard and long, and he became somewhat grim to look upon, unless he chanced to smile; and yet he seemed to Men worthy of honour, as a king that is in exile, when he did not hide his true shape. For he went in many guises, and won renown under many names. He rode in the host of the Rohirrim, and fought for the Lord of Gondor by land and by sea; and then in the hour of victory he passed out of the knowledge of Men of the West, and went alone far into the East and deep into the South, exploring the hearts of Men, both evil and good, and uncovering the plots and devices of the servants of Sauron.
‘Thus he became at last the most hardy of living Men, skilled in their crafts and lore, and was yet more than they; for he was elven-wise, and there was a light in his eyes that when they were kindled few could endure. His face was sad and stern because of the doom that was laid on him, and yet hope dwelt ever in the depths of his heart, from which mirth would arise at times like a spring from the rock.
From The Return of the King, VI, Chapter 8, “The Scouring of the Shire” (pp. 277)
'There you are, Frodo!' said Merry. 'I knew we should have to fight. Well, they started the killing.'
'Not exactly,' said Cotton. 'Leastways not the shooting. Tooks started that. You see your dad Mr. Peregrin, he's never had no truck with this Lotho, not from the beginning: said that if anyone was going to play the chief at this time of day, it would be the right Thain of the Shire and no upstart. And when Lotho sent his Men they got no change out of him. Tooks are lucky, they've got those deep holes in the Green Hills, the Great Smials and all, and the ruffians can't come at 'em; and they won't let the ruffians come on their land. If they do, Tooks hunt 'em. Tooks shot three for prowling and robbing. After that the ruffians turned nastier. And they keep a pretty close watch on Tookland. No one gets in nor out of it now.'
'Good for the Tooks!' cried Pippin. 'But someone is going to get in again, now. I am off to the Smials. Anyone coming with me to Tuckborough?'
From The Return of the King, VI, Chapter 9, “The Grey Havens” (pp. 301)
The day after the battle Frodo rode to Michel Delving and released the prisoners from the Lockholes. One of the first that they found was poor Fredegar Bolger, Fatty no longer. He had been taken when the ruffians smoked out a band of rebels that he led from their hidings up in the Brockenbores by the hills of Scary.
'You would have done better to come with us after all, poor old Fredegar!' said Pippin, as they carried him out too weak to walk.
He opened an eye and tried gallantly to smile. 'Who's this young giant with the loud voice?' he whispered. 'Not little Pippin! What's your size in hats now?'