Remember how Frodo is horribly naive and acts like he is in complete control when he has no idea what’s going on? Aragorn’s gonna take you down, son.
Continuing to warn Frodo of the black riders, Aragorn says something that essentially translates into “the
sand people black riders will soon be back, and in greater numbers.” He also warns Frodo of Bill Ferny, one of the men in The Prancing Pony, who will quickly sell information about Frodo’s exploits. Aragorn will leave the decision with Frodo as to whether or not he will be allowed to accompany him forward. Sam argues against it, wanting to take care with strangers, even this one.
Frodo continually tries to downplay what Aragorn is trying to tell him, which is just dragging this whole bit out. The narration even says that Frodo is “still determined not to understand Strider’s hints.” How is that helpful? Oh look, here’s this guy with all sorts of information that might just save your life, and you’re going to go and blatantly ignore him? And Sam is so cute, trying to stand up and everything. He wants to be tough, but you know he’d be the first one to cower in a corner (as we know him so far) if they were attacked.
So, Aragorn does admit that there are more than the two black riders that the hobbits have encountered. There’s a hard fact. He doesn’t give the full number, but he knows it. And seriously, he talks about them like how Obi Wan talks about Tusken Raiders: “They will return. And more are coming.”
Really, though, these guys need to start trusting Aragorn. Just stop pretending. You’re just suspicious of him because he knows more than you. Which, in theory, would make you suspicious of just about every other person in the world. You’re not as smart as you think. Deal with it.
Now, let’s be on the lookout for Bill Ferny! What kind of trouble will this “swarthy sneering fellow” bring as a result of his snitching? I would expect it to be the kind of trouble that your average “swarthy sneering fellow” can muster. Swarthy people are always good for being troublesome.
“‘He knows something, that’s plain, and more than I like;…'”