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Bilbo may not have told anyone about going away, but Gandalf did lock the door after him. (At least that's heavily implied.)

About one year is not a very long time. What kind of bizarre society is Hobbiton where you have to constantly be on your guard and show yourself every day outside or else people start breaking into your home and presume that it's abandoned and go through your stuff and sell it off for nothing?

It frustrated me that Bilbo went so far as to pay for his own stuff to get it back. I cannot express in words how furious I would be if the same thing had happened to me, especially after all those adventures. If anything, that should have given him the confidence to really get angry and demand that they put every last object back or they get to taste the elf-sword!

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  • he probably wasn't gone more than a few weeks before Lobelia and Otho were petitioning to have him declared dead so they could take over his estate :D – NKCampbell Nov 17 '20 at 23:09
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This isn’t the modern world. Most people in Middle-Earth don’t just randomly go off traveling great distances without telling anyone. This is even more true of Hobbits, who almost never leave the Shire (or Bree for the ones living there). On the contrary randomly disappearing without explanation is in fact very unusual and doing so for a year is a rather long time in this setting, and even more so for a Hobbit.

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