Hemmed in by Orthanc's black parapet and the thousand-foot drop, he paces, or hunches brooding as smoke curls away into the moonlight; well for me that Saruman believes the weed befuddles rather than clears the mind, and leaves me my pipe. Fool have I been – nearly the fool he thinks me!
He shakes his head irritably. Ever since the Council last met I knew he mistrusted my judgement, even Elrond's, and Galadriel's – but I never mistrusted him! And now, when Frodo most needs me... But he dare not bend his thought upon the Shire. Radagast, my old friend... be true!
Gandalf says at the Council of Elrond, of his decision to go straight to Saruman rather than warning Frodo after he meets Radagast at the end of June 3018 on the Shire-borders and hears that the Nazgul are abroad: "Never did I make a greater mistake!"