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As to the manner of his death, I had hoped that his friend and companion would tell me how it was But he was alive and strong when we parted And he lives still for all that I know Though surely there are many perils in the world Many indeed, said Faramir, and treachery not the least

Aye, curse the Southrons Not while Faramir is Captain He leads now in all perilous ventures But his life is charmed, or fate spares him for some other end

Frodos tone was proud, whatever he felt, and Sam approved of it but it did not appease Faramir So Were you a friend of Boromir?

Ware cried Damrod to his companion May the Valar turn him aside Mymak

But the noise grew closer They are coming Some of the Southrons have broken from the trap and are flying from the road There they go Our men after them, and the Captain leading

Frodo made no answer So said Faramir I wish then to learn from you more of it for what concerns Boromir concerns me An orc arrow slew Isildur, so far as old tales tell But orc arrows are plenty, and the sight of one would not be taken as a sign of Doom by Boromir of Gondor Had you this thing in keeping? It is hidden, you say but is not that because you choose to hide it?

Begging your pardon, Mr Frodo, he said, but this has gone on long enough Hes no right to talk to you so After all youve gone through, as much for his good and all these great Men as for anyone else

But the noise grew closer They are coming Some of the Southrons have broken from the trap and are flying from the road There they go Our men after them, and the Captain leading

I would grieve indeed, said Frodo Then catching the look in Faramirs eyes, he faltered Dead? he said Do you mean that he is dead, and that you knew it? You have been trying to trap me in words, playing with me? Or are you now trying to snare me with a falsehood? I would not snare even an orc with a falsehood, said Faramir How then did he die, and how do you know of it? Since you say that none of the Company had reached the city when you left

Because Aragorn is descended in direct lineage, father to father, from Isildur Elendils son himself And the sword that he bears was Elendils sword

It was Sams first view of a battle of Men against Men, and he did not like it much He was glad that he could not see the dead face He wondered what the mans name was and where he came from and if he was really evil of heart, or what lies or threats had led him on the long march from his home and if he would not really rather have stayed there in peace all in a flash of thought which was quickly driven from his mind For just as Mablung stepped towards the fallen body, there was a new noise Great crying and shouting Amidst it Sam heard a shrill bellowing or trumpeting And then a great thudding and bumping like huge rams dinning on the ground

Their talk died down into a listening silence All seemed still and watchful Sam, crouched by the edge of the fern brake, peered out With his keen hobbit eyes he saw that many more Men were about He could see them stealing up the slopes, singly or in long files, keeping always to the shade of grove or thicket, or crawling, hardly visible in their brown and green raiment, through grass and brake All were hooded and masked, and had gauntlets on their hands, and were armed like Faramir and his companions Before long they had all passed and vanished The sun rose till it neared the South The shadows shrank I wonder where that dratted Gollum is? thought Sam, as he crawled back into deeper shade He stands a fair chance of being spitted for an Orc, or of being roasted by the Yellow Face But I fancy hell look after himself He lay down beside Frodo and began to doze

Frodos tone was proud, whatever he felt, and Sam approved of it but it did not appease Faramir So Were you a friend of Boromir?

Boromir was satisfied of that claim, said Frodo Indeed, if Boromir were here, he would answer all your questions And since he was already at Rauros many days back, and intended then to go straight to your city, if you return, you may soon learn the answers there My part in the Company was known to him, as to all the others for it was appointed to me by Elrond of Imladris himself before the whole Council On that errand I came into this country, but it is not mine to reveal to any outside the Company Yet those who claim to oppose the Enemy would do well not to hinder it

Sam, eager to see more, went now and joined the guards He scrambled a little way up into one of the larger of the bay trees For a moment he caught a glimpse of swarthy men in red running down the slope some way off with green clad warriors leaping after them, hewing them down as they fled Arrows were thick in the air Then suddenly straight over the rim of their sheltering bank, a man fell, crashing through the slender trees, nearly on top of them He came to rest in the fern a few feet away, face downward, green arrow feathers sticking from his neck below a golden collar His scarlet robes were tattered, his corslet of overlapping brazen plates was rent and hewn, his black plaits of hair braided with gold were drenched with blood His brown hand still clutched the hilt of a broken sword

Sleep while you may, said Mablung But the Captain will return, if he is unhurt and when he comes we shall depart swiftly We shall be pursued as soon as news of our deed reaches the Enemy, and that will not be long Go quietly when you must said Sam No need to disturb my sleep I was walking all night

Faramir smiled grimly Then you would grieve to learn that Boromir is dead?

Chapter 16 The Window on the West

Sam had been getting more and more impatient and angry at this conversation These last words were more than he could bear, and bursting into the middle of the ring, he strode up to his masters side

He woke, thinking that he had heard horns blowing He sat up It was now high noon The guards stood alert and tense in the shadow of the trees Suddenly the horns rang out louder and beyond mistake from above, over the top of the slope Sam thought that he heard cries and wild shouting also, but the sound was faint, as if it came out of some distant cave Then presently the noise of fighting broke out near at hand, just above their hiding place He could hear plainly the ringing grate of steel on steel, the clang of sword on iron cap, the dull beat of blade on shield men were yelling and screaming, and one clear loud voice was calling Gondor It sounds like a hundred blacksmiths all smithying together, said Sam to Frodo Theyre as near as I want them now

It was Sams first view of a battle of Men against Men, and he did not like it much He was glad that he could not see the dead face He wondered what the mans name was and where he came from and if he was really evil of heart, or what lies or threats had led him on the long march from his home and if he would not really rather have stayed there in peace all in a flash of thought which was quickly driven from his mind For just as Mablung stepped towards the fallen body, there was a new noise Great crying and shouting Amidst it Sam heard a shrill bellowing or trumpeting And then a great thudding and bumping like huge rams dinning on the ground

Begging your pardon, Mr Frodo, he said, but this has gone on long enough Hes no right to talk to you so After all youve gone through, as much for his good and all these great Men as for anyone else

Vividly before Frodos mind came the memory of Boromirs assault upon him, and for a moment he hesitated Faramirs eyes watching him grew harder Boromir was a valiant member of our Company said Frodo at length Yes, I was his friend, for my part

It was Sams first view of a battle of Men against Men, and he did not like it much He was glad that he could not see the dead face He wondered what the mans name was and where he came from and if he was really evil of heart, or what lies or threats had led him on the long march from his home and if he would not really rather have stayed there in peace all in a flash of thought which was quickly driven from his mind For just as Mablung stepped towards the fallen body, there was a new noise Great crying and shouting Amidst it Sam heard a shrill bellowing or trumpeting And then a great thudding and bumping like huge rams dinning on the ground

Frodo made no answer So said Faramir I wish then to learn from you more of it for what concerns Boromir concerns me An orc arrow slew Isildur, so far as old tales tell But orc arrows are plenty, and the sight of one would not be taken as a sign of Doom by Boromir of Gondor Had you this thing in keeping? It is hidden, you say but is not that because you choose to hide it?

Ware cried Damrod to his companion May the Valar turn him aside Mymak

Frodo made no answer So said Faramir I wish then to learn from you more of it for what concerns Boromir concerns me An orc arrow slew Isildur, so far as old tales tell But orc arrows are plenty, and the sight of one would not be taken as a sign of Doom by Boromir of Gondor Had you this thing in keeping? It is hidden, you say but is not that because you choose to hide it?

Because Aragorn is descended in direct lineage, father to father, from Isildur Elendils son himself And the sword that he bears was Elendils sword

But it was at the coming of the Halfling that Isildurs Bane should waken, or so one must read the words, he insisted If then you are the Halfling that was named, doubtless you brought this thing, whatever it may be, to the Council of which you speak, and there Boromir saw it Do you deny it?

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