I. Good Friday
I was no herald of woe, not to Frodo, not then; he greeted me
with all the eager joy of youth.
When I think how his eyes shone at the sight of me....
Oh, yes. I suspected the truth about that little gold band.
But even the Wise go blind in the bright light of temporary peace. If
had known...if only I had known my own blindness, and the cost it would
-Here. Just a moment. He stirs. Moans. Cries out.
With Aragorn tending others, I crumble athelas into hot water.
My hands shake. Steam rises, sweet comfort. I bathe my little friend's
many wounds with the fragrant water: shoulder.....neck..... lash-marks,
teeth-marks......blessed Varda! In this delirium his sightless eyes are
open wide. Even the light of Eärendil does not reach him there, under
the Wheel of Fire, the torments which crushed him. His brain is branded;
his heart, seared. Merciful Nienna--so much agony for one small mortal
Once he awakens--if he awakens--to find me here--when I tell him
how much I love him, will he believe me? Will he be able to see through
the great wreath of fire to the old man he loved and trusted? Will he
see a beloved friend or a shade, a harbinger of misery worse than death?....
...I had not thought this immortal heart capable of breaking.