Passing Glance

by Eruvanne

He looked out over the newly scouted hills and valleys. Yes, this place would do nicely. His rangers would be able to camouflage themselves well in all the underbrush. The allies of Mordor would be hard pressed to get to their destination.

As he gazed out over the horizon, his gaze passed over to where the River Anduin flowed. The waters shimmered with the interspersed sunlight. A haze gathered around the banks of the river that intertwined with the briny smell of the water. However, the young captain did not notice any of that.

What he did see was a white boat coming downstream. The light bounced off the sides of the boat and, it gave the boat a kind of ethereal light. To see if by some chance one of the men had allowed one of the supply boats to float down the river, the captain trudged down the hill to keep the boat from floating away.

Reaching the river’s edge, he stretched out to grab the boat’s prow to stop it. However, his hand stopped in mid-air as he looked into the boat. Inside the boat lay a body, the body of man. The captain could tell that the man was a warrior by his sword, shield, and armor and by the armor he could tell the warrior was from Gondor, his own country. But the young captain stopped because the man in the boat was none other than his brother, Boromir.

Faramir could not mistake his brother’s face. The clean cut features, the dark hair, the noble bearing.

How had this happened to his brother? What enemy had triumphed over him? Why had this happened? Boromir had always been his constant companion. After their mother’s death, Faramir had turned to his older brother for strength to bear the grief. When, their father began to look down upon his younger son, Boromir had always been the one to try to lift up Faramir. Faramir’s one friend in the world lay dead in the bottom of a boat.

So Faramir watched as the boat floated down the river. With it went his captain, his friend, his brother. And all Faramir was given for his grief was a passing glance.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“My lord,” called a soldier from the door of the great hall.

“Yes, come in,” commanded the Steward briskly. He was weary of all these commanders wandering in and out of his presence. Why wasn’t Boromir back? What business in Rivendell could have taken so long?

“My lord,” interrupted the soldier, “a boat floated down the Anduin into Osgiliath. Inside the boat was your son Boromir. It looked as if he had died in battle. As the current was strong we were only able to retrieve his horn.” With that, the soldier presented an ivory horn, cloven in two, to Denethor. “I am very sorry, my lord.”

Denethor merely gazed at the horn he held in his hands. Boromir, his Boromir, dead. He could not believe it. His son was invincible, incapable of losing in combat of arms. But there lay the cloven horn in his lap. A solitary tear rolled down the wrinkled face of the Steward and it silently splashed on the horn. His best and most worthy son was forever gone from his reach and he was not allowed a final farewell, not even a passing glance.