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.