I tried not to cry as I begged him. He did not approve of tears. My
father was there, I told him, and I would join him. Surely the Steward
would understand that. But no. His eyes flickered in anger. I knew my
request was denied. I saluted, turned and took my customary place by
his side. Silence ensued. I stilled my thoughts, attentive as ever to
his needs. When I felt him stir, I looked. Tears streamed down his
cheeks. "My Lord?" I questioned, dumbfounded.
"You love your father dearly."
It was a statement, not a question. I nodded, trying to still my heart
at his obvious grief, keeping myself from falling to my knees to
comfort him. I had seen this same grief as he held Boromir’s Horn in
his lap; as he watched Faramir walk from these halls to near certain
death in Osgiliath.
I loved him, too. Almost as a father. I had been his esquire for two
full years now. Though gruff to most, he showed me little acts of
kindness. From the first day, when I stood trembling before him. His
eyes twinkled. He did not smile, but I saw it in his eyes and fear left
"Do not tell anyone," he whispered conspiratorially. "Else I lose my power over them."
I nodded, smiling.
"Wipe that smile from your face, Esquire. No emotion in these halls."
I shuddered for a moment until his eyes brightened again. I saluted him. "Where would you have me stand, my Lord?"
He pointed. "Next to my chair. Just a bit back so it does not look as
if you were concerned that I would fall out of it at any moment."
A laugh escaped my lips. His own tightened in what I now knew was mock anger. I apologized profusely.
Over the years, I watched as hope left him, replaced by resolve. I
had been afraid that the Enemy would triumph when first I entered this
Hall as his esquire. I fear no longer. He is stone – as marble from
Mindolluin. I know Gondor will survive. No enemy can beat my lord.
I wait upon him. The silence grows more profound.
"I said, go. I will find another to take your place."
I knelt and kissed his hands, tears flowing from my eyes. "Your sons
love you as I love my father, my Lord. I have seen it. And, mayhap
Boromir will return."
He stood and flung my hands from his. "Leave me before I change my mind."
Now that the moment was upon me, I found myself torn. How could Ieave him alone?
He sat upon his Chair, the Rod cradled in his arms.
I saluted him, tears streaming down my face. Some part of me knew I would never see him again.
I ran to the outer battlements and my father hugged me tightly. I
fell that day. But the Lord Denethor's name was upon my lips. May the
Valar protect him.
A/N - Pippin takes this esquire's place in ROTK, The Siege of Gondor.