I would find you here!
Boromir swung down from his pony and walked cautiously toward the bank
of the river. All he could see of his brother at that moment was the soles
of his booted feet and the backs of his long legs. Faramir, lying next
to a small fleet of handmade boats, leaned far out over the rushing water
and let the current tease a wooden vessel from his fingers.
Youll freeze if you fall in the river this time of year. Spring
is barely here. Not to mention how much trouble youll be in.
He lowered himself to sit on the path. How much more trouble, I
should say. Does anyone know where you are?
You do, Faramir replied distractedly, watching the little
ship spin away on the current. Sitting up, he reached for the next boat.
He cradled it in one hand while attaching and smoothing a painted sail
to the mast with the other.
Boromir tried not to smile. Yes, well youve been building
boats all week; where else would you be... but you know that isnt
what I mean.
Im always in trouble anyway. Faramir sat up, raking
the damp hair back off his face and appraised his brother with dark serious
eyes that did not quite match his impish grin. Did you hear the
gulls last night at sunset? I knew this was going to be the day. I finished
all my morning studies before I slept, and if you dont give me away,
and I am back before practice, it is possible no one will miss me.
Boromir nodded. He understood the need to escape for awhile. He, too,
had always been in trouble at ten. He had borne his punishments in silence,
but had never repented any of his adventures.
Here Faramir finally finished fussing with the sail
he was fastening and thrust the little boat into Boromirs big hand,
turning his attention toward the next.
Boromir studied the ship in his hand. The wooden vessel was sturdily made,
and plain except for the painted sail, decorated with a flock of swans.
Typical of his brothers style, the quick sketch had been done with
a few thick and thin lines but showed a remarkably detailed and finished
Is this for grandfather? he asked, and Faramir glanced up
at him, and away again.
he mumbled, holding the top of a wooden mast in his
teeth as he pulled the next sail taut. He pointed down the river where
the first boat had gone. That one was for grandfather; Obrothmabâr,
with stars on the sail. Yours is Númerrámar, the Wings of
the West. Meneldurs son Aldarion came to Middle-earth in her, and
she brought him safely back to Númenor. Launch her; she knows the
Boromir gently dropped the boat into the water close to shore, and immediately
she spun and caught behind a large rock. He sighed. He wasnt exactly
afraid of the water
but he was not comfortable with the idea of
landing in the river. He looked to see if Faramir was watching, then leaned
cautiously over the rushing flow to disentangle the traveler.
He nearly overbalanced when he jumped at the nudge in the middle of his
back, spinning around ready to let his brother know he was not amused
and found a soft brown and white muzzle nuzzling his chest. Thanking
the Valar he had not yelped aloud, he stroked the ponys head and
ruffled her ears. Thala! he laughed. You almost earned
Faramir a dunking!
Faramir raised one eyebrow in a manner that clearly said, Do you
think so? but went on silently fussing with his ships as Boromir
led the pony into the long grass and hitched her to a small tree out of
Another boat was coursing down the stream when he came back, and he stood
and watched it speed away out of sight before sitting on the path again.
Why are you letting your boats go free? he asked. Once
Anduin carries them away, you wont even know what happened to them.
Thats the point of the story, Faramir replied, still
watching the water. "Theyre boats they have to sail
away. You cant ever know where they have gone, can you?
Boromir smiled now, knowing he might draw out a story from his brothers
often intriguing perspective.
Who are you today, and where are you sailing in these boats?
His brother considered him for a moment, came to a decision, and replied,
I am just Faramir, the same as I always am. Boromir nodded,
thinking, No story today.
But Faramir slowly let his face light up, and continued. The boat,
He held up the next of the vessels, and Boromir could
see gulls decorating the sail.
the boat is Eärrámë.
Boromir saw a familiar faraway look in his eyes, and thought Faramir might
be swashbuckling in his heart.
All my boats are wearing wings, Faramir began, because
that is where the story begins when Tuor felt the call of the sea,
and he followed the sound of the water and the wings of seven great swans.
Doesnt Tuors story begin when hes fostered by
the elves? Boromir asked.
Not important to this story, his brother replied, smoothing
the sail with his thumb. Today I am thinking about wings.
Tuor tried to save Gondolin, but no one would listen to him, and
in the end all he could do was fight for her. And everyone in his company
wore wings swan wings or gull wings - on their helms, and their
arms and their shields. But they could not fly away from the war.
His voice dropped almost to a whisper. Did you ever think about
Gondolin, Boromir? How much their white city sounds like our white city?
There were seven gates, and a court for the White Tree. There was another
company with wings who stood by Tuor - the house of the Swallow. Their
lord was called Duilin I remember because his name reminds me of
mother. And the people of the Heavenly Arch - their captain wore a cloak
of Dol Amroth blue with stars all along it. And the people of the Fountain
had a lord called Ecthelion, like grandfather. And they thought they were
safe, but they
He stopped and brought his finger to his mouth, the gesture reminding
Boromir of a younger Faramir, biting unconsciously at his thumb when he
was frightened. But this time he only licked away a sticky resinous spot
from the wood of the boats and went back to straightening the sails.
Tuor was a mortal, but he was married to an elf. Idril, she was
called. She was smart and brave, and she had dreams that warned her that
battle was coming, so they made a secret way to escape. And when the war
came to the city, she put on her armor and took up her sword and fought.
She shone like a star her mail and her sword and her golden hair.
All alone she fought until help could come, and she kept the evil Maeglin
from throwing their child down into the flames! Tuor must have been proud
to have fallen in love with someone like that, so beautiful and brave!
How could he not love her? He smiled shyly at his brother. I
would like to draw that someday, when I have more skill, he admitted.
"Then Tuor and Voronwë, who were as close as brothers, who could
always trust one another, came to Idril in time, and evil Maeglin was
thrown down. And though many in the city perished, they managed to escape,
and stay together. And they were together for a long time, until Tour
and Idril sailed away into the west, past drowned Númenor, looking
for the undying lands.
Boromir thought he had finally puzzled out the story behind the story,
the point Faramir was trying to make him understand. He also felt a great
bond between them that nothing would ever break, the steadfast trust that
they never questioned, and he now pictured them into Faramir's story -
a warrior with a great fate and his dark, serious elfin brother.
He smiled, thinking about the two greathearted friends, (a little hero
worship never hurt a boy his age), and was more than a little pleased
to know Faramir still saw him that way.
I seem to remember that Tuor and Voronwë had many adventures
together, he said. We will, too. I will soon be old enough
to join a company, but even when we are not together, we will always be
true friends as well as brothers. And I am not looking for a princess
quite yet, he laughed. When I do, though, a sword-maiden might
be just the thing that would stir my blood...
He expected his brother to be relieved, knowing they would not too soon
be parted. But, there was a light in his brothers eyes that he had
never noticed before; a confident, fearless look on his face. The admiration
he had become accustomed to seeing was still there but something
told him Faramir was not so much looking up to him at that moment as looking
him in the eye, spreading his own wings.
You! Boromir blurted out in his surprise. You fancy
yourself as Tuor!
Faramir did not look away, and nearly managed not to blush.
I fancy myself as Faramir, he laughed after a moment, and
Boromir had a fleeting glimpse of the man he would be, still a dreamer
but never deceived by his dreams.
Faramir turned and let go of the boat, and they watched it bob in the
middle of the stream and turn on a much swifter course than the others,
sweeping downstream with her prow pointed before her. Then they set their
own course and headed home.
That was the start of a very good story, Boromir said as they
rode toward the citadel together. But, you skipped over all the
battles and valorous deeds
Faramir dismissed his brothers question with a shake of his head.
Well do that another day. I didnt make soldiers this
time; I made boats."