10. Chapter Ten
My darling Merry,
I promised you when you journeyed to Cair Andros that I would write to you if I had news to impart. So, while I know you are now returning to Minas Tirith with the rest of our armies, I send you this note with one of the messengers riding between here and the King. I am sure you will be very happy with what I have to tell you.
Yesterday, I accepted Faramir’s offer to wed me. I still feel a great sense of astonishment, not least at my own joy. Never did I expect to love a man as I do Faramir. And I will say openly that this would not have come to pass without your friendship, love, and sympathy—not to forget your stubbornness and mischievousness as well. If you decide being the eventual Master of Buckland is not sufficient use of your enterprising qualities, perhaps you should become a matchmaker when you go home to the Shire.
I shall be at the main gate with the Lord Steward and the others when everyone arrives. The city is all a-tumble with the preparations for King Elessar’s crowning; folk from every corner of Gondor are flocking here, bringing flowers and music and an overwhelming sense of relief. My own private happiness is much increased by the laughter and celebration in every street and house.
I beg you to give my greetings to all who ride with you, not least to the King and Gandalf Greyhame, and Legolas and Gimli too. No, I have not forgotten your kinsmen and friends—how could I? From what Faramir informs me, without Master Peregrin Took he would not have lived to marry me. It appears your dear cousin Pippin’s impishness has redeemed itself at last. And of course none of us would be alive to tell any tales if not for Frodo and Samwise. I am terribly eager to meet them, and Faramir burns with anxiety to see them both with his own eyes and assure himself they truly survived. Their parting in Ithilien has never ceased to prey on his mind, for he still believes he should have done more to help them, including ridding them of that Gollum creature who guided them.
Enough of this! The other things I wish to share with you are best spoken face to face, so hurry back to all of us—above all, to the arms of your loving friend and sister,
Eowyn, of Rohan and Gondor
* * * * * * *
28 April, 3019 (or 1419 in the Shire)
I hope you don’t mind, but I couldn’t find another piece of paper close to hand, so I am using the other side of your letter to write back.
I’m so very happy, for both you and Faramir, that I can’t put into words easily; I think my heart is too full, like it was that day at the river. I was certain if you gave him a chance you would come to see how fine a man he is, and how good a fit you are for each other. I only hope I’m right that Stella and I are an equally good pairing.
Weddings are very important to we hobbits, you know, so you can picture how pleased Pippin, Sam, and Frodo are about this. Pippin is particularly excited; he’s only seen one sister married off so far, and is anxious to do the honors at another wedding, especially Faramir’s. He is also eager to meet you; he says only half-jokingly that if you are as beautiful as I say, that he will become very jealous of Faramir and do his best to convince you that a hobbit makes a far better husband than any Man, even if he is shorter.
Sam is of the opinion that no one, not even the Steward of Gondor or the King of Rohan, could possibly stage a wedding the way hobbits do, so he thinks we should make you and Faramir ride north with us, and have a proper celebration in true Shire fashion at Bag End or Brandy Hall. Frodo smiles at this and tells Sam gently he doesn’t think the Big Folk want bruised foreheads while they’re trying to get married. I wonder now what Frodo will do when we go home. I am rather worried at how much he has changed, but I shouldn’t be surprised, after what he and Sam went through.
The messenger is signaling I need to finish. The light is rather bad in our tent, so please forgive me any blots or smears. Aragorn thinks we will be within sight of the city by nightfall on the 30th. Then we can see each other again and be even happier than we are now. Please take care of yourself, at least until I return to do it for you.
Make sure Faramir knows I mean exactly what I said—he needs to look to his laurels, or I will steal you away and he will be very heartbroken. He doesn’t want that, does he?
Your friend (& brother-to-be),
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