Lord, for your gracious reply of the day before, my thanks and the thanks of all here. If our efforts in Minas Tirith find favour in your eyes, we who serve you can have no higher recompense.
I am pleased to report that the large part of the city's dwellers have returned from their refuges, and more have come to swell their ranks and behold with their own eyes the King's return. The healers' accounts of the progress of the injured are hopeful, and with every passing day the mending of the city advances. We have made provision also for the repair of the road from Osgiliath, which had sustained grievous damage in the late wars. The farms of the Pelennor are much restored, while man and beast daily return to rebuild homesteads and holdings. To speak of what further must be done to heal the hurts of this land, we await your return and counsel.
In the meantime, some few matters must be decided pertaining to the ceremonies surrounding your return and coronation. As I am advised that in four days hence you and your company will be camped on the nearer shore of Anduin within sight of the city, I shall by your leave present myself there with the office-bearers of the realm to hear from your lips your will in this regard.
In anticipation of the most happy and auspicious return of the King, I remain your liegeman and servant.
By my hand this 25th day of April in the year 3019 of the Third Age.
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From Faramir son of Denethor to Lord Imrahil, respectful greetings and affection:
Dear Uncle, I am most grateful for your kind wishes: all goes very well in the city, and the better for all the good news that we receive daily from the returning hosts. In addition, I am delighted to forward with this letter the latest missives addressed to you from Dol Amroth. Elphir has written to assure me that all is well in Belfalas, and that he and all your household will be in Minas Tirith to greet you and the King Elessar on your return. Lothíriel writes to say she looks forward to meeting her new sister and adds that she looks forward also to teasing me prodigiously. (I must suppose she has had some hint of this from you: have you observed uncle, that she is grown very pert?) For my part I anticipate my cousins’ arrival with great pleasure; it seems an age since we were all together under one roof.
Now to graver matters. I am healed in body, if not entirely reconciled in mind. Do not be anxious for me, there are others who deserve such consideration more than I. Yet I will not conceal from you my continued unease about the matters concerning which none here will give me the answers I require. Not even you, it seems.
Forgive me. I said that I would respect your wishes not to importune you further in our letters, did I not? I do not ask more answers of you, they may wait until we meet again.
However, there must be a reckoning, and not all your apprehension for my feelings will serve to postpone it forever. I have guessed much of what passed here in the time that I lay unconscious, even those things that you will not speak of. Yet you mistake me, uncle, in supposing that the chiefest cause of my oppression is the thought of Lord Denethor’s passing.
The Warden of the Houses of Healing would say only that my father wished himself cremated. They cannot conceal from me that he was yet alive when he entered the Silent Street. But though I perceive that much grief lies hidden in this, it is not my greatest concern. Of my father I will at this present say nothing further. It is the living I would first consider, not the dead.
How may I be at peace as you bid me when so dear a price has been paid for my life? Of Beregond I must speak. Lord Húrin tells me that he was relieved of his duties as a Guard of the Citadel and marched instead to war as a common man-at-arms of the City. I am informed that he was thus penalised for leaving his post without leave while the city was under attack. None knows better than I what manner of man Beregond is: steadfast in duty and unfailing in courage as he always has been. That such a man should act as he did proclaims to the meanest intelligence that there is more to the story than that part I have heard.
We are come at last to a desired peace: now must we wrest harmony from the discordance left behind by the years of strife, lest all the labour and pains that have gone before be wasted. What is dead we must call gone; some things may not be undone, or washed away by tears; but for the living there must be a fair accounting. Such good as we may win for ourselves in this new found tranquillity is fragile and uncertain until it is secured for all free men and incorporated into our common life. We must expiate the wrongs done in our cause, whether such ills were effected by our will or no.
Bethink you my uncle, for a loyal man to endure the penalties reserved of old for traitors and cowards: where is the justice in this? Is this how Gondor would reward worth?
If we do not deal fairly by living men, how may we serve the dead? For the dead we can make no amends save in our thoughts and by our honourable actions in their memory. And therefore I end in repeating that there shall be, there must be, a reckoning.
I crave your indulgence once more for imposing upon you the burden of my confidences; yet there are few now to whom I may speak so freely of such matters. I remain, Lord, your most affectionate nephew and servant.
By my hand this 25th day of April in the year 3019.
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