12. He Has Some Fear Of You
Faramir's head ached from the riddle. No, the second riddle. The first was -- where was Boromir?
"Let us rest for the night, Faramir." Damrod offered a skin of water. "You have dreams. Mightn't one manifest itself? We can hope it will bring answers."
"I have had no dreams since Boromir disappeared." Faramir drank and remounted. "A little further, Damrod. We have an hour of light."
They rode south. Darkness spread across the land. A sliver of Anor lit the westward sky.
Mablung stopped. "We cannot see further, Faramir. Let us stop, else we pass a clue in the night."
Faramir dismounted. "Let us search the nearby area after we light a fire."
They lit torches from the hastily made fire. Mablung went east; Damrod trudged westward. Both had swords drawn. Faramir walked to the south.
He started at Mablung's hiss. Running, he reached the man as Damrod joined them.
"There is a fire over this hillock. See the smoke? Someone camps."
"Be slow, Faramir." Damrod held his shoulder. "We know not who it is."
Faramir stopped. "Caution I know." He climbed the gentle slope. "Rohirrim," he whispered when Mablung and Damrod joined him.
"Then we are safe." Mablung began to stand, but Faramir held him back.
"Wait. Let us see who leads this group and why they are in Gondor uninvited."
A sentry came close to the hillock and all three ducked. When he passed, Faramir raised his head. "Théodred," he muttered. "Look. By that tent."
The Marshal of Rohan stretched. The firelight shone on the Rohir's blonde hair. The man called to someone by the fire and the distance was not so great. Faramir's shocked groan, stiffled by Mablung's hand, responded as Théodred asked for more water for Boromir.
Faramir's anger rose. He stood and marched forward, pushed the sentry aside, and charged into the camp. "You hold my brother captive?" he shouted. "What is this evil?"
Théodred's chin caught the brunt of Faramir's fist. He staggered backwards. Not one breath passed before Faramir was grappled to the ground by five Horse Lords.
"What ails you, Faramir? The world is all grown strange indeed when ally attacks ally." Théodred rubbed his chin. "We are the cause of your brother's rescue. He lies yonder."
Faramir pulled at the arms holding him. "Let me see him!"
"If you promise not to strike me again, I will order your release."
"I will not strike. I beg your pardon. Why keep you Boromir from Gondor? From his home? From those who love him?"
Théodred motioned and the guards released Faramir. At Théodred's urging, the Gondorian sat by the fire. The Rohir sat next to him. A guard handed them both flasks of ale.
"We rescued him from the rógin," Théodred began, "and brought him here. I would not move him further for his wounds are many."
Faramir rose in fright.
"Nay. He is well-tended. Think you the Men of the Mark so cruel as to leave him suffering?"
"Forgive me." Faramir sat back on the rock. "Speak. I wish to learn from you more of it; for what concerns Boromir concerns me."
"A band of rógin stole six of our women six months ago. We followed, found one discarded by the side of the road and buried her, until we could return. When we found the cave, we discovered Boromir captive."
"What did they do to my brother?"
"I wish to see him."
"He has some fear of you. I know not why."
"I do. I must see him. Speak to him." Faramir rose.
Théodred took his arm. "Be gentle, Faramir. He is dear to me."
"Is he not more dear to me? I would see him. Alone."
Théodred led him to the tent, opened the flap, and Faramir stopped.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.