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My Sword Sings - Book One - 'My Sword' Series  by Agape4Gondor

Dawn would soon be upon them and the would-be rescuers were no further in their discussions than they had been when they began. Captain Amlach snorted in disgust. "Time is too precious. Every moment we sit here discussing what to do is another moment that could mean the end of the lives of the children. We must act, and quickly."

Théoden King stood. "We all agree on this, Captain Amlach, but we cannot be hasty. If we rush in, with our plans still half-formed, we risk even more than death for the children or for ourselves. We risk war. I cannot allow that."

"Of course," Captain Húrin agreed. "Let us see, once more, what it is that causes us to move no further."

"We must have someone inside. That is the crux of the matter," Captain Hathol sighed. "We want to move in at night, so that none will be recognized, and the Great Gate will be barred. There is no way to enter once the gate is barred."

"And if any of us try to enter, we will be recognized," Captain Dúinhir stood and stretched. "We have no orders to enter the city. That is the crux of the problem."

The farmer's mother brought in wine, cheese, and bread. She curtsied, apologized for the lack of provisions, and turned away.

Théoden King gently caught hold of her by the shoulder and turned her towards him. "You and your son are loyal to Lord Denethor and the line of Stewards. You have given your home to us, though you would be deemed traitors and hanged for such actions. We need more from you, I am very sorry to say."

She blinked. "My Lords, whatever you need, ask it. My son and I are yours. All that we have is yours."

"What is your plan?" Captain Dúinhir asked quietly.

"Her son will take some of their produce to the city in a cart. We will hide in the cart and gain access. It would be simple."

Captain Hathol laughed. "Is it that simple to get into Edoras, my Lord? If it is, I am surprised you still hold it!"

Captain Dúinhir turned on the man. "Hold your tongue! You speak to our guest and our supporter. This man," he put his hand on Théoden King's shoulder, "will go down in history as the man who saved Gondor. I am shamed to hear your words to him."

"My deepest apologies, Théoden King."

"No apology is needed. You are right. I cannot see five men of our size hiding in one cart. I am tired."

"Nay, my Lord, 'tis a good thought. One man would be able to enter with the lad. Then, when night comes, he… Nay! What am I thinking," Captain Dúinhir slumped into a chair, frustration tingeing his voice. "The gate takes six men to open. One man cannot do this."

~*~

The jostling of the cart did nothing to ease the pain, no matter what Amandil had told Boromir; it shot through Faramir with every bump, every lurch. Near to tears, he held onto the side with his good arm. Sleep was impossible. He had cried so, when they left Minas Tirith, that he was now sick to his stomach. He missed Boromir terribly. He did not trust the men he was with. And he did not want to go to Dol Amroth. He did not care if he was safe or not, as long as he was with Boromir. Now, he found himself a day's ride down the North South Road heading towards Belfalas. What would become of Boromir without him to care for him? Who would Boromir sleep with when he was frightened? Nothing made sense anymore. He started to cry again.

He heard someone call for a stop for the night. Then - screams filled the air. He quickly flipped the covering back; he could see almost nothing in the blackness. A man, riding alongside the cart, fell off his horse; but Faramir could not tell why. The cart lurched to a stop and Faramir was flung against his shoulder. He screamed in pain and fright; then lay still, sobbing. Clashing steel and shouts filled the air; he tried to hide under the furs that were laid upon him. Every now and again, he could feel a horse bump the cart. Fear sounded in the horses' snorts, and in the grunts of those dying about him. "Boromir!" he cried out in his fear.

~*~

Éomund whispered to Théodred to keep still, retrieved the key, and then walked quietly to the door. He listened closely; then opened the door. Looking to his right and his left, he heard no noise. He motioned to Théodred who ran to him. They stepped outside. Both gave an audible sigh of relief. No matter what else happened, it was good to get out of that cell.

Éomund pressed a finger to his lips and Théodred nodded his head in acknowledgement. They turned right and walked to the next cell. Éomund put his ear to the door. Nothing. They walked along the entire corridor, Éomund listening at every cell. He still hoped someone of their company was alive. Turning, he walked down the other side of the hall. Théodred was starting to panic; he wanted to be out of there entirely, but he took Éomund's hand to steady himself. Éomund looked down at his nephew and smiled. "We will be all right," he whispered, "I know this is difficult, but we must find the others." Théodred nodded, but still clung to Éomund's hand.

They heard a sound near the end of the corridor and both stiffened. Nothing happened. No one came. Éomund continued his task. He felt Théodred's grip tighten. They were near the last cell when Éomund pulled back against the wall, dragging Théodred with him. Both held their breath. The sound came, not from the hall, but from the cell before them. Éomund looked through the grate. He could see nothing, but he knew he had heard a sound. Mayhap one of their party was hurt and could not move. He slid the key into the lock and pushed open the door.

~*~

Boromir had watched the cart leave the Seventh Level, watched until he saw Amandil looking up at him. He quickly ducked down; he could not let the man see him in his pain. His heart ached for the loss of Faramir, for the horror of their farewell, for not being able to take his brother in his arms and say, 'I love you. Please do not leave me.' Sobs shook his little frame. His eyes burned from all the tears shed this day, but he could not stop them. He had held onto his courage as long as he could, but it was all spent now. How he wished Adar were here, his Naneth. He had never in his life felt so abandoned. He could not contain his fear nor his pain any longer. He wept until sleep came.

When he woke, it was dark. His room was black and cold. The fire had not been started and he was terribly hungry. He couldn't remember when last he had eaten. Walking to the door, he opened it slowly. A guard stared down at him.

"Where do you think you're going?" the man sneered.

"I need a fire and some food, please."

"Go back into your room. I'll see what I can do."

Boromir walked back into the cold and dark. The man was not even Gondorian. He could tell by his speech, though he could hardly see him in the dim light of the hallway. He sat on the sill of his window, looking out into the gardens of the Houses that lay on the next level. He wished he were there, or in his Naneth’s peaceful garden. A noise made him jump. He turned and an arm was about his shoulders, a hand lay across his mouth. He started to wriggle, trying to free himself.

"Keep still!" And the arm tightened.





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