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Grace and Memory  by Larner

The Rescue

            “He is awake, and asks for you,” the healer told Elendil.  The tall Númenorian gave a great sigh of relief before going to give word to his father.  Together with Amandil he approached the guarded room where his son Isildur had lain since he’d been brought back to Romenna but a hair’s breadth from death.

            “And why did you go to Armenelos?” he asked his son.

            “To fetch a fruit of Nimloth from the King’s courts,” the younger Man whispered.  “We cannot let the memory of the White Tree die!”

            “And for this you were willing to hazard yourself?” Elendil demanded.  “You would allow yourself to die for the sake of a tree?  For it is wise to remember it is only a tree, when all is said and done!”

            But Isildur was shaking his head.  “More than a tree!” he gasped, his sincerity overcoming the pain he knew from his terrible wound.  “Much more—than merely a tree!  And Nimloth—she begged me to take this one, even as the women chosen by accursed Zigur beg us to spirit away their children that they do not also die upon his altar.  I could hear her pleading in my heart!  And had I been able—had I been able to save her, I would have—I swear it!”

            “And your brother—where is Anárion?” asked his grandfather.

            The wounded Man’s smile might be somewhat twisted by the agony he knew, yet it clearly showed his relief and pride.  “He—he took the fruit to see it planted and take root.  He has been guarding it—for the sake of the grace shown us ever by the Powers.”

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