A heavily pregnant Éowyn looked up in surprise at the approach of her husband. Abandoning her herb garden, she hurried to greet him. “I did not expect you home until tomorrow,” she exclaimed.
“Aragorn dismissed me early,” Faramir said morosely, though his eyes brightened at the sight of his beloved lady as he drew her close. ”This is the third time this month.”
“Maybe he desires to spend more time with Arwen and Eldarion?” Éowyn suggested, though she looked concerned. She was well aware that the King had been in the habit of spending a few hours at the end of the working week practising swordsmanship or archery with her husband, or even going swimming or fishing with him, activities which both men greatly enjoyed which left them in a contented mood to enjoy the society of their wives and children.
“I would never begrudge him time with his wife and son,” said Faramir. “Yet I know for certain that today is when the Queen visit’s the Embroiders’ Guild and then her dressmaker while Eldarion’s nanny takes him to visit the stables.”
“Tis strange indeed,” said Éowyn furrowing her brow. ”Maybe he is still recovering from the poisoned blade?” Before she could say more Elbeth came running from the house closely followed by Elestelle whose shorter legs were unable to match her older cousin’s long strides. Faramir smilingly embraced his girls.
In the weeks that followed Faramir became increasingly concerned that Aragorn was shunning his company, though when they were together, the King was his usual warm and friendly self. He had become secretive though and unwilling to share his thoughts with the friend who had recently saved his life. To add to Faramir’s dismay, Éowyn no longer seemed troubled on his behalf and lightly dismissed his concerns.
One summer afternoon, Faramir was sitting in the garden with his wife who was now very near her time. Excited as he was at the impending arrival of the new baby, Faramir’s heart was troubled with concerns for his wife and unease over why the King was acting so strangely.
He looked up at the sound of approaching hoof beats. To his surprise, Aragorn and his Queen, accompanied only by a small escort rode into view. Eldarion rode clasped firmly in his father’s arms.
The Steward and his lady hastened to greet their guests. Aragorn and Arwen dismounted and embraced them both warmly. Carrying his own saddlebag, he accepted their invitation to dine and followed them indoors.
“We have come to see if we can assist during your confinement,” said Arwen when the meal was concluded. “We have left Minas Tirith in Prince Imrahil’s capable hands.”
“We have brought you a gift, Faramir,” said Aragorn beaming from ear to ear and handing his Steward a small cloth wrapped parcel.
Faramir took the gift and carefully opened it. Inside was the most beautiful book he had ever seen, bound with fine leather and decorated with gold, mithril and precious gems. The Title read “Great deeds of the House of Hurin”.
“Open it,” urged Aragorn.
Hardly believing his eyes, Faramir looked inside the covers and was amazed to see they contained a beautifully illuminated account of his ancestors and Boromir’s great deeds Even more amazing was that the greatest proportion of the book was devoted to him! Speechless ,he turned the pages and read of his deeds during the war, his yielding of the rod to Aragorn and the story of the times he had saved his friend and King’s life. Each chapter was illustrated by finely drawn and coloured illustrations.
“Thank you!” he cried embracing Aragorn. “This is a wondrous gift indeed!”
“After you saved me from poisoned blade, I wanted to give you a special gift to show my appreciation,” said Aragorn.
“Estel has spend many an hour compiling this book and conferring with the scribes and artists to create something worthy of you,” said Arwen.
“Keeping it a secret was the hardest part,” Éowyn added.
Faramir’s eyes were moist as he fingered the beautiful book and realised the love that had gone into creating it.