“We should be able to persuade the Council of the need to change inheritance law in this afternoon’s debate,” said Faramir.
”This afternoon?” Aragorn groaned. ”I was certain it was next week.”
“I prepared all the documents last week,” said Faramir a trifle reproachfully. “I assume you have not read it?”
The King shook his head. “Perhaps we could study the changes you propose now? "
“I would be happy to,” said the Steward. “I will fetch the scrolls.”
“We may as well study them in my private sitting room,” said the King. ”We can at least be comfortable there and have something to eat while we work.”
Aragorn ordered a servant to bring food and drink. The two men were soon sitting side-by-side, papers on their laps and hunks of bread and cheese in their hands, scattering crumbs over the carpet.
“I believe Elendil intended ..” said Aragorn only to be interrupted by a knock on the door. ”Come in,” he called tersely.
A maid entered. “Are you sure those refreshments are sufficient for you, my lords?” she enquired.
“This is quite sufficient, thank you,”said the King, dismissing the girl. ”Now where was I?”
“On page twelve,” said Faramir.
For a few minutes the two men continued to work. Then another knock came on the door. This time it was a housemaid, carrying a brush.
“What do you want?” Aragorn asked angrily.
“The cook’s assistant said there were some crumbs on the floor that needed sweeping up,” said the girl.
“It will do later,” said Aragorn. “Perhaps you could tell the Housekeeper we are not to be disturbed during the next hour?”
“Yes, my lord.” The girl bobbed a curtsey and left.
“Has a King no privacy?” Aragorn sighed.
“It seems not,” said Faramir sympathetically. "Neither does a Steward, for that matter at least not in Minas Tirith.
Their meal completed, Aragorn removed the plates from the small table in front of them and leaned back with his feet upon it.
As fresh logs burned, the room grew hot and both men shed their outer tunics.
Just then the door opened without a warning knock
“Estel!” Arwen said angrily. ”That table belonged to Father. It is older than I am! How could you put your feet on it?”
“I am sorry, “said Aragorn, hastily putting his feet on the floor.
“And just look at the carpet!” snapped Arwen.” There are crumbs everywhere.”
Meanwhile, Faramir struggled to pull his tunic back over his head swiftly. It was considered a grave discourtesy to be seen less than fully clothed.
“You would have more privacy in your study," said the Queen, smiling at Faramir to show that her anger was not for him.
"Now I understand why Ecthelion used to retreat to the recesses of the White Tower to ponder matters of state;" Aragorn grumbled as King and Steward heeded the Queen's words. “Now I agree with Ecthelion's words: 'Privacy is as valuable as comfort, and sometimes is more valuable still'."