She was sitting at her desk, carefully reading a reconnaissance
report from the Captain of the Rangers, checking its details against
a large map of Rohan and Gondor spread out on the table before
Her beloved Orc map, thought Faramir, glancing at the
dashed and dotted lines and the esoteric notations on its surface.
Her paper child.
"Anything useful?" he asked.
"Possibly..." Eowyn turned the page. "He says
that several of the farmers in the region of Parth Forod are reporting
"It could be wolves. Or bears, up there."
"Or it could be orcs," said Eowyn. "Especially
as there has been a large band lurking here, just to the
north, for several weeks. It would mean that they were moving
south for the winterand I have seen them do that before."
She picked up her pen. "Will you be gone long?"
"Four, perhaps five, days."
"Remember to ask Aragorn for a copy of his new map of the
Forest of Druadan. I have heard that his cartographer is very
skilled." She hesitated. "Is Berengar going with you?"
Faramir bit his lip. "Yes..."
She said nothing; but her pain seemed to spread out across the
room, filling Faramir's lungs and squeezing his heart. "Eowyn"
She laid down her pen. "I must speak to Mistress Sieglinde."
"Wait..." He caught her arm.
"Faramir, I must speak to Mistress Sieglinde."
He held her fast. "You know that I would never betray you?"
"Physically," said Eowyn. "But what would that
matter, now? And why should we both be miserableall
three of us?"
"I do not know what to do."
She threw up her hands, breaking his grip. "There is nothing
you can do! Nothing any of us can do!" She turned back to
"Suppose," Faramir began, quietly.
"Suppose what?" she asked, without looking up from
"Suppose we were to have a child?"
She dropped her pen, and a large blot of ink formed on the map,
unnoticed. "How? Do you expect me to sleep with one
of the servants?"
"Or perhaps seduce Aragorn next time I see him? Or Leg..."
Her voice trailed away, and tears formed in her eyes. Then she
added, loudly, "Or Gimli?"
"We could have a child."
"No, thank you."
"I am sorry."
"I must finish with this report. Captain Alfgar needs it
"But there is something you can do for me, Faramir,"
she said, carefully erasing the ink blot with a pellet of fresh
"What is that?"
"You can take my map seriously." She dipped her pen
in the inkwell, and, very deliberately, turned her back on him.