Disclaimer: I do not own any of the fine characters or enchanting places in Middle Earth. They all belong to J.R.R. Tolkien, but he lets me visit them all as often as I want. And I must say, I visit them often. (First two paragraphs of the story taken directly from last two paragraphs of The Two Towers, book four, chapter five.)
'Ah well, sir,' said Sam, 'you said my master had an elvish air; and that was good and true. But I can say this: you have an air too, sir, that reminds me of, of-well, Gandalf, of wizards.'
'Maybe,' said Faramir. 'Maybe you discern from far away the air of Nùmenor. Good night!'
'Good night, sir.' Sam replied, but before Faramir could get up to leave, Sam questioned, 'Sir, are you in the Nùmenor line then.'
Faramir looked at the small, serious face in front of him and smiled as he replied, 'Yes, Master Samwise, the Line of the Stewards have always been descendents of the kings, but we are not in the direct line, We do not have the right to take the kingship; we are meant to rule until the king returns. From what I have heard from your master, that day will not be long.'
'No, I suppose not, Sir.' The two studied each other for a while, trying to decide whether the conversation was over until Sam again queried. 'You miss him, don't you, Sir, Boromir, I mean'
'Yes, Master Samwise, I miss him more than you could know. We loved each other dearly since we were both boys, in fact.'
'I'm sorry you lost him, Sir. I mean I lost my mother a number of years ago and all, but I've never lost one of my brothers, or my sisters for that matter. So I don't reckon I can completely understand your grief. It's sad to lose a parent, after all, but natural. "Parents go before children, just the way things are", as my Gaffer always used to say right after my Gammar died. But when I left my brothers were doing well and had families of their own. And then Daisy had just had her second son, and May's wedding was the year before we left, and of course Marigold was still living at home, but they were all well and kicking, so to say. But here I am going on and on trying to comfort and not making a lick of difference with all this rambling.
'No, Master Samwise, I find your talking quite comforting. It has been a long time since I have heard the everyday goings on of family life. Tell me about your brothers, what they were like when you were a child.'
'Well,' started Sam, 'Hamfast was fifteen when I was born, and Halfred was eleven, so there was a bit of an age difference between us, but we got along all right. Hamfast was always the steady one, since he was first born, kept the lot of us straightened out.' At this Sam suddenly burst out laughing. It was a melodious sound, and one Faramir had longed to hear for many months. At their side, Frodo stirred slightly in his sleep, and Sam quickly covered his mouth with his hand.
'I'm sorry, Sir, I shouldn't have laughed so.'
'No, it is all right, Frodo still slumbers. But now you must tell me what it is that brought such mirth to your lips.'
'Oh, I was just thinking about Hamfast, Sir. He always was worried about everything. One time, Halfred got the idea to sneak sugar from the sugar jar on the top most shelf of the pantry; he surely was a sneaky one, that Halfred. We weren't supposed to eat it, see, because, my gammar was saving to put in a special cake for my gaffer. But Halfred never was one to think about such things. Well, I was only five and he figured if we got caught, he'd get off easy, seeing as how I was so cute. So he got on a chair and lifted me up to reach the sugar. As I put my hands out to grab our treasure, I accidentally knocked over the flour bag. Flour went everywhere, on my head, on Halfred's back, onto the shelves. It completely covered the floor. I knew for certain we were going to get it this time when I heard someone coming to check about the noise we had made. To my relief it wasn't either my Gaffer or my Gammar. It was Hamfast, but my relief was short lived. I'd never seen him so angry. He yelled at us 'til he was blue in the face, that Hamfast did. It's funny to think of now, but I certainly wasn't laughing then. Halfred and me spent the whole rest of the day cleaning up that mess and then we had to finish all of our regular chores.' Sam again chuckled to himself before becoming serious again. 'I miss them all very much, now that I think of 'em.'
Silence fell between the two until Sam spoke again. 'What was Boromir like, I mean, before this whole mess and all?'
'Well,' started Faramir hesitating, 'Boromir was a good man, noble, courageous, and kind, in his own way.'
'What was he like when you were young, Sir, if I'm not being too forward, that is.'
'Not at all, Master Samwise, you shared a story, now it is my turn to share. The memory that stays with me most is the time he tried to teach me to ride a horse. I absolutely adored animals, especially horses. So, I mistakenly thought riding a horse would be easy. Boromir found the gentlest horse he could find, an old mare; Bluebell was her name as I recall." Boromir set me on top of the horse and lead her at a slow pace. Everything was going just fine until a bee stung old Bluebell. That mare took off faster than I thought possible. It was exhilarating and frightening at the same time. Boromir, I'm sure was even more scared than I was. If anything happened to me, our mother would have him skinned quicker than you could call his name. He raced wildly after me and Bluebell, screaming for her to stop. Of course she did not, but that didn't stop my dear brother from running. In retrospect, I do not know how my brother was able to run that long, sheer terror perhaps, or maybe we did not run as long I thought. It seemed like hours for me, but in reality it was probably only a few minutes.
'Bluebell raced into a stream, and Boromir finally caught up with her. As he grabbed hold of the reins, however, Bluebell bucked me off and I flew into the water. The water wasn't deep though, and Boromir was able to pull me out all right.' At this Faramir paused and a small smile curved the ends of his lips. 'When we came home that afternoon sopping wet with a pathetic Bluebell in tow, I really did think Mother was going to have us skinned. You should have seen the look on her face. If looks could kill, neither Boromir nor I would have ever lived to meet you.'
'I was right then,' stated Sam.
'You were right about what, my friend.'
'That Boromir really was a good man. I wished I had known him before the war began.'
'I also wish you could have known him as I knew him. He was a good brother, and I love him dearly. You know, Samwise, I first said that Frodo had the air of an elf about him, but now I must add you to my list of elf-like creatures'
'Me, Sir!' exclaimed Sam, 'Why whatever for, begging your pardon, Sir'
'Well, Friend, you do not look like an elf, nor do you talk as one, but in your heart I sense a love of nature and of history and of beauty that can match any elves. In many ways, I find you more favorable than all the elves I have heard tale of, even the Lady herself. I believe it is because you are real, Master Samwise, and not ethereal.'
'Oh, Sir!' blushed Sam 'you really shouldn't say such things, it just doesn't seem right.'
'Perhaps not, my friend, perhaps not, but I believe it to be true, and nothing you could say could change my mind.' Faramir decisively stated.
The two sat in companionable silence for quite some time pondering all that had been said between them while listening the steady sound of Frodo's breathing until Sam began to stifle a yawn.
'Ah, my friend, I have kept you awake too long. You are weary and in need of much rest. I will leave you now. Good night, Master Samwise Gamgee of the Shire.'
'Good-night, Captain Faramir of Gondor.'
'You may call me Friend, Master Samwise. After tonight, I believe it is an appropriate name. You and I may be of different stations, but really we are the same. We are both of a sentimental nature, and do not quickly forget the past. There are not many like us, and when we find each other, we must grab hold of that friendship and remember it.'
'Well, good-night then…Friend.'
Slowly Faramir rose to his feet and stood over the two hobbits until he heard the gentle snoring of Sam join Frodo's quiet breathing. He was loathe to leave them, but he knew his duty.
As he left them to their slumber, he smiled to himself. A human Captain of the guard of Gondor and a Halfling servant from the Shire tied together in friendship. It was an odd relationship when one really thought about it, but regardless of the oddities, he knew it was fitting. Faramir son of Denethor II would forever call Samwise Gamgee Friend.