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Marking Fours
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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1
Marking Fours

Four hours after I awoke, I learned that my father was dead. I knew that I should weep, but no tears came, only shock that the world no longer held my closest kin within it. That world was gone forever.

I turned my head to the window and beheld the returned sun. I remembered that our King had come back and guided me out of the darkness. A Northern stranger had renewed my life and given me what my father could not - hope. I pushed my grief aside, and clung tightly to that hope, and so could sleep again.

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Four days after I awoke, I overheard not only word of the true nature of my father's death, but of the death he had ordered for me. Grief and anger warred within me.

Heartsick, I fled my chamber. I wandered the Houses of Healing, combed its library shelves. But for once, no scroll or tome could ease my unrest.

I finally entered the garden. I walked awhile, then stood still, savoring the sun's welcome touch. And in the next moment, I saw the White Lady for the first time; and my heart forgot its sickness and sought to allay hers.

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Four months after my awakening, I greeted my lady's brother on his return to Minas Tirith.

I showed Éomer the chambers where Éowyn would one day live with me. Aided by my kinswoman Lothíriel, I had begun to have the most dreary furnishings removed from the Steward's quarters. 'Twas important, my cousin counseled, for a young woman's comfort in a new dwelling, to have her own possessions at hand.

I suddenly wondered what my father would think of his bedchamber wall being adorned by the armor of my Rohirric bride. And just as suddenly, I realized I did not care.

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Four years have passed since I woke to a changed world. I now hold lordship and land and the King's friendship. And even dearer dreams are fulfilled in my wife and our son.

Elboron spoke his first word today. He called out "Adar!". I praised him and kissed his soft baby cheek, even as I was assailed by sorrow. For I remembered the bitter hour when I had last called the twenty-sixth Steward Adar, and then our bleak, final leave-taking.

Grief returned, like a torrent of spring rain. At last, as I held my son, I wept for my father.



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