7. They Also Serve
Nobody seemed to understand how he felt, certainly
not his fellow Breelanders.
"Be reasonable, Beomann," Tim Brockhouse said
patiently. "We Breefolk aren't warrriors, neither the
Big nor the Little." Tim was a Hobbit. "What good
would it have done us, or the Rangers, if we'd known
all this? We'd only have worried ourselves sick over
things we couldn't help."
"Tim's right." Geoff Heathertoes agreed. "We're
plain, practical folk in Bree, not heroes or wizards.
The Rangers were quite right to let us tend to our
business in peace."
"While they defended us!" Beomann demanded.
"Why not?" Dan Rushlight chimed in. "That's their
business isn't it? Let them get on with it I say."
frowned a little. "Mind you we could have been a good
bit kinder and more helpful, would have been too if
The other Men and Hobbits nodded agreement. "Well
we know now don't we?" said Tim's brother Tam, "We'll
make it up to them."
"Oh you're all hopeless!" Beomann cried, and
slammed out of the room.
He stormed down the long, empty palace corridor and
out a door opening onto a sort of hanging porch or
gallery looking over the city to the Lake only to find
it already occupied.
For a moment he completely failed to recognize the
Man in dark grey velvet perched on the parapet between
two sleader pillars. Then he did and his jaw dropped.
He nodded, eyes glinting amusement. "I clean up
well, do I?"
That was an understatement! Gil's hair was clean
and combed and crowned by a thin circlet of silver
twisted with gold and there was a chain thick set with
pearls glimmering against the soft velvet.
He looked like a prince and Beomann remembered
abruptly he *was* a prince, descended from the King
who had disappeared and close kin to the one who'd
returned, and his hurt, frustration and anger
"You didn't tell us! The Elves and Dwarves knew all
about you but you hid yourselves from us, your own
people! It's not right, it's not fair!"
Gil looked at him in astonishment as he continued
bitterly. "But maybe you were right, the others don't
seem to care there's been a war going on for a
thousand years with us knowing nothing about it,
coddled like we were children." Beomann's eyes filled
with tears. "We were the King's people too, as much as
you, he should have trusted us."
"It was not a lack of trust." Gil said emphatically, got up
from his perch to put two firm hands on Beomann's
shoulders and transfix him with a level silver-shot stare.
"There are no braver or loyaler folk in all Middle Earth than
our own country people, and nobody knows that better than
the House of the Kings. Men and Hobbits alike fought
valiantly in the Witch Wars and paid a bitter price for it. They
died by the thousands in the plague years, were driven
from their lands by the Enemy and lost nearly half
their men to war.
"When your fathers swore allegiance to the Kings we
swore in return to defend you from foes." a wry twist
of the lips. "It seemed to Aranarth that while you had
more than kept your side of the bargain we had done a
very poor job of keeping ours."
"That wasn't your fault."
"In a sense it was." Gil said soberly. "The Dark
Lord cared nothing for Men of your kind or Hobbits, it
was Isildur's heirs and the Men of Westerness he
sought to destroy. It was never your war."
"Tell that to Frodo Baggins."
Gil blinked, then laughed. "You're right of course.
The fight against the Shadow belongs to us all, and it
was not the 'High Men of the West' who won this
battle." he shrugged. "Forgive me, sometimes we tend
take to much upon ourselves." continued. "Aranarth
thought to give your people time to recover and
rebuild, and afterwards there seemed no reason you
involve you directly as you were doing good service as
Beomann gave him a look of open skepticism and he
smiled. "No truly, not only did you grow the food we
needed to sustain us but you kept Arnor from turning
entirely into the Wild."
The younger Man thought that over. "Well...maybe
you've got a point there. But I still think we should
have been told."
"Maybe we were wrong." Gil conceed, flashed a quick
smile, "it wouldn't be the first time. But please
believe we meant no slight to your people's valor or
"All right." Beomann mumbled, feeling mollified
almost in spite of himself, and a little silly.
"I'm glad your folk hold no grudge as we will be
needing your help badly." the Ranger continued.
"*Our* help?" Beomann repeated, incredulously.
Gil nodded, picked up the letter he'd been reading
off the parapet ledge. "Aragorn - Strider, the King -
has in his infinite wisdom resolved to rebuild the
cities." his dry tone suggested he was none to
enthusiastic about the idea.
But Beomann's eyes glowed. "Rebuild the cities?
Norbury and Sudbury and Wutherington?" (1)
Gil's eyebrows rose a little and he tilted his head
thoughtfully. "The idea appeals to you?'
"Of course! You need us to help with the building?"
A shake of the head. "No, we'll have the Dwarves
and our kin from the South to help us there, We need
you to teach us how to live in a settled country
again." Beomann stared and he smiled wryly. "We've
lived lone in the Wild for more than a thousand years,
and its been at least that long since we practiced any
trade but war." his face turned suddenly sad. "Much
has been forgotten," he continued softly, "commerce
and crafts and the growing of food. We can relearn
those things from you."
Beomann had a brief, incongruous vision of a class
of solemn Rangers listening attentively as he lectured
them on innkeeping. "If that's what you want."
1. Norbury is Fornost, Sudbury Cardol and Wutherington
was the city that once stood on the slopes of
Weathertop beneath Minas Sul, the Tower of the Winds.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.