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Upon Aragorn entering the room, Galron, gently placed the woman’s hand upon her stomach, rose to offer him space from which he could work, and walked over to stand by Imrahil. Lindion was once again bathing her fevered brow.
“He is Aragorn, heir of Elendil,” Imrahil explained quietly. “He is the king returned. His hands bring healing as I have borne witness to his restoration of my nephew.”
Galron looked at Imrahil, his eyes wide. He then gazed back at this man who suddenly appeared from legend. “I fear he may have come too late.”
And then after a long pause as they both observed Aragorn respectfully inspecting the woman’s leg bound from mid-thigh to calf and then the bandaged arm, stomach, and head, wincing as he did so, Imrahil turned to face his young knight.
“It has been a year, Galron.”
Galron closed his eyes, bowed his head, and merely nodded.
His initial examination complete, Aragorn carefully flipped the edge of the split in the light, long skirt back over the leg, straightened the cover back over her, and asked for hot water. Then, looking up and glancing between Lindion and the pair of knights, he inquired, “What is her name?”
“Halon, Lord,” replied the healer. “We learned from one of Faramir’s Rangers whom we treated. We described her to him, and he responded that Halon was the only one among them that small, small for a man anyway.”
“That is but an alias, I deem.” Aragorn glanced back down at the woman and took her hand. “I am not sure if I will be able to recall her from the dark valley without knowing her true name.”
He sighed heavily, placed his hand upon her fevered brow and began calling her. After what seemed like an eternity, he sat back in the chair, and rubbed his mouth, contemplating.
A nurse entered the room at that moment with the water, which Aragorn took from her and crushed leaves of athelas. A sweet smell of flowers freshly bloomed in the springtime filled the room, and he held it before her fair face.
She stirred and Aragorn breathed a sigh of relief. Rising slowly, he said, “I have recalled her from the dark valley. She should awaken shortly. Yet, she still suffers from her grievous hurts, seen and perhaps those unseen. She must still be tended with great care for many days.”
With this, he wearily trudged out the door. Imrahil soon followed. Lindion remained as did Galron who regained his seat after Aragorn left.
As he lowered himself onto the chair, a hand reached towards him.
“Who’s there?” came a weak and soft voice. She had turned her head towards him. Her eyes were half opened and seemed to look beyond him.
“Lady, my name is Galron, a knight of Dol Amroth.”
She quickly snapped her head forward and gazed up towards the ceiling as if it held the answer to some long-lost mystery.
Lindion called from the back of the room, “Lady, I am bringing you a draught for pain.” The sound of tinkling could be heard as he stirred the concoction. Galron helped prop her up on pillows.
“You were wounded in battle. “
His words seemed lost in the chamber as she looked unblinking straight ahead and did not respond.
Lindion approached and she broke away from her apparent reverie to gaze upon him. But when he extended the cup towards her, she did not acknowledge the gesture.
“Lady, you need to take this.”
His voice seemed to startle her and she reached clumsily, completely missing the cup. Her failed attempt prompted her to desperately grasp at the air until she finally came into contact with it, nearly knocking it from the healer’s hands.
Lindion furrowed his brow as she drank. When she was done, he took the cup and set it on a stand next to the bed. Seating himself on the bed, he waved a hand in front of her.
“I can see,” came a perturbed voice.
“I see shapes…..but they are horribly blurred. I could tell you approached me, but I could not see the cup because you held it in front of you and it merely blended in with your body.”
Lindion glanced at Galron who silently searched the healer’s face for answers.
The aged healer rose and beckoned him to follow him to the door out of earshot of his patient. “The head wound. Her sight may return in time……or it could be permanent. Perhaps there are others who know more. But there’s nothing I can do.” He sighed wearily, “I must see to other patients.”
After Lindion had closed the door behind him, Galron returned to his seat and attempted to break the silence, made deafening by this recent revelation.
“Lady, you have the advantage of me.”
The woman turned her head and tried searching his face.
“Forgive me, Lord Galron…” Her voice was soft, weak, and wavering.
“Just Galron, lady. I am no lord.”
“And I am no lady.”
“I use the term respectfully.”
“Some would rebuke you for doing so since I have unsexed myself.”
This bitter statement was followed by a fit of coughing. Galron rose and poured a glass of water from a pitcher on a stand next to the bed. Recalling recent events, he took her hand in his and placed the glass in her palm as she grasped at her midsection with the other.
She drained the glass, and he placed it back on the small table. Lying back against the pillows, she attempted to study his face as he once again seated himself.
“You fought for a cause for which you believed. In doing so, you have won great renown on the field of battle, never mind the means. As a soldier, I have the utmost respect for your deeds. You are held in high regards despite what some may say or perceive.”
This was followed by silence.
“You helped save Lord Faramir’s life. And for this, the people of the city sing your praises, for he is much beloved.”
“Why are you here?” She winced at the harshness of the question, wished she could have phrased it differently, and began to apologize. “I…….”
Galron started to chuckle and held up a staying hand.
He continued, “Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth and I brought you to the city. I serve under him. As you are likely aware, he is Lord Faramir’s uncle. He found both of you unconscious upon his steed.”
“And thus, a thousand tongues have been set to wagging with gossip and lies regarding the Steward’s son and me.” The woman threw up her hands in exasperation, quickly recoiling and cradling the bandaged right arm.
The chimes of the clock seemed incredibly loud at that moment.
“I was married, and we both served in Captain Faramir’s company.” She sighed and settled further back against the pillows, shaking her head. “I knew the risks involved and possible consequences of my decisions.”
“Fear not, lady. Your honor is quite safe, as is Captain Faramir’s.”
“I am in your debt, sir.”
Galron smiled and tenderly took her by her lithe fingers, “Halel. May I?”
At her silent nod, Galron pressed his lips to the back of her hand.
“You honor me,” she replied softly.
“The honor is all mine, lady. But I fear I have already kept you from much-needed rest. You are weary as your voice has been faltering. It is late, and I must go. I should like to hear the rest of your story if you are willing to share.”
“I owe you that at least.”
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