Today's Date in the Shire
0 2 Lithe
Fun and Games
Walk to Rivendell
Malbeth the Seer
The Window on the West
Sam awakens to find that the two or three hundred victorious survivors of the ambush are sitting in a wide semicircle nearby around Faramir and Frodo, who seems to be on trial. The Captain of Gondor is not satisfied with all of Frodo's answers, particularly concerning Isildur's Bane, from the riddling lines Faramir and Boromir heard in a dream. Frodo reveals that Aragorn and the sword of Elendil is coming to Minas Tirith, which seems great tidings to the Rangers of Ithilien.
Sam and Frodo learn that Boromir has died. When Faramir mentions "treachery" as a possible cause of his death, Sam gets angry and tells the Captain off to his face, which seems to amuse some of the Rangers. Faramir tells Sam that if he were as hasty as the young halfling, they'd be dead already, for the law called for all trespassers in that land to be slain. He tells the tale of how his brother's death came to be known, for the elven boat of Lothlorien carried his body down the Anduin and of how the horn of Boromir lies now in two pieces on the lap of their father, Denethor, Steward of Gondor.
Faramir believes Frodo, and takes the two hobbits with him to a secret place less than ten miles away. Along the way, Faramir makes some shrewd guesses from what he knows of ancient lore about Isildur's Bane and its effect on Boromir. When the Captain talks of Mithrandir, or Gandalf, searching the lore of the city, Frodo reveals the terrible news that Gandalf fell in the abyss in Moria. Faramir tells Frodo that he would not take Isildur's Bane, "Not were Minas Tirith falling in ruin and I alone could save her, so, using the weapon of the Dark Lord for her good and my glory."
Sam does not participate in the conversation, but listens closely. He also listens for any noises in the woodlands as they walk along. He looks about for Gollum, and might have seen him once, but does not alert the Men. A nearby stream has become a swift torrent by this time, and Faramir blindfolds the hobbits eyes before they go further. When the green scarves are removed from their eyes, the halflings see that they have been led to a hidden cave behind a waterfall that faces westward, called the Window of the Sunset. The hobbits are shown to a place where they might rest and Faramir takes reports from his men about the Southrons and a strange beast that escaped them in the forest.
Frodo falls asleep but Sam is determined to stay awake and does so until evening falls, a cask of wine is opened, and the men gather to eat. Frodo awakens and the rustic hobbits learn something of the rituals of Gondor before dining with Faramir and his men. Afterwards, Faramir and the halflings talk into the night, as Frodo tells many tales of their adventure.
Faramir tells them of the waning of Gondor and her Kings and of her Stewards and new alliances through the centuries since the Enemy had been banished, but not destroyed. Sam notices that there was not much about Elves in this history. Faramir responds that lore has waned in Gondor, pointing out that his people speak with dread of the Golden Wood. He remarks on his envy of the hobbits who had spoken with the White Lady. Sam is delighted to talk about her and does so, prasing her beauty and nobility with great passion. The excited hobbit responds to a deft comment of Faramir's and soon blurts out that Boromir first saw clearly in Lothlorien that he wanted the Enemy's Ring.
Frodo is aghast, too late realizing what Sam was saying. Sam faces up Faramir then with all his courage, and tells him "Now's a chance to show your quality." Faramir does so, refusing to take the Ring, now that it has come into his power. He vows instead to help Frodo however he can. Frodo tells Faramir that he must take the Ring into Mordor, find the Mountain of Fire and cast it into the gulf of Doom. Frodo is suddenly weary and is caught and carried by Faramir to bed. Before retiring, Sam tells Faramir he thinks him a man of the very highest quality.