Over the city of Gondor doubt and great dread had hung.
Fair weather and clear sun had seemed but a mockery to
men whose days held little hope, and who looked each
morning for news of doom. Their lord was dead and
burned, dead lay the King of Rohan in their citadel, and
the new king that had come to them in the night was gone
again to a war with powers too dark and terrible for any
might or valour to conquer. And no news came. After the
host left Morgulvale and took the northward road beneath
the shadow of the mountains no messenger had returned
nor any rumour of what was passing in the brooding East.
When the Captains were but two days gone, the Lady
Éowyn bade the women who tended her to bring her
raiment, and she would not be gainsaid, but rose; and when
they had clothed her and set her arm in a sling of linen,
she went to the Warden of the Houses of Healing.
'Sir,' she said, 'I am in great unrest, and I cannot lie
longer in sloth.'
'Lady,' he answered, 'you are not yet healed, and I was
commanded to tend you with especial care. You should
not have risen from your bed for seven days yet, or so I
was bidden. I beg you to go back.'
'I am healed,' she said, 'healed at least in body, save
my left arm only, and that is at ease. But I shall sicken
anew, if there is naught that I can do. Are there no tidings
of war? The women can tell me nothing.'
'There are no tidings,' said the Warden, 'save that the
Lords have ridden to Morgul-vale; and men say that the
new captain out of the North is their chief. A great lord
is that, and a healer; and it is a thing passing strange to
me that the healing hand should also wield the sword. It
is not thus in Gondor now, though once it was so, if old
tales be true. But for long years we healers have only
sought to patch the rents made by the men of swords.
Though we should still have enough to do without them:
the world is full enough of hurts and mischances without
wars to multiply them.'
'It needs but one foe to breed a war, not two, Master
Warden,' answered Éowyn. 'And those who have not
swords can still die upon them. Would you have the folk
of Gondor gather you herbs only, when the Dark Lord
gathers armies? And it is not always good to be healed in
body. Nor is it always evil to die in battle, even in bitter
pain. Were I permitted, in this dark hour I would choose
The Warden looked at her. Tall she stood there, her
eyes bright in her white face, her hand clenched as she
turned and gazed out of his window that opened to the
East. He sighed and shook his head. After a pause she
turned to him again.
'Is there no deed to do?' she said. 'Who commands in
'I do not rightly know,' he answered. 'Such things are
not my care. There is a marshal over the Riders of Rohan;
and the Lord Húrin, I am told, commands the men of
Gondor. But the Lord Faramir is by right the Steward of
'Where can I find him?'
'In this house, Lady. He was sorely hurt, but is now
set again on the way to health. But I do know know---'
'Will you not bring me to him? Then you will know.'