The impertinence of the man! Aragorn fumed inwardly. He slammed his study door shut behind him. Had he not saved Faramir’s life and given him lands and titles? Did he not already regard the young man as a friend? Yet, his stubborn Steward dared to question the wisdom of building a great road from Gondor to the Northern Kingdom and was threatening to withhold his vote, which the Council required for the project to proceed.
Faramir had argued that the funds in the treasury should be used instead to rebuild the walls of Minas Tirith and increase the soldiers’ pay.
Aragorn threw a sheaf of parchment down on the table. Did Faramir not realise he intended to do both those things too.
A sobering thought came over him. His Steward did not know him well. Maybe he did not know that he intended to care equally for both his kingdoms. Aragorn’s fury drained away as suddenly as it had come over him. He would seek Faramir out and explain the position to him.
Just then, a knock came at the study door. “Come in!” Aragorn called.
Faramir entered; a downcast expression on his face. “I have come to apologise, sire,” he said. “I fear I spoke out of turn. I have pondered over our disagreement and see now that the road is essential for both kingdoms to prosper.”
Aragorn smiled at the younger man. “It is just as important that Minas Tirith is rebuilt and the soldiers pay increased. Who better than we as soldiers to understand that? “
“I believe the North has suffered much poverty and hardship,” said Faramir.
“Gondor has suffered as well,” said Aragorn. “I spoke rashly in the heat of my anger. I should apologise too.” He held out his hand to Faramir. The Steward grasped it warmly.
Aragorn went to to the door and called for a servant to bring a fine wine from the Citadel cellars. Once it arrived, he poured out two glasses and handed one to Faramir.
“A toast!” he said. “To the rebuilding of Gondor!”
“To Gondor!” said Faramir, raising his glass. “To Arnor too. May the Reunited Kingdom prosper and flourish!”