Faramir is outraged and punishes Imrahil
Chapter 5: Truth
"How dare you! How dare you besmirch the name of my mother with a foul lie!" Faramir struggled upright.
Imrahil paled, but he said, "I'm sorry, Faramir. I'm not lying."
"But I..." Faramir grabbed Imrahil by the hair, "I have lied! Every time I have given my name to anyone, ever since I was a child: 'Faramir, son of Denethor'. But I was not. Am not." He swung Imrahil round and punched him, hard, in the stomach. "No wonder he loathes me, for I am loathsome."
Imrahil bent over struggling for breath, but did not fight back, "No! Listen to me...what happened, what we did, was no fault of yours. How could it have been?"
"I... I cannot talk to you now, for I will do something unforgivable." Faramir turned away. "Mablung!" he called, "Damrod!"
They entered the cave. "Sir?" said Mablung. He looked around at the mess on the floor from the spilled wine, and at Imrahil, still wheezing from the blow.
"Take...this man..." Faramir could not name him, "and guard him securely. Tomorrow... I know not what I shall do tomorrow."
Mablung and Damrod led Imrahil from the cave and Faramir watched them go. He felt sick, still a little dizzy from the injury to his head and cold from shock. He sat on his bed, head in his hands.
A few minutes later Damrod returned. "Are you all right, sir?" he said. "You were bleeding."
"I'll be fine, thank you." Faramir looked up.
"I insist I take a look at your head," said Damrod. "Then I'll leave you in peace."
"Oh, very well," Faramir didn't have the patience for an argument.
Damrod fetched a bowl of water and sat beside Faramir, "You've taken a bit of a bash - did Imrahil do it?"
"Ouch! No, I fell. I had a shock."
"Bad news from home?"
"Not exactly. Don't pry, Damrod. I can't tell you what he said so don't ask."
"And it's nothing to do with me, anyway," said Damrod. He sounded amused.
"Something like that."
"There. That's cleaned it up, it's just a cut and some bruising. Are you still feeling dizzy?"
Faramir considered, "No, I think that's passed. Thank you."
"I'll leave you, then. Be careful, head injuries can be dangerous."
Left alone Faramir dropped his head back into his hands, once again feeling unclean. It wasn't that he was overly proud of his ancestry, not in the way that his father and Boromir were, anyway. He knew, though, that it coloured his every day, had done from birth. Now he discovered that he was not who he thought he was, but someone entirely different...what was he to do? Suddenly, he wanted to find Imrahil again and beat him bloody.
He could not do that, it would be dishonourable. Who would care, though? As a child born as a result of incest none would expect honour from him and he had no right to expect it in return. A wave of sickness rolled over him again. Imrahil could be lying - but it explained so much, undercurrents in the way Denethor treated him, things that he had been barely aware of, were now clear as day. No, it was the truth.
Faramir's duty was clear: he should take Imrahil to Denethor, have him confess the truth and see him pinned to the walls of Minas Tirith for the crows. For himself, he should accept whatever doom Denethor laid upon him - banishment if that was what he decided.
Could he face Denethor with this? Was his courage sufficient?
What happens next?
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