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Import Duty  by DADGAD

All's Well that Ends Well (we hope)

With a sigh of relief, Aragorn signed Faramir’s document, duly witnessed by Angren and Thenweg, who then departed, each reflecting on the ups and downs of their ‘interesting’ morning and afternoon with the King.

As they left, Aragorn raised one eyebrow in a credible imitation of his father-in-law, Elrond. ‘Just happened to have a draft… Faramir, quite how long have you known about this whole situation, and been working on all these papers and documents?’ 

‘Do you remember the Council meeting when you agreed to comply with all duly constituted laws and regulations? And then made a comment about hoping there wasn’t anything too terrible in the old laws left behind by the Stewards? I had a sudden feeling of foreboding about what my father might have done, knowing what he said at the end of his life about you, and realising that he must have worked out that you were Thorongil, I thought I should check through all the statutes in the early years of his stewardship. I found his ‘Criminal Records Check’ requirement on imported items, and that led me to Ecthelion’s modification to the 2460 statute, and eventually to Mardil’s duty calculations – also aimed at keeping out ‘vagrants’ from Arnor of course.’

The King smiled in gratitude at his Steward ‘you really did get me and the Kingdom out of trouble on this occasion, and you have my thanks, even if you did let the three of us spend much of the day wondering if the King’s sword might have to melted down or given to an Orc! It’s a lesson to me to not make rash promises when I don’t know what the outcome might be. I just hope there are no more old statutes left to cause us trouble!’

‘Well,’ replied Faramir ‘the one I’m hoping no-one remembers is the law my father passed in the last few years before the war. Remember when I met Frodo, I had to arrest and interrogate him, as I was charged with intercepting and killing any armed parties found travelling in Gondor without the express permission of the Steward. My father was extremely displeased that I had disobeyed the letter of that law, by letting Frodo and Sam go. Technically, you and your companions would have been subject to the same sanctions, by appearing at Pelargir with the Army of the Dead. Although we couldn’t have executed them of course! I sometimes wonder if my father would have tried to have you arrested if he had lived to see your arrival…’

‘I didn’t know about that law when I set out through the Paths of the Dead,’ replied Aragorn, ‘but technically I was breaking it. I might have argued prior permission dating from my time as Thorongil, but it could have become very complicated and could well have delayed our councils and setting out for the Black Gate. 

‘Still, I’m sure no-one will bring that now, will they?’ 

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