More Grown-Up Interests
Over the years, I had found any number of odd things in odd places - a shirt stuffed in a boot, arrowheads in the wash basin, once a kitten and a turtle on top of a bookshelf in the playroom - so a book under Boromir's mattress was not all that remarkable.
When it slipped from my hands and fell open on the floor, however, I could hardly believe my eyes.
Where had he found such a book? I hoped he had not stolen it from a merchant; I could not imagine that he had purchased it. Most in the City knew him on sight and bold as Boromir sometimes was, I also could not quite imagine that he would stroll brazenly into a shop and buy a volume such as this! Perhaps one of the younger guardsmen had given it to him?
I sat on the bed, a little taken aback. I was not overly disturbed at the contents of the book itself; once again, thanks to my older brother Pilimór, I had seen something very like this when I was younger than Boromir was now. The artwork within these pages was much less crude,though, the bodies of the men and woman detailed enough to make me blush. But what troubled me was that Boromir seemed too young to be interested in such things already. He was still just a boy!
He will be thirteen in a just a few months, a little voice in my head reminded me. That is certainly old enough to be more than curious.
That was true enough, I realized with a pang. On his birthday, he'd be out of the nursery and in rooms of his own. It would be so quiet without him – Faramir and I combined could not make half the noise that Boromir could.
You always knew a time would come when he would begin to take more grown-up interests, I told myself sternly. He cannot remain a child forever.
I had the sudden, mischievous urge to hide the book from Boromir. If he had been one of my brothers, I would have – I would have hidden it, watched as he grew more and more panic-stricken to discover that the book had mysteriously vanished, hinted that perhaps one of the maids had found it.
The door to the playroom banged open, and Faramir bellowed, "Nanny!" I reconsidered the notion that he could not be as loud as his brother. "Nanny, are you here?”
I realized that I was sitting there in Boromir’s room with the book on my lap, open to one of the more unlikely diagrams. I did not believe any woman's back could bend like that. I hastily snapped it shut, calling, "Just a moment, rabbit."
I could not bring myself to play such a trick on Boromir; he was not one of my brothers and it would not be fair if I started treating him like a pesky sibling. Instead, I returned the book to its place between the mattress, and went to greet Faramir.