Unsure of yourself
You stand divided, and now
Which road will lead you there?
Last time you fell and you hit hard
Your wounds have healed by now,
But you still see your scars.
--Three Doors Down
Aragorn woke with a small gasp, his body tense as he sat partway up in
bed. Elrond was seated in the large, comfortable chair that was a
permanent fixture in the ranger’s room. The elf lord was gazing
out the picture window that took up more than half of the far
“Oh.” Aragorn relaxed back against his pillows. “You’re doing it again,
aren’t you?” he asked quietly as the dark eyes turned back to watch
Elrond didn’t answer the question, only smiled slightly. It was
true; he had been in the young human’s room for sometime now, watching
his youngest son sleeping. Aragorn glanced over the blankets
scrunched in a ridge near his face and saw his small shell night-light
burning brightly on the mantle. It had been refilled and its wick was
trimmed. He knew the light was for him should he wake, as the elf
lord needed no aid in seeing in the dark.
The house was quiet within. The sounds of laughter and
celebrating no longer filtered up the steps to reach the sleeping
“Is Legolas asleep?”
“Yes.” Elrond’s smile widened. “He had quite a good time
tormenting your brothers by telling stories about them to our
guests. Moranuen even pitched in to aid him.” The older elf
shook his head as the human laughed softly.
“Oh I can just imagine the response that garnered,” Aragorn
“Yes, he was...” Elrond sighed, echoing his son’s laughter as he
stifled a laugh of his own, “he was very popular among the
Shifting under the covers, Aragorn propped himself up on his right
elbow and pushed the wayward strands of hair out of his eyes. His
open shirt hung loosely across his chest and he pulled the blankets up
a little higher to stave off the cool night breezes. “I just bet
he loved that.”
“It did his heart good to talk about lighter times than the ones you
both have passed through recently,” Elrond acknowledged quietly.
Aragorn glanced down to his fingers where they lay lightly on the bed
sheets, twisting the soft linens into intricate swirls. It was a habit
he fought hard to overcome, but it never failed that when he was
nervous or uncertain, he absently fiddled with whatever was close at
hand. The silence stretched between them, but it was not
uncomfortable and Elrond let it persist.
“I was thinking of leaving for the Downs in the morning.” The
ranger’s voice was a mere whisper.
Elrond nodded slowly, his eyes searching the silver ones that
slowly glanced up to gauge his response. “I thought you would leave
soon. The wandering heart of a ranger
beats in you my son.”
“The sooner we are away the more quickly the Bree-landers can be free
of this threat,” Aragorn answered as though his decision required
“It is well, Estel.” Elrond smiled softly, holding the tentative
gaze the ranger laid on him. He saw the hesitation and the self
doubt resting so uneasily near the surface of the young human’s
soul. “Your journey should be an easy one this time of
Aragorn only nodded; there was more he needed to speak of but he wasn’t
“What else troubles you?” Elrond could tell that that was not all
that bothered the man and waited while Aragorn sifted through his
thoughts and fears.
“Legolas.” His gazed flicked up to lock onto the elf lord’s and
he allowed the immortal to glimpse straight into his soul.
“Ah.” Elrond let his own gaze drop to his hands as he read past
the ranger’s statement and into the fears that dogged him about his
friend. “He is healing well, Estel. The weakness he was
still experiencing when you two arrived has faded...”
Yet the statement had been made as though there were more the elf lord
wished to say and Aragorn picked up quickly on that fact. “But
there is more.”
“His wounds are healed. He is physically capable of going with
you. Yet what troubles me, and I believe what it is that you see
in him, are the wounds to his soul. The shadow in his eyes from
time to time where a light heart should dwell.”
A sigh escaped Aragorn’s lips and he pushed himself into a sitting
position. Scooting back against the ornate headboard, he pulled
his knees to his chest and let his head drop down into his hands.
“And he is not the only one who carries them.” Elrond spoke the
statement quietly, piercing to the heart of the matter.
“No, he is not,” Aragorn agreed, his muffled whisper barely ghosted
to the elf lord.
Raising his head up and fixing his father with a weary gaze, Estel
continued, “Legolas asked me if we shouldn’t remain and tell Halbarad
we couldn’t go at this time. I had entertained the thought for a
while before he asked. I am not so sure he isn’t right.”
Aragorn’s gaze swept slowly out to the large window. The light of
the stars and the full moon bathed the veranda in a pale silvery
glow. “If even you have seen that Legolas needs rest, I would not
risk going now. I-I do not speak of it to him, but my dreams are
still haunted by his voice begging me to...” the ranger pressed his
eyes closed, cutting those memories off. Elrond already knew all
about that. “If he needs to remain here for a time, then I will
tell Halbarad in the morning that we cannot help him. I know
Legolas will never let me go without him.”
“Did he say he wanted to go?” Elrond prompted, delving into the
matter further and forcing Aragorn to look at all the angles before his
mind was decided.
“Yes.” Aragorn smiled as he recalled the conversation. “As a
matter of fact I think he called it exciting, as he has never been that
“That I do not doubt.” Elrond laughed. “The Silvan elves of
his realm have rarely traveled the western lands and even that was many
eons ago. My son, I will not lie to you. I worry for the
both of you. Your hearts both bear wounds that need time to
heal. But time it seems has chosen to heal you in a way that I
would not have foreseen. Perhaps this journey will be good for
both of you.” He smiled as the tension left the ranger.
This was what the Dunédan had been hoping for, either
confirmation from his father that his taking leave so soon was
acceptable or a firm denial that either of them was in any shape to
go. “However, Estel, I cannot be strong enough in my
Elrond shifted from the chair and seated himself on the edge of the bed
staring hard into the young man’s eyes. “Be very careful of the wights.
Whether this current problem is real or imagined, the wights themselves
are all too real and not to be trifled with. Use wisdom when you
are near the Downs and Bree, for wisdom will be a good ally for you
through this. If what you are up against is the force of the wights, it
is possible that you will not be successful. Theirs is an ancient
and powerful evil that has not been broken since the war with Angmar
and neither you nor Legolas are in any shape to stand against
He leaned closer, piercing the human with a hard gaze, “Do you
understand me, Estel? You must not engage them, you must not go
near them. I pray the Valar that what you will oppose is only of
the mortal kind. If you need help and this task is more than you
are ready for, send one of your brothers back and I will see that
assistance finds you quickly. Do not attempt to deal with real
wights on your own.”
A small smile crept across the ranger’s face as he stared into the blue
eyes that were fixed on him so seriously and Elrond couldn’t help but
see the child in him still. “Oh, Ada, it is good that someone
still worries about me even though I am in my forties.”
With a snort of laughter the elf lord shook his head. “Child,” he said
fondly, “your father nears his five-thousand and fiftieth celebration
of life, if I haven’t lost count. Do not forget that you will
always be my son.”
Aragorn ducked his head stifling his laughter. “Please let us not have
that lecture. I can quote it to you by heart now.”
Elrond wrapped one hand behind the man’s head and pulled him forward,
wrapping him in a light hug. “No lectures then.” Turning his face
towards Aragorn’s hair, he breathed in deeply, smelling that scent that
was unique to the human raised among elves. “But heed my
warnings; it will lighten my heart for your leaving.”
Pushing back lightly Aragorn stared deeply into the elven eyes,
realizing for the first time that Elrond actually wanted him to
stay. He had missed having his youngest son near, but would not
stop the ranger from living his life or pursuing his destiny. “We
are coming back here, home, as soon as we are through.” The
ranger reassured. “Legolas has agreed to stay on as well. He says
he needs it.”
“He does.” Elrond concurred softly.
“Then we will go tomorrow so we can come home sooner and then we will
both rest until you give us your blessing to do otherwise.”
“Watch Legolas and do not let him overexert himself in ways that would
cause him more pain,” Elrond cautioned. “He is yet a little
fragile under the surface, but will not restrain himself if I know
him. You know of what I speak. The barrows hold a
foreboding all their own.”
“I do understand and I will, I promise.” Aragorn squeezed his
father’s arms gently.
With a nod Elrond stood and stared down at the human that he considered
his youngest son, “And I have instructed your brothers to do the same
with you.” He laughed lightly as the ranger rolled his eyes.
“Father I am an adult...” Aragorn started to protest, although he knew
his family was well aware of that fact now.
“I would not use that argument near them if I were you,” the
elder elf laughed. Leaning down he gently kissed the crown of the
ranger’s head. “Get some sleep, Estel; morning will come
quickly. Worry not on it tonight, for tonight you can sleep in
“Yes I know, each day brings its own set of worries and burdens,”
Aragorn finished the statement. “Thank you, Ada.”
Elrond knew he meant the for elf lord’s blessing and the words of
encouragement. With a nod the older elf walked to the mantle and
extinguished the small night-light; the light emanating from him shone
softly in the now darkened room. “Sleep well, my Estel,” he
whispered as he walked back past the bed bending down and gently
pulling up the blankets as Aragorn eased back down under the
sheets. The ranger grabbed the elf’s hand and gave it a soft
“Sleep well, Ada. I will see you in the morning,” Aragorn
whispered as he turned over, rolling the blankets tightly about him.
Leaving the room, Elrond paced back down into his study, his heart
preoccupied with the conversation he had just had. In all truth he had
hoped that Estel would remain for a while, but he understood the
necessity of their leave taking. With a sigh he contented himself
in knowing that they would soon return once more.
Behind him, the glow globes were quietly put out as Celboril followed
in his lord’s wake. The house was once more cleaned and in order
and the fire in the great hall sparked merrily in the empty room.
It had been Celboril’s job and his pleasure to keep the rooms of
Imladris since Elrond had first built it in the valley so many ages
past. The old elf had been a servant of Elrond’s adoptive father,
Gil-Galad, and had remained with the son to oversee and help him much
he had done for years beyond remembering - it was his life’s joy to
serve and he did it well.
Celboril knew his lord’s moods and needs and was ready, knowing that
the elf he served would soon be asking for warmed tea. He stopped
at Elrond’s room and turned the bed sheets down, starting a small fire
in the fireplace before quickly descending the steps and seeking out
Elrond. He had not heard the quiet conversations the elf lord had
had with his son, but he knew that the two youngest inhabitants of the
house were leaving in the morning and the home just hadn’t been the
same with out them for all the long years Aragorn had been away.
He hoped they would accomplish their task quickly and return even more
“Celboril?” The soft call pulled the servant out of his reverie
and he hastened into the study. The elder elf smiled. The
tea water was already warming.
They had followed the Great East Road for many leagues. The hill
countries had eventually given way to the open meadows of the
Lone-Lands and the ranger followed his companions, glad for once to be
simply led and not leading. Slowly the death grip of the daily
stress he had been under since his decision to leave Gondor was
slipping away. Likewise he had noticed that Legolas seemed to
have recovered fairly well as the elf laughed lightheartedly at
something Elrohir had said. The prince glanced back at the human
and shook his head in denial. In all truth Aragorn hadn’t been
paying attention, his own thoughts drifting on the winds that brushed
against them as they kept up the steady pace ever westward towards the
He honestly hadn’t heard whatever it was that had caused the elves to
break out laughing, but the mirth that danced in the blue eyes that
watched him brought a smile to his face. It was a long time that
he had worried about Legolas on their return home to Rivendell and
even for the weeks they had stayed on, there was a shadow that had hung
over the prince. He had tried to hide it but Aragorn knew him too
well and it was not lost on the Elf Lord either. Elrond had told
Aragorn to give Legolas time and space to heal and, despite the
he voiced last night, the healer was convinced the elf’s spirit was
well on its way to returning to its former brilliance.
He had been right.
Aragorn caught up with Legolas and questioned Elladan as they entered
another sloping vale that ran parallel to a tributary off of the
Mitheithel. He could hear its waters now slowed to a mere stream
just over the next rise.
Looking out upon the valley they were walking through, Aragorn noted
how the wind rippled through the long grasses, brushing the fields of
green in invisible waves under the early evening light. From the
midst of the flat plain rose the remnants of the watchtower of Amon
Sûl, known in the common tongue as Weathertop. Its ragged
ruins reached into the sky with jagged tips that seemed to rake the
clouds passing overhead, fingering them into ribbons that streaked the
The old tower stood atop a hill of stone, weather-beaten, broken and
covered with grasses and moss that decorated its torn heights in the
shades of early spring. That it stood at all was testimony to its
makers. The tower had seen much in the long eons that had passed
“Amon Sûl,” Elladan whispered almost reverently when the
magnificent ruins came into sight.
With a small nod of acknowledgement Elrohir walked on next to his
Legolas, however, was forced to stop abruptly, nearly running into
Estel. The ranger stood staring at the remnants of the
heights, his gaze transfixed on the ruins. Here and there
burn marks scorched the tallest reaches where lighting had struck the
old tower throughout the years as spring storms had passed this
way. The grasses adorned its broken-down sides like a comfortable
garment thrown across the shoulders of its upper reaches, the living
greenery finding the oddest places to grow from in the rocky
ledges. The fading sunlight bathed the lower level in a bright,
warm glow as the sun showed through the bottom layer of clouds on its
way to its evening rest. To Aragorn it held an instant kinship to
his weary, worn heart.
Broken, battle-scarred, a power forgotten...laid aside.
The human breathed in deeply, catching the rich smells of the meadow;
the grasses that left a heady scent when crushed underfoot, the sweet
aroma of the wildflowers that grew in bunches across the valley,
decorating the grassy floor with their vibrant colors and the slight
smell of old stone that has too long been untouched by human life,
musty and full of the very earth itself. It spoke to him of
strength and he closed his eyes as he allowed all the memories and
thoughts to assault him.
“Estel?” Legolas was glancing nervously between the ranger who
seemed riveted to this place and his brothers who were walking swiftly
back towards them.
“What is it?” Elrohir questioned as they strode back towards the
two friends. Elladan grasped the ranger’s shoulder and shook him
When he opened his eyes he was still looking at the tower. “It is
old.” He stated the obvious quietly, oblivious to the odd stares. “What
happened to it?”
Elladan glanced over his shoulder at the ruins. “Amon Sûl?”
“Yes.” Aragorn focused on the oldest twin.
Elrohir turned, watching the remnants, wondering what had so fascinated
the human. “It was a watchtower, many years ago.”
“A magnificent one,” Elladan chimed in. “It is said that it was built
by Elendil in the early years of Arnor when this land at that time lay
in the central parts of Elendil’s domain. The tower housed a
palantir at one time, although what happened to the seeing stone has
long been lost to history. They say that it was once beautiful
“Why is it in ruins?” the ranger pressed.
“I heard there was a war.” Legolas stepped up and glanced around
“Many actually,” Elladan continued. “But the last was the
worst. The watchtower was nearly torn down. The invading
armies of Angmar destroyed it. When Arnor broke up, the tower was
abandoned in the borderlands and exposed to the enemy’s
invasions. They brought it to ruin before they were beaten back
themselves. Only what you see remains; its caretakers were never
A deep sigh escaped the human’s lips as he tried to imagine what the
tower had once looked like in its days of glory. Now, only a
shell of its former dignity remained. Stripped by war and
violence, the watchtower had been left to the wilds and here finally it
had become a part of them. Its walls and stairways tucked into
the crevices of the stone hill were covered like the valley floor in
one sweeping carpet of green, abandoned, forgotten - instead of
standing out from the land around it, the tower blended with its
“It has seen much war,” Aragorn whispered softly, “and it now has
rest. You can feel it.” He glanced at the elves that were
watching him oddly.
It surprised Legolas that the human could indeed sense the deep,
tranquility that filled the basin in which they walked, the touches of
evil from Angmar were nearly dissipated now. Usually that
closeness with nature was reserved for the elves, but somehow Aragorn’s
time among the men had intensified his awareness and his upbringing had
made him more sensitive to his surroundings.
Perhaps it was merely the traces of the elveness in his blood, but
Aragorn could feel this place
in a way he never had been able to
anywhere else but Imladris. The sorrowful, wounded places in his
heart echoed the taint of war that still clung to the stone spires
piercing the sky and the empty weariness inside of him was filled with
the peace of the valley; it touched him like Rivendell always did
whenever he came home. He couldn’t quite explain it.
Suddenly he realized that was the feeling, like home. “It feels
familiar somehow,” he spoke out loud as he pressed by Elladan and
strode towards the ruins. The older twin shrugged and followed
the human as the elves glanced between themselves. Perhaps the
heir of Elendil could still feel at home in Elendil’s ruins, even if he
thought he wanted no part of that heritage.
“Let us camp in its lower levels tonight.” Aragorn turned back to
“You don’t find it a bit creepy, Estel?” Legolas taunted the
ranger, emphasizing the unusual word the human had used to describe
Orthanc so many years ago as he eyed the tower hesitantly.
Rolling his eyes Aragorn glanced over his shoulder as the elf prince
gained his side. “No, I do not. Saruman doesn’t live here, for
thing, and there are no orcs about.”
“Orcs?” Elrohir repeated curiously, grimacing at the mention of
the foul beasts.
Legolas stammered, half laughing, trying to protest, but was stopped as
the ranger continued, “Besides, whoever created this place obviously
was not the same person who dreamed up that nightmare of a tower our
good friend the White Wizard calls home. And do not tell me that
you were not unnerved by it either. You did meet me in the hall
on the way to my room because you couldn’t sleep by yourself as I
“WHAT!?” the twins questioned at the same time. This was a story
they had never heard and Elrohir began to laugh. “You wouldn’t
sleep in your own room?” he teased Legolas.
“There was more to it than that!” The elf prince gave the ranger a good
shove as they walked up to the lower staircase. The hewn rocks
were covered in moss and blended in perfectly with the grass-covered
hill on either side of them. “Why don’t you ask your brother why it
was I found him in the hallway and where he was headed?”
Aragorn scowled at the elf playfully, lightly jumping up the first few
steps and turning to gaze back on his companions. He tried to
hide the smile that pulled at the edges of his lips but was
unsuccessful. “I was looking for you,” he answered, avoiding the whole
“He was carrying his pillow and blanket and would not sleep in his own
room,” Legolas filled in the details as the twins stared
incredulously at their younger brother before breaking out
“Your pillow?” Elrohir echoed.
“Do you have to repeat everything that is said to you?!” Aragorn
raced up the next few steps, waiting for the elves to catch up with
“And that wasn’t the half of it.” The elf prince ducked as the ranger
threw a small stone at him.
“Legolas,” the human growled, trying to stop the elf from
continuing with the story.
“No, let him. I can’t wait to hear the rest!” Elladan
pushed past Elrohir and ascended the steps on Legolas’ heels.
“What more is there? Do tell.”
“Well, your brother, the ranger, wouldn’t sleep on the bed but he slept
on the floor between the bed and the wall so whomever he believed was
coming in would get to me first!”
Aragorn swiveled on his heels as he reached the lowest landing and
glared at the helplessly laughing elves. An archway set in the
very stone itself led to the main floor of the tower, but the human
favored the landing for the view of the valley that it lent. He
fixed his oldest brother with a serious stare. “You should have seen
the manservant, I swear Elladan he was no man! He was...” the
ranger stalled and quirked his mouth, barely stopping from saying the
“He was creepy!” Legolas finished the sentence, turning huge wide eyes
on the elves and shuddering as if in fright. He had had an
irritating fascination with that somewhat plebian sounding word since
the first time Aragorn had introduced it into his vocabulary.
“Well he was!” Aragorn defended himself as he gathered the small
sticks and brambles that had collected in the concave area, swept there
by the winds that would scour the valley from time to time. They
would make good kindling for a fire.
Elladan gave the prince a friendly shove forward as they all spilled
out onto the ledge where Aragorn was crouched down, flint in hand,
trying to start a fire and ignore his family and his friend. In
the end, the lightheartedness of the elves was contagious. He
shook his head, pointing the tip of the branch he was feeding to the
small flame with at the elven prince. “I am telling you there are
hiding orcs in that dark tower somewhere
and I’ll not be going back
there anytime soon no matter what you say or do to me.”
His admission sent the elves into another fit of mirth as they dropped
to the ground around the small blaze.
“Saruman the White not knowing of orcs in his own tower! Now that
is a thought worthy of
laughter!” Elrohir chuckled.
The warm light filled the concave where they sat and Weathertop basked
in the glow of the friendly banter long into the night.
Legolas walked to the edge of the landing and seated himself next to
Aragorn. The human was sitting on the lip of the precipice, his
booted heels kicking the rock wall below them as he scanned the moonlit
valley of the Lone-Lands.
“Not tired?” the elf whispered softly.
“No.” Aragorn yawned around a smile, his weariness betraying
“Why don’t you get some sleep? Your brothers are already
resting.” Legolas eyed the human out of the corner of his eyes
watching him carefully.
“I can’t sleep. I am tired but I can’t get my thoughts to quiet
“What troubles you?”
Aragorn picked at a weed that grew up between the rocks near his thigh
as he thought. He tossed the bits of grass over the ledge into
the darkness before he answered, watching them catch on the wind and
losing them in the night.
“Do you believe that a wight is responsible for the happenings near the
Barrow-downs?” He had been thinking on the things Halbarad had
told them and weighing the theories that the ranger had reported.
“I do not know what to believe. We will have to wait until we get
there to see if we can discover what has happened. There is
nothing good about a barrow-wight Aragorn. From what little I
know, they are wholly evil and the wickedness that has been done near
the Downs would not be beyond them.”
With a sigh Aragorn turned to face Legolas, his eyes locking onto the
blue ones that questioned him. It struck him as odd how very
young the elf looked in the moonlight, his own glow enhanced by the
soft illumination of the night. The prince didn’t even retain the
scars from their recent journey home, although Aragorn’s faintly
decorated him still.
“In my heart I am not sure that I am ready for this. There is a
part of me that wishes to simply reside in Imladris and let the world
pass me by until the end of my days. If I never see another war
or am never called to be a leader or assume my heritage I am not sure
at this point that it would disappoint me.” Aragorn laid his
fears before his friend, surprised when the elf smiled softly at
“I know what you mean.” Legolas lay back on the stone ledge and
gazed up at the stars overhead. “I have felt that way. When
your father rescued me from Dorolyn I never wanted to leave Mirkwood
again. I did not care if I ever met another human being for as long I
lived and if the world outside the borders of our woods fell then I
would have not missed them. I hid for nearly three-thousand
The elf laughed when the ranger quirked his eye brows at his
admission. Aragorn leaned back next to his friend resting on his
left elbow as the prince continued.
“All right then, maybe three-thousand years is a bit of a stretch, but
it was at least three times your lifetime before I even ventured out
into the world again, even in my own land. Going beyond that
was something I resisted for even longer, especially without
companions. That night you fell into my life was just about the
first time I had left our borders alone since Dorolyn.” Legolas’
gaze was far away accompanying his thoughts. “Elves have the
years to spend, Aragorn, when they want to hide; humans do not.”
The prince turned his eyes from the night sky and pierced his friend
with an open stare. “But human hearts recover more quickly than
do ours. You are gifted with the ability to forget, time fades
the sting of your wounds, but our memories carry on with us.”
Dropping his gaze, Aragorn turned back to stare into the inky darkness
of the night around them. After a few moments a soft touch to his
arm redirected his attention and he looked down at his friend.
“Give yourself time. The memories you carry may never go away,
but they will be replaced by others soon enough. It is the way of
life.” Legolas knew of what he spoke and it was advice he himself
was taking to heart. His recent captivity in Mordor had marked
him, marked him deeply... but he had recovered from horror before and
he knew that the pain, no matter how deep, would not last forever if he
did not allow it to do so.
Aragorn laughed softly. “You sound like my father.”
“His is a wise man, you should listen to him.” Legolas closed his
eyes, a smile tugging at his lips.
“Now I know that you have
speaking with him!” Aragorn gave the
elf a playful shove as he flopped back down on the ground next to his
friend, releasing a weary sigh. He gazed up at the stars that
twinkled in the garment of night.
“It was hard to see Eärendil in Gondor.” Aragorn commented
A small snort of laughter caused him to roll his head towards his
friend and stare at the elf.
Legolas was smiling as he gazed at the bright star. “It was hard to
see Eärendil in Mordor.”
For some reason the statement struck the ranger as funny and he tried
to suppress his laughter, not wanting to wake his brothers. His
attempts to quiet himself set the prince off and in moments they were
both watching the winking pinpoint of light and laughing.
Legolas elbowed the human as they quieted. “Go to sleep,
Aragorn. You have many years yet before you need worry about the
troubles of this world. Let us enjoy this time with your
Aragorn nodded wordlessly as they lay side by side staring up at the
stars; he knew Legolas was right and he realized that he just needed
someone to say it out loud. When he finally spoke, his voice was
soft, thinking his companion might be sleeping, “You just want to trade
stories with them.”
The quiet statement set the elf to laughing and he smacked the ranger,
turning over on his side and rolling up in his cloak. “Now go to sleep,
Strider. You are intolerable when you are grumpy and I will not suffer
you to be tired in the morning.”
With a snort of derision Aragorn placed his hands behind his head,
crossing his boots at the ankles, and stared into the sky with a smile
face until sleep stole him away.