+JMJ+ We have now reached Part 22 of the rough draft of A Journey, my novel set in New Testament times. Progress is at 53% and I’m still thinking about how to celebrate. Stay tuned, I’ll let you know about that.
And now the journey continues.
A Journey – Part 22
Fourth Day for the Second Time, Wednesday
I managed to talk to Rachel in her cell this morning. Well, not her cell, she shares it with several others, which made our conversation difficult. I did not want everyone to hear what I had to say. During a sleepless night an idea occurred to me, a way to secure her release, and the tent-making spy agreed to my terms: if she will tell where her co-conspirators have hidden the rabbi’s body, then the Sanhedrin will allow her to go free without having to betray anyone else.
I realized too late that I had presented my idea to her in the worst way, as a betrayal of her fellow disciples. Now she is offended that I think he did not rise on his own, that they stole his body, that she lied, and that she would even think of betraying any of them, they are like her family now. In fact, they are her family now.
With that last stinging blow she rose from her seat and stomped away from me before our time had expired, and returned to tell her fellow prisoners who knows what and I am such an idiot. I really should let her stay there but I cannot do that. If she is ever going to make a decent marriage I have to get her out of there and away from these people with their strange and horrible influence on her. I almost believe someone has bewitched her, or the whole lot of them!
Now that Rachel is not speaking to me–that is what I was told by the guard when I tried to see her just now–I have to find another way to get her out of that infernal place. If I can find a way to give that accursed maker of defective tents what he wants, maybe he will free her in return. I would rather eat an entire pig than see that man right now, much less speak with him, but I am determined to help her even though she does not think she needs my help. Oh, but she does. She has no idea what she is getting herself into.
I know Nico and Joseph took care of the burial. And I know they spent some time around the Sanhedrin after that (or perhaps it was someone who was sympathetic to their fascination with the rabbi) and so sent word that there was to be a search for the disciples. But I do not know what has happened to them now. I have not heard from them again. They were going on a trip somewhere and they wanted me to go with them, but I never found out where they were going or why, or why they wanted me to go. They are not home, I checked. A few family members were at their houses, and some servants, and none of them shared the least hint with me as to their patriarchs’ whereabouts. If no one else knows, I can take advantage of that.
I must see the destroyer of my family this afternoon so I can share this “news” I have stumbled across: that certain men, who were fine upstanding faithful members of the Council until now, have fled to parts unknown. I do not have to lie in order to do this, I just have to drop a few words here, a few words there, and his imagination and zeal will do the rest. They asked to bury him, well, Joseph asked but Nico went with him. Then his body disappears? And so do they? How very odd, don’t you think?
Yes, a well-placed word in the ear of the overly zealous spoiler of good cloth and leather, and that is all it will take to set him onto the scent.
I just hope Nico and Joseph are far enough away that he has trouble catching up to them. And that he himself gives chase and not some underling that he sends in his place. I realize that this will probably cost me their friendship, but honor comes first. And family. And Rachel is my family.
He took the bait! Sadly, he also insists on taking me along with him to capture the wayward Council members and haul them back to Jerusalem for questioning. It’s not what I had hoped for but I may be able to make it work. My most trusted servant has said he will never leave us. When I spoke of family I treated him ill to not mention him. He has been with us all my life and was with my father before that. I tried to set him on his own path after I rashly decided to leave Judea. That attempt came to nothing, either to leave or to free him, but now I am being made to go and I must count on my servant to go plead Rachel’s case and secure her release. (He reminded me in no uncertain terms that he is and always has been free and has always and still does choose to serve my family, which became his family before I was born. I was a fool to have forgotten.)
At least this way I can try to throw that abysmal defiler of tents off the track of my friends, though they never believe me and forever after harbor nothing but ill will toward me, mistaking my acts of faithfulness for treachery and deceit. Indeed they are acts of deceit but I am hoping to deceive one who means them harm and to preserve their freedom to serve the Lord, once they wake up and realize Who the Lord is and Whom they should serve, and that they should leave off this nonsense about this risen rabbi and his band of rebellious and heretical apostate followers, once and for all.
It may be that they will thank me someday and that my sister will, too. But whether they do or not, I have to do what I have to do. And now it is time to go do it.
End of Part 22
Other parts of the story are linked on the Fiction page.
Thank you for visiting and reading. I hope you’ll join me again. Until next time, whoever and wherever you are, please stay safe and well, virtuous and holy, and remember, we are all on the journey to the heavenly city. So don’t be like this stubborn rich young man, but pick up your cross daily and follow Him, so you can become who you were meant to be: a SAINT! May the Lord bless and keep you and yours, and may His peace be always with you. +JMJ+
Image in the cover: From the east, Nazareth, Holy Land, from Wikimedia Commons, public domain.
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