Chapter Thirty-Six

Now the evening of the wedding Demetrius was laying under a tree looking at the stars when Peter's daughter came out and laid beside him.
2 She said nothing, but as they lay there pushed up closer against Demetrius. Demetrius smiled. "What do you want, woman?" he asked.
3 She smiled at him mischievously, and said, "You KNOW what I want!"
4 Indeed Demetrius DID know what she wanted. He rose up, held out his hand, and she came up to him. They walked to a place where the young men were gathered, as young men would do.
5 David, the son of Andrew was there. Demetrius pointed to him and said, "Woman, there is your husband. There is the man that will make for you a long and happy life, who shall keep you from danger, and fulfill the needs of your body and Soul.
6 I am to you, child, a strange meat, a tempting sweet, but you would not be happy abiding with me far from your own land, and, the kin you love. Your place is here, among your own people.
7 I cherish what you offer me, but it is not for me."
8 "Am I not pretty," the girl asked, "like the Roman women?"
9 "You would make a fine wife for the high regent of the senate," Demetrius answered, "and all of Rome would adore you. But you would not adore the ways of Rome, would soon long for the ways and the voices of your own people.
10 Now, go on! Speak to the young fellow! Let matters begin to unfold as they should! I am your father's friend. I would not betray his friendship by doing something that would displease him."
11 The girl smiled. "If nothing else," she remarked, "I will remember how nice you were to me this night and how much you value my father's friendship."
12 She went off across the yard and sort of accidently bumped into David, who did not seem displeased at all.
13 Demetrius heard the beginning of their conversation. "What were you doing with the Roman?" the young man asked.
14 "Learning what an honorable man he is," the girl answered. "Someone told me you know of the stars, their names, and what the patterns mean. Will you tell me?"
15 "Of course!" the young man answered, and they went off away from the torches where they could better see the stars, but not out of sight of the others, so there would be no talk.
16 Demetrius felt a presence beside him and turned to find Jesus' mother there. "Is Rome really such an awful place?" she asked.
17 "In your land," Demetrius answered, "the debauchery of your cities is hidden. In Rome no pertent is made of decency. The foulness of the place is enough to make even those that love it find it hard to bear at times."
18 Mary nodded. "I suppose one will get used to it after a time," she remarked. "Demetrius, do you see that third house from the end of the street?"
19 "Yes," Demetrius answered.
20 "There lives there a widow. It has been many years since she has known a man's comfort."
21 Demetrius laughed. "You would have me sin with one of your ladies?"
22 Mary kissed him on the cheek. "Demetrius," she whispered, "you never sin with any lady, but you comfort them very well."
23 A little later Demetrius found himself wandering by the house. As he passed the door opened and a soft voice cried out, "Enter in!" Demetrius smiled and did so.
24 Now, Herod heard of all the things that Jesus did, and was perplexed. For some said that it was John The Baptist raised from the dead, and some said that it was Elias that had appeared. Others cried it was one of the Old Prophets risen.
25 Herod trembled mightly saying to himself, "I beheaded John The Baptist. Who is it that does these things? Could he have returned to torment me?"
26 Herod was a man who could not find a moment's peace. For the Spirit of John haunted him when he was awake, and, when he was asleep. He knew within his heart he was a man doomed.
27 Now, the apostles came back and Jesus praised them for the good reports that He had received of them. The apostles and their wives received the news of the marriage well, except for Judas The Tailor who began to be extremely discourteous to Mary, Jesus' wife.
28 One day Demetrius rebuked him, saying, "Why is it you hate her, that He has to bed with her, and not with you?"
29 Judas came at him angrily. "That I have told you of my sin," he cried, "do you now make use of it against me? I have told you since hearing Him I have done that no more! Am I not keeping company with the woman He gave me? Do you not love Him as much as I?"
30 "I could not love Him," Demetrius answered, "in the way that you do. It is not my nature to so love a man. Do not be cross with her because you can't have what He so freely gives to her."
31 Judas softened. "I will try, Demetrius," he promised, and went his way.

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