"I don’t remember anything important about 1517," muses Kerry. "Do you?"
"Well, it sort of rings a bell," replies Walt, "although I can’t think why. Let’s go and have a look around, shall we?"
Daniel frowns. "I say we fix the damage and get on out of here. We’ve lost enough time already."
"We’ve lost centuries," rebuts Walt. "What difference will a few more minutes make?--just to look around a bit, since we really didn't see much the last time."
"Well, at least I think we should try to contact home base and see what they say. They’re paying the bill, you know, and we haven’t talked to them for a while."
"I guess Dan’s right, Walt. We really should try to call."
But suddenly, they hear a crowd of voices in the distance. Many people are talking excitedly at the same time.
"Seems to be something interesting going on," observes Kerry. "We might as well check it out. We can call later."
"Yeah, come on!" urges Walt. "Two against one. Let’s go!"
As they leave the clump of trees, they see a crowd of people in front of what seems to be a big church. They are watching a stockily built man at the door of the church. From his attire, our friends surmise that he is a monk. He seems to be posting something on the church door. They can hear the blows of the hammer as they approach.
"Come on!” urges Walt. "Let’s try to get a closer look.”
They push their way through the crowd until they are close enough to get a good look at the monk. Walt slaps his head with his hand. "I’ve got it! Of Course! It’s Martin Luther!" He whispers to the other two: “He’s responsible for all the divisions in the western Church! So maybe we can do some good here anyway.”
Upon hearing his name, the monk stops his hammering and turns around, startled. "Do I know you?" he asks, gazing intently at our three friends.
"No, sorry. But, I’ve heard of you. What you are doing today will go down in history, although I’m sure I don’t know why."
At this, the monk turns back around and continues to hammer. When finished, he turns around again and looks at our three Friends. "Who are you?" he asks.
"Oh, we’re just three weary travelers, passing through."
"And where are you from?"
"From a long way from here, both in space and--"
But Walt’s words are interrupted by the loud clanging of a bell and the sound of someone yelling: "indulgences! Indulgences!"
"Ah, this must be Tetzel" observes Walt.
The monk frowns. "It’s the old rascal all-right--making money off of the fears and superstitions of the people! And just look at the people going to meet him! I must warn them."
And so, Martin Luther heads up the street, following the sounds, with our three friends close behind him.
Already, there is a huge crowd of people gathered in front of the wooden wagon which is parked at the side of the road. Across both sides of the wagon is scrawled in big letters the word 'indulgences'. At the rear of the wagon is a short stockily built man holding a box in his hand. At the top of the box is a slot. "Put your money here." he is telling the people. "The more money, the quicker your loved one’s release from purgatory. Why take chances? Put the largest coin you have, and when the coin jingles in the box, the soul flies from its prison."
"That’s a lie!” yells Luther, now close enough to be heard. "How can you stand here and listen to this foolishness? Read the Bible and you’ll see the utter falseness of what this man is telling you. Read the Bible and you’ll see that all you have to do to be saved is to believe on Jesus Christ."
At this, the crowd becomes furious. Different people begin shouting different things back at Luther.
"Who do you think you are, you blockhead?”
“To believe on Christ is to believe in His Church!”
"Yeah! Who are you to go against Christ’s Holy Church?"
"I’m not against the church." screams Luther, trying to make himself heard, "but I am against what this man is doing."
"He has the blessing of the pope!" screams back another man.
"Well, in this case," screams Luther, "The pope is wrong!"
"What?! Blasphemer! How can you speak against God’s anointed?"
"The pope shall hear of this!" yells another.
"But why wait?" asks a yet another man. "Let’s defend his good name and the name of the church now!” Thus, some in the crowd take up stones to hurl at the monk.
"Take this, you blasphemer!"
"Come on!” urges Walt, as he pushes the monk behind a clump of trees. Kerry and Daniel follow Walt’s lead and soon all four are lying breathlessly on the grass, listening to the remarks of the angry crowd:
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