MEANWHILE, AT THE JERUSALEM praetorium, it had been a longer day than usual for Pilate. Procla decided to meet him, and they walked together down the long hallway to their temporary home, talking as they walked.
“You had quite a long day today, dear. You must have had a lot of cases.”
“A tremendous lot.”
“Did you handle them firmly as usual?”
“Certainly, my dear.”
“I'm really proud of you, Pilate, dear. Really now, don't you find it goes better when you rule with a firm hand?”
“Oh, yes my dear, quite so.”
“By the way, I wonder why we haven't heard anything from Caesar yet regarding the fate of our friend, Herod.”
“Yes, I was wondering the same thing myself. Surely he has received those letters by now.”
“Maybe he's taking his time to decide what to do.”
“Or perhaps he's waiting to see if any more letters come in.”
“You know, what we should have done was staggered the mailing, so he would really believe they are from different people.”
“That, my dear, is truly brilliant. Why didn't I think of it? But—oh my goodness! I just remembered! I forgot to send the letters! I was going to do it, and then, why, with everything that happened and all— I'm terribly sorry, dear. I don't know how I could have been so careless. After all, this is a matter of great importance to us. Oh, Pilate dear, I feel so foolish! Can you ever forgive me?”
“Of course, Procla, dear. I understand that you, like I, have a lot on your mind. I tell you what—give me the letters, and I'll see to it that a good part of them are sent out in the morning. Then the rest can be sent out in a day or two.”
“All right, dear. Are you sure you won't forget with all you have on your mind?”
“I'll write myself a note. Don't worry those letters will be sent.”
“I can't wait to see Caesar’s response.”
“Yes, that should be really interesting, but what I can't wait to see is Herod’s reaction when he hears from Caesar on this.”
“Yes, it should be delicious.”
“Speaking of ‘delicious,’ what's for supper?”
The servant had prepared a gourmet meal as usual. They ate in silence. Then, as dusk fell upon the city, they prepared for bed. But Pilate and his wife slept fitfully that night, their sleep being interrupted with thoughts of Pilate's hoped-for promotion and of Herod's inevitable ouster as a result of the letters which Pilate must remember to mail.
In another part of the city, Benjamin the shopkeeper slept well and dreamt of his plans to expand his business and save for his children's education, never imagining the danger that might lie ahead.
Meanwhile, in yet another part of the city, Barabbas found it difficult to sleep. His mind was filled with the plans and contingencies of the coming day. He had everything planned down the last detail with every eventuality provided for. But he really needed two more people. Why had the younger beggar hesitated? he wondered. Was he scared? Was he thinking of the morality of it? What if his answer would turn out to be “No”? Finally, Barabbas dozed off.
Not too far away, Timotheus also had trouble sleeping. He was still weighing things in his mind. He had decided to tell the big man “Yes.” But, he asked himself, is it really the right thing to do? What would my mother say? But then, on the other hand, what would she say if she knew of my present poverty? But then, what if something does go wrong and we get caught? But then, as Lucas said, this fellow seems to know what he was doing. Finally, his mind became too tired for further speculation, and he dozed off.
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