Legal Property

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Fiction Friday - ONE MORE TIME, Chapters 33 and 34

Bildad began preparing for a journey. Word had reached him of a man who had neighbors he wanted to be rid of. There were always other careless wanderers to be had in the area. The people there never learned they shouldn’t go to anywhere alone. He chortled to himself.

Bildad rubbed his fat hands together in glee and kissed his ring. Ah, yes, as long as I have my lucky ring, good fortune follows me like a new lamb follows its mother. He and a select crew left the slave holdings, leaving Chilead in charge of the slaves left behind. The whip master remained, too, and knowing the slaves’ dread of the man, Bildad felt confident his shed full of slaves would continue intact until his return.

Bildad and his men made a few stops on the way north, picking up the odd lone traveler or wanderer here and there to add to his collection. It took a full day of training before these new “recruits” saw the light, allowing Bildad and his band to travel on.

When they stopped in their usual camping place just south of Tyre, it was late morning. Bildad went into the brush a distance to hide himself while he squatted to relieve himself. With great effort, he raised himself. He kicked leaves over the mess and walked back to the camp, ordering slaves to raise the tents, gather wood, prepare the meal, and care for the horses.

Long after sundown he noticed his precious lucky ring was missing. Frantic, he ordered his men and slaves all to get on their knees and search the campsite, but nothing was found.

Distraught, Bildad sat down on a log by the campfire, peering with anxiety into the dying flames. He was sure the ring must be in the fire and feared it might melt. In the morning, he’d sift through the ashes—the ground would be much too hot to sift through now, even after they let the fire go out. He lowered his face to his hands and cursed fluently.

A loud drumming sounded from the other side of the campfire. He and his men jumped to their feet and looked around, startled and more than a little worried—after all, their activities weren’t exactly legal. The Roman soldiers could be coming after them.

Loud trumpets began to blow from all around the camp, and Bildad gazed through the high flames from the campfire to see an apparition floating in the brush.

As Sarah approached the marketplace, Jonas stepped out and waved her to his shop. When she entered, he whispered, “Please stay until I finish with these men. I have news.” He negotiated quickly with the two for canvas and sent them on their way.

Jonas walked toward her with a bounce in his step. “The slave master who took Paul is camped next to Tyre, south of the entrance from the mainland,” he said. “Paul said he might be able to convince the slaver to share some information.”

“If anyone could, Paul could,” Sarah grinned. “Especially if he could convince that slave master that some serious harm might come to him if he didn’t share the information. I’ll tell Paul this morning, as soon as I finish up here and go back home.” She waved goodbye and purchased the nuts and spices she came after.

When she got back to the house, she found Paul teaching the children in their play room. “Paul,” she whispered in his ear, “the slave master is back. He is camped south of the entrance from the mainland.”

Paul nodded. “Let me finish up here, and then we’ll do some planning.”

“Okay. I need to go fix some lunch anyway.”

She left for the cooking area thinking it would be wonderful to have a real hamburger. Odd what could sound good—she really wished she could fix French fries. The thought made her salivate. However, it would be a few centuries before potatoes would be introduced to this part of the world, so that dish was definitely out. There was no reason she couldn’t make a hamburger, though. She took a chunk of beef and began to chop it into small pieces. When she was satisfied with the result, she mixed the meat with an egg to help it stick together, added in chopped onions, garlic, and several spices, and cooked it on an iron plate. She sliced the flatbread lengthwise, placed the meat in the middle, added a thin slice of onion and a leaf of lettuce, and presented the result to Dorcas and the children.

Tamara, who continued to take her lunch with the other three children, noticed the dish. “Hang-gabers!” She bounced up and down on the bench.

“Hang-gabers?” asked Dorcas.

“They’re called hamburgers,” Sarah said. “It’s a treat well known in the fut—ah, to us, uh, before we came here.” She glanced at Darius, Gideon, and Orphah, but it didn’t seem they noticed her near gaff.

Dorcas wiped hamburger juice from her lips. “Your culinary expertise is impressive, Sarah.”

Sarah laughed, wondering what her former friends would think of the idea that a hamburger was elegant cuisine. “Thank you, Dorcas. I’ll be happy to make hamburgers again for you any time you like.” Hm. What might they think of onion rings?
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