22 September 2013

posted 19 Sep 2013, 20:08 by C S Paul

22 September 2013

Quotes to Inspire

  • "The world cares very little about what a man or woman knows; it is what the man or woman is able to do that counts." – Booker T. Washington
  • "The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win." – Roger Bannister, runner
  • "If the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to look like a nail." – Unknown
  • "The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." – Nelson Mandela
  • "Man is so made that when anything fires his soul, impossibilities vanish." – Jean De La Fontaine
  • "Kindness is the oil that takes friction out of life." – Author Unknown
  • "Losers make promises they often break. Winners make commitments they always keep." – Denis Waitley
  • "If you don't fail now and again, it's a sign you're playing it safe." — Woody Allen
  • "People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel." — Unknown
  • "Friendship is a candle whose flame glows brighter when the hour is darker." — Unknown
  • "A real friend is when you can sit alone together and never say a word … and walk away feeling that you have had the best conversation." — Unknown
  • "Transformation through reconfiguration: We become transformed to the express image of Christ through the reconfiguration of our thinking, habits, and all else we do, say and believe. Believe me; it takes courage to do so." — Pete Patterson
  • "Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in." — Alan Alda
  • "We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude." — Cynthia Ozick

Heaven Scent
A TRUE STORY - Author Unknown

A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas as the doctor walked into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing. Still groggy from surgery, her husband David held her hand as they braced themselves for the latest news.

That afternoon of March 10, 1991, complications had forced Diana, only 24-weeks pregnant, to undergo an emergency cesarean section to deliver the couple's new daughter, Danae Lu Blessing. At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound and nine ounces, they already knew she was perilously premature. Still, the doctor's soft words dropped like bombs. "I don't think she's going to make it" he said, as kindly as he could. "There's only a 10-percent chance she will live through the night, and even then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one."

Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the devastating problems Danae would likely face if she survived. She would never walk; she would never talk; she would probably be blind; she would certainly be prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation; and on and on.

"No! No!" was all Diana could say. She and David, with their 5-year-old son Dustin, had long dreamed of the day they would have a daughter to become a family of four. Now, within a matter of hours, that dream was slipping away.

Through the dark hours of morning as Danae held onto life by the thinnest thread, Diana slipped in and out of drugged sleep, growing more and more determined that their tiny daughter would live - and live to be a healthy, happy young girl. But David, fully awake and listening to additional dire details of their daughter's chances of ever leaving the hospital alive, much less healthy, knew he must confront his wife with the inevitable.

David walked in and said that we needed to talk about making funeral arrangements, Diana remembers "I felt so bad for him because he was doing everything, trying to include me in what was going on, but I just wouldn't listen, I couldn't listen. I said, 'No, that is not going to happen, no way! I don't care what the doctors say. Danae is not going to die! One day she will be just fine, and she will be coming home with us!'"

As if willed to live by Diana's determination, Danae clung to life hour after hour, with the help of every medical machine and marvel her miniature body could endure But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana.

Because Danae's underdeveloped nervous system was essentially 'raw,' the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort - so they couldn't even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the strength of their love. All they could do, as Danae struggled alone beneath the ultra-violet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close to their precious little girl.

There was never a moment when Danae suddenly grew stronger. But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of strength there.

At last, when Danae turned two months old, her parents were able to hold her in their arms for the very first time. And two months later - though doctors continued to gently but grimly warn that her chances of surviving, much less living any kind of normal life, were next to zero.

Danae went home from the hospital, just as her mother had predicted. Today, five years later, Danae is a petite but feisty young girl with glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life. She shows no signs, whatsoever, of any mental or physical impairments. Simply, she is everything a little girl can be and more - but that happy ending is far from the end of her story.

One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving, Texas, Danae was sitting in her mother's lap in the bleachers of a local ball park where her brother Dustin's baseball team was practicing. As always, Danae was chattering non-stop with her mother and several other adults sitting nearby when she suddenly fell silent. Hugging her arms across her chest, Danae asked, "Do you smell that?"

Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, "Yes, it smells like rain." Danae closed her eyes and again asked, 'Do you smell that?' Once again, her mother replied, "Yes, I think we're about to get wet, it smells like rain." Still caught in the moment, Danae shook her head, patted her thin shoulders with her small hands and loudly announced, "No, it smells like Him. It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest."

Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Danae then happily hopped down to play with the other children. Before the rains came, her daughter's words confirmed what Diana and all the members of the extended Blessing family had known, at least in their hearts, all along. During those long days and nights of her first two months of her life, when her nerves were too sensitive for them to touch her, God was holding Danae on His chest - and it is His loving scent that she remembers so well.
-------------
This heartwarming story began its Internet life around April 1998, after having appeared under its original title, "Heaven Scent," in Miracles in Our Midst, a 1997 compilation of inspirational tales. It's a "true" story in the sense that there is such a child, and the tale of her premature birth and subsequent battle for health was a real one... according to Snopes.com.

Help Somebody
Author Unknown

It was a cold winter's day that Sunday. The parking lot to the church was filling up quickly. I noticed as I got out of my car that fellow church members were whispering among themselves as they walked to the church.

As I got closer I saw a man leaned up against the wall outside the church. He was almost laying down as if he was asleep. He had on a long trench coat that was almost in shreds and a hat topped his head, pulled down so you couldn't see his face.

He wore shoes that looked 30 years old, too small for his feet, with holes all over them, his toes stuck out. I assumed this man was homeless, and asleep, so I walked on by through the doors of the Church.

We all enjoy fellowship for a few minutes, and then someone brought up the man who was laying outside. People snickered and gossiped, but no one bothered to ask him to come in, including me. A few moments later church began. We all waited for the Preacher to take his place, and to give us The Word, when the doors to the church opened. In came the homeless man, walking down the aisle with his head down.

People gasped and whispered and made faces. He made his way down the aisle and up onto thepulpit. When he took off his hat and coat my heart sank. There stood our preacher... he was the "homeless man."

No one said a word... the room was silent and still.

Then the preacher took his Bible and laid it on the stand.

"Folks, I don't think I have to tell you what I'm preaching about today." Then he started singing the words to this song...

"If I can help somebody as I pass along,
If I can cheer somebody with a word or song,
If I can show somebody that he's traveling wrong,
Then my living shall not be in vain."

Only in Texas ... The Power of Prayer

Texas Beer Joint Sues Local Church over Lightning Strike!

A bar called Drummond's in Mt Vernon, Texas, began construction on an expansion of their building, hoping to "grow" their business.

In response, the local Southern Baptist Church started a campaign to block the bar from expanding with petitions, prayers, etc.

About a week before the bar's grand re-opening, a bolt of lightning struck the bar and burned it to the ground!

Afterward, the church folks were rather smug—bragging about "the power of prayer."
The angry bar owner eventually sued the church on grounds that the church, "Was ultimately responsible for the demise of his building, through direct actions or indirect means."

Of course, the church vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection to the building's demise.

The judge read carefully through the plaintiff's complaint and the defendant's reply. He then opened the hearing by saying: "I don't know how I'm going to decide this, but it appears from the paperwork that what we have here is a bar owner who now believes in the power of prayer, and an entire church congregation that does not."

Reported as a true story. I report. You decide!


How much does a prayer weigh?
-Author Unknown-

Louise Redden, a poorly dressed lady with a look of defeat on her face, walked into a grocery store. She approached the owner of the store in a most humble manner and asked if he would let her charge a few groceries. She softly explained that her husband was very ill and unable to work, they had seven children and they needed food.

John Longhouse, the grocer, scoffed at her and requested that she leave his store.

Visualizing the family needs, she said: "Please, sir! I will bring you the money just as soon as I can."

John told her he could not give her credit, as she did not have a charge account at his store.

Standing beside the counter was a customer who overheard the conversation between the two. The customer walked forward and told the grocer that he would stand good for whatever she needed for her family.

The grocer said in a very reluctant voice, "Do you have a grocery list?"

Louise replied, "Yes sir"

"O.K." he said, "put your grocery list on the scales and whatever your grocery list weighs, I will give you that amount in groceries."

Louise, hesitated a moment with a bowed head, then she reached into her purse and took out a piece of paper and scribbled something on it. She then laid the piece of paper on the scale carefully with her head still bowed.

The eyes of the grocer and the customer showed amazement when the scales went down and stayed down.

The grocer, staring at the scales, turned slowly to the customer and said begrudgingly, "I can't believe it."

The customer smiled and the grocer started putting the groceries on the other side of the scales. The scale did not balance so he continued to put more and more groceries on them until the scales would hold no more. The grocer stood there in utter disgust.

Finally, he grabbed the piece of paper from the scales and looked at it with greater amazement. It was not a grocery list, it was a prayer which said:

"Dear Lord, you know my needs and I am leaving this in your hands."

The grocer gave her the groceries that he had gathered and stood in stunned silence. Louise thanked him and left the store. The customer handed a fifty-dollar bill to the grocer and said, "It was worth every penny of it."

It was some time later that the grocer discovered the scales were broken; therefore, only God knows how much a prayer weighs.

Have a blessed day!

Did you know ?

  • George Washington spent about 7% of his annual salary on liquor. 
  • Each year, more people are killed by teddy bears than by grizzly bears. 
  • If you disassembled the Great Pyramid of Cheops, you would get enough stones to encircle the earth with a brick wall twenty inches high.
  • Nearly one third of New York City public school teachers send their own children to private schools. 
  • The New York City Police Department has a $3.3 billion annual budget, larger than all but 19 of the world's armies. 
  • CBS's fine for Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" in the 2004 Super Bowl show was $550,000. This could be paid with only 7.5 seconds of commercial time during the same Super Bowl telecast. 
  • In September 2004, a Minnesota state trooper issued a speeding ticket to a motorcyclist who was clocked at 205 mph. 
  • Al Gore's roommate in college (Harvard, class of 1969) was Tommy Lee Jones. 
  • In her later years, Florence Nightingale kept a pet owl in her pocket. 
  • The New York Jets were unable to find hotel rooms for a game in Indianapolis recently because they had all been booked up by people attending Gencon, a gaming convention. 
  • China is the world's largest market for BMW's top of the line 760Li. This car sells for $200,000 in China - more than almost all people in China make in a lifetime. 
  • Each year, sixteen million gallons of oil run off pavement into streams, rivers and eventually oceans in the United States. This is more oil than was spilled by the Exxon Valdez. 
  • An employee of the Alabama Department of Transportation installed spyware on his boss's computer and proved that the boss spent 10% of his time working (20% of time checking stocks and 70% of the time playing solitaire). The employee was fired, the boss kept his job. 
  • Solid structures (parking lots, roads, buildings) in the United States cover an area the size of Ohio. 
  • Physicists have already performed a simple type of teleportation, transferring the quantum characteristics of one atom onto another atom at a different location. 

Just for laughs 

Ice cream is good for the soul
Unknown

Last week I took my children to a restaurant.  My six-year-old son asked if he could say grace.

As we bowed our heads he said,  "God is good. God is great.  Thank you for the food,  and I would even thank you more if  Mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And Liberty and justice for all!

Amen!"

Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby I heard a woman remark, "That's what's wrong with this country.  Kids today don't even know how to pray. Asking God for ice-cream! Why, I never!"

Hearing this, my son burst into tears and asked me, "Did I do it wrong? Is God mad at me?"
As I held him and assured him  that he had done a terrific job and  God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table.  He winked at my son and said,
"I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer."

"Really?" my son asked.

"Cross my heart," the man replied.

Then in a theatrical whisper he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing), "Too bad she never asks God for ice cream.  A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes."
 
Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of the meal.  My son stared at his for a moment  and then did something I will remember the rest of my life. He picked up his 
sundae and without a word, walked over and placed it in front of the woman. 

With a big smile he told her,  "Here, this is for you. Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes; and my soul is good already."


BEN-HUR: A TALE OF THE CHRIST 

by Lew Wallace

Part Six 

Simonides bribes Sejanus to remove the prefect Valerius Gratus from his post, as a service to Ben-Hur. Soon after the accession of the new prefect, Pontius Pilate, Ben-Hur sets out for Jerusalem to find his mother and sister. Pilate orders a review of the prison records which reveals great injustice and that Gratus was deliberately trying to conceal the existence of one walled up cell. Pilate's troops reopen the cell and find that there are two leprous women inside - Judah's mother and sister. They are released and stop for a while at the old vacant Hur house. Here, they find Judah sleeping on the steps, and they offer thanks to God. They don't wake him but weep that, as lepers, they are to be banished, never seeing him again. They leave.

Amrah, the Egyptian maid that once served the Hur house, discovers Ben-Hur, wakes him, and they are reunited. Amrah reveals that she has stayed in the Hur house for all these years. She had also kept in touch with the loyal Simonides and discouraged many potential buyers of the house because they thought she was a ghost. They pledge to find out more about the lost family. Judah discovers an official Roman report about the release of two leprous women. Amrah hears rumors of the mother and sister's fate.
Meanwhile, a plan is approved to use funds from the corban treasury, of the Temple in Jerusalem, to build a new aqueduct. This is seen as sacrilegious by the Jewish people, who petition Pilate to veto the plan. Pilate sends his soldiers in disguise to mingle with the crowd. At the appointed time, they massacre the protesters. Judah kills a Roman guard in a duel, and becomes a hero in the eyes of a group of Galilean protesters.

PART VI - CHAPTER I 

Our story moves forward now thirty days from the night Ben-Hur left Antioch to go out with Sheik Ilderim into the desert.

A great change has befallen--great at least as respects the fortunes of our hero. VALERIUS GRATUS HAS BEEN SUCCEEDED BY PONTIUS PILATE!

The removal, it may be remarked, cost Simonides exactly five talents Roman money in hand paid to Sejanus, who was then in height of power as imperial favorite; the object being to help Ben-Hur, by lessening his exposure while in and about Jerusalem attempting discovery of his people. To such pious use the faithful servant put the winnings from Drusus and his associates; all of whom, having paid their wagers, became at once and naturally the enemies of Messala, whose repudiation was yet an unsettled question in Rome. Brief as the time was, already the Jews knew the change of rulers was not for the better.

The cohorts sent to relieve the garrison of Antonia made their entry into the city by night; next morning the first sight that greeted the people resident in the neighborhood was the walls of the old Tower decorated with military ensigns, which unfortunately consisted of
busts of the emperor mixed with eagles and globes. A multitude, in passion, marched to Caesarea, where Pilate was lingering, and implored him to remove the detested images. Five days and nights they beset his palace gates; at last he appointed a meeting with them in the Circus. When they were assembled, he encircled them with soldiers; instead of resisting, they offered him their lives, and conquered. He recalled the images and ensigns to Caesarea, where Gratus, with more consideration, had kept such abominations housed during the eleven years of his reign.

The worst of men do once in a while vary their wickednesses by good acts; so with Pilate. He ordered an inspection of all the prisons in Judea, and a return of the names of the persons in custody, with a statement of the crimes for which they had been committed.
Doubtless, the motive was the one so common with officials just installed--dread of entailed responsibility; the people, however, in thought of the good which might come of the measure, gave him credit, and, for a period, were comforted. The revelations were
astonishing. Hundreds of persons were released against whom there were no accusations; many others came to light who had long been accounted dead; yet more amazing, there was opening of dungeons not merely unknown at the time by the people, but actually forgotten by the prison authorities. With one instance of the latter kind we have now to deal; and, strange to say, it occurred in Jerusalem.

The Tower of Antonia, which will be remembered as occupying two thirds of the sacred area on Mount Moriah, was originally a castle built by the Macedonians. Afterwards, John Hyrcanus erected the castle into a fortress for the defence of the Temple, and in his day it
was considered impregnable to assault; but when Herod came with his bolder genius, he strengthened its walls and extended them, leaving a vast pile which included every appurtenance necessary for the stronghold he intended it to be forever; such as offices,
barracks, armories, magazines, cisterns, and last, though not least, prisons of all grades. He levelled the solid rock, and tapped it with deep excavations, and built over them; connecting the whole great mass with the Temple by a beautiful colonnade, from the roof
of which one could look down over the courts of the sacred structure. In such condition the Tower fell at last out of his hands into those of the Romans, who were quick to see its strength and advantages, and convert it to uses becoming such masters. All through the
administration of Gratus it had been a garrisoned citadel and underground prison terrible to revolutionists. Woe when the cohorts poured from its gates to suppress disorder! Woe not less when a Jew passed the same gates going in under arrest!

With this explanation, we hasten to our story.

* * * * * *
The order of the new procurator requiring a report of the persons in custody was received at the Tower of Antonia, and promptly executed; and two days have gone since the last unfortunate was brought up for examination. The tabulated statement, ready for forwarding, lies on the table of the tribune in command; in five minutes more it will be on the way to Pilate, sojourning in the palace up on Mount Zion.

The tribune's office is spacious and cool, and furnished in a style suitable to the dignity of the commandant of a post in every respect so important. Looking in upon him about the seventh hour of the day, the officer appears weary and impatient; when the report is despatched, he will to the roof of the colonnade for air and exercise, and the amusement to be had watching the Jews over in the courts of the Temple. His subordinates and clerks share his impatience.

In the spell of waiting a man appeared in a doorway leading to an adjoining apartment. He rattled a bunch of keys, each heavy as a hammer, and at once attracted the chief's attention.

"Ah, Gesius! come in," the tribune said.

As the new-comer approached the table behind which the chief sat in an easy-chair, everybody present looked at him, and, observing a certain expression of alarm and mortification on his face, became silent that they might hear what he had to say.

"O tribune!" he began, bending low, "I fear to tell what now I bring you."

"Another mistake--ha, Gesius?"

"If I could persuade myself it is but a mistake, I would not be afraid."

"A crime then--or, worse, a breach of duty. Thou mayst laugh at Caesar, or curse the gods, and live; but if the offence be to the eagles--ah, thou knowest, Gesius--go on!"

"It is now about eight years since Valerius Gratus selected me to be keeper of prisoners here in the Tower," said the man, deliberately.

"I remember the morning I entered upon the duties of my office. There had been a riot the day before, and fighting in the streets. We slew many Jews, and suffered on our side. The affair came, it was said, of an attempt to assassinate Gratus, who had been knocked from
his horse by a tile thrown from a roof. I found him sitting where you now sit, O tribune, his head swathed in bandages. He told me of my selection, and gave me these keys, numbered to correspond with the numbers of the cells; they were the badges of my office, he said, and not to be parted with. There was a roll of parchment on the table. Calling me to him, he opened the roll. 'Here are maps of the cells,' said he. There were three of them. 'This one,' he went on, 'shows the arrangement of the upper floor; this second one gives you
the second floor; and this last is of the lower floor. I give them to you in trust.' I took them from his hand, and he said, further, 'Now you have the keys and the maps; go immediately, and acquaint yourself with the whole arrangement; visit each cell, and see
to its condition. When anything is needed for the security of a prisoner, order it according to your judgment, for you are the master under me, and no other.'

"I saluted him, and turned to go away; he called me back. 'Ah, I forgot,' he said. 'Give me the map of the third floor.' I gave it to him, and he spread it upon the table. 'Here, Gesius,' he said, 'see this cell.' He laid his finger on the one numbered V. 'There are
three men confined in that cell, desperate characters, who by some means got hold of a state secret, and suffer for their curiosity, which'--he looked at me severely--'in such matters is worse than a crime. Accordingly, they are blind and tongueless, and are placed
there for life. They shall have nothing but food and drink, to be given them through a hole, which you will find in the wall covered by a slide. Do you hear, Gesius?' I made him answer. 'It is well,' he continued. 'One thing more which you shall not forget, or'--he
looked at me threateningly--'The door of their cell--cell number V. on the same floor--this one, Gesius'--he put his finger on the particular cell to impress my memory--'shall never be opened for any purpose, neither to let one in nor out, not even yourself.'

'But if they die?' I asked. 'If they die,' he said, 'the cell shall be their tomb. They were put there to die, and be lost. The cell is leprous. Do you understand?' With that he let me go."

Gesius stopped, and from the breast of his tunic drew three parchments, all much yellowed by time and use; selecting one of them, he spread it upon the table before the tribune, saying, simply, "This is the lower floor."

The whole company looked at

  THE MAP
   __________________________________________
  |                                          |
  |                 Passage                  |
  |                                          |
  |--][---+---][---+---][---+---][---+---][--|
  |       |        |        |        |       |
  |   V   |   IV   |   III  |   II   |   I   |
  |_______|________|________|________|_______|


"This is exactly, O tribune, as I had it from Gratus. See, there is cell number V.," said Gesius.

"I see," the tribune replied. "Go on now. The cell was leprous, he said."

"I would like to ask you a question," remarked the keeper, modestly.

The tribune assented.

"Had I not a right, under the circumstances, to believe the map a true one?"

"What else couldst thou?"

"Well, it is not a true one."

The chief looked up surprised.

"It is not a true one," the keeper repeated. "It shows but five cells upon that floor, while there are six."

"Six, sayest thou?"

"I will show you the floor as it is--or as I believe it to be."

Upon a page of his tablets, Gesius drew the following diagram, and gave it to the tribune:

   __________________________________________
  |                                          |
  |--][---+---][---+---][---+---][---+---][--|
  |       |        |        |        |       |
  |   V   |   IV   |   III  |   II   |   I   |
  |--][---+--------+--------+--------+-------|
  |                    VI                    |
  |__________________________________________|


"Thou hast done well," said the tribune, examining the drawing, and thinking the narrative at an end. "I will have the map corrected, or, better, I will have a new one made, and given thee. Come for it in the morning."

So saying, he arose.

"But hear me further, O tribune."

"To-morrow, Gesius, to-morrow."

"That which I have yet to tell will not wait."

The tribune good-naturedly resumed his chair.

"I will hurry," said the keeper, humbly, "only let me ask another question. Had I not a right to believe Gratus in what he further told me as to the prisoners in cell number V.?"

"Yes, it was thy duty to believe there were three prisoners in the cell--prisoners of state--blind and without tongues."

"Well," said the keeper, "that was not true either."

"No!" said the tribune, with returning interest.

"Hear, and judge for yourself, O tribune. As required, I visited all the cells, beginning with those on the first floor, and ending with those on the lower. The order that the door of number V. should not be opened had been respected; through all the eight years food and
drink for three men had been passed through a hole in the wall.

I went to the door yesterday, curious to see the wretches who, against all expectation, had lived so long. The locks refused the key. We pulled a little, and the door fell down, rusted from its hinges. Going in, I found but one man, old, blind, tongueless, and naked. His hair dropped in stiffened mats below his waist. His skin was like the parchment there. He held his hands out, and the finger-nails curled and twisted like the claws of a bird. I asked him where his companions were. He shook his head in denial.

Thinking to find the others, we searched the cell. The floor was dry; so were the walls. If three men had been shut in there, and two of them had died, at least their bones would have endured."

"Wherefore thou thinkest--"

"I think, O tribune, there has been but one prisoner there in the eight years."

The chief regarded the keeper sharply, and said, "Have a care; thou art more than saying Valerius lied."

Gesius bowed, but said, "He might have been mistaken."

"No, he was right," said the tribune, warmly. "By thine own statement he was right. Didst thou not say but now that for eight years food and drink had been furnished three men?"

The bystanders approved the shrewdness of their chief; yet Gesius did not seem discomfited.

"You have but half the story, O tribune. When you have it all, you will agree with me. You know what I did with the man: that I sent him to the bath, and had him shorn and clothed, and then took him to the gate of the Tower, and bade him go free. I washed my hands of him. To-day he came back, and was brought to me. By signs and tears he at last made me understand he wished to return to his cell, and I so ordered. As they were leading him off, he broke away and kissed my feet, and, by piteous dumb imploration, insisted I should go with him; and I went. The mystery of the three men stayed in my mind. I was not satisfied about it. Now I am glad I yielded to his entreaty."

The whole company at this point became very still.

"When we were in the cell again, and the prisoner knew it, he caught my hand eagerly, and led me to a hole like that through which we were accustomed to pass him his food. Though large enough to push your helmet through, it escaped me yesterday. Still holding
my hand, he put his face to the hole and gave a beast-like cry.

A sound came faintly back. I was astonished, and drew him away, and called out, 'Ho, here!' At first there was no answer. I called again, and received back these words, 'Be thou praised, O Lord!' Yet more astonishing, O tribune, the voice was a woman's. And I asked,
'Who are you?' and had reply, 'A woman of Israel, entombed here with her daughter. Help us quickly, or we die.' I told them to be of cheer, and hurried here to know your will."

The tribune arose hastily.

"Thou wert right, Gesius," he said, "and I see now. The map was a lie, and so was the tale of the three men. There have been better Romans than Valerius Gratus."

"Yes," said the keeper. "I gleaned from the prisoner that he had regularly given the women of the food and drink he had received."

"It is accounted for," replied the tribune, and observing the countenances of his friends, and reflecting how well it would be to have witnesses, he added, "Let us rescue the women. Come all."

Gesuis was pleased.

"We will have to pierce the wall," he said. "I found where a door had been, but it was filled solidly with stones and mortar."

The tribune stayed to say to a clerk, "Send workmen after me with tools. Make haste; but hold the report, for I see it will have to be corrected."

In a short time they were gone.

to be continued

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