Having found the palace, they were greeted by the guard at the front door. "We are here to see the emperor," Herod informed the guard.
“And who shall I say is calling?"
"Herod Antipas. I’ve come all the way from Tiberius."
"I’ll see if his Excellency can see you now. Please wait here."
They waited for what seemed like a very long time. Then two figures appeared in the doorway. It was the emperor accompanied by his dear friend Herod Agrippa.
"Well, well, if it isn't my dear uncle, come all the way from Tiberius."
Herod snarled. “I thought you'd have left for your new territories by now."
"As the gods would have it, there were no ships available, so I was forced to stay here." He smiled cynically. “I think perhaps it's a stroke of fate, for had I left earlier, I’d have missed your visit. At any rate, I’ve been learning much from my friend, his Excellency."
"Well, do come on in" offered Caligula, waving his hand in a welcoming gesture.
They walked to the throne room, talking as they walked.
"Did you have a pleasant voyage?" asked the emperor.
"Yes, it was quite lovely indeed."
"Yes, we seem to have caught a good tailwind so we arrived in a timely manner" added Herodias.
“And you certainly have a most lovely place here," added Herod Antipas.
By now, they had reached the throne, and Caligula jumped up and seated himself on it. He sighed deeply and asked, "Well, Herod Antipas and your dear wife, Herodias, tell me why you have come here all the way from Palestine. I’m sure it wasn't just to exchange pleasantries."
"Well, Your Excellency," began Herod Antipas hauntingly only to be interrupted by his nephew.
“I know why they came," insisted Agrippa to Caligula. Then, pointing an accusing finger at Antipas, he exclaimed, "You came to curry favor with the emperor since you heard of his favor toward me. Well, it won't work. You can't hide your disdain for the emperor. Herod Antipas, I hereby accuse you before Emperor Gius Caligula of bumbling inefficiency in office and of high treason against the emperor."
"What?!" gasped Antipas and Herodias at the same time. "This is an outrage! How dare you?!"
"Well," continued Agrippa, “I was just telling his Excellency this morning of how you are paying more attention to your personal affairs--and I use the word deliberately--than to your public office. You married your brother's wife, bringing public disgrace upon the name of the crown. But I forgot to mention that before I left Jerusalem, you referred to his Excellency as a crazy upstart who would never be emperor."
Caligula scowled. "Is this true?" Herod and Herodias were both silent, so the emperor asked again in a louder voice: "Is this true?"
"Don't try to deny it" bellowed Agrippa. “I have a witness. Your own foster-brother heard you."
"Well," sighed Caligula, "we shall have to decide what is to be done with you. In the meantime," he called for a guard, "guard, take them to the dungeon."
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