”‘You can’t make me move! I shall never move!’
”‘Ah, but you shall!’ And the sharp edge of the soldier’s sword fell across the woman’s wrist. Quickly, so quickly, her hand was severed and went sailing to the floor. And quickly she moved back, overcome with pain. And quickly the sharp blade reached and struck again with another well-aimed swoop. Soon, amid the spurts of blood, the child’s head rolled and reached the floor to join the hand in pools of blood. Their job finished for the moment, the soldiers soon withdrew. The killer put his bloody sword back into its sheath. It would be stained by innocent blood many times over before the day was done.”
Herod shuddered involuntarily as he placed the goblet back on the stand. Then he straightened himself in his chair and looked at the speaker. ”It must have been quite a traumatic experience for you, especially at that age!”
”It certainly was. The sight of those things made me shiver, as their remembrance does somewhat even now. I left the house as quickly as possible, conveying as best I could to the dear woman, who was now hysterical, my deepest sympathies and promising to send a doctor if I could find one. Then, I ran as fast as I could. I ran through the town, keeping my eyes open for a doctor’s office. Having caught sight of one, I ran inside and, huffing and puffing, managed to inform the startled doctor of the poor woman’s plight. Then I ran on without stopping, my heart pounding, until at last I was out of that accursed town. Having reached the outskirts, I sat down to rest. And I thought. I thought how horrible it was. And I thought of what that woman had pointed out: that it was all because of one man’s whim that hundreds of innocent children must die. And that one man was sitting back and taking it easy in his nice plush palace, while his soldiers slaughtered innocent children by his command.
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