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SHORT STORY


TITLE: THE THIRD MAN 3/26/2014
By Gloria Pierre Dean
03/26/14
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DEFINITELY BASED ON THE BIBLICAL STORY. I HOPE YOU ENJOY IT.
THE THIRD MAN.

by Gloria Pierre Dean

Written on 02/28/12

My name is Heronotis. I am a Greek man and a trader in silks. I live in Nain. I travel regularly from Jerusalem to Nain each month. It is about one hundred miles.
The trip takes about three to four days by donkey or mule.

I trade the family made silks in the markets along the way making great profit. My beautiful wife Hori and I, together with our two daughters, my mother and sisters grow silk worms at home and weave beautiful fabrics that I sell in Jerusalem. This is an old family business which my father taught us.

It is a dangerous journey at times and I usually try to attach myself to the salt caravans; after all there is safety in numbers. Sometimes Alpheus my servant travels with me.

One night I was very tired. I crawled under my caravan to sleep. I woke up late morning. I had not even heard the noisy camels leave. Yesterday’s large evening meal and spiced wine at the inn in Bethany had lulled me into a deep sleep.

In my haste to catch up to the caravan train I did not look around for potential attackers. On a lonely stretch of steep and treacherous road I was attacked by hooded men.They pounced on me. There must have been ten of them. They beat me up with sticks, stole my purse, my donkey and my mule. They also took my shoes, my coat and all of my goods. They dragged me to a hidden area under some shrubs in the lower road where I would not be easily seen by other travelers.

`At least I was alive”, I thought to myself. “I think they left me for dead” I thought as I lay there in agony under the shrubs breathing shallowly in the rising dawn.
My ribs, legs and back ached severely. Blood oozed from my cut lips and my nose. My clothing was torn in many places. I prayed that God would send me help. I wanted to live and return to my family.
If I had Alpheus today, this would not have happened.

In the distance I could hear loud footsteps and I cried out “Help, please help me”.
The man I saw in the distance through blurry eyes was a Pharisee, a priest of the temple leaving Jerusalem. He hurriedly changed directions and tiptoed away; he went to the other road holding his nose and did not look back. That did not surprise me because I was covered in blood and the flies were beginning to gather.
In the bright sky overhead, vultures were circling, creating ominous shadows in the sky. I kept trying to move even if slightly to deter them.

About ten minutes later a Levite priest came by. He was humming and muttering prayers to himself but he too ignored my cry for help, averted his eyes, lengthening his stride and changing directions.

I must have lost consciousness. The next thing I heard was a donkey’s loud braying. He also had a mule and this man had stopped. I saw that he was a Samaritan. Samaritans were outcasts in this nation. I was sure that this man would finish what the robbers had started and certainly not help me, but I was wrong.

“Why should this social outcast who had been so cruelly treated by everyone one including me, help me” I thought to myself.

“Hello friend, let me help you”

“I can see that you have been overtaken by that roving gang of thieves. Here, I will clean up your wounds and take you to the inn just one mile from here.

The inn keeper will not mind as long as I pay him and I will pay, so don’t worry about that. My name is Justus”.

He spoke incessantly in a soothing voice which calmed my agitated mind. I could not help thinking to himself, why did the other two men not help me? This man, Justus is not of my race. From that day I called him the third man. He had saved my life with his kindness, and I will never forget him sharing himself with me.
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