"Hurry! Up here," The woman hissed. Adir glanced quickly to his partner in crime, Eyal, before pressing his lips together. It was Eyal's idea to seek out a harlot in the first place and now, they were cowering like their fathers had forty years ago.
"C'mon! We only have a few minutes," she hissed again, her dark eyes blazing with almost a sacred passion.
Adir glanced at Eyal again before shrugging and following the woman to the roof. She was already busy moving stalks of flax around. She pointed to the mat on the rooftop and arched her eyebrow at the two men.
"Just trust me! You aren't going to be any good to your people or to me if you don't trust me. I'll explain everything later, okay?"
Adir still hesitated and Eyal shrugged again, his face alight excitement, as he settled down on his back.
"Adir, where's your sense of adventure?"
"Clearly not here."
"Look, I don't want to end up like my dad in the desert. Just trust God, Adir."
Adir sighed and settled down on a mat next to Eyal. He fell silent as the woman covered them, with frantic and jerky motions.
Was she nervous as well? Why would she be nervous? We're here to spy on her people... Adir's thoughts went into overdrive as the woman quickly climbed back down the ladder with a hushed warning to stay still until she came and got them.
The silence was shattered a minute later by the pounding on the door. The sound of muffled footsteps filled the air and Adir found himself straining to hear while holding his breath.
The voices where muted, but he got the gist of what was being said. "Bring out...who came...and entered...house, because...come to spy out... land"
Adir winced as Eyal moved a bit, the sound of the flax shifting sounded deafening in the silence. But he had to focus. He had to listen. If this...harlot...betrayed them, it would be her life.
"Yes." Adir tensed as the single word filled the air. The woman spoke louder than her accusers, was it to give them a warning? "The men came to me, but I don't know where they came from. At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, they left. I don't know where they went. If you hurry, you may catch up with them."
Adir let out a breath and hazarded a look over at Eyal. He smirked and sat up, pushing the flax off of both of them.
"I told you we could trust her."
"Alright, fine Eyal...now what do we do?"
"We wait." Eyal yawned and stretched before continuing. "I hope she comes up soon. It's getting dark and if we are going to make a run for it we should do it soon."
Several minutes passed and finally Adir let out a heavy sigh. "Eyal, when we go back and report to Joshua about what we've seen, can we leave out the part about this house?"
Eyal made a noncommittal sound and Adir turned and gazed at his friend in the fading light. Adir started to open his mouth to speak when the woman climbed back onto the roof and knelt before the two of them.
With a hushed voice, she spoke, "My people have heard everything your God has done to your enemies. And it has melted my people's hearts like wax. I just ask for one thing from you."
Adir and Eyal exchanged a glance before nodding for the woman to continue.
"Swear to me by the name of the Lord that you will spare the lives of my family."
Adir hesitated. But Eyal blurted, "My life is yours. If you don't tell what we are doing, we will treat you kindly and faithfully when the Lord gives us the land."
The woman nodded and for the first time all evening smiled. She stood and motioned for them to come back into the room. Adir watched as she pulled a long scarlet rope from a chest and tied it off before dropping it out the window. She gave them a few words of instruction and then whispered one last time, "Don't forget your promise."
Eyal smiled at the woman and patted her hand. "We won't forget." Without another word, Adir and then Eyal made their way down the wall and into safety. They had the information they needed. Now came the hard part; getting it back to Joshua.
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