Suddenly, Herod sat up just a little straighter, and the members of his court froze. Melchior noticed the subtle, but sudden change, but could see no option but to continue.
“So we three travelers — determined to journey here — to congratulate the great king — and to honor — the new born prince.”
Melchior paused, but no one spoke or moved. Nervous eyes flitted between the king and this guest, awaiting some indicator from the king or his steward. Melchior, searching for a means to diffuse the sudden tension, decided it was time to plead ignorance.
“If it pleases the great king — our three kings — would like to know — if the new star overhead — is the star of the prophesy — and if so — where shall we go — to see the child — and to honor him?”
At last the king spoke from his throne, addressing his steward, who relayed it to the princes through the merchant and the prisoner.
“The king thanks you for coming — and for entertaining him — with your adventures — but regrets to inform you — that no such child exists — however — he will consult his astronomers — concerning the star — and his historians — regarding any relevant prophecies.”
Herod spoke again, this time addressing Melchior directly.
“Return to your encampment — outside the gates of our city — and rest while we pursue these inquiries — My stewards will summon you when all is ready.”
At this point the steward moved to escort them out of the king’s presence, but the three princes, remembering the lessons of their youth, took the time to bow formally before departing.
The trio remained silent until they had ridden well beyond the city gates. “Well done, Melchior,” the Arab murmured. He could see his friend’s hands tremoring and his jaws clenching. Having stood firm in the court of a potentially hostile monarch for hours, now that the danger had passed, the Persian prince was exhausted. The adrenaline that had fueled his composure was draining away to be replaced by... what?
“What you need is a cup of wine,” said Balthasar. “Perhaps two.”
“Or twelve,” added Gaspar.
“And some food. Not that rich, fancy stuff either. Bread, meat, cheese, dates.”
“And more wine.”
Giving your heart to others by listening to their heart
When you grow a leader who values people you help the whole world