Stephen took a breath and admired the towers of Akko as his ship came into the harbour. He thought about how architectural styles had changed with the centuries.
Am I just a drop in the ocean? Look at these great buildings, at the sweep of history – soon it will all be over…
As the ship drew nearer, he thought about how he had never been in love; he wondered if his monastic life meant he was not enjoying the gifts God had given him.
What is the difference between Life and the World?
He made his way to the monastery to meet Sir Thomas, intentionally snubbing Werwick. He was grieved that this humble baronet had been kept from his wife at the time of her pregnancy.
“Well met! Thank you for coming on this mission. I pray that it will soon be over and that you may return safely to your fair wife. But first there is the matter of justice – the sword of a prince must punish wrongdoers. The hour for clemency has passed.”
“Yes, your Majesty. I have made arrangements with the Marridans and the Frangians to set a trap for Werwick and his conspirators. God willing, we shall secure the release of your father soon.”
Days passed, and Werwick made his way to a deserted wadi near Gebel Omri.
“Well, what have you to say Amer, and you, Albrecht?”
But they never answered. At that moment, the men threw back their hoods and Werwick gazed upon the faces, not of friends, but of vengeful enemies.
“Your Majesty! I have been deceived. I came here to negotiate with the men who are holding your father…I had hoped I might secure his release or gain information for a rescue mission…”
“Spare me your lies. Amer son of Hibuna may be out of my jurisdiction, but Albrecht is hanging from a scaffold this very hour. If you value your life, you will tell us where my father is and aid us in bringing him back to Akko. Where is he?”
“He’s in Burj al Yuni – the Greek’s Tower…”
“How well defended is it – if you lie, you will never live again!”
“I couldn’t say, Sire…”
“You may nearer the time. You will write a letter now for the gaoler, asking him to escort my father to Wadi ibn Najaf.”
With his prisoner compelled and the plan in motion, Stephen mounted his horse and began the journey northward, hoping against hope that he would see his father again.
As they neared the Wadi, Stephen had Werwick lowered into a cistern.
“Your life is security for our plan: if you have dealt treacherously and we are slain, you will die. If my father is recovered, we shall draw you from this pit.”
As the host moved on, Stephen reflected on his harshness.
What kind of a man have I become? Is this Wisdom or Wickedness?
Would Neo like to continue?
Is anyone interested in turning this story into a musical or opera?