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In The Bronze Bow, Rosh accuses Daniel of having a 'soft streak.' He tells Daniel that this softness is like 'a bad streak in a piece of metal.' Here, Rosh is using the language of the blacksmith: he tells Daniel to 'hammer' out this weakness, so that he will not disappoint everyone when the time comes to defend the Zealot cause.
However, when Daniel thinks about Rosh's words later, he remembers the people he cares about: Leah, his grandmother, and Thacia.
Many years ago, Daniel left home because of his great need for a better future. After his parents' deaths, financial distress led Daniel's grandmother to sell him to Amalek, a blacksmith, for ten years. After enduring three years of hardship, Daniel decided that he could no longer tolerate a life of servitude. A chance meeting with Rosh, a Zealot, led Daniel to join Rosh's rebel group. From that time, Daniel's rationale for his actions became:
When the Romans were defeated...he would come back. He would build a good house for his grandmother and Leah, and there would be plenty to eat, and a good life for them at last.
In the Zealots, he found men willing to die for the cause of freedom; at present, this is what continues to keep him as a member of Rosh's group. However, when he finally steps foot in his grandmother's house after many years living away, he becomes torn between his duty to his loved ones and to the Zealot cause.
Although he stays to make sure that his grandmother has a decent burial, he knows that rejoining Rosh would leave Leah exposed to starvation and degradation. Even while he thinks of Leah, his grandmother, and Thacia (the young woman he loves), he realizes that Rosh would tolerate nothing less than complete devotion to Zealot principles. In Rosh's revolutionary cause, there would be no room for frail sisters or young love. Therefore, any deviation towards these considerations would be termed a sign of weakness.
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