Daniel expects to lose his life to gain Joel's freedom. The author says,
"He had no real expectation that he would get back up the bank, but he meant to see, with the last ounce of his strength, that Joel did."
When Daniel discovers that Rosh has no intention of sending men to free Joel, he gathers a small band together himself and plots to secure Joel's release without Rosh's help. Even though his insistence on trying to rescue his friend has forced him to break with the man he has followed for so long, Daniel still has respect for the Cause to which they are all committed, which is freeing Israel from the Romans. Telling his men that they
"have no right to waste lives that are needed for the Cause...even for Joel,"
Daniel plans to take just as much risk as is necessary to free Joel, and no more. He instructs his men to cause a distraction on the cliff while he takes on the dangerous job of climbing down to cut Joel's chains, and when Joel's release is secured, tells them that they must all retreat, and not worry about his own safety (Chapters 18-19).