Why does Daniel feel uneasy while waiting for the man Rosh had sent him to rob in "The Bronze Bow"?

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rmhope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the beginning of chapter 9, Daniel waits to ambush an old man who routinely travels past the foot of Rosh's mountain. He feels uneasy for two reasons that he is aware of, but another reason nags him beneath the surface. 

Daniel is nervous because this assignment to steal from the old man is the first such mission Rosh has sent Daniel on alone. He has never done this before and has doubts about how to execute such an attack. But he also knows a lot is riding on his success, and he wants to impress Rosh. He knows this is Rosh's way of testing him to see how useful he is. Being useful to Rosh is critical to Daniel because he believes Rosh is the one who will rise up and shake off the rule of the Romans, whom Daniel hates.

Those are the apparent reasons for Daniel's uneasiness. But his thoughts reveal a deeper concern. While he waits, he tries to justify the attack on the old man. He remembers Rosh's description of the man as a miser who pretends to be poor but is smuggling gold to a friend in Antioch so that one day he will live like a king. Daniel agrees "in principle" that it is just to require such a man to make a "contribution" to the cause of Israel's freedom. The words "in principle" imply that Daniel doesn't necessarily agree with putting this plan into action. Although Daniel doesn't admit it here, he feels uneasy about harming his own countrymen. It is the Romans he wants to harm, not fellow Jews. He does not want to hurt an old man, so he tells himself that "the thing would be done quickly." 

Daniel is uneasy because he wants to excel at his first mission so he can impress Rosh, but his conscience bothers him about the morality of what he is about to do.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Daniel is uneasy for a number of reasons in Chapter Nine. Firstly, this robbery is going to be the very first job that he has carried out by himself, without any help. As a result, there is pressure on him not to make a mistake. In order to prove his usefulness to Rosh, he recognises that he "must not bungle" this job. At the same time, he also recognises that Rosh has given him this job to carry out alone for varying motives that it is important for him to remember:

He understood that in a way this was a peace offering on Rosh's part, to repay him for mending the dagger. It was also, he knew, a test, the easy sort of test that Rosh soften devised to try out a ma's usefulness.

As a result, Daniel is very uneasy because of the pressure and the expectations on him to pass this test. There is also the recognition that Rosh is a man who is trying to work out his usefulness and whether he can be depended upon or not. These combine to make him feel very uneasy indeed.