Summary and Analysis Chapter 12
Nathan: son of a Jewish tax collector; the first villager to join Daniel’s movement.
Kemuel: recruited by Joel to join the movement.
Chapter 12 finds Daniel and Joel adding new recruits to the cause. One of them is Nathan, a boy about the same age as Joel and Daniel. Daniel cannot help but notice the boy has suffered a recent beating. Nathan explains that a gang of Jewish boys beat him up because his father has had to become a tax collector for the Romans. Most of the community feels that taking such a job is beneath contempt, but Nathan says that his father had little choice. Their crops had been destroyed, and the family’s only alternative was to sell his sister into slavery. His father decided to take the job, even though he knew the backlash that would follow.
Daniel offers to help Nathan get revenge on those who had beaten him, and Nathan agrees. They attack the other boys in darkness. Daniel is pleased to see how effective Nathan is as a fighter. Daniel proposes that he join him in the fight for the cause, and Nathan accepts. Shortly thereafter, Joel brings in another new recruit, Kemuel. Like Daniel and Joel, Kemuel is tired of words and is ready for action. Kemuel has a fiery spirit and strong muscles. Daniel is pleased with Joel’s selection. The boys, without Simon’s knowledge, agree to meet at the smithy each week. Although there are probably dozens who would also like to be a part of the movement, Daniel argues for careful consideration of any potentially new member. They agree that only a select few will be told the secret password: the “bronze bow,” the symbol from the Song of David.
The Roman soldier who had first brought Daniel work three weeks earlier appears at his forge once again, much to Daniel’s chagrin. Daniel fears that the soldier suspects the group’s activities, and the boys move the meeting place to a watchtower. Almost as soon as they do so, the Roman soldier stops coming. It appears to Daniel that his suspicions were correct.
Although Daniel has made strides in his development, this chapter returns him to his vow for revenge. He enjoys his newly discovered ability to lead people, and the plans the group begins to construct whet his...
(The entire section is 592 words.)