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Summary and Analysis Chapter 16

New Characters
Herod Antipas: the Roman ruler who had been appointed over the Jews.

Matthias: the banker who is to host the banquet.

Summary
Daniel, Joel, and Thacia meet in the secret passageway of the Hezron house to discuss Rosh’s latest plan. Rosh wants the names of the rich people who are scheduled to be away from home attending a banquet; while they are out of their homes, he intends to rob them.

Joel is eager to take the action Rosh demands, and the two boys discuss how Joel will go about the task. Thacia suggests that her brother get fish and “peddle them.” The slaves would buy the fish and in their excitement about the party, they might let slip the names of the rich people who will be away. But Joel cannot be in two places at once. If he goes missing for too long, others might notice. Thacia provides the solution, proposing that she dress up in male garb and let herself be seen in the city, thus providing an alibi for her brother. Thacia’s only reservation is that she does not want to face Jesus’ disappointment should he catch her in the lie. Joel suggests that Jesus would understand, but Thacia knows this is not so. Despite her better judgment, the three proceed.

Dressed as a man, Thacia goes with Daniel into the city. They accidentally cross paths with two Roman soldiers. The soldiers assume both are Jewish men, they are ordered to carry the Romans’ packs. Daniel spits on one of the soldiers, who delivers a staggering blow. But Thacia hoists the heavy pack to her shoulder. Though furious, Daniel picks up the other pack. The two manage to carry the packs for one mile. Later, Thacia tells Daniel that his actions might have gotten him killed. If dead, he could not help his country. Still, Thacia admits that she admires Daniel for being brave enough to stand up to the bullying soldier. Daniel is gratified by her praise. Safe back at home, Daniel gives Thacia a gift—the bronze broach that he had made.

Thacia remarks on how much Leah is “like a flower opening slowly.” She wonders if Jesus might be able to reach Leah even more. Daniel wonders if her healing is worth the effort. “Yes!” Thacia exclaims. The conversation precipitates a moment of physical connection—the holding of hands—that hints at their growing love.

Analysis
Joel is excited to be the key player in Rosh’s new plan. Even Malthace, who has shown...

(The entire section is 627 words.)