Summary and Analysis Chapter 18
Out of breath and frantic, Malthace arrives at Daniel’s shop with the news that Joel has been taken. Centurions had arrested him the previous day. Malthace fears that he will be sent to the galleys, where he could not possibly survive. Daniel is numb but tries to reassure her that Rosh will know what to do. Daniel asks Thacia to take care of Leah while he goes up the mountain to ask for the rebel leader’s help.
Rosh, however, shows no concern for Joel at all. Daniel cannot believe his ears. He urges Rosh to help plan an attack to retrieve Joel, but Rosh refuses, saying, “It’s not my affair.” Daniel is livid. He blows up at Rosh, but to no avail. Rosh turns ugly, telling Daniel that his “soft streak” has always been his fatal flaw. Finally, Daniel makes the break with Rosh. His eyes are opened and he sees a man he “had never really looked at before.” Daniel now knows that he is finished with “the mountain forever.” He does not leave alone, however. Joktan decides to come with him. Daniel is glad to have Joktan but regrets that Samson did not follow him too.
Back at the watchtower, Daniel tells the other boys that they will get Joel. The boys select Daniel as their leader through a democratic vote. He accepts, but there is no joy in assuming the heavy mantle of responsibility.
Daniel begins to act as a true leader, one who is concerned for his people and makes decisions from a place of love rather than hate. He realizes all too well that hate has gotten both himself and his people nowhere. When Rosh says that “every man is responsible for himself,” Daniel understands that a cause that is truly for the people could never be successful with a selfish leader.
Daniel exemplifies Jesus’ teachings by becoming a “fisher of men.” He now understands the ramifications of violence. He assumes leadership without pleasure but with resolve.