Questions and Answers: Chapters 16-21
1. What job does Rosh give Joel to do?
2. Why have the villagers become so disenchanted with Rosh?
3. What do the boys find and what, per Daniel’s instructions, do they do with it?
4. What finally causes Daniel to break from Rosh?
5. Who rescues Daniel, Joel, and the boys?
6. How does Daniel convince Joel to stay in school?
1. Rosh wants Joel to find out which rich people will be leaving their homes unguarded in order to attend a feast. He offers no help or advice to Daniel or Joel as to how to go about this task. With the help of Thacia, they decide on a plan. She will disguise herself as a boy and be seen in the village with Daniel, thus providing an alibi. For his part, Joel will pretend to be a fish merchant, peddling his wares to the homes of the wealthy and discovering via the gossip of the slaves who is planning to be away from home to attend the festivities.
2. The villagers have become disenchanted with Rosh because he has stolen from them, allegedly to support the “cause,” but his pillaging has gone on for years with no discernable benefit to those who have suffered losses. Daniel is forced to consider their point. He had envisioned more from Joel’s efforts other than “a wholesale looting of rich men’s houses.” He knows that no crop or sheep is safe from Rosh’s limitless appetite.
3. The boys find a catapult and surmise it will be used to try to oust Rosh and his men from their lair. The boys want to turn it against the Romans themselves, but Daniel points out that such a display would soon lead to their discovery. Furthermore, Daniel knows that any Roman death will lead to reprisals and the deaths of innocent people in Galilee. He orders the boys to disassemble the catapult and hide all the pieces.
4. Daniel breaks from Rosh when the “leader” refuses to do anything to help Joel, who has been imprisoned. Daniel naively expects that on hearing the news of Joel’s capture, Rosh will lead a band of men to free his friend. Instead, Rosh only says, “It is not my affair.” His apathy makes Daniel...
(The entire section is 555 words.)