. . . Mamud came forward, pulling out a pistol. It was a 38. Joel slowly took the weapon, holding it sideways, staring at it intently as if he were studying it. It felt heavy, as if fully loaded. Mamud looked firmly into his face. His militaristic features more pronounced than ever. aIf he comes to the gate tonight, as he often does during these shortened days, that will be the time to silence him.a He shook his head slowly. Unlike at Rajneesh, he had a hateful look toward Mamud. At that moment, he realized that he never liked Mamud. Since his first day here, when he was so rudely frisked by him outside the city gates, he had a fearful contempt of the man. aAnd Joel, Iall be with you.a His words gave him no comfort. But he hadnat expected that. If he couldnat go through with it, Mamud would do the job. It was dark by now, the sun setting so early in November. Milo would probably be at the gate within an hour. aListen Joel.a Added Rajneesh. aWeall testify on your behalf. You did it out of self-defense. You got into an argument with Milo. He assaulted you. You shot him out of fear for your own safety.a Mamud affirmed Rajneesh words. Joelas eyes went slowly from Rajneesh to the floor. aIf the evil press, and the wicked lawyers crucify you, your sacrifice will be supreme!a Said Rajneesh. aBlessed are you when men speak falsely against you, reviling your name as evil. For great is your reward in Heaven.a aBlessed are you Joel!a Proclaimed everyone in unison. As the Inner Circle slowly rose to leave the room in sadness, each one hugged Joel tightly as if for the last time. Sheila could not hug him, but turned her face away from him in his hour of need. As they filtered out, Rajneesh quietly called for Mamud to stay for a few moments. Once outside, Sandu put his arm around Joel. Both men walked slowly, saying nothing. Sheila walked a ways behind, beginning to emotionally distance herself from him. Suddenly, Sandu stopped. aJo-el. Wait here for me.a Joel nodded weakly. His eyes were dim and cloudy. aI need to ask Rajneesh one more thing.a He was the only one in the group who had reservations about this mission. Joel stood motionless in the cold deathly dark night, looking into the threatening skies. He was all alone, much as he had been before this all began. He felt so lonely. He was totally lost. Tears began to flow again. aOh God, a he prayed quietly into the darkened sky, aI feel so lonely.a Iam scared! I thought I would find your presence here, but now Iam not so sure anymore. Please be with me tonight.a The words came so childlike, sincere. He hadnat prayed such a prayer since he was an innocent child. As Sandu headed back up to the Upper Room, he heard voices. aDamn! Iave got my listening device on. It must be Mamud and Rajneesh.a The Upper Room had been bugged earlier this summer. He could barely hear the conversation. Rajneesh: aWhether Joel kills him or not, heas not to return.a Mamud: aOf course.a Rajneesh: aJoel will be framed for the murder. Just so he doesnat have the possibility of implicating me, his life must end.a Mamud: No response. Rajneesh: aWeall make it look like a fight between the two ended both of their lives. No witnesses. No problems.a Mamud: aHe believed your speech about being a martyr instead of a patsy.a Rajneesh: aI like him, but heas gullible. Our agenda must move forward.a Mamud: aYes Master.a Rajneesh: aAre you sure Milo wonat be armed tonight?a Mamud: (laugh). aThe only thing in his arsenal is a silly Bible. I doubt if that will stop my 38.a Sandu quickly rushed back downstairs, hoping no one had seen him lingering near the Upper Room. Joel was sadly and prayerfully waiting for him to return with Mamud. Sandu appeared first. His face was ashen. He was overly anxious, sweating profusely. He hugged JoeHmmm, all of this and heaven too, she thought, pleased by the sophisticated presence he brought into the room. aPlace looks nice ... aAnd your orange ruffi?a a Great. ... He was a good friend of Darlenea#39;s boss at a law firm where she worked.
|Author||:||Laurence Joel Joy|
|Publisher||:||Xlibris Corporation - 2009-04-09|