Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Kolbrin - Rolls of Record - Chpt 7 - 1 - Hoskiah

 This is another story that is pure bronze age.  Real communities exist in the form of towns and estates with a big man.  Tyre is the local major center and it where trade flows.

We hear of the land of mists and i presume this means Britain.  It is at least prospective as it is strongly moistened by the Gulf Stream.

Yet this tale is mostly in the Levant and is a tale of the culture hero who takes his household away from his homeland.  Do note how the wife of Hoskiah  uses astral travel in order to locate her husband and save him.  Through all this our understanding of spirituality is the underlying given.
We also have a description of a mound burial as well.   This was used going back into the stone age and was used for Big Man burials.


By the hand of Raben, son of Hoskiah who was the Bowman of God and brought the Children of Light to the Land of Mists.

Hoskiah was a mighty man whose bow shafts struck like the lightning flash, and his enemies went dovwi like com before the reapers. He was a Captain of Men in the War of Gods and those he slew where numbered like barley in the measure. His enemies were spread before him hke a carpet at his feet and there was no other like him.

He was a man who knew the Almight God and looked up to Him as the God of his fathers. But Hoskiah worshipped Him after the customs of his people and therefore knew Truth only in part, for having stolen Him they were unable to know Him fully.

Now the days of fighting were past and Hoskiah and those who remained alive with him slept in strange places, for they were sought by the king who had been victorious. His wives and his children and all his household dwelt at Kadesh, against the mountain, and awaited his coming there. But he came not while being sought by the king.

So it came to pass that his brother Isias, who held stewardship over all his household and his possessions, seeing that Hoskiah could not come unto this place, possessed himself of them. Isias had the ear of those in high places, and Hoskiah lost his birthright.

So all that was Hoskiah's passed into the possession of his brother Isias. He took even the wives of Hoskiah, for such was the decree of the king.

But Athelia, the first of the wives of Hoskiah, spumed Isais and called down the wrath of Helyawi upon his head. And Isais was afraid and did not possess her. When they saw this the other wives, being jealous of her, for she was ever in high favour with Hoskiah, stirred Isais up against her. They mocked him, saying, "Are you truly the master here, or are there fruits you cannot pluck?"

So Isais sought to take Athelia by strength, but she strove against him and his manhood was hurt, so thatddid did not take her. Then Isias had her bound and her hands were tied for seven days, so that she could not of herself either eat or drink or do the things required by her body. She was humiliated and her womanhood betrayed, for an idiot man attended her wants and he mocked her modesty, and she was tormented by her needs.

Then on the seventh day she was brought forth by Isias to trial, and she was stripped and lashed and her hair was burnt off. She was branded on the face and her lips and tongue were cut. She was given a robe and a pitcher of water, and dried fruits and flour. She was driven forth by Isias who said, "Go woman, and perhaps, should you even find him, Hoskiah will understand your babble."

Athelia went out into the wilderness to die and at night she fell in pain and weariness, under an elan tree and lay there. In anguish she cried out unto her God and cast her soul from her, that she might not feel pain. And her soul found Hoskiah.

As it became light next day, Athelia awoke and praised God, saying, "I have slept amid my pain, for God is good and merciful. And I know that Hoskiah yet lives in a far off place, but my soul and my God will lead me to him." And she went, guided by her soul.

On the same night, Hoskiah lay in a cavern amid mountains, but he slept not, for one had come bearing tidings of his brother, saying, "Isias has possessed himself of all that once was yours. Even your wives has he taken, and between you and he are many men who would slay you."

As Hoskiah lay thus in agony of spirit it came to pass that he felt the presence of Athelia's soul, and peace came upon him and he slept. And as he slept he dreamed, and in his dream Athelia stood at his feet, fairer than he had ever known her. And she said, "All is not lost unto you, for I come seeking you in the wilderness and I will find you, so be at peace." And Hoskiah awoke refreshed and strong in spirit.

And he came down out of the mountains, and over the wilderness came to the Place of Bitter Waters where men find refuge. And men were hiding there from the wrath of the king. And Hoskiah enquired of them, saying, "You have come from many places, which of you has seen a woman seeking me?" 

They said, "No woman travels abroad on such a quest. Or has she many attendants, and what is her appearances?" And Hoskiah said, "She is fair as the dawning, with hair like the raven's wing and skin like fine oil. Her touch is like cool waters and her bearing like the gazelle."

Then the men mocked him and talked much, saying, "How long would such a one as you describe travel alone? It is not in the nature of women to leave their household and come into the wilderness. Would any man pass her by? Who, then, now possesses her? Seek her not in the wilderness, for is she not clad in fine linen and perfumed with sweet smelling oils?"

Then Hoskiah took counsel with himself and said, "I am indeed a fool who chases dreams. This is no time for dreaming when there is a man's task at hand". So in the morning he said to those with him, "I go up against my brother". But they pleaded with him, saying, "Have you a host of men or even a company? Abandon such fooUshness".

Now, at that time Athelia dwelt beneath a mountain where there was a spring, for she was weary from many days journeying. And she was sick in spirit, for men, when she came among them, beat her with sticks and drove her from the place of their habitations. She offended their eyes and none desired her.

No man came to the spring, for it was an accursed place where voices came from the rocks and the dead spoke.  Therefore, it is called the Audience Chamber of the Dead. And none but witches go there, for these the dead do  not harm.

Now, when night fell Hoskiah slept, and those with him were not watchful. And evil men said among
themselves, "Let us slay Hoskiah in the night, for he has gold and silver and spoils of war with him. Let us cut  off his head and carry it to his brother, that we may be rewarded and made welcome."

So it came to pass that in the morning hours of the night men came to fall upon Hoskiah and those with him to slay them. But one among them was heavy-footed and Hoskiah awoke as they fell upon him, and he seized his sword and leaping up as a lion springs smote about him, and there was a slaughter. But he was without helmet and his head was bare, and so he was wounded. They who came agamst him died or fled, but of those with him just one remained, and he sorely woimded.

In the morning they left with their asses laden, and Hoskiah held his bow and none came near him. And as fhe sun mounted on high the sight departed from the eyes of Hoskiah and he became blind. So Hoskiah and he who was his companion abandoned hope, for there were men who would destroy them in front and behind, and the wilderness enclosed them. And they said, "Let us, therefore, go to the place called the Audience Chamber of the Dead, which is by our side. For are we not as those already dead? There we shall find water to quench our thirsts and soothe our wounds as we end our days."

And as they entered the pass at the place where the waters entered the sand, the companion of Hoskiah died.

Then Hoskiah heard voices of the dead calling him from among the mountains, and he arose and said, "I come, for this is my hour." And he passed up the watercourse. So it was that being blind he dashed against the rocks and fell to the ground, and lay there as one already dead.

Now, on that day the soul of Athelia was troubled and she wandered abroad, straying from her tasks. And she looked up and saw a raven descending from out of the sky, and her soul said unto her, "Behold, it comes for the soul of Hoskiah, for he is near by and close to death." So Athelia sped away guided by the bird.

She came upon Hoskiah as his soul was preparing to depart, and she took him in her arms and lifting his head gave him water. And her soul communed with his soul and bade it stay, and because of the bond between them it stayed. And she remained with him three days and built a bower and ministered to him, but he lay as one already dead.

On the third day, as the sun prepared to enter into his night kingdom, Hoskiah stirred. He groaned in anguish from his wounds and Athelia comforted him, and he slept in peace. When it became light next day he awoke and felt Athelia's touch upon him. And Hoskiah knew her and said, "Athelia are you here? How came you to this place and found me in my hour of need?"

But Athelia answered not because of her tongue and she drew a veil around her face, for she knew not that Hoskiah was blind. She wept and her tears fell upon his face. And he held on to her, for her hands told him that she could not speak to him as once she did. And he said, "I am blind and cannot see", but she drew not the veil, for she feared for him when his hands sought to be his eyes.

Days passed and Hoskiah grew strong, and he knew the tale of his brother's deeds and swore vengeance in the name of his God. He said, "For this purpose life has been left to me". And Athelia grieved that he spoke thus, for he could not walk without her.

The waters of the valley were cool and there were herbs and wild fruits, and goats upon the mountainside. So it came to pass that after many days Hoskiah was whole and strong again. But he remained blind, so he could not see Athelia and therefore she remained fair in his eyes. But the soft speech was gone from her. This, Hoskiah did not mind, for what he heard daily was the speech which greeted him as he lay in her arms before she knew he had come back to life. Hoskiah and Athelia were no longer troubled by the voices among the rocks, for no harm was done to them in this place.

When Hoskiah became strong again he desired to go from that place and fretted to be gone, but Athelia bade him stay. She said, "You are blind and therefore like a child. And will we not die of hunger in the wilderness, or be slain by men who seek after you? Let us stay here." And Hoskiah listened to her words, for it was not unpleasant in this place.

And it came to pass that one day, as Athelia gathered herbs in the valley, she espied a stranger drinking at the waters and he was weak and weary from much journeying. And she took Hoskiah and together they went up to the stranger and Hoskiah greeted him, saying, "May the peace of God be with you, master, how may we serve you?" The stranger answered them saying, "I am Lokus, Son of the Fire Bird and physician to the king of Tyre. I have travelled from afar to this place, that 1 may hear the wisdom of the dead. I came to talk with my soul in solitude, for I am weary of the ways of men. I no longer seek to be the companion of those in high places who concern themselves overmuch with wars and the affairs of men". And Hoskiah knew Lokus for a magician of great renown.

Hoskiah dwelt in a cave in the mountainside, by the waters of a spring which came forth from a smaller cave nearby. The land before the caves was flat and there were ancient gardens and enclosures. Beyond these were trees. When Lokus had been brought to the abode of Hoskiah, to the place where he camped, he was given food and rested. The Hoskiah said unto him, "You are great even among great magicians, for your magic is greater even than the magic of Egypt. I beg you, master. Look with pity upon my blindness, for it makes me even as a child, I who am a man among men and have a man's task before me. Pray, therefore, cast magic with fire, that I may be made whole again." Lokus said unto Hoskiah, "Is this then the one desire of your heart, is there nought in Heaven or Earth you desire more?" 

Hoskiah said, "There is nought above this."

Then Lokus spoke to Athelia, saying, "What is your desire, is it that you may be as you once were?" And Athelia said, 'This indeed I desire, especially for the sake of my lord. But, master, above all I desire that he may see again; but, oh, let not his eyes lead him from me to destruction." Lokus said to Athelia, "You know what his eyes will see." She answered him, "Let his eyes see what they will, but let them see." Lokus said unto her, "So it shall be, for you have but one desire between you. I will make a covenant with Hoskiah, so that his eyes may see again. This is the covenant: That Hoskiah will stay in this place until Athelia has borne him a son and until six months after his son's weaning he will sit at my feet and absorb my instruction".

Then Athelia said unto Lokus, "Master, when he is no longer blind and sees me as I am, will not the burden of the covenant be too great for him? Lokus answered, "He has more than two eyes."

Lokus took Hoskiah and cast a spell upon him, so that he fell asleep. And Lokus opened his head and let out the evil which blinded him and encased his head in clay, that the demon might not resume its residence. And Hoskiah was left asleep for six days and six nights.

On the seventh day Hoskiah awoke, and behold, he was no longer blind. And he called for Athelia, but she came not unto him. Then Hoskiah cried, "I see, but the woman is not here, is this not a time for rejoicing? But lo, she stays away". Lokus said unto him, "It is the maimer of women, let her be.". And when night had come Atheha came and sat at the feet of Hoskiah and said unto him, "It is well my lord, and my heart rejoices." And Hoskiah, stretching out his hand, caught hold of Atheha, saying unto Lokus, "Long have I been with this woman. And I was blinded that I could not see her face; now I say, bring me my torch quickly, that I may look upon the face I desire to see with all my heart."

And Athelia, bowing her head, remained cold and still beside Hoskiah, the veil held before her face. And Lokus, placing the torch aside, drew the veil and lifted her head towards the light, and the woman looked up fearfully. Hoskiah looked long upon her in silence. Then he lifted her towards him and kissed her face, saying, "Wife of my bosom, the years have taken nothing from the loveliness of your youth". And Athelia fell before him in a swoon.

Now, when morning came Lokus sat outside the cave and Athelia came, and kneeling before him said, "Great master, what magic have you vwought? The waters do not lie, yet my lord sees me not as they". And Lokus answered her, saying, "Nor does the soul he, but the eyes of men are deceivers and not to be trusted. One desire only have I granted, for my magic has not touched you. Hoskiah sees indeed, but if he sees not wholly with his eyes and in part with his heart, seeing not with the eyes of other men, then perhaps my magic is imperfect and I am not the greatest of magicians".

Unnumbered days passed and Athelia was first delivered of a daughter and then of a son. And Hoskiah sat before Lokus and received his instruction, and many books were opened unto him. He learned the Mysteries of the Secret Way and the Songs of the Fire. He knew the wisdom that had come dovra through the ages.

So it came to pass that one day Hoskiah went unto Lokus and said, "All has been done that the covenant required." And Lokus answered him, saying, "It is well, prepare now to follow the path of your destiny."

Then Hoskiah took Athelia and his son and his daughter, and with Lokus passed out into the wilderness. And when they came to the habitations of men Atheha was veiled. And Lokus journeyed as a great magician, following his stars, and Hoskiah served him as though bis slave.

Thus they came to the lands held by Isias and Lokus made masks of animal skins, with tree gum and clay, and gave them unto Hoskiah and Atheha. And he clothed them in strange garments and dyed their skins, saying, "Men expect all things of a magician and make no query concerning the strange things they see about him.

Therefore, let not the men of this place be disappointed in my attendants". To Hoskiah he said, "Be as one dumb, for your tongue would betray you to those we come amongst in this place". And Hoskiah answered, "My tongue shall be dead in this place. "In this manner they came before Isias.

Isias had looked well upon the fleshpots and his body was filled with fat. He was clad in fine linen from Egypt and perfumed. And Hoskiah said within himself, "Can this be the son of my father and the companion of my childhood? It is truly vratten, in the hands of a weakling gold turns to fat".

Lokus spoke unto Isias, saying, "Lord I have come far and therefore beg that I and my servants be given food and drink and a place to lay our heads. I am a magician of magicians and a physician of physicians. Mayhap  there are those within your household who are sick or possessed by demons, whom I may serve. Or may I enliven your leisure with wonders and magic and show you strange things beyond the understanding of men?

Isias said unto Lokus, "Remain with us, for there is little pleasure here. If you enliven our days you serve us well."

So it came to pass that Isias prepared a great feast to which came many lords with their households. The fame of Lokus had spread afar, for he had healed the sick and cast out demons and shown many wonders beyond the understanding of men. And among those who came were many who knew Hoskiah.

When the day of the great feast came there was much feasting and merrymaking, and Lokus worked great wonders, so that all men acclaimed his magic. And there were games and feats of strength and dancing.

When night had fallen great fires were lit and many torches. Tables were spread with all manner of good things and the guests assembled within the great courtyard. Isias sat beneath the tall sycamore tree and before him was a table laden with every kind of meat. There were breads and sweet things and spices in abundance. And Isias was sitting among half men and wanton women and with him were gluttons and drunkards. There was much loud laughter in their company and many sly gestures. There were singing women and dancing girls. 

There were half men who performed as women, and the night was heavy with the scents of wickedness.

The feasting and dancing went on well into the night and Lokus displayed his powers before the assembly.

When the clamour was at its height Isias spoke to Lokus, sajdng, "Show us now the greatest of your wonders which we have not yet seen. Let the night be more enlivened".

So Lokus stood before them and lo, before their eyes he changed stones into gold, and a dog into an ass. He drew wine and milk from an empty pitcher and caused a rod to become a snake. Standing before a table that was bare he drew all manner of foods and wines out of the air and furnished it for a splendid repast. Then he called Hoskiah as his slave and stood a comely maiden before him. And Hoskiah shot arrows into her and they stood out from her body, so that there was not space for a man to place his hand. And the blood flowed down her robe as though she stood in a rainstorm of blood, before she sank to the ground and lay there dead before them.

Then Lokus went up to her and after wrenching the arrows from out of her body threw a cloak over it. 

The arrows he carried to Isias and those about him, saying, "See the blood of amaiden", and they held the arrows and looked at them. And behold, as they held the arrows and looked the blood went from them and the arrows were clean. And Lokus cried out in a loud voice, "Lo, the blood returns". Then, passing over unto the maiden, he lifted the cloak off her and behold, as he did so her robe became clean again. And Lokus took her by the hand and said unto her, "Arise", and she arose and stood before Isias. And he was silent and those about him did not speak. Casting aside her garment, which was the outer robe, the maiden danced before the gathering, and all there wondered greatly, for her body was unmarked.

Isias spoke to Lokus, saying, "How can such things be? What manner of magic is this?" Lokus answered him, saying, "Lord your eyes saw as I bid them see, for 1 am the master of men's hearts, not the master of flesh and wood. The eye is the greatest of deceivers. It is the magic of Egypt which undid the work of the Ethiopian's bow". And Isias said, "Who is this Ethiopian who stands there so strangely garbed? It is indeed a bowman among bowmen to loose his arrows so that one has scarcely struck ere another left the bow. Has Rasfamishel, come among us? " Lokus answered him, saying, "Lord he comes from beyond the Land of Elephants, in the place where the Earth tips over. The magic is in his bow, which can shoot at a wild ass and bring down a lion."

So saying Lokus took up a clay pot and stood it on a table, and Hoskiah, standing off, loosed an arrow at it. And the pot was shattered and as it fell apart lo and behold, a silver pot appeared in its place. And those who saw these things were amazed and spoke one to the other about the magic of Lokus.

One among the gathering, a speechmaker, stood up and spoke words praising the magic of Lokus, but Isias sat quiet, deep in thought. Then bidding Lokus come to his side, Isias said, "This night I have seen With my own eyes a maiden slain with arrows and raised from the sleep of death. I have seen the magic of the bow change clay to silver. Is then your magic great enough to change age into youth and weakness into strength? It is said that the greatest of magicians can do even this." And Lokus lifted himself and said, "Even this 1 can do".

Then there was much whispering back and forth and talk among those who sat about Isias. They that stood in the place of his favour said, "Master this is the hour, let the magic of this great magician cast the years from off your back and renew the vigour of youth". And while they spoke there was much whispering and sly laughter among the half men.

Lokus stepped back from the presence of Isias and he raised his left hand, and there were loud thunders. He raised his right hand and flre leaped forth from the ground, and a great cloud of smoke went up. And he said unto Isias, "Great Isias, this is your hour. You are the lord of this land and place, therefore command as you will. 

Aheady the night is more than half spent and speeds to its closing. Hear now my words, this I say unto you:

Enter now into my magic tent which stands strangely adorned over against the edge of the feasting place. The tent wherefrom I issue forth my magic, to which I return to replenish my strength when it is done. 

Therein is the fount of my magic, the hub of the great circle of power. Remain in there until the first red glow from the fires of the underworld appears in the night sky. Then lord, I will come into the tent and, standing against it, will call forth the lord of this land and place, and behold, a new lord will stand before the gathering in manly strength and vigour. A man among men and a fitting master for this household. He will be such a man that I, even I Lokus, the master of magic, will be the first to proclaim him."

So Isias entered into the tent of Lokus the magician, and as he passed within, Lokus gave him the great bow of Hoskiah, saying, 'Take this with you, for its magic is great and may well be needed. It is a worthy weapon for the lord of this land."

Then the gathering spoke amongst themselves and waited. Singing women whiled away the hours. And as the first arrows of morning light struck the night sky, Lokus arose and stood against the tent of magic. Lifting up the door he cried out in a loud voice, "Great Lord of these lands and place, come forth to your heritage, behold your lord." And as he spoke, lo, Hoskiah stepped forth into the morning light, arrayed as a lord and girded about with belt and sword. He wore a helmet and in his hand was the great bow.

The sound of a great sigh passed through the gathering and men looked one at the other. They were bemused,  not knowing what to do, for there was magic about them. And Lokus lifted up his voice in the silence and cried, "Behold, I have brought forth a man among men as lord of these lands and place. Will you not, therefore, receive him in a befitting manner?" And men spoke among themselves, saying, "This is one having the appearance of Hoskiah whom we know, in truth the lord of these lands and place. He is a man indeed, if it be he; has magic drawn him back from the grave, or has the spirit of Isias clothed itself in the form of Hoskiah?" Then first one and then another hailed the man before them saying, "This is a man among men, if not our lord Hoskiah." Then a great shout of, "Hoskiah!" went up, and Hoskiah stood stem before them.

 Now, there were those among the gathering who stood silent. The half men and wanton women who were about the table where Isias had been, sat pale and silent, clinging to each other. They said among themselves, "If indeed this be Hoskiah, where then is our lord Isias ?" And a man stood up among the gathering, shouting, "This is not Isias transformed by magic, but Hoskiah, who, with this evil magician, has worked a trick. Isias is not transformed but murdered. Let him be avenged". And reaching back he took a javelin and sought to hurl it at Hoskiah. But the bow in the hand of Hoskiah bent, and before the javelin could be sped an arrow pierced the man's throat. Then the bow sang twice more before the enemies of Hoskiah departed.

Now, it came to pass that those remaining gathered about Hoskiah and rejoiced, saying, "Hoskiah is indeed the rightful lord and none but he ever bent bow as we have seen a bow bent this dawning". 

And Hoskiah passed through them to the seat of Isias. And those gathered there shrank from him, and he swept the table clean and drove away those who stood about it, saying, "Begone, lest I have you seized and beaten, for you befoul the Earth and serve neither God nor man." They departed, saying, 'This is indeed Hoskiah and not Isias." And Isias was seen no more by the eyes of men.

Now, after three days had passed Lokus said to Hoskiah, "The time has come when I must depart. I shall go unto my king who is now your king and speak with him concerning you. It is well that I go now and dally not unduly here, for mayhap as things are he will lend a willing ear to my words. But if I dally here with you, others will gain his ear with another account." So Lokus departed and Hoskiah was grieved.

Before he left, Lokus was given horses and servants, also slaves and asses with food for the journey. And Lokus said to Hoskiah, "We shall meet again, for it is decreed in the Book of Heaven."

Athelia came before Hoskiah many times and said, "Lord let me depart fi-om your residence and dwell in a place  not too far off" And Hoskiah was perplexed within himself because of her manner of speech, for he did not understand what she wanted. He said, "Have no fear for the women of my household, for there is none I desire but you".

And it came to pass that on his way to the king, Lokus was stricken with a sickness and lay as one already dead, and for many days his soul was prepared for departure. And while he lay sick the power that bound the eyes of Hoskiah became weakened and the eyes of Hoskiah were no longer bound.

Now, Hoskiah purged his household and spent the days dealing with his estates, and his lands flourished. His servants no longer bickered among themselves as before and contentment reigned within his shadow. 

So when many days had passed and all things were ordered, Hoskiah called his steward and said unto him, "Let  a feast be prepared. As the land has given generously to me, so will I give no less generously." Hoskiah said this and it was done.

Now, there was a woman called Mirim of the household of Isias, who was fair to behold and she sought the favour of Hoskiah. And among the women there was much talk of Athelia who remained ever veiled, for there were those among the women who knew her. But none spoke to Hoskiah, for he was a man who talked little with women and Athelia stood first in his eyes.

Mirim had not seen the degradation of Athelia, nor had she seen her unveiled. But it came to pass that she spied upon Atheha one day, while she was about her toilet, and seeing her unveiled Mirim took counsel with herself.

Now, the day of feasting came and many were the guests, but of half men and wanton women there were none. 

 And among the women Athelia sat apart, and among the men there was much talk of riches and battles, and of  spoils of war and husbandry. 

Among the guests was a young lord who sought the favours of Mirim. And while the feasting and dancing were at their height, they came one to the other. And as they dallied beyond the torchlight Mirim said unto him, "Am I fair indeed?" And he answered her, saying, "You are fair even among the fairest". Then she said unto him, "Yet there is one more fair by far, so fair that she needs go veiled before men. She is Athelia, wife of Hoskiah, who keeps her thus. He fears for himself and does not trust her, for this is his weakness". And Mirim moved away from the young lord, saying, "Go look upon her face, and if you can then say I am the fairest of the fair, I shall know that your heart speaks sincerely of itself and not at the behest of your body."

The young lord returned to the feasting and sat in a place nearby to Hoskiah and spoke to those about him, saying, "Have any among you seen a woman here who rivals the fairest bearers of myrtle and palm?" And the men rebuked him, saying, "It is not meet to talk thus about the women of a household wherein you are a guest. 

Are they to be judged as are women of the night?"

But the tongue of the young lord was not stayed and he repUed, saying, 'That which causes talk will be talked  about?" And Hoskiah heard him and was angry and said, "What, in my household, moves foolish tongues to gossip?" The young lord said, "That which a man tries to conceal ever arouses the interests of others. Does any  man conceal that of which he is proud?" And Hoskiah looked about him, saying, "This talk I do not understand". The young lord said, "My lord, men talk of what lies beneath the veil of the woman you brought here, is she indeed as fair as men say, or is there truth even in the gossip of women?"

And those who knew about the degradation of Athelia muttered among themselves, for her secret could not be kept hidden. They said, "This is loose talk and wicked, let the evil which belongs to the past remain buried.

Does this concern any man but Hoskiah? Are we among women that the talk should be thus? Is our custom to be lightly set aside? Let the veil remain".

But Hoskiah, hearing the muttering, thought wrongly of what was said. And he spoke to the young lord, saying, "This woman is fair as few women are fair, should I not know? This you shall indeed see for yourself. And Hoskiah said within himself, "Long enough have I indulged Athelia her whims, does a pearl give pleasure withinits shell?" And Hoskiah sent his attendant for her.

So Athelia came with her hand maiden, and Mirim came too and stood close behind them. And Athelia stood before Hoskiah and said, "My lord what is your wish?" And he said to her, "Woman, remove your veil." And Athelia put her hand to the veil and pleaded with him, saying, "My lord there are many men here and strangers.

There is a custom of my people by which I abide." And men, hearing her voice, looked one at another and the oldest among them said to Hoskiah, "Let the woman be, for this is of no importance and of no interest to us.

Allow her the whim, for such is the nature of women. Shall we deny them their small pleasures?" Athelia inclined her head towards the man who spoke and as she did so Mirim stepped forward and caught hold of the veil, snatching it aside. And the stricken face of Athelia was revealed to the gathering.

All men were silent and still, like statues. And Hoskiah looked at Athelia and she at him. And Hoskiah saw her as she was, and Athelia knew what he saw. Then came the voice of the young lord, saying, "Behold the pearl of Hoskiah." And Hoskiah turned upon him in rage and slew him.

And Hoskiah turned to Athelia who stood still and alone, saying, "What evil has been wrought here? Begone, take your face from me." And Athelia went out between the gathering. And passing into her bedchamber she took a draught of poison. And her handmaiden sped to Hoskiah, saying, "Come my lord, my mistress dies." 

Then Hoskiah, his heart filled with remorse, sped to Athelia. And as he came unto her she died. 

And Hoskiah wept over her and his heart was filled with grief And he looked upon the body of Athelia and said, "I have slain the life within my own heart. I have slain the one who cherished me in my blindness, the one who loved beyond the bounds of love."

In his anguish the eye of his soul was opened and saw the soul of Athelia standing nearby. And Hoskiah was dazzled by the vision of her beauty, for she was radiant as the sun. He stretched out his hands towards her, but could not touch her, for she was beyond the reach of earthly things. And she shook her head at him and raising her hand departed to the Antechamber of Eternity.

Hoskiah raised himself up and strode out from the chamber, but he returned not again to the place of feasting. 

He sorrowed many days.

Now, while Hoskiah still sorrowed, word came to him that a company of men was coming against him.

And he sent out his servants with laden asses and went forth himself. And with his true men he prepared a place on the heights above the road, to meet those who came to take him. And Hoskiah met them with arrows and with stones and left them with their dead.

And Hoskiah and those with him passed out into the wilderness and lived there many days. And it came to pass that word came to him of Lokus and he arose and went into the land of the Sons of Fire, passing into Tyre as a merchant from Kithim.

So it came about that Hoskiah came with sons of the Children of Light on ships of Arad, by way of Havmibo and Mesilonas, where there are many temples. The ships made one harvest towards the Land of Trees, where the  great river flows to the West. And his sons he left in Tyre, that they might receive instruction in the household of  Lokus.

[ This is a real problem.  The only such river or rivers are in the Pacific Northwest and simply not likely.  Otherwise we are describing modest rivers or we are describing a watershed enclosing the dogger banks, the North Sea and the Rhine flowing out through the English Channel.  All that appears unlikely unless this tale is early.  - arclein ]

Hoskiah governed many years in the Land of Mists and made laws, and died in his old age. And he was buried by the river where the ground rises, beneath stones and soil carried in many baskets. A fence was made and trees, which still grow, set about the place.

When Hoskiah came here he had been forty and four years on Earth, and two score and five years passed before he died. May his God fulfil his hopes! Raben, the son of Hoskiah, was bom of a daughter from the house of Lokus in this land. 

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