And the priests feared, for the words of the Romans made the Jews rise up and come unto them, bearing word of what they suffered. And they spake unto the Romans: “Make ye Him deliver Himself up, or take Him unto ye.”
And it was true that they made ready that they should crucify the transgressor, and the spirit of evil mounted the rabble. And it was true that Rome unloosed skins of wines among them. And at the high hour, behold, the streets cried out like wild things. Men ran thither and yon, laughing or shrieking, bearing stones and sticks of broken woods. And Rome sat, fatted, comfort-full, and smiling.
And behold, the pits were oped, and they delivered unto the hands of the war’s men, and they whom Rome had set mad, Jesus Christus and the son of Tiberius! And it was true that Rome had shut up her doors and left be that that would. And the sun was o’erclouded and shone but to hide. And the blade’s men bore forth Jesus Christus, whom they had stripped naked, and He shrunk beneath their eyes and cast His eyes down. And lo, they laid hands upon Hatte and stripped him and the women that looked upon this withdrew and hid.
And they cried out: “Who art thou, thou thief of the temples? Who art thou?”
And Hatte stood like unto one who wandered upon some far height. And they cried aloud: “Behold the son of Tiberius! Behold him!”
And they laughed and cast stones and bits of stone wares and rotted fruits and filths of the street’s-ways. And Hatte stood, empty. And Jesus Christus spake not. And they decried Him, crying out: “Behold the King of the Jews! He is the son of who! He is a false prophet! Stone Him! Stone Him!” And they lay hands upon them and beat them on the path’s-way, even as wastes upon waters. And their flesh was torn and the hairs of their heads torn out, and lo, blood shewed upon their faces and their naked flesh. And the chill of the after-storm was upon Jerusalem, and they shook in cold quaking. And they that taunted them brought forth waters and cast o’er them; even did they bring forth heated brands and put unto their flesh.
And lo, among them stepped the Son of God, silent. They knew Him not. And Hatte held his head high and stepped regal, even though his withered leg gave way and was dragged at his stepping, for the weighting down of them that beset him was o’ermuch.
And they wearied of their taunts, for no manner of outcry came there for to feed their madness. And they cried out: “Crucify them! Spread them ope! Shew unto all men that enter the city, the Son of God and the son of Tiberiuis! Ha, ha, ha! Down the flesh of Rome beneath all men! Crush the blood of Tiberius beneath the heels of men where he hath crushed the flesh of our tribes!”
And it was true that the Jews were mad, and mingled with the Romans within one cup, had they fallen. And when the cry had gone up “Crucify them!” behold, Hatte looked unto Jesus Christus, whose body was sagged of weakness, and with his own arms did he cast off them that clung, and tear him through flesh unto His side and lift Him up. And his lips spake:
“Seest thou? It is the end of the paths. Thine of love and mine of hate lead thee unto a common thing.”
And Jesus Christus lifted up His head, and behold, through the blood, through the sears of torment, through the agony of flesh, broke forth the smile of God. And Hatte looked upon His face, and his thin lips spread in smiling.
And they that looked upon this waxed wrathed o’er their filling and beset one the other. Men fell upon their brothers, even did they deal flesh wounds one unto the other, so that blood was upon them as a hideous cloak.
And it grew dark, and lo, clouds rolled up like smokes of wrath, and the heavens flamed licking fires, and the thunders pealed upon them. And this but set the wraths frenzied more and they went forth and brought unto the spot young trees and binded them up with thongs into rude crosses. And these were the work of wrath, and the woods were rough and the barks sharp. And lo, these they laid upon the backs of Jesus Christus and the son of Tiberius.
And Hatte took it upon him and he murmured” “Is the God sleeping?” And he looked unto Jesus Christus, who sagged beneath the new weight, and he spake: “Thou, too even as Tiberius, hath betrayed thy Son.”
And behold, the flesh of Jesus gave way and He sunk. And they lay scourges upon Him, and He might not arise for the wine of the flesh was gone; His spirit chafed that it flee.
And Hatte called out loud: “Brother! Brother! I am calling!”
And Jesus arose, and lo, upon His face was the smile
And the heavens roared like monstrous caves filled of wraths of ages. And the lightnings licked the earth, and the winds arose and blew like wild voices o’er the hill’s-ways and valleys.
And they drove them upon the way unto a high spot, barren of shade, where the sun might bite. And it was true that there sounded out a wail of anguish, and it was the voice of Hatte, for he was broken. And from out the throngs sped a woman, crying: “Hatte! Hatte! Hatte!” And this was Mary, who followed with the mother of Him. And lo, they wept, and were cast among the men as wastes, and beaten and trodden, yea, and bruised. And The cheek of Mary was white and stained; yea, even the things they had cast at the flesh of Jesus Christus and Hatte had smitten her and the holy bearer of Him. And lo, at the calling: “Hatte! Hatte!” Hatte arose and cried aloud;
“Theia, behold thy son! This is the long dark path, but the fleeing is no more! It is come! The hand of Tiberius hath fallen!”
And Mary came her up and with her frail hands made that she bear the cross, and wept and spake soft words saying; “Wait! Wait! Rememberest thou? He shall come!”
And Hatte spake: “It must be true, for true as hate hath followed me hath this.”
And lo, they swept them apart and trod down the women, leaving them, and bore them upon the way.
And when they had come unto the high spot, lo, already stood one cross made living! and they cast down Hatte and lay the cross upon the earth and brought forth irons. And they made him ready, and through the living flesh they set man’s wrath to prison man’s flesh unto God-wrought wood.
And they took up the smitten hand and made ready. And Hatte laughed and spake; “It is dead!” And they brought forth the whole hand, and Hatte whispered hoarse: “It is whole! Behold, earth, I offer it unto thee!!” And they made it fast and he cried: “Ye—oh!—will not!” And they fastened his feet. And his lips stopped, locked of agony and his eyes spake empty.
And they cast down Jesus Christus. And behold, they had brought forth the tatters within which He had been clothed and they spread them forth and cried: “Behold, the raiment of a King!” And they took bits among them and cried aloud in mockery. And it was true that one who stood holding of the cloth saw it not. And this was Flavius.
And they lay upon Jesus Christus, and behold, Hatte’s lips twisted that he speak, and the word was the watchword, “Mercy!” And he whispered: “God, if thou art God, mercy!”
And behold, the form of Jesus fell empty, knowing not, and they pierced the chalice that let flow the living wine. And they raised up the crosses and made them fast. And lo, the clouds sunk even upon the earth, sweeping the hills and breaking down the trees in wrath of the winds.. And the tempests rang the wraths that should fall upon ages of them that did this thing.
And it was true that they stood beneath the crosses and beat upon the pierced feet, and the flesh quivered like unto a host of maggots beneath the skin. And behold, the ribs stood out even so that it seemed they would burst the flesh, and their bellies panted, and the eyes rolled from side unto side in anguish.
And when they had stood looking upon this long they lay hands upon the two women who sought. And it was true that women of the town had come that they lend their succor unto them that sorrowed. And they that had borne them up upon the crosses laid hands upon them and brought them up unto the foot of the crosses and cried:
“Look upon the King of the Jews, women! Look upon Him! Look upon the flesh of Tiberius!”
And Mary sunk and tore unto shreds her mantle, crying out the while, and made that she bind up the wounded feet. And behold, their lips were stained of blood where they had kissed their loved flesh!
And the legs had split up unto the knees and the weighting down and the flesh-quaking which tore at the throbbing. And behold, there was a sound of anguish, and the body of Hatte fell forward, crushing, the hands torn loose and the knees broken. And they that looked sent up a shout of victory. Yea, their voices shrieked and mingled with the on-sweeping torrents. And they laid hold of him and made the cross low and binded him up once more.
And it was the late sun, and it glowed anger-red below the bellied clouds.
And lo there sounded out a voice calling: “OH-e-e-e!” For it had been true that the camel had come unto Jerusalem, and they had taken in word that they had borne the son of Tiberius forth for to crown. And Theia had been full of what her heart held and had followed their pointing, and behold, when she had come unto the spot her eyes took in the multitudes and the cries and the storm and fear was upon her. And lo, she came upon His loved, who stood afar, praying, after the manner He had spoken. And she had leaned far and said: “Where is the crowing of the son of Tiberius?”
And they answered: “Yon.”
And she had looked upon what shewed on high o’er the heads of the multitudes, and behold, her throat swelled, and she tore at her locks and her hands she beat one upon the other, speaking: “It shall be!” And lo, she sprang off the camel and ran swift. Like unto a bounding deer her feet sped in the beauteous steps of the dance. And she loosed her locks and brought forth the cloths and spread them, tearing off the mantle of coarse stuffs, and her lips speaking: “It shall be! It shall be!”
And lo, she came up unto the things that stood, dead things, empty chalices that dropped drops and that still made flesh sounds. And behold, the hands were swelled unto the blackening, and the lips were black of blood, and the heads sunk. And they that looked upon them called out:
“Behold, the Son of God and the King of the Jews!”
And they brought forth a white script and with the wet blood wrote: “The King of the Jews.” And this hath ne’er been wiped whither. And they cried out:
See the son of Tiberius! He is broken! He is no more! Crown him! Crown him! Yea, and the King, for their heads are still free and may suffer!”
And they brought thorned branches and wove crowns and with their hands pressed them down into the deep of the flesh. And lo, they cried not out.
And the flesh of Hatte shook, and he made that he wet his lips with his tongue, and his throat made a hollow sound. And he turned his head unto Jesus Christus and called: “”Brother, the sign!”
And no sound came. And the voice of Jesus, at a later time, cried out: “My God! My God! Hast thou forsaken me?”
And lo, Hatte bended his body like unto a bow and cried; “Behold the palms wave! The sands gleam! The caravan cometh, and it is led by a camel white as goat’s milk, whose eyes are like unto rubies, and upon it—Jesus Christus! And before it danceth Theia! And one limpet—Simeon! Simeon! Caanthus, I am strong!”
And he gave up the ghost.
And upon the cross still suffered He, for the transgressor of the Jews beside Him lived. And they that watched laughed, and behold, they saw that they stirred and they brought forth vinegar, the wine of the people, and offered it that He might live long to suffer.
And it was true that the Jews had fallen fearful, and one and another departed unto the temples to pray and hide. And Rome remained to glut upon the feast. And they had called out against the Son of God, and fallen weary of His words, for He forgave them, and spake in tones to the heavens, crying out that the Father forgive, for the Jews knew that Rome had lain their backs ope.
And the transgressor cried out long in his agony and he turned unto Jesus Christus, speaking out: “Mercy!” And the Rome’s men spake unto Him: “If thou art the Son of God, save thyself and him.”
And the transgressor spake: Why do this unto HIm? He hath done naught unto thee, and I have perverted the laws and undone them.”
And Jesus Christus turned His head slow unto the transgressor and spake: “Behold thou shalt enter the new land this day and be with the Father even as I.”
And lo, they looked upon Him at this, for He was uttering prophecy, even in death.
And He hung His beauteous head wet of blood and crowed of thorns, even as man had made His days thorned, and His precious flesh was illumined with the flames of the lightning.
And behold, the earth quaked. And it was true that the tombs gave up dead. Their bodies were shaken free. And when the mighty peal had fallen like a trumpet, like a bird that flees singing sounded out: “It is finished!”
And His head sunk, and He turned unto the withered form of Hatte, hanging limp and broken, and the smile of God broke upon His countenance, and it was o’er.
And lo, a shrieking sounded, and the voice of Theia called: “Jehovah! Jehovah! Unto thy fires I commend him!” And she fell upon her face.
And the multitude had departed save for a few of the Romans who were deep in cup. And they, too, seeing all was o’er, departed.
And at the foot of the crosses, upon their knees, were Mary and the precious mother, weeping. And lo, His loved sought, for it had been that He had commended her unto His most loved, and he came that he lend succor, and bore them away.
And Theia arose, and no thing looked upon her, nor they that had gone from out the empty flesh that hung. And she crept her slow, fearful-slow, gasping, fearful and touched the flesh. And behold, she stood her up and spake;
“It is written in blood upon the ages. Tiberius, I wait; for it hath been—the thing within me! And it shall be—the thing yet to come! See!” and she dipped within the blood her finger and wrote upon a bit of her mantle: “The Son of Tiberius.”
And lo, she looked upon it and cried: “Ah, ye coming ages! Ye shall read this!”
And she watched the wind’s havoc and turned all ways, and it was empty. And she spake: “Theia, where to?” And lo, she spread her locks and danced before the dead things, telling upon the winds her anguish, weeping not, but uttering sounds that chilled the echoes into phantoms. And she danced long, and long, and long, and long. And when it was dark, behold, she fell, to arise and step once more. And lo, at the deep of dark she crept, like unto a wounded thing, unto the cross upon which Hatte hung, and lay her down.
And lo, the night was long, and when the morn had come, behold the first rays broke rosed, and bathed the wrath of man in God’s mercy. And o’er the naked bodies had swept the torrent blood, and within the light it shewed royal, the purple of the son of a noble! And upon the form of Theia the purple shewed. And she was no more.