The Proposal (part 10) – Secrets of Ancient Soldiers
The three of them walked from the “Museum” to the beginning of the Library of Secrets. It started with closed cabinets that alternated with book shelves inside glass cases, that went on as far as Kelly could see.
Mr. Destiny started by explaining: “The first thousand years of the original manuscripts, are kept in fireproof and waterproof cabinets. There is an indescript building above us that houses the climate control system. Temperature and humidity even the PH of the air is controlled.”
He continued: “The book shelves beside each cabinet contain both a Greek Translation and a later translation in Latin. Once the library gets to Roman times the Scrolls are replaced by codex, an ancient type of book. Codex have more modern Latin translations alongside the originals. The last thousand years, Latin is the only language the books are written in. Some of my predecessors had a flair for creating Illuminated Manuscripts, a mixture of art and literature, as you well know. Some are quite beautiful.”
He took her hand and said: “You see, your degree in Latin was one of the reasons we chose you Kelly.”
With that he opened the second cabinet and took out a scroll. It wasn’t the first scroll in the cabinet and Kelly had a sense it wasn’t chosen at random. He then opened the bookcase and took out two books. As he put them into the box, he told her. “These are the dying secrets of men under the command of King Manassa, the Son of King Hezekiah.”
Then he opened the first cabinet and took out two scrolls, two codex and seven books. “These are the rules that go with this position of great responsibility.” Mr. Destiny said.
The Keeper of The Library of Secrets
He went on: “The Listener Barber is also the keeper of the Library of Secrets and everything that goes with it. And as I told you, there are rules. Very onerous and restrictive rules. I will tell you, they are more of a curse than a blessing.”
Then as if it were an unprepared afterthought. “The rules are probably the reason this library and all that goes with it have been kept a secret all of this time.”
They got back into the cart and drove some distance and they stopped.
Again Mr. Fate opened the box as Mr. Destiny pulled out a couple of scrolls and a few more books and put them into the box.
“These are the secrets of the military men of from the years before Carthage before the city was burned by the Romans. Just up ahead are books with the stories of Roman Soldiers who’s dying regret was burning entire families in their homes after the siege. We can pick up a sample of those too if you like.”
“For now, I’ll just take your word for it.” Kelly Replied.
They drove a little further and Mr. Destiny stopped the cart and put in a few more books. “These are the dying words of officers who carried out King Herod’s order to kill all of the male children under two around Bethlehem.”
“You’re kidding”, Kelly managed.
“No, you will see for yourself.
He drove a few more feet and stopped again. There the books showed more signs of wear. Even the book cases showed signs of wear from use.
Before he got out of the cart, Mr. Destiny pointed at a book case then turned to Kelly. “These next few cases contain the dying words of the officers who carried out the death of John The Baptist, and those…” His voice trailed off. “…those are the regrets of the soldiers who carried out the orders to crucify my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Nobody could speak.
Finally, it was Kelly who got out of the cart and motioned for her friends to give her a hug. As they embraced, she said: “Can I see them now?”
“Of course you can, dear Kelly”. Mr. Fate said.
Mr. Destiny chose a Latin translation of a book and gave it to Kelly. She sat in the cart and read as her two friends remained in respectful silence. Barely unable to believe the words, as she absorbed the grief and regret of dying men who told their part in the killing of Christ. She read account after account for over an hour. Mr. Fate and Mr. Destiny would have gladly let her read all day.
Suddenly, Kelly looked up, open-mouthed with a start. The obvious had hit her. When she finally spoke, it was with a mixture of excitement and awe. “This proves the Bible is true, doesn’t it?”
Both men smiled. “Yes, dear Kelly, it does.”
“We have to tell people.” Kelly gasped.
Mr. Destiny held up a finger in front of her then pressed it to his lips. “Remember what I told you Kelly. There are rules that have kept all of this a secret for three thousand years.”
Kelly wanted to voice a protest but thought better of it. She fell silent.
“Very good Kelly.” Her dear friend Mr. Fate said. “You knew when to show restraint.”
“We have chosen well, Mr. Destiny added.” Then he put the books in the box and chose a few more.
Kelly said: “Would the two of you pray with me?”
They didn’t answer, they just formed a circle of love and it was Mr. Fate who started to pray. They prayed for a long time.
Finally, Mr. Destiny continued the tour as if a world changing event hadn’t just occurred. “These are the Stoning of Stephen, and the death of several of the apostles at the hands of the Romans. Up ahead there are a lot of stories from officers during the reign of Nero, and Domitian.”
Once they were underway again, Mr. Destiny drove without stopping. He would point out eras as they passed – the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition. Close to the end he said. “There are even regrets recorded from British officers after the American Revolution.”
In the last bookcase he stopped and pulled out a book and handed it to Mr. Fate. “This book contains the dying secrets of my father Tobias Fatzler, the man who I was named after.”
- The Proposal (Part 9)
- The Proposal (Part 8)
- The Proposal (Part 7)
- The Proposal (Part 6): Listening to Destiny and Fate
- The Proposal (Part 5): Twist of Fate
- The Proposal (Part 4): Destiny’s Place
- The Proposal (Part 3): Close Shave with Mr. Destiny
- The Proposal (Part 2): Continued in London
- The Proposal (Part 1): A Short Story Mystery