he red-haired traitor sat shamefaced and terrified on the chair he had been bound to with thick ropes. His eyes darted from the axe in Adin’s hand to the crowd of bloodthirsty scoundrels surrounding him from all sides.
“The man who kidnapped your daughter is my uncle, Phillip. He’s a criminal and a lazy rascal, someone who loves to force innocent people to do slave work for him around the house.”
Meir could hardly believe his ears.
“So you recommended my child as a good slave for your fiendish uncle?”
“I’m sorry. It was a mistake. You didn’t deserve it.”
“‘Course he didn’t deserve it, you carrot-topped, noodle-necked ostrich!” Adin kicked the worker in the chest and sent him toppling to the floor, still attached to the chair.
“Ouch! Stop! I said I was sorry! It’s just that the wages Meir gave us were never fair! It was always less than the others in the marketplace. He was a bit greedy, he knows it’s true!”
Meir held up a hand to stop Adin from delivering another kick.
“He’s right. I lost my soul in the pursuit for money. I started holding back rightfully earned wages from my workers because I wanted more profit. I stopped caring about being completely honest. I thought there was no one really watching over my actions and judging me… I was wrong.”
“G-d always sees!” the boy murmured.
“Hypocrite!” Adin bellowed. “And you’re some saint, are you?”
Meir bent down on one knee and spoke softly. “I admit I was wrong and I’ll repay you everything you are owed.”
“Everyone knows you lost all your money. I don’t believe you’re in a position to promise such things.”
Meir’s faced turned red.
“Fine, my friend Adin will repay you the money. Now please have some mercy on me and tell me where your uncle is.”
There was a moment of total silence in the room as all eyes fell upon the boy lying sideways on the floor against the wooden chair.
The boy had a crazed look in his eyes and they knew they would never find out where his uncle had gone.
Adin lifted his axe threateningly. Suddenly the ground began to tremble and the rafters began to vibrate. The sounds of screams and hoofs racing across the earth filled the room.
Adin raced to the window and peered outside.
“It’s the poritz’s men! Take out your weapon—”
His last word was drowned out by the whoosh of arrows that slammed into the walls of the house and whistled through the windows. A terrible battle ensued and Meir’s fighting force was crushed almost instantly by the poritz’s men.
After the bloodshed, Adin was placed in chains and lifted onto one of the horses. He was taken away and was never seen again in Posen. His arrogance had led him to his doom. He trusted only in his own strength and had failed because Hashem was not helping him.
“Remember what you saw here today,” the leader of the poritz’s forces told Meir. “Look around and see the dead bodies of your men. The poritz gave us orders to spare your life so that you can testify to his power and the extent of his wrath and his ability to punish those who wrong him.”
Meir sank to his knees, a broken man. He had lost everything. His friend, his money, his reputation, and mostly importantly, his beloved daughter.
(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 758)
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