eir sat together with Avraham inside his empty house. Total silence hung in the air. Avraham’s eyes were eagerly glued on the door, awaiting the knock that was sure to come at any moment. Meir too eagerly anticipated the arrival of his long lost daughter.
In the distance they heard the sound of a carriage approaching. The Maharsha had spoken prophetically.
Avraham’s eyes lit up.
“It’s her! It’s her!”
Meir did not wait another moment. He rushed to the door, threw it open, and raced to greet the wagon approaching from down the road.
His cries rent the air as he slipped and slid through the mud, falling flat on his face and then rising again to come closer to the wagon.
The wagon stopped and the cloaked figure holding the reigns leaped off. Rus threw off the hood concealing her face and fell into her father’s arms, sobbing uncontrollably.
Avraham waited respectfully at the front door. He wanted to give them the privacy they deserved at such a special moment. Eventually Rus and Meir came into the house. As Rus sat down with a steaming glass of hot tea in her trembling fingers, she began to speak.
On the day Rus ventured into the marketplace, a decree from Hashem had been written against Meir. His successful businesses had caused him to become haughty and neglectful of his duties to the Almighty. A lesson had to be taught and it was going to be severe.
“Your father isn’t coming in today?” The red-haired, freckled worker asked her with a smile.
“He is, but he’s going to be delayed. I’m making sure all of the workers are working hard in the meantime.”
“A little girl as my boss? Ha! I’m trembling with fear.” The worker smirked. “So, am I working well or not? I await your opinion with bated breath.”
“I’m not sure why you think this is funny.” Rus shot the worker a stare that wiped the smile off of his smug face. “If I don’t see your disorganized cart looking spic-and-span by the time I return, I’ll have a very negative report to share with my father. I assure you, he takes my opinion very seriously.”
Rus marched off with her head held high and the worker watched her with narrowed eyes.
“Little brat, talking to me like that… You think you’re so tough because daddy owns the marketplace, huh?”
“Talking to yourself is the first sign of insanity, did you know?”
A wagon had stopped in front of the stall. The man wearing an eye patch, sucking on a long pipe, stared down at his nephew as he held the reigns of the two black horses pulling his wagon.
“Uncle Phillip! Long time no see!”
“Yes, it’s been a while. Pass me one of those delicious looking carrots, boy.”
“I can’t… You see that girl prancing around over there? That’s my boss’s daughter. She’s a smart one and she’ll notice if anything is missing.”
“Hmmm… I can use another smart slave around my house...”
“So take her! She’s a Jewess! They know how to cook too!”
“I like that idea, boy.”
“Grab her now and get out of here before her father comes back. You couldn’t ask for a better time!”
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