The same was repeated at the other two gallows.
After this the Tribune gestured to the centurion and turned to walk
down the hill with the captain of the temple guard and the hooded man.
It was now twilight and lightning was furrowing the black sky. Suddenly
there was a brilliant flash and the centurion's shout of' Fall out, the
cordon! ' was drowned in thunder. The delighted soldiers started running
down hill, buckling on their helmets as they went.
A mist had covered Jerusalem.
The downpour struck suddenly and caught the centurion halfway down the
hill. The rain fell with such force that turbulent streams began catching
them up as they ran. The troops slithered and fell on the muddy soil as they
hurried to reach the main road. Moving fast, now scarcely visible in a veil
of water, the rain-soaked cavalry was already on its way back to Jerusalem.
After a few minutes only one man was left on the hill in the smoking
cauldron of wind, water and fire.
Brandishing his stolen knife, for which he now had a use after all,
leaping over the slippery rocks, grasping whatever came to hand, at times
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