When I knew the result I did not altogether regret it.

"But they found some proofs, surely," said Ben-Hur, eagerly.

When I knew the result I did not altogether regret it.

"Yes, proofs written in blood--a village in mourning; mothers yet crying for their little ones. You must know, when Herod heard of our flight, he sent down and slew the youngest-born of the children of Bethlehem. Not one escaped. The faith of my messengers was confirmed; but they came to me saying the Child was dead, slain with the other innocents."

When I knew the result I did not altogether regret it.

"Dead!" exclaimed Ben-Hur, aghast. "Dead, sayest thou?"

When I knew the result I did not altogether regret it.

"Nay, my son, I did not say so. I said they, my messengers, told me the Child was dead. I did not believe the report then; I do not believe it now."

"I see--thou hast some special knowledge."

"Not so, not so," said Balthasar, dropping his gaze. "The Spirit was to go with us no farther than to the Child. When we came out of the cave, after our presents were given and we had seen the babe, we looked first thing for the star; but it was gone, and we knew we were left to ourselves. The last inspiration of the Holy One--the last I can recall--was that which sent us to Ilderim for safety."

"Yes," said the sheik, fingering his beard nervously. "You told me you were sent to me by a Spirit--I remember it."

"I have no special knowledge," Balthasar continued, observing the dejection which had fallen upon Ben-Hur; "but, my son, I have given the matter much thought--thought continuing through years, inspired by faith, which, I assure you, calling God for witness, is as strong in me now as in the hour I heard the voice of the Spirit calling me by the shore of the lake. If you will listen, I will tell you why I believe the Child is living."

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