Historical setting: 588 C.E. Ligugè
The abbot tells me the messenger will stay the night, and in the morning I can go back to the vineyards with him. May we not be too late for Eve’s burial. The abbot said this fellow wanted to visit the grave of Old Nic so I can find him there.
Brother August comes with me to the graveyard.
Yes, I see this messenger is here. He is a slender young man with a shock of orange hair. Standing here in the breezy autumn twilight he is like a slender candle with a flickering flame. To bring me this news, and to know of Brother Nic he must know something of my family but I’ve never seen him before.
“You are the messenger who has come for me?” (He nods with a curiously raised brow.) “And I’m Lazarus.”
“Brother Lazarus? I was expecting someone older.”
August intrudes, “This Lazarus is the son of Nic’s friend Lazarus.”
The stranger speaks for himself, “I’m Thole, a friend of your family. Auntie Eve was like a mother to me.”
Brother August is questioning. “How is it that you don’t know one another?”
“It was a matter of timing, I suppose. I do know of this man Thole, he is the son of Jesse, Ezra’s wife’s cousin. Thank you for coming for me. I hope we won’t be too late for Eve’s burial. Maybe we should leave immediately rather than wait until morning.”
“We won’t be late; they’re waiting for us. They knew we would have to rest the horses before we could return tomorrow morning. And travel by night would be inadvisable.”
August goes on to vespers and Thole mentions, “Apparently, here they don’t know of your, shall I say, ‘gift’?”
“Gift? You may call it that. It is simply more of a unique circumstance.”
“I was a very young child staying with your daughter Eve, when Nic first came with your bones all wrapped and I watched him build a sepulcher as he waited for your rising. That was very interesting for me, as a young child.”
“I imagine. Did Nic offer any worthy explanation?”
“Not to my liking. Of course I missed lots of what he meant for me to hear. He wanted to teach me to read and to know the Christian things. But Auntie Eve wasn’t a demanding enough tutor so I never minded my lessons.