Posted: February 4, 2016 in When the Wolf Howls
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Dagger for When the Wolf Howls

© by Ross Cochrane

Chapter 50

“You sent for me?” Jonadab said.

“Jonadab, cousin. It’s been such a long time. Have you been away or just in hiding? Please sit down. We have a lot to talk about.”

“I’m sorry Amnon, but I have business to attend to, so I won’t have much time.”

“Sit down, Jonadab!” Amnon’s eyes were cold, like a lion in pursuit of its prey. “It’s business that I want to discuss.” Jonadab could feel the blood draining from his face.

After hearing that Amnon had raped Tamar, Jonadab was sickened. He stayed away from Amnon as much as possible, not wanting to put his business dealings in jeopardy through his complicity in the crime, so when Amnon sent for him, he became ill at ease. Never-the-less he had come to see him immediately to end their friendship completely.

Amnon continued. “Many of the men of this city are refusing to trade with my merchants” Jonadab was aware that Absalom had gained many friends in the city and Amnon was suffering because of these connections with Absalom. Amnon continued. “I want you to convince him to allow his friends to re-open trading communications with me.”

“That’s inconceivable? I refuse. We have nothing more to talk about.” Jonadab was appalled that Amnon would even suggest such a thing. But Amnon wasn’t finished.

“Let me make something clear to you, Jonadab. I am not giving you a choice. If you fail to get back my trading contacts, then you may find yourself implicated in another matter that we both know about. You may also find it a little difficult to buy and sell yourself, and your father would not be pleased.” With his cold dark eyes, Amnon mocked Jonadab.

“Amnon, you are a rich man. Why do you even want to re-establish contact with men who despise you? And how could I possibly convince them to re-establish trade with you? And why do you need my help?”

“So many questions, cousin. It’s simple really. One day my father will die and I may well take his place as king. I don’t want to jeopardise my chances. I need someone to convince Absalom not to hold a grudge against me. I regret my actions, but it’s time to forget the past. He is having a feast soon to celebrate sheep shearing. Many of his trading friends will be invited. I want you to convince him to invite me as well. This will, at least, be a first step to convincing them that the bad feeling between us is over.”

Jonadab felt trapped. “I suppose I could try,” he said, in order to end the conversation as quickly as possible. It’s impossible. Absalom can’t stand the sight of you. “After all, it has been almost two years.”

But I still can’t understand why you did such a thing in the first place, Amnon. You brought such disgrace upon you and upon Tamar. I never thought you would…”

“Enough! Get me that invitation or you will find yourself disgraced and you will know what it feels like.”

Jonadab resented the intrusion of Amnon into his life again. He had deliberately sought to disassociate himself from him.

Jonadab went away with a jumble of thoughts tumbling around in his head. Amnon, you are bad for trade. Don’t you realise that word has spread of your abhorrent act. People don’t like you! How could you have thought it would be acceptable to involve me in helping you meet with Tamar and then commit such a disgusting crime against her? You repulsive, objectionable predator! However did you manage to escape punishment?

I will not allow you to treat me like your prey. I will not tolerate you straining the business relationships I have developed with Absalom just so you can get your way. Why would he allow you to come to the sheep-shearing feast?

Absalom was popular and wealthy. As he walked away thinking about how he might approach Absalom, a plan to solve both problems occurred to him. It would demand shrewd manipulation, but Jonadab was left with no choice.

Pastor Ross


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