“Get up,” he yelled, holding the tip of his spear in their faces - but the couple just kept laughing.
“Stop it! Have you no shame? You want to get yourselves killed?”
“By who? You?” the woman laughed and continued on her merry way.
Othniel stood confused and double minded. He wanted to kill them but couldn’t bring himself to it. Furthermore, he was getting queasy at the sight of them making out.
“Phinehas! They’re here. I found them!” he yelled and ran off for reinforcements. Deep down in his heart, he hated himself for not finishing the job.
Of course, by the time Othniel returned with Joshua, Salman and Phinehas the naked couple had disappeared. In their absence, Othniel had nothing but excuses to offer.
“I’m sorry. I thought they ... they were just here. They really were, you have to believe me.”
“You idiot. Why didn’t you kill them?” yelled Phinehas, “you had them right there in front of you.”
“There’s no need to defile the camp with their blood,” Joshua added.
“What, just have them run riot?” Salman replied.
“Look, as long as we keep arguing they’re getting further away,” Joshua interjected, “Now let’s use our heads and find out where they went.”
The pillar of fire cast it’s omniscient glow over the camp as the four men searched frantically amongst the rows of tents. Finding the couple would be a daunting task in a refugee camp of several hundred thousand families, but they were hot on their trail and had the advantage of sober minds and plenty of witnesses.
“Did you see them? Where did they go?” Joshua asked a crowd of bystanders.
“My word,” replied an old lady “they were as fast as foxes, and stark naked too.”
“But where? Which direction?”
“Oh, over there I think,” she replied vaguely pointing her finger somewhere, “but I had to shut my eyes.”
“Oh that’s great! That’s real helpful” laughed Phinehas sarcastically.
“That’s fine Madam, thank you,” Joshua politely interjected. “Phinehas, search all these rows of tents on the left side with Othniel. No, come to think of it, Salman you go with Phinehas. I’ll take Othniel.”
Joshua decided to team up with young Othniel, for the search was turning into a hunt and the boy’s courage was still untested. He needed no reminder of where this was going - the hill outside the camp was dotted with a dozen or more adulterers hanging from makeshift gallows.