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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 174 pages of information about The Young Captives.

In the vicinity of the Temple stood a beautiful dwelling.  From outward appearances one would readily conclude that the inmates of that fair abode were not common personages.  Wealth and taste were shown on every hand.  To this house, in the heart of Jerusalem, came the young man who had rendered himself so conspicuous in the quarrel with the guard.  He reached the place by a circuitous route and hastily entered.  Although the hour was late two Hebrew maidens of rare beauty awaited his coming.  They were in a state of anxious solicitude for the return of their erring brother, whose conduct of late had been such as to cause the most intense anxiety on the part of the pious household, for Ezrom belonged to the nobility of Judah and was a blood relation of the reigning monarch.  Seeing his excited countenance, the sisters understood that something unusual had befallen him, and the elder of the two sprang to his side.

“What calamity has occurred to you, my dear brother?” she cried.

“Be calm, sweet Serintha,” he replied, “and I will tell you all.”

He then informed his sisters that with his three friends he had been guilty of taking up arms against the authorities—­a crime punished with great severity.

As Ezrom and his young men companions were connected with families of high station in Jerusalem, even having royal blood in their veins, they had the privilege of carrying weapons and were in the habit of going armed with swords.  This unfortunate custom had only served in the end to get them into serious trouble, and Ezrom for one felt compelled to leave home during the night.

These startling disclosures brought from both of his sisters a cry of agony.  They implored him to remain, promising to exert every influence to save him from punishment.

Ezrom’s mind was firmly made up, however, and he declared that he never would face the impending exposure.  He gathered together a few articles of clothing while his sisters followed him from room to room with painful sobs.  He was soon ready.  His younger sister, Monroah, fell on his neck in a paroxysm of grief.  Ezrom could utter but a few broken words when he essayed to bid them farewell.  His favorite harp stood by his side.

“Take this, my sweet Monroah,” he said, in trembling accents, “and whenever thy hand shall strike its chords of melody remember that thou art loved with all the strong affection of a brother’s heart.  And now, in the presence of Jehovah I make the solemn vow that from this hour I shall reform my ways.”

He then kissed his beloved sisters, and, with burning brow and tear-dimmed eyes, rushed from his father’s house and away to a land of strangers.

CHAPTER II.

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