Then a strange anxiety stole over her.
Two bats, which had come from the mines and circled round the fire darted past her like ghosts. Everything urged her back to the tent, to her husband, and with hasty resolution she entered the spacious room lighted by a lamp. But it was empty, and the female slave who received her said that Hur would spend the time until the departure of the people with his son and grandson.
A keen pang pierced her heart, and she lay down to rest with a sense of helplessness and shame which she had not felt since her childhood.
A few hours after the camp was astir and when her husband, in the grey dawn of morning, entered the tent with a curt greeting, pride again raised its head and her reply sounded cold and formal.
He did not come alone; his son Uri was with him.
But he looked graver than was his wont; for the men of Judah had assembled early and adjured him not to give up the chief command to any man who belonged to another tribe.
This had been unexpected. He had referred them to Moses’ decision, and his desire that it might be adverse to him was intensified, as his young wife’s self-reliant glance stirred fresh wrath in his soul.
Early the following morning the people resumed their march with fresh vigor and renewed courage; but the little spring which, by digging, had at last been forced to flow was completely exhausted.
However, its refusal to bestow a supply of water to take with them was of no consequence; they expected to find another well at Alush.
The sun had risen in radiant majesty in a cloudless sky. The light showed its awakening power on the hearts of men, and the rocks and the yellow sand of the road sparkled like the blue vault above. The pure, light, spicy air of the desert, cooled by the freshness of the night, expanded the breasts of the wayfarers, and walking became a pleasure.
The men showed greater confidence, and the eyes of the women sparkled more brightly than they had done for a long time; for the Lord had again showed the people that He remembered them in their need; and fathers and mothers gazed proudly at the sons who had conquered the foe. Most of the tribes had greeted in the band of prisoners some one who had long been given up as lost, and it was a welcome duty to make amends for the injuries the terrible forced labor had inflicted. There was special rejoicing, not only among the Ephraimites, but everywhere, over the return of Joshua, as all, save the men of the tribe of Judah, now called him, remembering the cheering promise the name conveyed.
The youths who under his command had put the Egyptians to rout, told their relatives what manner of man the son of Nun was, how he thought of everything and assigned to each one the place for which he was best suited. His eye kindled the battle spirit in every one on whom it fell, and the foe retreated at his mere war-cry.