He nodded and motioned for her to disappear. She ducked into the trees and hid herself behind the underbrush, clutching the hilt of her dagger. A man soon appeared, carrying a long staff and acting like a shepherd but Elsa could tell immediately that he was not. He was looking for something.
“Looking for me, James?” Adamon called, the man stopped and looked up. A look of hatred filled his eyes.
“Andrew. You knave, I am looking for you. To kill you. Peter is as well, and shall be here any moment.”
“Would Peter be of much use since I cut his arm nearly a week ago?” Adamon asked calmly.
Anger filled James’ eyes. “He will not need to help with anything, except for dig your grave.”
Elsa watched in horror as the men engaged in a deadly duel. Back and forth they went, many times nearly losing their balance and tumbling over the edge into the river, and, ultimately, to their deaths. James advanced on Adamon, and Elsa could tell that he was trying to force her friend over the cliff.
No, no, she thought and prayed over and over again. Suddenly James dropped his sword and dove for Adamon. This turn of events startled Elsa, and she crouched, ready to spring to her feet and run. James was trying to draw the knife from his belt and Adamon was doing his best to prevent it. At this moment the ground gave way beneath them and they fell. Elsa sprang to her feet and ran to look over the edge. Right below her Adamon was holding on with all of his might to a bush. Elsa worked quickly; first she stretched herself out on her stomach, wrapping her legs around a tree. Then she reached for Adamon’s hand.
“Pull as hard as you can,” she called down to him. Elsa felt her muscles begin to ache. She pulled at Adamon’s hand, but he was far too heavy for her,
“Let me go.” He said, his voice was tense.
“Never.” Elsa cried; tears sprang to her eyes from the pain of her arms and the prospect of losing her friend. He was becoming heavier by the moment. She felt his hand slip through hers, then, it was gone. She closed her eyes, unable to look. Adamon was gone. Forever.
~ ~ ~
“Why? Why?” Elsa whispered through her tears. She stood up and brushed herself off. Turning around, she found herself face to face with Peter. With a quick scream she darted off to the right. He quickly caught and held her, her back to him. “Where is Andrew?” He asked angrily.
“I know no Andrew.” Elsa replied with defiance, “You are searching in the wrong place, sir,”
“No I am not.” He growled, and Elsa felt a knife press against her throat. “You tell me where he is.”
“He is at the bottom of the canyon. Probably dead.” She said, choking on the words, “If you are talking about Adamon, that is,”
“Yes.” Peter snarled, “And you’re going to join him.” With that he threw her over the edge. Elsa felt her stomach drop out. It had to be a dream. She knew it was. In another few seconds she would die, and who would care? No one. In another instant, she felt herself being caught in strong arms, and then she was set on her feet. Shaking herself, she turned to see who her rescuer was.
“Adamon?” she gasped. He placed a finger to his lips, signaling her to be silent. They sat there for at least ten minutes before Adamon was satisfied that Peter had gone.
“How?” was all that Elise could stammer.
“We need to get back to the cave.” Adamon sounded urgent, “I hurt my leg in the fall and am not able to walk very well.”
“Let alone climb.” Elsa said, staring up.
“There is a way further on,” Adamon said, “If you can find me a stick to lean on it will help greatly.”
Elsa nodded and soon located a sturdy walking stick. They made their way along until Adamon pointed out a slanted path worming its way up the steep incline. After a treacherous climb they found their way back to the cave.
“I will be unable to help you rescue your family.” Adamon said quietly. “You should not go alone.”
Elsa took a step back, “I am going, help, or no help. Do you think I care how dangerous it is? I may as well risk my life, for if I succeed, five more will be saved.”
“And if you do not, six more will be lost.” Adamon looked at her earnestly, “You are young, Elsa, you could be of great help to the Protestants here.”
“That is what I am doing.” Elsa said, “I will go now. I should have gone sooner.”
“Very well, Elsa, I will pray for you.”
Elsa donned her cloak and make sure that she still had her dagger. “Thank you. I will need it.”
“May God be with you,” Elsa heard Adamon say as she crawled out of the tunnel. “And with you.” She whispered.
~ ~ ~
...Now she was running for her life. How could she have been so careless? She raced down another alley, changing directions several more times. Finally she found herself directly behind the prison. With great effort she pulled herself up, finding hand holds in the stone. She reached the roof. It was very large and well kept, but not as secure as other prisons, such as the ones in castles which are made of solid stone. Finding the trapdoor Adamon had told her of she opened it. It creaked terribly, leaving Elsa’s heart pounding. She only had one chance at this. Slipping down through the roof, her foot found a ladder and she climbed down. Looking around, she saw that it was a long hall with cells on either side. She would have to search all of them, for who knew which one her family was in? She walked down the whole row before she found them. Looking through the bars, she saw her father sitting with his head in his hands. The rest of the family was lying down at the far end of the cell.
“Father?” Elsa called softly; he raised his head and looked towards her,
“Yes, Father, it is I. I am here to rescue you.”
“How? The door has a lock on it.”
Elsa thought for a moment. “I will find a key and come back. Do not lose faith, Father,” She walked silently back the way she had come. Suddenly, she realized that this had all been easy. Too easy. She had not seen any guards and no threats at all. She doubled her awareness; she finally came to the door at the end of the hall. Creeping silently up, she peered through the lock. There was no one in sight, but the room was well lit, and Elsa could see a bunch of keys on the far wall. Her hand closed around the dagger hilt as she undid the latch and pushed the door open, all the while praying that it would not creak. It did not, so she walked cautiously into the room, wary of a trap.
She grabbed the keys and shoved them into her pocket; she caught sight of a paper on the table and walked over to it. She caught sight of the word ‘Adamon’ and immediately picked it up and placed it with the keys in her pocket. Turning to the door, she was again amazed at the lack of security. She walked to the end cell again and unlocked the door, again praying that it would not creak. The family slipped through the door single file and followed Elsa back to the ladder, up to freedom.
The horizon to the east was beginning to be tinted with a glow of purple as the group found its way back to the cave. Elsa had not told them of Adamon, but did not know how.
“Here, Father,” She whispered, and led the way into the cave. Once in the room, Elsa looked around. Adamon was nowhere to be seen. She tried to act normally as the rest of the family crowded into the small room.
“Our Bible, Papa!” One of the younger girls exclaimed,
“Yes, our Bible. Thank God! Elsa, you are a wonder,” Papa replied enthusiastically, Elsa smiled at them, but sleep was trying to make its way into her mind. After resisting it for a little while, she finally submitted and lay down. The rest of the family did as well; after a few minutes of sleep, Elsa woke and the paper sprang into her mind. She wanted to know what it said, so she got up and walked between the sleepers to the candle. She took out the now wrinkly paper, smoothed it, and read:
Meet me at the river bottom where we fell.
Elsa stared in shock. How could Adamon have been there? How could he have left the note? His leg had been hurt in the fall, unless he had faked his injury, which Elsa doubted. The only other option was that someone had forged the note. But how would anyone have known that she was there?
She made her way through the forest to the river again. After walking carefully down the inclined bank she walked to the place where they had fallen.
She heard Adamon’s voice and turned towards him.
“Adamon, how?” she asked, “How could you have been there?”
“I have a confession to make, Elsa; I didn’t really hurt my leg. I wanted to make an excuse to not go with you.”
“Why?” Elsa was now completely confused.
“Because I wanted to see if you were brave enough to go and because I knew that you would not trust God as much if I was there to protect you.” Adamon replied,
“Yes, I understand.” Elsa replied, “What did you do to protect me?”
“I followed you. You acted quickly when you heard me coming. I barely saw you when you rolled under that bush.”
“The soldier! You were the soldier!” Elsa gasped,
“Yes. I went into the prison and left the note on the table, and then I distracted the guards outside.”
“I had no idea.” Elsa murmured, “Will you come meet my family, Adamon?”
“I cannot. I must go and help others.” Adamon replied, turning to walk away,
“Will you come back?” Elsa asked,
Adamon stopped and turned around. “Yes, Elsa, I will. I promise.”
Adamon did come back, and, after a few years, he and Elsa were married. A few years later King Henry the 8th finally became tolerant of Protestants, starting the Church of England. Adamon and Elsa’s family, which now had two children, were able to come out of hiding. A while later King Henry died and his daughter, Queen Mary, ascended the throne. This was again a time of persecution. Even through all of this, Adamon and Elsa proclaimed the Lord Jesus Christ, even if it meant their deaths.