More interested in the object of the boy's attention than in the youth himself, you enter futher into the garden to find out what he is spying on. Looking beyond the youth's hiding place you see two groups of men. Nearest you eight men lie propped up against the twisted trunks of olive trees or sprawled out on the rocky ground. Your first thought, at this midnight hour, is that they are dead. But you breath a sigh of relief when the breeze carries the light sound of snoring to your ears. Beyond this sleeping assembly, you can make out three more figures -- no, wait, a fourth has just approached them from the distant shadows. He is waking the other three, who also were sleeping heavily on the ground. The four of them are now heading toward the group of eight men, who yawn and stretch at the sound of approaching footsteps.

Deciding that there is nothing of interest here, you turn back towards the garden gate. Just beyond the low wall, however, you notice the flickering of many torches. While you stand watching from the shadows, a large crowd enters through the gate. Some of them are heavily armored, and carry swords that gleam in the moonlight. You recognize them as Roman soldiers stationed in Jerusalem. Others, armed with clubs, appear to be from the Temple guard under the jurisdiction of the Jewish chief priests. In fact, a large number of the priests and scribes themselves are accompanying this mixed militia.

As out of place as this band seems in the tranquill setting of Gethsemane, the oddest feature is the leader. Some fifteen to twenty paces ahead of the rest, he strides down the path as if unaware that a small army is close behind him.

"Judas," whispers the boy, as he slides into the shadow of a nearby olive tree.

The crowd of soldiers and holy men is marching directly towards the twelve, whose leader is also moving to meet them.

Join the crowd.
Creep closer to hear, but stay hidden.