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The Two Apostles
by [?]

God covered sun, moon, and stars, stilled the growing things of the earth and dried up the waters on the face of the earth, and stopped the roll of the world; and He fixed upon a measure of time in which to judge the peoples, this being the measure which was spoken of as the Day of Judgment.

In the meanseason He summoned Satan to the Judgment Hall, which is at the side of the river that breaks into four heads, and above which, its pulpits stretching beyond the sky, is the Palace of White Shirts, and below which, in deep darknesses, are the frightful regions of the Fiery Oven. “Give an account of your rule in the face of those whom you provoked to mischief,” He said to Satan. “My balance hitched to a beam will weigh the good and evil of my children, and if good is heavier than evil, I shall lighten your countenance and clothe you with the robes of angels.”

“Awake the dead” He bade the Trumpeter, and “Lift the lids off the burying-places” He bade the laborers. In their generations were they called; “for,” said the Lord, “good and evil are customs of a period and when the period is passed and the next is come, good may be evil and evil may be good.”

Now God did not put His entire trust in Satan, and in the evening of the day He set to prove him: “It is over.”

“My Lord, so be it,” answered Satan.

“How now?” asked God.

“The scale of wickedness sways like a kite in the wind,” cried Satan. “Give me my robes and I will transgress against you no more.”

“In the Book of Heaven and Hell,” said God, “there is no writing of the last of the Welsh.”

Satan spoke up: “My Lord, your pledge concerned those judged on the Day of Judgment. Day is outing. The windows of the Mansion are lit; hark the angels tuning their golden strings for the cheer of the Resurrection Supper. Give me my robes that I may sing your praises.”

“Can I not lengthen the day with a wink of my eye?”

“All things you can do, my Lord, but observe your pledge to me. Allow these people to rest a while longer. Their number together with the number of their sins is fewer than the hairs on Elisha’s head.”

God laughed in His heart as He replied to Satan: “Tell the Trumpeter to take his horn and the laborers their spades and bring to me the Welsh.”

The laborers digged, and at the sound of the horn the dead breathed and heaved. Those whose wit was sharp hurried into neighboring chapels and stole Bibles and hymn-books, with which in their pockets and under their arms they joined the host in Heaven’s Courtyard, whence they went into the Waiting Chamber that is without the Judgment Hall.

“Boy bach, a lot of Books of the Word he has,” a woman remarked to the Respected Towy-Watkins. “Say him I have one.”

“Happy would I be to do like that,” was the reply. “But, female, much does the Large One regard His speeches. What is the text on the wall? ‘Prepare your deeds for the Lord.’ The Beybile is the most religious deed. Farewell for now,” and he pretended to go away.

Holding the sleeve of his White Shirt, the woman separated her toothless gums and fashioned her wrinkled face in grief. “Two tens he has,” she croaked. “And his shirt is clean. Dirty am I; buried I was as I was found, and the shovelers beat the soil through the top of the coffin. Do much will I for one Beybile.”

“A poor dab you are,” said Towy.

“Many deeds you have? But no odds to me.”

“Four I have.”

“Woe for you, unfortunate.”

“Iss-iss, horrid is my plight,” the woman whined. “Little I did for Him.”

“Don’t draw tears. For eternity you’ll weep. Here is a massive Beybile for your four deeds.”