Elkanan looked at the priest like one dazed. Before he could utter a word, the priest said: "Rise, Andreas, and follow me." The boy had no alternative but to obey. To his horror he was taken into a chapel and made to kneel. The priests sprinkled water on him. He did not understand what the service meant, and when it was over he began to cry for his father and mother.
The priest said not a word. He just nodded to the woman, and then placed Elkanan in a carriage which he had in waiting. Elkanan slept peacefully, totally unaware of his adventure, and when he opened his eyes he thought he must be dreaming. He was not in his own room, but a much smaller one which seemed to be jolting and moving, like a carriage, and opposite to him was a priest.
"Where am I?" he asked in alarm. "Lie still, Andreas," was the reply. "But my name is not Andreas," he answered. "That is not a Jewish name. I am Elkanan, the son of Simon." To his amazement, however, the priest looked at him pityingly and shook his head. "You have had a nasty accident," he said, "and it has affected your head. You must not speak."
Not another word would he say in response to all the boy's eager queries. He simply ignored Elkanan who puzzled his head over the matter until he really began to feel ill and to wonder whether he was Elkanan after all. Tired out, he fell asleep again, and next time he awoke he was lying on a bed in a bare room. A bell was tolling, and he heard a chanting chorus. By his side stood a priest.
Of a most charitable disposition, learned and ever ready to assist the poor with money and wise counsel, he was reverenced by all, and it was believed he was a direct descendant of King David. Everybody was proud to do him honor. Simon ben Isaac had one little son, a bright boy of the name of Elkanan, who he intended should be trained as a rabbi.
Little Elkanan was very diligent in his studies and gave early promise of developing into an exceptionally clever student. Even the servants in the household loved him for his keen intelligence. One of them, indeed, was unduly interested in him.
I taught it to but one other." "Who?" demanded the Pope, eagerly. "I will tell thee alone," said Simon. The Pope made a sign, and the others left the room in great surprise. Then Simon exclaimed excitedly, "Unless thou art the devil himself, thou canst only be my long lost son, Elkanan." "Father!" cried the Pope, and the old man clasped him in his arms.
Elkanan cried so much on hearing these terrible words that he made himself seriously ill. How long he was kept in bed he knew not, but when he recovered, he found himself a prisoner in a monastery. All the priests called him Andreas, they were kind to him, and in time he began to doubt himself whether he was Elkanan, the son of Simon, the pious Jew of Mayence.
One was that Andreas had thrown himself into the flames; another that he had mysteriously disappeared. And at the same time a stranger arrived in Mayence and was welcomed by Simon joyfully as his son, Elkanan. The Slave's Fortune Ahmed was the only child of the wealthiest merchant in Damascus. His father devoted his days to doing everything possible to anticipate his wishes.
Accordingly, the following Friday night when the household of Simon ben Isaac was wrapped in slumber, she crept stealthily and silently into the boy's bedroom. Taking him gently in her arms, she stole silently out of the house and carried him to the priest who was waiting. Elkanan was well wrapped up in blankets, and so cautiously did the woman move that he did not waken.