It had been three days hence and still the freshness of the water in the basin retained its vividness. The cool, calming, soothing water creeping under nail, vying in the pores for some eternal purchase. The cracks, the crevices of a younger man’s work, subtled out in the softness of decadence; the cold hard pierced memory too.
With undiminishing clarity he remembered the face of that pathetic Jew. He had no more sympathy for him than for a dog lying abandoned on the roadside and yet he’d felt a stirring that once again suggested the onslaught of age – the younger Pilate in defiance of the masses would have beheaded the man in a bold display of prowess. He had always despised weakness, and yet in the eyes of this one he had not seen this: Though fear had presided as with any man condemned, he had also seen hope – not the pointless hope of mania but the real hope borne of strong belief.