Berkeley, California -- December 1981  

Afraid of further disclosure to a man who inspired them, Janey focused on the figure seemingly stepping forward from the shield.

"So," John asked, noting her interest, "what do you think of our family heirloom?"

"It dazzled me at first. Even now, I sense its power and mystery. It does seem a bit more reposed, here in your office."

John laughed. "Don't tell me that, like my mother, you fear the heirloom possesses some sort of consciousness capable of emotion or action?"

"That seems a bit superstitious. And yet, a certain power emanates from that kingly figure. I was told that he represents King David."

"Yes. According to my grandfather, he is a leader yet to come, a man who will restore peace and prosperity to our people. Two sources confirm this supposition."

John left the chair behind his desk to sit beside her. Janey watched as he opened what appeared to be the wrong end of a book. A Hebrew Bible. He thumbed through the pages until he came to Ezekiel, chapter thirty seven.

"Read this," he instructed, pointing to the corresponding English verses. "See how nearly the words compare with the inscription beneath the king's feet."

John translated from the heirloom: "And I will make them one nation in the land of Israel . They shall no more be divided into two kingdoms. I will be their God and my servant David king over them."

"Janey," he continued, "I believe that the king's crown rising above the shield represents the fact that, like David of old, his modern heir will rule over a united Israel ."

Shivering, Janey gazed at the heirloom with new respect.

"Perhaps," she murmured, "it isn't so much a legacy of the past as a herald of the future."

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