Nehemiah is pacing the streets at first light examining the builders’ progress and picturing the work that lies ahead. He then gets out of bed, puts on his clothes, and leaves the house to pace the streets, gravely nodding in greeting at the first workmen as they begin to appear; he pauses, suppressing a smile, and contemplates sections of the city’s thick walls, the new as well as those that still aren’t there. No one can see the great Rose already dawning, looming above them like a spaceship.

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