Another quick update, I am getting this read slowly-but-surely! (I have to be honest, I almost bought the movie Saturday, I have a dvd-buying problem, but I knew if I did I would watch it immediately and likely never finish the book. I will be getting the movie as soon as I get this story finished!)
The year of our Lord 29
After 5 years, we see Ben-Hur still on a ship. The Grove of Daphne seems to beckon to him. Ben-Hur is going to the citadel, to discover who may be left of his family and servants after being told the story of his own disappearance by a Hebrew on board the ship. He was told of the supposed death of his father, and that a slave named Simonides took over the running of the family business, no questions asked, and is now running a successful business, as a prosperous business owner.
Ben-Hur, hoping only for word on his mother and sister, is willing to free this slave for any information about these two women. Simonides has nothing to tell Ben-Hur of his family, only that they are lost. Ben-Hur leaves, disappointed in what he has been told.
Simonides, on the other hand, decides to have him followed, apparently to see if Ben-Hur is the Prince he claims to be. His daughter, Esther, is going to learn why the appearance of this stranger has made her father so extraordinarily happy. Esther learns the story of her father, and mother, and that he is indeed the slave of the late Ben-Hur, and how he came to be managing his property and business.
As Ben-Hur makes his way to what was once his home, he notices that although many things appear to be different, maybe they are really still the same (it seems to be a life-learning lesson that has never changed through the ages).
I am anxious to read about his mother and sister, I hope he finds out something soon!