Yes, they came to my inn at Bethlehem, and how well I remember the couple; it seems but yesterday.
He was a manly sort of a man, the kind that would cause you to look again if you saw him once; kindly and dignified, with a long beard; a strong man with quiet manner. There was something that charmed me about the woman who was with him, and–well, I just can’t tell you– anyway, one could see that she might soon become a mother.
It rather worried me that I didn’t have a place for them, but so many had come for the registration, you know. Sanballat, rich merchant, had come down from Damascus; Thaddeus, one of my old customers, had come up from Gaza. A party from Hebron came just at nightfall, and, since I knew them all, I could not turn them away.
Joseph told me that he was from Nazareth, up in the hill country of Galilee. He thought, of course, he could have a place to stay. And, as he asked me, he looked toward Mary and knew that I would understand.
I did understand, and I tried to think which of the men I could ask to move and make place for the couple. But how could I ask these customers of mine to inconvenience themselves: After all, I did not know Joseph and Mary.
I said to myself, O well, somebody will look after them. I must not disturb the others, and it is a beautiful star-lit night. Here, I have it, finally I said to myself, we can make room for them in the manger, and some way they will get along.
I have wondered a lot about them since they have gone. He was a manly sort of man with his long beard and dignified look and quiet manners. And the woman, she was like a princess. I wish now, that I had said to the men in my inn, “We must make a place for this man and this woman from Galilee!”
But I didn’t, and I am sorry. After all, they might, have been people of consequence.