“The Eternal One Does Not Deceive”

This story originally appeared on July 7, 2015.


Photo graciously provided by our wonderful Sandra Crook.  Thank-you, Sandra!

The image reminded me of some of the equipment of an old agronomy compound I visited back in October of 2014 (now an historical site and museum) formerly owned by the Aaronsohn Family.

One of the sisters, Sarah, played an important role in their story.

And this is it …


After four days of excruciating torture by the Turks, Sarah asked for permission to change her bloodied dress.  A small price, she thought, for an intercepted message to the Brits.  She wrote a letter awhile back telling the story of how she hoped the efforts of the NILI* Spy Ring would destroy the Ottoman Empire’s cruel dominance in exchange for British rule in Palestine.

The soldiers escorted her through her family’s agronomy compound to the farmhouse.  Walking into the bathroom, she grabbed the gun concealed in the wall panel and used it on herself.

Now, they would NEVER break her.


*NILI stood for “Netzach Israel Lo Ishaker  (1 Samuel 15:29)  which, translated into English, is also the title of the story.

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50 Responses to “The Eternal One Does Not Deceive”

  1. neilmacdon says:

    The exchange wasn’t such a great one, as it turned out. The reason, the Indians say, that Britain had an Empire on which the sun never set was that God didn’t trust the Brits in the dark

    • wmqcolby says:

      Hahahaha! I have heard that. It actually was a better exchange because for Israel because the Turks were very oppressive, but the Brits weren’t. It paved the way for them getting their own State. I have seen the Aaronsohn compound and it’s still in the same state it’s in since. Very well curated.

  2. Sandra says:

    That’s really sad. Really, really sad. Well done, Kent.

    • wmqcolby says:

      Yeah, it is, but Sarah Aaronsohn was willing to give her life. She died a heroine with full burial honors later. Also, the Brits got the information they were needing to overthrow the Turks from the compound.

      Thanks, Sandra!

  3. Dale says:

    I would never have thought torturers would not allow anyone to change their dress…

  4. Lynn Love says:

    A brave woman, determined not to be broken. Extraordinary. Nicely told, Kent

  5. elmowrites says:

    Devastating. And what strange weaknesses torturers have. I actually found that strangely believable that they would allow a costume change but not physical mercy.

  6. Oh I do remember this one, what a devastating sacrifice… but I guess the end would have came anyway. Torture is the worst of practice.

  7. wmqcolby says:

    Yes, it is. She was very brave. Her brothers, though, were even braver than that. It was a tough family.

  8. Wow. This one is stunning, Kent. The imagery and harshness of the situation are palpable. Shook me.

  9. wmqcolby says:

    Oh, thank-you SO much, Dawn!

    I remember feeling the same way when I first heard about Sarah Aaronsohn. I thought I’d rerun this one since the photo took me back there but also because I think this is one of my better stories. Glad you enjoyed it.

  10. plaridel says:

    the guard must have allowed her to go to the bathroom by herself out of mercy to give her the opportunity to honorably kill herself..

  11. wmqcolby says:

    In a way, I guess.

  12. draliman says:

    The ultimate sacrifice, though maybe something of a relief after the torture.

  13. This one has left me feeling quite rattled… The sign of a good story! Torture is such a terrible thing.

  14. wmqcolby says:

    Oh yes, indeed. I don’t know what it was they did to her, but Israelis are pretty tough. They actually did have a difficult time trying to break her. I don’t think they ever did.

  15. I’m curious to read more about Sarah, which is a sure sign that your story got under my skin!
    I can only assume that they would never have allowed a man to change his clothes. If that is the case, they certainly paid the price for underestimating Sarah.
    A sad tale of a level of courage and commitment to a cause that is difficult to imagine but is still a reality for many people living in conflict zones. Thanks for the thought-provoking tale 🙂

  16. wmqcolby says:

    Thanks, Siobhan. If you Google the Aaronsohn family, you will get a lot of information on them. The brothers were even more adventurous.

  17. rgayer55 says:

    I remember this tale from the first posting, but am still intrigued by the story. Thanks for running it again.

  18. Great story made only greater by the flawless writing. She sure was one strong woman. You have me all intrigued about her. Wonderful,again.

  19. wmqcolby says:

    Thanks ever so much. The history of her family is really fascinating.

  20. Dear Cuzzin Notnek,

    I remembered the story and at first blush I thought the dress scenario rather contrived. So I followed the Wikipedia link. Who-da thunk it? Truth really is stranger than fiction. .How sad though that poor Sarah lingered for four days of agony after shooting herself in the mouth and missing her brain. Now that’s what I call a bad aim. Good story.


    Cuzzin Shelley

    • Dear Rochelle and Cuzzin N,
      That’s terrible about her lingering death. She spared herself of having others torture her and then ends up torturing herself. I can’t believe anyone can shoot themselves in the mouth and miss their brain. This vision is going to haunt me big-time, as if the 100-word history wasn’t tragic enough. Often, this world is so totally… D:
      I’ll sign out with two words, just to remind myself that there is goodness, too.
      Love and peace,

      • Sorry to have left you with that image, Sarah. 😦 Such a sad end for a courageous woman.



      • wmqcolby says:

        Yes, Sarah, it genuinely is a heartbreaker of a story. Even to this day, Israelis have to deal with this on a daily basis. But, they are a tough people and they do have a bright and promising future ahead. And, yes, there IS goodness in the world and I, too, have written about it. Sometimes I think our FF writers (not to cut anyone down, of course) go too dark too often. A lot of times that happens because of issues they’re probably having to work out in their lives. So, maybe it’s time for some positivity. I have written dark, light, comedic and tragic stories, all kinds. My goal as a writer (if I ever decide to become one and take this seriously) is to make people think about what’s happening inside of themselves rather than point fingers or grind an ax. It seems better suited for me that way.

        Thanks for your comments, Sarah. 🙂

  21. wmqcolby says:

    You know, it seems the first time this was published, nobody noticed it nor did they talk about the dress scenario. I might be wanting to post more old content after this to see if there are other features of interest in my stories.

  22. This snippet of history shows how strong people can be – singly and in groups. A word, a gesture, a request and history changes. Thanks for bringing Sarah into my world.

  23. wmqcolby says:

    You are so welcome, Alicia. She was indeed very brave.

  24. Love the whole writing. Awesome note about history. Its wonderful how you have woven so many things into it!
    Btw, it also reminds me of the poem THE HIGHWAY MAN by Alfred Noyes!

  25. subroto says:

    An interesting recount, it had me googling Sarah Aaronsohn and her brothers. Thanks for a fascinating slice of history Kent.

  26. What a terrible decision some people feel the have to make. Sad take on the prompt.

  27. wmqcolby says:

    Yes, very sad. “No greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends”. Or, in this case, a woman who cared enough about her country’s potential freedom that she valued it more than her life in order others will carry on.

  28. Oh wow…very well told Kent.

  29. wmqcolby says:

    Thanks, Dawn. I’m happy you liked it.

  30. What a powerful story!

  31. wmqcolby says:

    Yes, it is. You should have seen the compound, Symanntha, it was still preserved as it had been.

  32. ceayr says:

    Terrific tale here, Kent.
    But not as many laughs as usual.

  33. wmqcolby says:

    No, not many. Unless you’re Uncle Fester. 😀

    My next two will be funny, though. I promise.

  34. I wasn’t expecting that ending!

    • wmqcolby says:

      Really? Well, I DID kind of design it that way in the telling, but it came as just a shock to the Turks when it happened in real life. It definitely, as a story, packs a wallop.

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