[Judah confronts Esther and Malluch in the Valley of the Lepers]
Judah Ben-Hur: [angrily, to Esther] Why did you tell me they were dead?
Esther: It was what they wanted. Judah, I must not betray this faith. Will you do this for them?
Judah Ben-Hur: Not to see them?
Esther: [seeing Miriam and Tirzah approach] They are coming... Judah! Judah, love them in the way they most need to be loved: not to look at them! Judah, let it be as though you had never come here. Please, Judah!
[Judah hides behind a boulder as Esther goes to meet Miriam]
Miriam: Is Judah well? Is he happy?
[Judah's face twists in anguish]
Esther: Yes. He is well. Your mind can be at rest for him. He is well, Miriam.
Miriam: [taking the basket of food] God be with you.
[Miriam and Tirzah go back into their cave]
Esther: [going back to Judah] They are gone. We can go back.
Judah Ben-Hur: [bitterly] Go back... to what?
Esther: Judah, they have one blessing left: to think you remember them as they were. Live your own life. Forget what is here.
Judah Ben-Hur: Forget? It's as if they were alive in a grave!
Esther: But what can you do?
Judah Ben-Hur: Undo what you've done! How could you have suffered them to come here? I must see them!
Esther: No Judah, please! Judah!
[Judah starts toward the cave but is stopped by Malluch]
Esther: Oh, think, Judah, *think*! It will tear them apart if they see you!


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