XIV – More Roman confusion, or Here! Take my money, PLEASE!

Dear Journal:

The Lady and I continued our conversation well into the evening hours. Most of it was vague generalities sprinkled with gossip. I got the feeling she was switching topics in order for me to adjust to the information I had received. Whatever the reason, the afternoon passed unheeded into early evening.

Then, as she stood up to leave, she gave me one more bit of advice.

“You’ve done well, so far, fish monger. Bribing your gaurds was truly a bit of Patrician thinking. Keep it up! One more thing. Make sure that the Praetorians watching you have ready access to the lusts of life. The more you take care of them, the better chance of them siding with you when the crunch comes.”

So saying, she walked out to her litter and left as she had arrived. Quickly. After she had gone, my Major Domo made an interesting observation.

“She must really like you. Usually, people go to see her; not the other way ’round. Don’t be upset by the ‘fish monger’ appellation. She seldon calls anyone by name. Not even Ceasar. The Noble who lived here before you couldn’t get more than two words at a time out of her, and she never came to visit. You have her patronage. Don’t blow it.”

I spend most of the evening (except for an annoyingly huge dinner, which got divided in the usual manner) musing about what I had learned. Little Brother was alive!! It was still hard to believe. How had he pulled off his escape? Obviously, he had help. But who? And, more importantly, why?

Also, why was my lady friend really protecting me? Her stated purpose didn’t seem complete. If she was the kind of person my Major Domo described, she wouldn’t hesitate to sacrifice me, if necessary. All of this new knowledge would take sorting out and absorbing. Life was certaintly not going to be dull.

Finally, I decided to go to bed, so I grabbed the daily news parchment (to read in bed) and headed off for a good night’s sleep. I had dozed off while reading and was sound asleep, when I was vigorously shaken awake. Startled, I looked up into the face of one of my guards. He pulled me off the couch and led me to the back of the house. Two other guards were waiting for him. This is it, I thought. They’re going to murder me.

Boy, was I ever wrong! At that moment, my servants were brought in accompanied by no less than fifteen Praetorians. Apparently, the Staff had been through this before, as they weren’t at all ruffled or upset. My guardsman spoke.

“Stay here and don’t make a sound. A large force of the City Watch was somehow let in. They’re after your hide, but we’re going to take theirs.”

So saying, he headed back to the front of the house, where the sounds of fierce fighting could now be heard. The shouts of men and clash of weapons created an awful din, and in the distance, a trumpet sounded.

Silence.

What had happened? I could hear voices and movement, but nothing else. Mustering up my courage, I decided to look. I started for the door and, amazingly, half of the guards followed without hindering me. The sight that met me at the door further rattled my already shaken nerves. There were bodies everywhere. The house was a bloody shambles with destroyed furniture and mangled corpses strewn helter skelter. A VERY large group of Praetorians were moving about, checking bodies and gathering weapons. It was then that I noticed that there was an outside force of Praetorians present. They were the Lady’s troops. And there was the lady among them.

I headed straight for her and was stopped by her guards.

“Let him pass! He’s the master of this house.”

She gestured me closer and bade me sit in one of two chairs that had been stood back up. She sat in the other.

“I already know what’s going through your head. How could this happen? Well, it seems that several Praetorians were working with the City Watch. It must have been one hell of a bribe for elite troops to work with city scum. The outer guard posts were bypassed and they managed to get here unseen. The Street Watch was murdered and the assassins rushed your house. They got more than they expected.” Her smile was predatory. “They didn’t expect TWO sets of guards here. Too bad . . . for them. Hush! I’ll tell you the rest! We knew about the attack beforehand. One of the conspirators got roaring drunk and babbled everything. He’s joined his ancestors. Your forces joined with mine and waited for the bastards. We took them here so that none would escape. You’re looking a little pale fish monger. Why don’t you go back to bed and we’ll finish up here.”

Like, I was expected to sleep?

Chapter XV

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Published in: on September 6, 2009 at 6:29 PM  Comments (6)  
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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Now I am starting to be a little afraid of the Lady. πŸ˜›

  2. Ask any used chariot salesman, she is such a sweet little old lady. They know because she only drove her chariots to Apollo’s Temple on Worship and High Holy Days!

  3. Hehe. Sleep? What is this sleep that you speak of?
    Good one. As always, enjoyed immensely!
    ME

    • Wuff!*

      *For those new to the story a bit of portent of things to come.

  4. Hey good stuff…keep up the good work! πŸ™‚ I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks,)

    A definite great read.. <a href="http://wiki.hudson-ci.org/display/~bill-bartmann&quot;

    -Bill-Bartmann

  5. […] Chapter XIV Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)XIV – More Roman confusion, or Here! Take my money, PLEASE!XXV – The Roman and . . . HAIL WHO . . . ?What a great FridayFish Tacos Published in: […]


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