Home » Uncategorized » Scenes from a Roman Taverna: Solidarity

Scenes from a Roman Taverna: Solidarity

‘I suppose killing the investigator would not get us very far,’ said Exuperatus seriously, ’ I know bribery normally doesn’t work, but out here, this far from Rome it might be an option. Most of the magistrates take backhanders all the time.’
Senodo shook his head.
‘Not an Imperial Investigator. That’s the whole point, my friend, and they’re picked because of their tenacity and their integrity.’
‘They say everyone has a price,’ Exuperatus protested.
‘Maybe that is so, maybe not. But I am fairly certain that if he can be bought, we cannot afford the price tag.’
Exuperatus sat down heavily with a sigh and looked at Vita.
‘Any bright ideas from you?’ he demanded,’ beyond the act of fortuitously drowning yourself in the river of course? I assume that is not still an option?’
Calgacus looked confused ‘Look I’m sorry. I’m partly responsible for this but did not think hiding her here would threaten you. If the investigator does see through her disguise then surely we can convince him that you were just fooled? That you were innocent of intent?’
‘I’m not worried about being caught hiding her! True, it is against the law to harbour a runaway slave,’ Exuperatus explained,’ but as I have told the girl Senodo and I have, well history, shall we say with Roman law. I don’t want our past being investigated.’
‘Are we talking really serious stuff?’ Calgacus asked.
‘I wasn’t joking when I mentioned killing the Investigator. Does that answer the question?’
‘We would both be put to death,’ Senodo said sadly,’ Exuperatus, we cannot keep running. We have a home here, good reputations, something to defend. It is worth the risk.’
‘I can keep running longer than they can pursue me,’ Exuperatus said,’ just try me.’
‘Friends,’ interrupted Calgacus,’ this is my land here, my people. If things go wrong then I do know places to hide you. The old town to the east where my people used to live before the Romans came, for example… It’s a bunch of ruins but it also has lots of places to hole up for a while. We’d have to move onto somewhere else eventually, but I was resigned to that anyway.’
‘You talk of being effected by all this’ Senodo asked quietly,’ Calgacus, in the end what has this to do with you, really? No one is looking for you. You could just walk away.’
Calgacus nodded towards the girl.
‘I feel our destinies are linked. If she has to leave – I go with her. Anyway, ‘Calgacus tried to laugh,’ this is all assuming a lot. Maybe this man is not as good as his reputation – or at least not as thorough and curious as you fear.’
The other three looked at him with expressions of sympathy.
‘You poor boy,’ Exuperatus said eventually, ‘you really have not lived enough have you yet? Have you not realised that the gods take amusement in making the unlikely happen? That given a chance to drop us mortals into the cess pit, they can hardly contain their glee?’
The other two nodded agreement.
Calgacus sighed.
‘I guess I’d better work out some kind of an escape route – for all of us – then,’ he said.

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