BOOK THE FOURTH
6. Chapter VI
'See!' cried he, 'your goddess cannot avenge herself. Is this a thing to
Further words were denied to him: so gross and daring a sacrilege--of one,
too, of the most sacred of their places of worship--filled even the most
lukewarm with rage and horror. With one accord the crowd rushed upon him,
seized, and but for the interference of the centurion, they would have torn
him to pieces.
'Peace!' said the soldier, authoritatively--'refer we this insolent
blasphemer to the proper tribunal--time has been already wasted. Bear we
both the culprits to the magistrates; place the body of the priest on the
litter--carry it to his own home.'
At this moment a priest of Isis stepped forward. 'I claim these remains,
according to the custom of the priesthood.'
'The flamen be obeyed,' said the centurion. 'How is the murderer?'
'Insensible or asleep.'
'Were his crimes less, I could pity him. On!'
Arbaces, as he turned, met the eye of that priest of Isis--it was Calenus;
and something there was in that glance, so significant and sinister, that
the Egyptian muttered to himself:
'Could he have witnessed the deed?'
A girl darted from the crowd, and gazed hard on the face of Olinthus. 'By
Jupiter, a stout knave! I say, we shall have a man for the tiger now; one
for each beast!'
'Ho!' shouted the mob; 'a man for the lion, and another for the tiger! What
luck! Io Paean!'