The Adventures of Gaius Cornelius Ferrarius

The Blacksmith Incident - Part I

By Douglas E. Gogerty

The stretch of the Appian Way that Gaius now traveled was near the coast and some of the views were spectacular. The warm salt air was enjoyable, but the regular combat, which seemed to follow Gaius everywhere, was exhausting. To make matters worse, he had to find someone to repair his scimitar. It had been badly damaged in his last encounter. He did have the spear from one of the men in his last fight and his dagger, but he felt vulnerable without his trusty sword.

While there were blacksmiths at every station he visited, most had no experience with the scimitar. Further, he was not sure he could trust them. With his cover as a blacksmith guild owner, he could not show any ignorance in the craft. He was going to have to be particular and careful with who could repair his sword.

The trip had been long and arduous, so Gaius was surprised by a day of incident-free travel. While he was no longer concerned about any type of schedule, he was pleased by the time he made that day. He rode into Sinuessa the next day. It was the last coastal town before the road turned inland. Gaius decided he was going to spend a day there. He would attempt to get his sword repaired in this town, but first some relaxing time. Sinuessa was widely known for the healing quality of its hot springs, and Gaius was ready for some of that.

After the baths, a good meal, and a restful night's sleep, Gaius began exploring the town. He was looking at some of the places looking for just the right smith. He was approaching one shop when someone approached him.

"Apollodoros?" came a whisper. "Is that really you?"

"Why Porcius as I live and breath!" replied Gaius.

"Why aren't you dead?" the men asked simultaneously.

"You first," insisted Gaius.

"Crassus needed a smith," replied Porcius.

"Why did you not end up in Rome with him then?"

"His love of money..."

"He sold you?"

"I am thankful for that. I smithed many nails that hung our comrades along the road. As we got closer to Rome, my usefulness was ending."

"And you ended up here -- that is nice."

"In a round-about way."

"What do you mean?"

"I have had a couple of different guild masters."

"You have been sold a few times?"

"I was purchased from Crassus by none other than the family of Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix."

"The dictator?"

"The same. Oddly, I ended up in the employ of the family of Sulla's rival Gaius Marius."

"If I remember hearing correctly, he hid out just north of here."

"That is right. He hid in Minturnae, and the family that survived Sulla's proscriptions, stayed in this area. In hiding -- of course."

"Do you not miss those days of freedom?"

"Some days I do -- but I am a smith. It is what the fates had intended for me to do all my days. I am happy with that."

"The fates have been kind to me on this day," asserted Gaius.

"Why is that?" asked Porcius.

"I am in need of a skillful smith that I can trust."

"I am sorry to hear that."

"What?"

"I am afraid I cannot help."

"Sorry?"

"Relax! I am joking my brother."

"You should not joke with a person who has killed as many men as I have."

"Nobody has killed as many men as you."

"You may be right, so you should not joke with such a person."

"My shop is just down there. Meet me there after the midday meal, and I will see what we can do. I also look forward to hearing your story."

"Call me Gaius Cornelius Ferrarius. Apollodoros is no more."

"That explains a few things... In any event, I must be going. I will speak to you later."

Gaius's friend rushed off. Gaius was happy that there was a likely solution to his problem with his sword. His friend had been a trusty smith for Spartacus's army. He knew how to handle weaponry.

However, Gaius still had to find something to do with the remainder of his morning. Hopefully, trouble was not going to follow him for a while. After all, he went an entire day without killing someone. He hoped he could do that for two consecutive days.

Gaius walked to an inn along the Appian Way to see about getting some food. He was almost to the building when a gruff and gravelly voice spoke to him from around the corner.

"Give me your money," growled the voice.

"What?" sighed Gaius.

"You heard me. Give me your money," repeated the voice.

"You have got to be kidding," Gaius moaned.

"Do not make this hard on yourself."

"It is the middle of the day," complained Gaius.

"I mean business!" growled the voice.

"You do not have to do this."

"I am armed."

"And..." sighed Gaius.

"I know how to use it."

"I doubt that," grumbled Gaius as he slowly unsheathed his dagger.

"What?"

"Nothing..."

"Quit stalling."

"It is not too late for you to forget this."

"That is some tough talk," said a very large man as he stepped out of the shadows.

"That may be, but it is true."

"I have heard enough! Now give me your money."

Before the man could blink, he found Gaius's dagger in his throat. The man blindly swung his weapon at Gaius who easily side stepped the thrust. The man attempted to roar at Gaius, but it came out as a sickly gurgle. He attempted to stay conscious, but was stumbling around. He swung wildly a few more times. Eventually, he put his hand upon the building to steady himself. Gaius considered taking another blow, but he simply pushed on the man who fell to the ground.

Gaius walked into the inn and notified the people there as to what had happened. However, this was going to be trouble for Gaius. The innkeeper was related to the dead man. So much for the trouble-free day for which he had hoped.

| 5 Comments

5 Comments

Please don't tell me this was a one off short story. I was getting into it but can't find the next chapter anywhere. Will you be writing one? It's like watching a film with no ending.

Please forgive my last comment. I've just found the previous chapters :). Is there a function whereby i can get update alerts anywhere?

Thanks for your interest Rakeback. Apart from the RSS feed, there really isn't a mechanism to alert you when I post on a specific topic.

I am glad you are enjoying this story. I am usually good about posting every Sunday. Thus, if you check on Mondays, a new story will generally be there. (That is the theory anyway.) Thanks again!

Wow she is right this is a super awesome story! You should add Feed Burner so people can subscribe for email updated, its free and takes 3 minutes to setup!

Very nice anyway, going to read the rest now!

Thanks for the comment. They are always welcome!

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on September 13, 2009 4:35 PM.

"The God Wars" - Chapter Twenty-one: Merchant of Hellekos was the previous entry in this blog.

"The God Wars" - Chapter Twenty-two: Trinkets is the next entry in this blog.

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