The Adventures of Gaius Cornelius Ferrarius

The Blacksmith Incident - Part II

By Douglas E. Gogerty

Gaius went quietly as the local magistrate took him into custody. While he considered fighting, he would likely have to fight the entire town. Without his scimitar in working order, he just did not think that would be the best course of action. Thus, he handed over his things and went peacefully. After all, it was not the first time he was in trouble with the authorities.

He was also hoping that his old friend Porcius would be able to help him out with his weaponry. Porcius was skilled at sword repair when the two of them were on the run with Spartacus. He was the primary smith for weapons, and highly respected. However, that had been quite a while ago but he was still a blacksmith. Thus, Gaius hoped that Porcius would not be too rusty. Nevertheless, Gaius felt he could trust him.

However, first he was going to have to clear up the trouble in town. If the innkeeper was powerful and no one had trouble with the -- now dead -- robber, then he could be in for quite a long stay. Certainly someone had trouble with this enormous man. You do not go around threatening people for money just on a whim.

"Why did you kill him?" asked the magistrate.

"I have said this numerous times before," sighed Gaius. "He threatened me with his sword and asked for money. I was defending myself."

"This man has never caused any problems before..."

"I highly doubt that," responded Gaius. "I gave him every opportunity to move along. He refused."

"He would not get out of your way, so you stabbed him."

"He had a sword and he came at me. It was either him or me, and I was quicker."

"The innkeeper wants to see you dead."

"I do not doubt that, but I was defending myself against that big brute. It was either him or me."

"Do you have any character witnesses?"

"I have not been in town long, but I would guess there are plenty of people glad to see that man dead."

"So you killed him as part of some vendetta..."

"If that were true, I would likely have killed the innkeeper as well. Rather, I explained what had happened to that man, and he summoned you."

"You think you are pretty smart don't you!"

"Hardly. I just have been in a few scrapes. That is all."

"Just how many people have you killed between here and Rome?"

"It has been a fairly quiet trip," Gaius replied.

"You lie!" shouted the magistrate. "You have left a string of corpses all along the Appian Way."

"Does my reputation proceed me?"

"A man was through here speaking of someone leaving dead bodies all along the road."

"You mean a liar or a coward was passing through town."

"What do you mean?"

"If someone left bodies all along the road, and there was someone bragging about it, that person obviously ran away from a fight or is making the entire thing up."

"I never thought of it that way."

"After all, why would this dangerous man let anyone live?"

"You have a point there."

"Thus, either this man is telling stories, or he deserted his friends as they fought for their lives."

"You talk a good game there stranger."

"As I said, I have been in a few scrapes."

"To be honest, I am glad that brute is dead."

"What?"

"I was just making sure you were telling the truth earlier."

"I see...."

"However, I thought you may have been some hired thug from out of town."

"I am an ordinary guild owner. I am simply on my way to Campania to obtain a few slaves to work in my trade."

"There was a man passing through telling stories of an incredible fighter leaving bodies all along the road. Have you seen or heard anything?" asked the magistrate in a confidential tone.

"I try to avoid trouble as much as possible; however, some days you just cannot side step it."

"I hear you there," said the magistrate in an exasperated voice.

"The man pulled his sword and demanded money. There was nothing I could do. Is it my fault I was faster?"

"No. I understand your situation. However, I am still going to have to hold you for a while."

"When will the trial happen?"

"I am the magistrate, so it will happen when I say."

"I just have some minor business to take care in town."

"You cannot rush justice."

"I do not intend to, but my business may take a couple of days. I would rather not have to stay where I am not wanted for those days."

"What is it? Perhaps I could help."

"A family heirloom has been damaged in my travels. I was hoping to have a smith look at it."

"What kind of heirloom."

"As you are probably aware, I am not a born Roman. This item may not sit well with you as a natural born Roman."

"Say no more."

"I had arranged to meet with a smith this afternoon. However, this detainment has prevented me from making that meeting.

"I cannot just let you go," explained the magistrate.

"You have my horse and I swear by the gods and on my honor that I will return."

"You will have to do better than that. You have to make sure no one sees you."

"I could travel after sundown."

"Very well, but I will be forced to punish I hear any reports of you."

"Fair enough."

Thus, after the sun had gone down, Gaius made his way to Porcius's shop. He went as stealthily as he could. He was somewhat practiced as this type of thing, but he wanted to be extra cautious. He finally made it to the shop, and crept inside. However, Porcius was not there.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on September 20, 2009 7:11 PM.

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

"The God Wars" - Chapter Twenty-three: Of Whiskey and Spies is the next entry in this blog.

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