Roman Times and Events: Those about to Die, Chapter 10, Part 3 of 3

(by Daniel P. Mannix)

He got no further. Carpophorus had rushed across the room and seized the old man by the head and throat. Instantly half a dozen men threw themselves on the rabid venator while Chilo rushed up flourishing a heavy wooden stool.

He brought it down with all his strength on Carpophorus' head, but before the venator was knocked out, he had twisted the old man's neck in the grip he had learned in the arena. There was a sharp crack as the aged bestiarius dropped lifeless to the floor.

"The Watch! The Watch!" shouted a dozen voices. Into the wineshop strode a young centurion in gleaming armor followed by a squad of soldiers with iron-tipped staves.

"What's going on here?" snapped the young man.

"Chilo, you'll lose your license for this. Who's, this man? By Mars, it's Carpophorus! Throw some water on him—I have fifty sesterces riding on the bastard for tomorrow's games."

"He killed a man!" shouted Chilo, dancing in agony.

"Who, this old sack of bones? Don't lie to me, Greek, the man died of a stroke. Here, Telegonius, drag the corpse out and have it thrown in the Tiber. Keep better order, Chilo, or you'll find yourself in the arena one of these days. See that Carpophorus is ready for the hunt tomorrow afternoon or it'll go hard with you."

Several bestiarii carried Carpophorus to the nearest baths where expert masseurs kneaded him back to life, a feather was thrust down his throat to make him vomit up the wine, and a doctor patched his head and resewed the tiger scratches which had begun to bleed again.

By next morning, Carpophorus was back at the Colosseum, feeling as though his mouth was the Cloaca Maxima, but able to enter the arena.

Roman Events: Those about to Die, Chapter Eleven, Part 1 is next.

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