But he led us to a fine stone quay by which was moored as trig a merchantman as I ever saw, new and fresh painted. Her captain was a bluff, hearty, wind-tanned Maltese, Maganno by name, swarthy, hook-nosed and with a shock of black curls. He counted the gold pieces Alopex gave him and said, in Latin with a strong Punic accent: "My ship is yours from here to Tiber wharf."
We shook hands on it, went on board and she cast off at once and was out of the harbor before the sun had dispersed the fog. To our surprise we set a course not about southeast as we had expected, but along the coast until we passed Ulbia, and then almost due east. Maganno explained: "Give me the open sea.
So idling we spoke more than once of the Aemilian Sibyl and of this second fulfillment of her acrid prophecy. Maganno promised to find us a ship loading for Antioch; seaworthy, roomy and with a trustworthy captain.
The next day we escaped the unwelcome attention of Colgius because Maganno came after us to introduce us to the captain who was to take us to Antioch, to show us his ship, and to make sure we knew the wharf at which she lay and how to reach her. The ship was to sail two days later.
He was a Syrian Greek, with curly brown hair and brown eyes, by no means so wind-tanned and weather-beaten as Maganno, but manifestly a seaman. He was bow-legged and had very large flat feet. Orontides looked us over, approved us, required a deposit of twenty gold pieces, counted them, said we might pay the rest of his charges at Antioch, and we shook hands on the bargain.
It seemed to comfort him and certainly comforted me. The crew were delighted. After a voyage as easy and pleasant as our cruise with Maganno, we landed on the eighth day before the Ides of September, at Genoa, paid our two gold pieces and set about getting out of that city as quickly as might be. We avoided, of course, the posting- station where we had changed horses while in couriers' trappings.