The schalischim's own ring is on my finger, and the seal of the Great Council shall win us egress. You are my slave: that is how you shall go with me and I accept the omen." He laughed low and harshly, and Marcia shuddered, thinking of her host lying slain by his false slaves? by the order of Hannibal? no, rather by the hand or plotting of this wretch who now called her, "slave."
That he should not crush the Italian vermin forthwith was beyond his comprehension, but evidently such was not the schalischim's wish. Grumbling, he slipped his sword slowly back into its sheath, and, at that moment, several of the Capuan senators in Hannibal's train gathered round him with protestations and expressions of regret. The general looked at them and frowned.
Calavius, on the other hand, complained continuously of the schalischim's delay, and Hannibal listened with downcast face, frowning to himself, and made no answer except that he was the servant of the gods. Marcia's presence he entirely ignored. Still, he spent little of his time in Capua, and of this Calavius was now speaking. "Truly did you note the news we have received to-day, my daughter?