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Quo Vadis, A Narrative of the Time of Nero

Chapter 17
FOR Chio, it was really important to set aside Glaucus, who, though advanced in
years, was by no means decrepit. There was considerable truth in what Chilo
had narrated to Vinicius. He had known Glaucus on a time, he had betrayed him,
sold him to robbers, deprived him of family, of property, and delivered him to
murder. But he bore the memory of these events easily, for he had thrown the
man aside dying, not at an inn, but in a field near Minturna. This one thing he had
not foreseen, that Glaucus would be cured of his wounds and come to Rome.
When he saw him, therefore, in the house of prayer, he was in truth terrified, and
at the first moment wished to discontinue the search for Lygia. But on the other
hand, Vinicius terrified him still more. He understood that he must choose
between the fear of Glaucus, and the pursuit and vengeance of a powerful
patrician, to whose aid would come, beyond doubt, another and still greater,
Petronius. In view of this, Chilo ceased to hesitate. He thought it better to have
small enemies than great ones, and, though his cowardly nature trembled
somewhat at bloody methods, he saw the need of killing Glaucus through the aid
of other hands.
At present the only question with him was the choice of people, and to this he
was turning that thought of which he had made mention to Vinicius. Spending his
nights in wine-shops most frequently, and lodging in them, among men without a
roof, without faith or honor, he could find persons easily to undertake any task,
and still more easily others who, if they sniffed coin on his person, would begin,
but when they had received earnest money, would extort the whole sum by
threatening to deliver him to justice. Besides, for a certain time past Chilo had felt
a repulsion for nakedness, for those disgusting and terrible figures lurking about
suspected houses in the Subura or in the Trans--Tiber. Measuring everything
with his own measure, and not having fathomed sufficiently the Christians or their
religion, he judged that among them, too, he could find willing tools. Since they
seemed more reliable than others, he resolved to turn to them and present the
affair in such fashion that they would undertake it, not for money's sake merely,
but through devotion.
In view of this, he went in the evening to Euricius, whom he knew as devoted
with whole soul to his person, and who, he was sure, would do all in his power to
assist him. Naturally cautious, Chilo did not even dream of revealing his real
intentions, which would be in clear opposition, moreover, to the faith which the
old man had in his piety and virtue. He wished to find people who were ready for
anything, and to talk with them of the affair only in such a way that, out of regard
to themselves, they would guard it as an eternal secret.
The old man Euricius, after the redemption of his son, hired one of those little
shops so numerous near the Circus Maximus, in which were sold olives, beans,
unleavened paste, and water sweetened with honey, to spectators coming to the
Circus. Chilo found him at home arranging his shop; and when he had greeted
him in Christ's name, he began to speak of the affair which had brought him.
Since he had rendered them a service, he considered that they would pay him
 
 
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