"Well, be thou grateful to the Fates--I have found thy enemy. Listen."
Thereupon Messala turned to Drusus.
"Tell us more of him--perpol!--of him who is both Jew and Roman-- by Phoebus, a combination to make a Centaur lovely! What garments cloth he affect, my Drusus?"
"Hearest thou, Caius?" said Messala. "The fellow is young--one; he hath the visage of a Roman--two; he loveth best the garb of a Jew--three; and in the palaestrae fame and fortune come of arms to throw a horse or tilt a chariot, as the necessity may order--four. And, Drusus, help thou my friend again. Doubtless this Arrius hath tricks of language; otherwise he could not so confound himself, to-day a Jew, to-morrow a Roman; but of the rich tongue of Athene--discourseth he in that as well?"
"With such purity, Messala, he might have been a contestant in the Isthmia."
"Art thou listening, Caius?" said Messala. "The fellow is qualified to salute a woman--for that matter Aristomache herself--in the Greek; and as I keep the count, that is five. What sayest thou?"
"Thou hast found him, my Messala," Caius answered; "or I am not myself."
"Thy pardon, Drusus--and pardon of all--for speaking in riddles thus," Messala said, in his winsome way. "By all the decent gods, I would not strain thy courtesy to the point of breaking, but now help thou me. See!"--he put his hand on the dice-box again, laughing--"See how close I hold the Pythias and their secret! Thou didst speak, I think, of mystery in connection with the coming of the son of Arrius. Tell me of that."