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The envoys had not yet come back from Rome, and it was not known whether the senate had decided for peace or for war.  What did most to arouse Scipio's indignation was the fact that all hopes of peace were destroyed and all respect for the truce flouted by the very men who had asked for a truce and were suing for peace. He at once sent L. Baebius, M. Servilius and L. Fabius to Carthage to protest.  As they were in danger of ill-treatment from the mob and saw that they might be prevented from returning, they requested the magistrates who had protected them from violence to send ships to escort them.  Two triremes were supplied to them, and when they reached the mouth of the Bagradas, from which the Roman camp was visible, the ships returned to Carthage.  The Carthaginian fleet was lying off Utica, and whether it was in consequence of a secret message from Carthage, or whether Hanno, who was in command, acted on his own responsibility without the connivance of his government, in any case, three quadriremes from the fleet made a sudden attack upon the Roman quinquereme as it was rounding the promontory.  They were, however, unable to ram it owing to its superior speed, and its greater height prevented any attempt to board it.  As long as the missiles lasted, the quinquereme made a brilliant defence, but when these failed nothing could have saved it but the nearness of the land and the numbers of men who had come down from the camp to the shore to watch.  The rowers drove the ships on to the beach with their utmost strength; the vessel was wrecked, but the passengers escaped uninjured. Thus, by one misdeed after another, all doubt was removed as to the truce having been broken when Laelius and the Carthaginians arrived on their return from Rome.  Scipio informed them that in spite of the fact that the Carthaginians had broken not only the truce which they [10??] had pledged themselves to observe, but even the law of nations in their treatment of the envoys, he should himself take no action in their case which would be inconsistent with the traditional maxims of Rome or contrary to his own principles. He then dismissed them and prepared to resume operations.  Hannibal was now nearing the land and he ordered a sailor to climb the mast and find out what part of the country they were making for. The man reported that they were heading for a ruined sepulchre.  Hannibal regarding it as an evil omen ordered the pilot to sail past the place and brought up the fleet at Leptis, where he disembarked his force.
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