Manilius, being ashamed of the miscarriage of his attack upon Hasdrubal, again advanced to Nepheris, taking rations for fifteen days. When he neared the place he fortified a camp with palisade and ditch as Scipio had advised on the former occasion. But he accomplished nothing and was more ashamed than before, and was again in fear of being attacked by Hasdrubal on his retreat. While he was in this helpless state a messenger brought a letter from Gulussa's army to Scipio, which he showed to the consul under seal. Breaking the seal, they read as follows: "On such a day I will occupy such a place. Come there with as many men as you please and tell your outposts to receive one who is coming by night." Such was the content of the letter, which was without signature, but Scipio knew that it was from Phameas. Manilius feared lest Scipio might be drawn into an ambuscade by this very versatile man; nevertheless, when he saw how confident he was, he allowed him to go and authorized him to give Phameas the strongest assurances of safety, but not to make any definite promise of reward, but to tell him that the Romans would do what was fitting. There was no need of promises, for Phameas, when he came to the rendezvous, said that he trusted in the good faith of Scipio for his safety, and as for favors he would leave all that to the Romans. Having said this he drew up his forces on the following day in battle order, and going forward in conference with his officers as though about some other matters, he said, "If there is any chance of rendering service to our country I am ready to stand by you for that purpose, but in the state of things that exists, I am going to look out for my own safety. I have made terms for myself and for as many of you as I can persuade to join me. You have now the opportunity to consider what is for your advantage." When he had said this, some of the officers went over to the enemy with their forces to the number of about 2200 horse. The remainder were held together by Hanno, surnamed the White.
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THE PUNIC WARS
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