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[102] During his former desertion he had been a friend of Mindius Marcellus, one of the companions of Octavius, and he now told his own men that Mindius had the intention of betraying his party and deserting to that of Pompeius. Then he drew near to the enemy and invited Mindius to go with him to a small island in order to have a conference. When the latter came, and there was nobody else within earshot, Menodorus said that he had gone back to Pompeius because he was ill-treated by the admiral of those days, Calvisius, but that since Agrippa had been appointed to the command of the fleet he would come back to Octavius, who had done him no wrong, if Mindius would bring him a safe-conduct from Messala, who was commanding in Agrippa's absence. He said that on his return he would make amends for his fault by brilliant exploits, but that until the safe-conduct arrived he should be obliged to harass the forces of Octavius as before in order to avoid suspicion; and this he did. Messala hesitated on account of the baseness of the transaction, but he nevertheless yielded, either because he considered such things necessary in war, or because he had learned beforehand, or conjectured, the mind of Octavius. Menodorus at once deserted, and, upon the approach of Octavius, threw himself at his feet and begged that he would pardon him without asking for the reasons for his flight. Octavius conceded his safety on account of the pledges made, but had him secretly watched. He dismissed the captains of his triremes and allowed them to go wherever they pleased.

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