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Demetrius Escapes

As soon as Demetrius had read these lines, he understood their purport, and from whom they came;
Demetrius takes the hint, and the voyage is safely begun.
and at once pretending that he felt sick, he left the banquet escorted by his friends. Arrived at his lodging, he sent away those of his servants who were not suited to his purpose to Anagnia, ordering them to take the hunting nets and hounds and meet him at Cerceii, where it had been his constant custom to go boar hunting, which, in fact, was the origin of his intimacy with Polybius. He then imparted his plan to Nicanor and his immediate friends, and urged them to share his prospects. They all consented with enthusiasm; whereupon he bade them return to their own lodgings, and arrange with their servants to go before daybreak to Anagnia and meet them at Cerceii, while they got travelling clothes and returned to him, telling their domestics that they would join them, accompanied by Demetrius, in the course of the next day at Cerceii. Everything having been done in accordance with this order, he and his friends went to Ostia, at the mouth of the Tiber, by night. Menyllus preceded them and had a conversation with the sailors; telling them that orders had arrived from the king which made it necessary for him to remain at Rome for the present, and to send some of the most trustworthy of his young men to his Majesty, to inform him of what had been done about his brother. He should not, therefore, he said, go on board himself; but the young men who were to sail would come about midnight. The shipmasters made no difficulty about it, as the passage money for which they had originally bargained was in their hands; and they had long made all their preparations for sailing, when Demetrius and his friends arrived about the third watch. There were altogether eight of them, besides five slaves and three boys. Menyllus entered into conversation with them, showed them the provisions in store for the voyage, and commended them earnestly to the care of the shipmaster and crew. They then went on board, and the pilot weighed anchor and started just as day was breaking, having absolutely no idea of the real state of the case, but believing that he was conveying some soldiers from Menyllus to Ptolemy.

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