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Achaeus Takes Precautions

Achaeus received them with warmth and cordiality,
Achaeus takes vain precautions.
and questioned Bolis at great length on every detail. From the expression of his face, and his conversation, he judged Bolis to be a man of a character weighty enough for so serious an undertaking; but while at one time he exulted in the prospect of his release, at another, he grew painfully excited, and was torn with an agony of anxiety at the gravity of the issues at stake. But no one had a clearer head or greater experience in affairs than he; and in spite of the good opinion he had formed of him, he still determined that his safety should not depend entirely on the good faith of Bolis. He accordingly told him that it was impossible for him to leave the acropolis at the moment: but that he would send some two or three of his friends with him, and by the time that they had joined Melancomas he would be prepared to depart. So Achaeus did all he could for his security; but he did not know that he was trying to do what the proverb declares to be impossible—out-cretan a Cretan. For there was no trick likely to be tried that Bolis had not anticipated. However when the night came, in which Achaeus said that he would send his friends with them, he sent on Arianus and Bolis to the entrance of the acropolis, with instructions to wait there until those who were to go with them arrived. They did as he bade them. Achaeus then, at the very moment of his departure, communicated his plan to his wife Laodice; and she was so terrified at his sudden resolve, that he had to spend some time in entreating her to be calm, in soothing her feelings, and encouraging her by pointing out the hopes which he entertained. This done he started with four companions, whom he dressed in ordinary clothes, while he himself put on a mean and common dress and disguised his rank as much as possible. He selected one of his four companions to be always prepared to answer anything said by Arianus, and to ask any necessary question of him, and bade him say that the other four did not speak Greek.

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