“Pray, Pythius,” said Canius thereupon, “what
does this mean?—all these fish?—all these boats?”
“No wonder,” answered Pythius; “this is where
all the fish in Syracuse are; here is where the fresh
water comes from; the fishermen cannot get along
without this estate.”
Inflamed with desire for it, Canius insisted upon
Pythius's selling it to him. At first he demurred.
To make a long story short, Canius gained his point.
The man was rich, and, in his desire to own the
country seat, he paid for it all that Pythius asked;
and he bought the entire equipment, too. Pythius
entered the amount upon his ledger and completed
the transfer. The next day Canius invited his
friends; he came early himself. Not so much as a
thole-pin was in sight. He asked his next-door
neighbour whether it was a fishermen's holiday, for
not a sign of them did he see.
“Not so far as I know,” said he; “but none are
in the habit of fishing here. And so I could not
make out what was the matter yesterday.”