But presently, when they were about twenty furlongs distant from Minturnae, an Italian city, they saw from afar a troop of horsemen riding towards them, and also, as it chanced, two merchant vessels sailing along. Accordingly, with all the speed and strength they had, they ran down to the sea, threw themselves into the water, and began to swim to the ships. Granius and his party reached one of the ships and crossed over to the opposite island, Aenaria by name;
Marius himself; who was heavy and unwieldy, two slaves with toil and difficulty held above water and put into the other ship, the horsemen being now at hand and calling out from the shore to the sailors either to bring the vessel to shore or to throw Marius overboard and sail whither they pleased. But since Marius supplicated them with tears in his eyes, the masters of the vessel, after changing their minds often in a short time, nevertheless replied to the horsemen that they would not surrender Marius.
The horsemen rode away in a rage, and the sailors, changing their plan again, put in towards the shore; and after casting anchor at the mouth of the bins, where the river expands into a lake, they advised Marius to leave the vessel, take some food ashore with him, and recruit his strength after his hardships until a good wind for sailing should arise; this usually arose, they said, when the wind from the sea died away and a tolerably strong breeze blew from the marshes. Manius was persuaded to follow their advice; so the sailors carried him ashore, and he lay down in some grass, without the slightest thought of what was to come.
Then the sailors at once boarded their vessel, hoisted anchor, and took to flight, feeling that it was neither honourable for them to surrender Marius nor safe to rescue him. Thus, forsaken of all men, he lay a long time speechless on the shore, but recovered himself at last and tried to walk along, the lack of any path making his progress laborious.
He made his way through deep marshes and ditches full of mud and water, until he came to the hut of an old man who got his living from the water. At his feet Marius fell down and besought him to save and help a man who, in case he escaped his present perils, would recompense him beyond all his hopes. Then the man, who either knew Marius from of old or saw that in his face which won the regard due to superior rank, told him that if he merely wanted to rest, the cabin would suffice, but that if he was wandering about trying to escape pursuers, he could be hidden in a place that was more quiet.
Marius begged that this might be done, and the man took him to the marsh, bade him crouch down in a hollow place by the side of the river, and threw over him a mass of reeds and other material which was light enough to cover without injuring him.