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Syphax and Hasdrubal Are Deluded

Syphax's annoyance at this message was great, in proportion to the hopes he had previously entertained of making the peace. He had an interview with Hasdrubal, and told him of the message he had received from the Romans; but though they deliberated long and earnestly as to what they ought to do, they neither had any idea or conjecture as to what was really going to happen. For they had no anticipation whatever as to the need of taking precautions, or of any danger threatening them, but were all eagerness and excitement to strike some blow, and thus provoke the enemy to descend into the level ground.
Scipio discloses his project.
Meanwhile Scipio allowed his army generally, by the preparations he was making and the orders he was issuing, to imagine that his aim was the capture of Utica; but summoning the most able and trusty Tribunes at noon, he imparted to them his design, and ordered them to cause their men to get their supper early, and then to lead the legions outside the camp as soon as the buglers gave the usual signal by a simultaneous blast of their bugles. For it is a custom in the Roman army for the trumpeters and buglers to sound a call near the commander's tent at supper time, that the night pickets may then take up their proper positions. Scipio next summoned the spies whom he had sent at different times to reconnoitre the enemy's quarters, and carefully compared and studied the accounts they gave about the roads leading to the hostile camps and the entrances to them, employing Massanissa to criticise their words and assist him with his advice, because he was acquainted with the locality.

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