The Slave Man and His Roman Master Part 2
Shopping we go.
Macarius felt drained. Each time he encountered the slave market it was like he went on an emotional wagon ride of peaks and valleys. Today he recalled his situation and knew it was God that pulled him from the pits to the safe keeping of a poor farmer over twenty years ago. He tried to shake off the feelings but they lingered deep into his heart. He could not manage to stay and purchase the strong and stealthy slave which were his original intentions. He needed to leave but it was worth it to help rescue a lad from the wiles of evil men. He would manage and help in the orchards if need be.
In about an hour the four men reached the city limits to fetch supplies. As always the woman in the household had a list of commissaries they requested. With Timeus at his side they went to purchase material and hopefully in a timely manner. Macarius lavished on the females in the household. He gave them much honor and dignity. He delighted in seeing their eyes light up when he brought home the supplies they desired.
The fine linens were hand picked today by the shop keeper and she delighted herself in her quality pick for the woman in the Diplomats household. She truly thought, 'what a lucky lot of woman are such as these.' Her shop had certainly prospered with the visit of the Roman Diplomat. She knew he was a kind man and always went out of her way to get him the very best. It paid off well because Macarius was a loyal customer and she honored his visits with glee and anticipation.
The two men then went to the Blacksmith to purchase new tools for the labor workers on his land. The tools were getting worn and with the harvest around the corner Macarius knew the better the tool the easier the load of work would get accomplished. Timeus was excited because he was learning the trade of blacksmith and welcomed a few tips from one of the top 'Blacksmith' in all of the land. These men were paid quite well for their skill and craftsmanship.
Macarius was worn and tired. He longed for a nap himself. When they reached the wagon both Vitus and Johan were fast asleep and master wondered if in fact the horses had even been tended to with the fresh water and feed. In a loud voice, 'Excuse me men I do not want to disturb your sweet slumber but have you done as asked and cared for the horses'? Both Johan and Vitus were more then quick on their feet. 'Oh yes master, sir we have tended the horses. With the help of Johan the work was done quickly. The horse's are ready for the journey sir.' 'Very well, let us be on our way. First we will stop for 20 scones of cheese and fresh goats milk. Vitus and Timeus will fetch while Johan and I take on an errand to the tanners shop. Let us hurry along the way I long for my home.'
Johan was all to grateful to have on a fresh tunic. He did not know what this new master had in mind for him. He had never seen such sights as the city in action. He had heard of the city life and the goods that were bought, sold and traded. He was never allowed to venture into the city. His voice was an embarrassment to his owners and until he learned to speak right he would not be allowed into the city on a journey with the master. It was only something he could visualize and dream about. Macarius told Johan to hurry along and keep focused on the task at hand.
The shop had hides from animals hanging everywhere. Some were fresh and hanging up to dry on lines made of twine from branches. Some of the hide was so fresh it smelled rank. After a brief greeting to the shop keeper Macarius picked about ten dried hides and then asked Johan to pick one that he favored. Johan's browns eyes lit up. He had never been asked to do such a thing as this. Anxious he would make a bad choice he choose a dark brown hide. Macarius told him it was a very good pick and that he had a sharp eye for color and quality. The young lad was beside himself again, in his heart. He was not sure of the feeling but he thought it to be good. He had never had such a wonderful day.
On the way out of the city Macarius request they stop by the seaside where he noticed a few shade trees. Once there he said, 'Well come along now bring a scone or two of cheese, goats milk and fresh bread. Let us eat and fill for the journey ahead.' The gentle breeze felt good on the men's face, It was quite hot that day. Every once in a while a tide would splash against the rocks and sprinkles of cold water would touch their faces. Johan had never known a day as this.
Johan delighted in his portion of food and again found his belly to poke out a bit. He only hoped he did not be sick in front of these men. He would be scorned and could be returned. Although Johan felt like he was going to throw up he held it in. He felt himself flush a crimson red holding in the the throw up. His wounds started to hurt and ache. He knew not to complain but to keep on. He decided if ever returned to a slave market again he would run and take the consequences. Johan was sure he would rather die then be scorned and beat again for his mouth that stuttered.
The men full and satisfied prepared for the 10 hour journey home. Macarius request that Vitus take over the the reins and Johan sit with him. He told the men he was tired and longed to sleep for hours. In other words VItus and Timeus knew not to carry on in much laughter or loud speaking because the master needed his sleep. With all due respect they would give master his quiet time. Johan and Vitus took over the reigns of the horses. Although Johan had not been in front before with the main keeper he was touched he was not drug along like an animal.
In minutes both Timeus and the master were snoring. Vitus laughed. Vitus asked Johan,'Why do you not speak?' Johan dreaded this question, ' I I I trrry myyyy worrrds ddddooo noot cooomme toggetherrrrrr.' Oh I understand, replies Vitus. I too was with a despicable slave master. In time you will talk like us. I guess the dreadful masters scared the gibberish from you.' Vitus quietly laughed. 'Johan it is OK to laugh; I was messing with you. Do not be afraid the master does not beat his servants into submission. I too was spared a young death and rescued by master Macarius. There is a reason the master chose you. He saw something in you that you probably do not see. He is like that. He saw you needed to be helped from the heart wretching situation you endured like an animal. Count it all joy Johan.' For the first time Vitus saw Johan smile a wee bit. He did have a great smile thought Vitus.' IIII willllwilll tryyee haaarrrddee;' Johan whispered. Moving along Vitus hummed and sang quiet tunes. Johan felt sick. It was all he could do to keep his head up.
Vitus was off into his own world handling the reins. His eyes wandered and noticed the beautiful sights. Clouds in the sky made shapes of fat fluffy children and horses and angels dancing. Vitus was like a sponge soaking up beauty in everything he could. He marveled at the butterflies. He was often teased and told by the woman of the house he lived in a dream land. He only laughed. He felt he did live in a dream land because he had a home. He was a servant for Sir Macarius. He was a skilled horseman. He could tame the wildest of horses. Master told him he was born with a gift.
They had traveled for hours. Johan thought to try, 'III taallkeede ttooo hoorsses alllll offf the timm tinmme. Theeey weeeerteee meee oonnnly frienddddsfrns'. ' Well done Johan see you can talk', muttered Vitus. He was concentrating on a sharp turn. Vitus got around the corner on the road and Johan literally fell off of the front wagon seat onto the ground. The horses made all sorts of noise and by all means woke the master. Vitus quieted the horses. Master rose to his feet. He quickly jumped from the back of the wagon. He shouted to Timeus to hurry along and bring water and fetch linen from the woman's goods. Macaurius felt the boys head. He was on fire. He had a fever of intensity. He knew only a little. He thought he may loose the young lad. God I need you to save this lad Johan if it be your will. Macarius poured water on a piece of fine linen to cool Johan's body of fire. Johan was out.
The master knew his wounds were open and infection had likely gone into his body. He picked up the lad who was like a wet noodle and placed him in the back of the wagon with cool linen covering his limp body. 'Timeus and Vitus get behind the reins and go fast and hard. We must stop at the first farm or villa we see. If we do not get the fever down quickly the lad could die. Before you ask, no I will not return Johan to the market of hell.'
Not that VItus or Timeus were going to ask. Something inside their hearts made them to have tender feeling's for this Johan lad. Besides they knew the master would not return the lad like a bad piece of meat to the market. They both had tears and Timeus said. 'God you hear. God Almighty save this Johan.'
Little did the four men know their lives were going to change forever, this evening.........