To catch a Weasel asleep
– to wrap a cunning man around your finger
On his way to an empty warehouse that was temporarily serving as a prison, Cassius could not decide on the best course of action. His deputies were close behind him, keeping a tense silence, making Cassius feel nervous.
What did the old assassin want to talk to him about exactly? Did the Weasel tell them they had met a long time ago? What game was the Weasel playing? Knowing the old assassin, Cassius couldn’t believe for a moment that the Weasel could have been caught that easily by those two. That thought quickly had a soothing effect on Cassius. Whatever game the Weasel was playing, he certainly had a plan. It was time to find out what it was!
And yet, when Cassius entered the prison cell, his heart sank again. The Weasel looked terrible. His typical neat hunter’s outfit was covered with mud as if he had been dragged through a ditch, and there was a massive bruise around his left eye. Weasel’s hands were tied, and it was apparent that each movement brought him tremendous pain. He looked tired and indifferent to everything. Even if Weasel had not expected to see Cassius here, he didn’t show it. Cassius relaxed a little.
“I am the garrison commander here, and I rule this region at the order of the Empire,” Cassius said. “My deputies say you wanted to see me. Why?”
Weasel took a long look at Cassius before he burst out laughing. “It’s always funny to see that the old tricks still work, huh?” The Weasel was staring past Cassius’ shoulder. It was only then that Cassius quickly realized what was wrong with the situation he was now in. It was too late now, though. The pathfinder’s knife was already at his throat.
“You’re a funny guy. Very smart, yet very stupid,” Halen replied to the Weasel while Bryden disarmed Cassius and bound his hands. “Too bad we don’t have time to talk to you. We’ll be too busy. Didn’t you hear the news? Tonight, the famous assassin will kill our brave commander, Cassius, fatally wounding him in the fight. Such a shame!”
Halen sighed and looked directly into Cassius’ eyes. Then he sighed again.
“I am sorry, commander. Unlike most Romans, you seemed to be quite a nice person,” he said finally. “It’s just… we don’t need any Romans here. Our region has been preparing this revolt for twenty years. Sacrifices are to be made, and you’re no worse than those poor villages we had to burn. Think of yourself as… collateral damage.”
He left without saying another word. The Weasel laughed again.
[TO BE CONTINUED…]