To weasel a way out
– to escape from a dangerous situation in an intelligent way.
The moment the door slammed behind Bryden and Halen – the hill and harsh waters – Weasel changed. Gone was the damaged older man. Instead, a meticulous and cunning assassin appeared from behind the once tired and indifferent personality.
“Be quick,” he ordered Cassius, who stood like stone, devastated by the betrayal of his deputies. How could he have been so stupid? How could he not have seen any signs? Didn’t this man, currently occupied with something bizarre, teach him that the most apparent explanation most likely was the closest to the truth? Cui prodest? To whom is it a benefit?The province needed a good cause for revolt. People are passive in their masses. Without good reason, they wouldn’t fight against the established order. That was a fact. They needed to be put in danger, be scared for their lives, the lives of their families if they were to stand up against the Romans. This cause was nicely handed to them at the best possible time, in the best possible circumstances, when the Romans were at their weakest with the change of their Emperor.
“How long do you intend to stand there like stone?” Weasel hissed, now aggravated, as Cassius returned to reality. “Yes, yes, you’re a fool; now you have to live with that. Or die. I prefer the first option, especially since you’re not the only fool here who deserves punishment. Lucky for us, your deputies are also not as bright as they think they are. That was the riskiest part of my plan: I wasn’t sure if they wouldn’t just kill both of us on the spot. We had to take some risks. Killing us would have been a wise thing to do, in all fairness. Now come help me! The job’s almost done!”
Cassius suddenly realized what was happening. A slender animal with thick fur – a real weasel – had already gnawed through the rope on the older man’s hands and was jumping in circles in excitement, waiting for the treat, while the assassin was cutting the cords off his legs with a small knife. Only the gods would know where the older man had hidden it all that time. He indeed was searched, thoroughly at that.
“Yes, yes.” Like in the past, the old assassin answered Cassius’s thoughts without bothering to wait for him to put them into words. “Distracting the enemy is not the only trick this little thing knows how to do. I had to teach her so she could be helpful. Oooh! My old bones! Why didn’t they bring you earlier? I’m no longer young enough to sit bound for so long!”
The Weasel finally stretched his arms and legs and cut the ropes restraining Cassius’s limbs. Then he cautiously came to the door and picked a lock, trying to be as quiet as possible. Success. He carefully opened the door.
“Nobody outside! Just as I thought, they didn’t want any witnesses. We need to move someplace safe; once we are, I’d like you to meet someone. So, on my count, get ready to run: three, two, one… Run!”
Cassius followed. The old assassin was right. Any questions he had could wait for a more suitable time.
[TO BE CONTINUED…]