Cassius idly looked out of the silken curtains of his litter, thoughtfully munching a grape. His four slaves had finally learned to carry it smoothly, and he was enjoying a pleasant ride. He considered how his son was to come home soon, and realized he hadn't had a girl yet. He remembered how his own father had made a slave girl his present when he was young, and that it taught him many things about slavery. Maybe that would improve things.

Suddenly some shouting caught his attention. He called for the slaves to stop, and they obediently froze. He ordered one to investigate. Gaipor came back breathless and informed Cassius that there was a slave auction featuring exotic female slaves. Cassius was struck by his good fortune and praised Jupiter for his favor. He ordered Thallus and Naepor to stay with the litter, and took Gaipor and Syneros as escorts. He walked the short distance to the slave market. An Egyptian girl was on the platform looking as dejected as possible. She looked absolutely disgusting. There was no light or intelligence in her eyes, like a brute beast. She went for a mere 200 denarii. Cassius thought it was pointless to be there, as most of the stock was in bad condition. But right after the Egyptian, another girl was sent onto the platform. Her wrists were bleeding, her clothes and hair was filthy, but she carried herself like a queen, not a dog. Cassius squinted, trying to decide if she was pretty underneath all that grime. After much consideration, he deemed she was. Brought back to reality, he realized the bidding for her had started, and was up to 1,000 denarii. Determined to buy her, he bid 2,000. The noblewoman to the left glared and challenged him to 2,500. He calmly called 4,000 and bought the girl, leaving the lady to simmer. The girl's placard said she was a Jewess and could read, but she didn't look either Jewish or educated. But he was buying her for her looks, not her brain. He sent Syneros to collect her and went back to the litter to finish his grapes.