Master had once brought me to the city-gates where the lepers and beggars like to pan-handle the travelers. I did not know it yet but this was the beginning to another one of Master’s lessons.“I have watched this man lay here many days” he spoke amongst the commotion. “He is an outcast and would otherwise, lay here and smell of the dead until the day he joins them.”
“Otherwise?” I asked him.
“Ah, so you are listening. Yes, this man will be taken back into our city, under your roof, as your servant”
“Not even if you were to pay me! Look! He lies in his own filth!” But Master was stern, he was not asking. I remember thinking he has finally lost his mind. But I was foolish back then and although I thought I did, I knew nothing of what power really was. Master was going to show me.
The man was nearly unconscious and had to be dragged back to my villa. There, he was bathed by my female slaves, clothed by my maids in the finest of silk, and fed all he could chew. After seven moons he was in good condition so I had him brought to my chamber so that I may speak to him. Master had chosen this man and I needed to know why.
“Care for some wine?” I offered him. A platter with cups and gourd was placed on the table between us. Yet he said nothing. He just stared. “I am Thrasymacus, but you will call me master. You are my servant and in exchange I can give you anything you want. Be it opium, women, salt, gold, but once I anoint you; your life is no longer yours. If I say ‘die’, you bring me the knife, and show me your neck, understood?”
“Yes.” The man exhaled with defeat.
So I began questioning him. He turned out to be a fugitive from Damascus and speaks our language with a familiarity that is odd for a Syrian.
After that meeting, I assigned him to the vineyard to harvest grapes for the winepress. From the balcony I observed for hours, until I came upon my first clue to why Master chose this man...