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Search the Seven Hills by Barbara Hambly (Excerpt)

Search the Seven Hills by Barbara Hambly (Excerpt)

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Published by OpenRoadMedia
In ancient Rome, a poor philosopher races to rescue his kidnapped lover before she is abused by the sinister Christian cult
In ancient Rome, a poor philosopher races to rescue his kidnapped lover before she is abused by the sinister Christian cult

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Published by: OpenRoadMedia on Dec 22, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/29/2013

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SEARCH THE SEVEN HILLSBy Barbara Hambly
IT WAS A LONG AND BITTER walk down the Esquiline Hill.Like an ugly specter, Truth stalked beside him.His father had spoken the truth. What made him think that just because he rescued Tullia Varia from the Christians—if he rescuedher—he’d be any closer to having her than he had been before?Whether or not that mysterious Syrian would have her—and hemight perfectly well—why did he think that he himself had anychance at all? To return to his father’s household and tutelagemight give him sufficient prospects of wealth, but the doubledhatred of her father’s politics and her mother’s religion wereenough to make his own father forbid the match. And what madehim think that if and when she was found, she wouldn’t accuse himof wanting to take her out of pity, even if his father would stand for it? In all their bitter quarrels through his boyhood and youth, heknew that tonight was the closest he had ever come to striking theold man.For speaking the truth.
 
 
What kind of philosopher am I? he wondered desperately. To so lose myself in a mere human relationship, especially with animpudent little vixen like Tullia? Why beat my heart to deathagainst the wall of my mind that knows that I’m seeking to rescueher to have her become some other man’s bride? And knowing this, why does the very thought of her turn my brains to mush and make my palms go damp? How can I call myself a philosopher if I react with fury when someone says something that I know to betrue? Or even if they say something that I know is not true?Timoleon never would. I’m no more a philosopher than Felix is, with his racecourse gossip and his pointless bets. But Felix has enough of a grasp of his own truth to realize it, while I’m still clinging to what someother man has called true. Maybe that’s what gives Felix his kind of silly integrity. He may not be much of a man, but he isn’t all things to all men. He certainly doesn’t live a lie.
A variety of shallow considerations drifted through his mind,from suicide to membership in a frontier legion. But he knewalready that he would do no such thing. Almost without hisconscious volition, his restive footsteps carried him down the dark streets, through the ruins and overgrown patches of parkland thathad once been Nero’s house, toward the white bulk of the Flavian,

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