b'10LISA E. BETZThecatturnedandsaunteredupthealley.Liviafeltcom-pelled to follow it. And why not? She started into the alley until a squealed Mistress! from Agneta brought her to a halt. Roman ladies of good breeding were not supposed to rush headlong into dark alleyways. Roman ladies were expected to live pampered and polite lives devoid of risk, challenge, or ex-citement. A dull existence Livia dreaded with all her heart. The cat looked back at her. It clearly wanted her to follow. Come along, both of you. I want a closer look at that cat.Tyndareus appeared at her shoulder. Are you sure this is wise, Mistress? She gestured at the sunlit alley. I see no sign of danger. Do you?He gave a long-suffering sigh. Tyndareus had been patiently tolerating her impulsiveness since she was a child. As you wish, my lady, but send the maid first.Livia waved Agneta into the alley. The maid shot Tyndareus a spiteful look. Then she gripped the hem of her tunic and picked her way past puddles that reeked of chamber pot and moldering vegetables buzzing with flies. Twenty paces along she stopped. One hand rose, pointing at a blackened pile of rubble. The charred remains of a building.See, my lady? We must turn back.Nonsense. Keep going. The ruined building was an all-too-familiar scene in Rome, wheremultistoryapartmentbuildingsoftencaughtfireand crumbled, burying furniture and residents alike. Agneta inched past it, darting anxious glances at the rubble. Did the woman think desperate criminals lurked under the blackened chunks, watching for unsuspecting victims? What a ninny.In contrast, the cat sat calmly on a pile of broken roof tiles. When they drew near, it leapt from one chunk of debris to an-other until it landed on a slab of wall lying askew atop a jumble of charred roof beams. It darted under the slab then reappeared.'