b'DEATH AND A CROCODILE 15The narrow face turned hard. Id rather die than go back to that witch. MorevehemencethanLiviaexpectedfromonesoweak. Interesting. Porcia said you were a saucy one.The mistress hates me because I havent been trained to slav-ery since birth. I dont talk proper, or bow pretty, or have the pa-tience to stand still like so much furniture while snooty women loll around complaining about the price of silk and rose water. Gah! Please dont send me back there, miss.I must. The law deals harshly with anyone who harbors a fugitive slave. I wish I was your slave. Id rather empty chamber pots in this household than remain a ladys maid to Porcia. She gripped Livias arm. Ill do anything you like, only let me stay with you. Exactly what any frightened slave would say, of course, but something stirred in Livias heart. Pity, or a whisper from God?Livia looked Roxana in the eyes. What makes you think youll be happier serving me?Porcia would never dirty her hands to tend a slave. And I saw how the others respect you. Even the big one who freed me from the rubble. No one respects Porcia. They only obey because theyre afraid of the stewards whip and her husbands temper.The maid was perceptive as well as saucy. The exact opposite of the obsequious and dimwitted Agneta, although they looked similar enough to mistake one for the other. Hmm. Might Porcia be convinced to trade slaves?Livia had no control over her fathers selection of a husband, but she could do something about a maidservant. Give me a hairstyle that will impress my parents and Ill con-sider your plea.'