b'DEATH AND A CROCODILE 27Curio raised his cup in salute. Thats my girl. I told you she was unique.So you did. I take it Father has deemed you acceptable?Enough to set a betrothal date for next week.Did he mention me?NotuntilIasked.Hehintedthatyoursituationmightbe changing. What did he mean by that?Although Curio remained in the same slouched posture as be-fore, he did not succeed in hiding his surge of emotions. Avitus read longing, surprise, and hope before the usual cynical wari-ness returned. Maybe hes seen my reformed behavior and is finally willing to listen to my pleas to be reinstated.That would be fortuitous.Denter was aware Curio sometimes assisted Avitusit would have been dishonest to discuss a betrothal while that fact re-mained hiddenbut it would make life easier for all of them if father and son could resolve their differences. But that was not the issue Avitus had come to discuss. I have a problem. Two nights ago I received a threat: If I dont break off negotiations a witness will come forward claiming I re-ceive regular visits from actors and other low-class citizens.Thats preposterous. Nobody who knows you would believe it.Except its true.ForthesecondtimethatnightAvitusenjoyedhisfriends shocked stare. I have assisted various actors with legal matters. Like my oth-er satisfied clients, they visit whenever they need legal advice. Nothing dishonorable about a client calling on you, even if they are classified as infamia.'