b'DEATH AND A CROCODILE 55been different ever since. About how hed returned to Rome and told his friends, including Pansa, about the man called Jesus.What? Livia had to force her jaw from gaping open. Slowly he convinced me that Jesus was more than a wander-ing Jewish teacher who died a few years back. He took a deep breath, leaned forward and looked her in the eyes. I have be-come a follower of the Christ. I was baptized a few weeks ago.Try as she might, Livia could find no hint of deception behind his eyes. And the angry Curio would never have humbled himself like this. Could it be true? Hewas different. His face no longer had the hard edge she remembered. Might it be because his heart had been softened by God? I want to believe you, but Im not sure I can.Curio opened his palms in a gesture of helplessness. Hard to believe, I know. But its true. The problem is convincing those who knew me before. Those Ive hurt. He knelt before her and took her hands in his. I know I dont deserve it, but I hope you can forgive me and let me have a second chance.Wasnt that what Placida and Pansa had taught her? That ev-eryone needed forgiveness. That through Christs sacrifice God freely forgave all who believed. That they should follow Gods example and forgive each other. I forgive you.Thank you. He kissed her cheek and regained his feet. Now thats off my chest, I want to talk to you about Father. Cook, Dryas, and I have been talking and I think theres something sus-picious about his death.I think so, too.Why? Did you notice anything specific?I found Fathers ring. She pulled it from the folds of her belt and handed it to her brother. Curio turned it over in his hand, rubbing it with his thumb. Where did you find it?'