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He received the summons just after the sixth hour, sweating profusely under the hot southern sun, as he wielded wedge and mallet in the master’s stone quarry. There would be several more hours, punctuated by short breaks for rest and sustenance, of that sort of labor…but the summons portended something more and was always a dreaded occurrence.
Weary and wary in equal measure the young slave washed the sweat and stone dust from his muscular body. Dressed in the scantiest of loincloths, he then completed his attire with the snick of a sturdy manacle on each of his wrists.
He entered the dimly lit chamber, weighed down with apprehension, and approached the single standing column with its embedded iron ring and chain. The master would arrive shortly and the buck’s evening ordeal would then commence; he had been summoned for night duty…