"There is a sign which all persons not Romans, and who have moneys or goods subject to despoilment, accept as warning--that is, the arrival at a seat of power of some high Roman official charged with authority.
"To-day comes the Consul Maxentius.
"A conspiracy, to be of effect against thee, O friend, must include the Herods as parties; thou hast great properties in their dominions.
"Send this morning to thy trusty keepers of the roads leading south from Antioch, and bid them search every courier going and coming; if they find private despatches relating to thee or thine affairs, THOU SHOULDST SEE THEM.
"You should have received this yesterday, though it is not too late, if you act promptly.
"If couriers left Antioch this morning, your messengers know the byways, and can get before them with your orders.
Ilderim read the letters a second time, and refolded them in the linen wrap, and put the package under his girdle.
The exercises in the field continued but a little longer--in all about two hours. At their conclusion, Ben-Hur brought the four to a walk, and drove to Ilderim.