ace, the censor Arminius Quirinius paid four thousand for him...."
He paused a moment whilst a couple of Jews from Galilee, in long dark robes and black caps covering their shaggy hair, turned critically round this paragon from Hispania, lifted his hands and gazed on each finger-tip as if trying to find traces on these of that much-vaunted skill.
"Two thousand sesterces, kind sirs, and you will have at your disposal the talent of a master in the noble art of leather working; pouches and coverings for your chairs, caskets and sword-hilts, nothing comes amiss to him.... Come! shall we say two thousand sesterces?"
The Jews were hesitating. With a rapid glance of their keen, deep-set eyes they consulted one with the other, whilst their long bony fingers wandered hesitatingly to the wallets at their belts.
"Two thousand sesterces!" urged the auctioneer, as he looked with marked severity on the waverers.
He himself received a percentage on the proceeds of the sale, a few sesterces