Cricket Magazine

MERCURY’S SANDALS

ARCELA SAT BESIDE her father, Gaius, as their carrying chair jolted up the hill to the temple of Mercury. She had tried to convince him to take the ox cart, but Gaius explained that you couldn’t collect a new wife in an ox cart; it would be rude. The carrying chairs were showy and not that comfortable, but they were what well-off people used.

“Mallia Marcia has come all the way from Rome,” her father reminded Arcela. “We must greet her properly.”

Arcela still wasn’t sure how she felt about having a new mother. Her own mother had died when she was little, and it had been just her and her father ever since. She didn’t think they needed anyone else.

As soon as Arcela stepped out of the chair, she saw them. Mallia Marcia may have come all the way to Gallia Belgica to join her new husband, but everything about her was Roman. She wore a , a fine wool veil, pulled over her crimped brown hair, and she looked down her hooked nose at the bustling crowds

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