"Old fool, are you going to meddle with what even I don't understand? The dark stole fell back from her head, and a shaft of light from the arrow-slit fell across her face. "Pardon me. Young fool, I should say." (Crash!)
"I'm twenty," she said, pulling her wrist away and rubbing it. "Old enough to know my craft; old enough to be a wife and a widow and to lose my father, who was all my kin, to these bloody Romans. But of course you're right," she went on meekly. "These things must be dangerous." She looked down. "Zeus! What's that?"
The boy bent down to look, and Cynthia hit him, hard, with the flat of her hand on the side of his neck. He went down softly, as she snatched the fragile scroll out of his way, and lay with his head in his father's lap.