He had carried the thing from Syracuse to the shores of the salty sea where he fell in with a band of travellers. It was a relief to ride the tail of one of their carts and exchange a word or two with the toothless old woman whose family plotted his end.
The gilt metal box on his back grew hotly heavy as they drew near to their night stop, but he ate his drugged stew without complaint, even when he felt it rob his limbs of strength.
His last thought as a slim blade slipped between his ribs was that someone else could carry the evil now.
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