It's been a week since I've been dumped back from the north and things have definitely not improved. They were about as pleased to see me as a cart load of dead carp that had been left in the sun for a month. Although these Romans would probably look on that at a delicacy!

Junia has of course avoided me like the plague since and I've hardly seen her let alone spoken to her. She's more than a trifle embarrassed by her 'familiarity' to me, although she's been talking up her role to her excited little pack of girlfriends. I never realized before how heroic she had been throughout the whole process and I don't think Fronto would recognize himself!

Since getting back I was given a good knocking by old Badger, well out of sight of the villa for not keeping her out of trouble and sent of to the far end of the land, so as Junia's mother didn't have to look at me and face up to the embarrassment of how her daughter was so 'in-decorum' as to wander round the rougher edges of the province with just me and a bunch of hard necked Roman legionnaires.

The two oafs have been particularly obnoxious today, they came over to see how I was getting on digging a ditch, a rare subject on which they're both experts.

"Hey Medrod!" Frioc bawled, standing right next to my ear, "Is it true they've finally decided to sell Ant? Mind you I can't see them getting as much for him as his old granny made from his mum!”

I gritted my teeth, hunkered down in the ditch and kept digging. I've heard this so often from those two prats.

“And she didn’t get much for her either! You know Frioc, I heard all about them selling him as well. Don't look like your little Junia is going to want to save your skin this time do it Ant?”

"Full marks for originality." I said, accidentally tossing some earth over their heads. "Don't think I've heard it all before."

"Ooh looks like we've scrapped a raw scab Medrod."

"I looked after her and got her back in one piece. Do you really think they're not grateful to me."

"That'll be why you're in the ditch then."

"Temporary Medrod, just letting me keep a low profile for a bit."

"Got a right low profile in that hole Ant."

"Just ask Badger, he's coming up now."

He wasn't, but his name had it's desired effect and the two pests scurried off leaving me alone in my hole.

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