Hosker, G [Sword of Cartimandua 00.5] Ulpius Felix- Warrior of Rome

Hosker, G [Sword of Cartimandua 00.5] Ulpius Felix- Warrior of Rome by Griff Hosker Read Free Book Online

Book: Hosker, G [Sword of Cartimandua 00.5] Ulpius Felix- Warrior of Rome by Griff Hosker Read Free Book Online
Authors: Griff Hosker
Decurion Ocella led the recruits to Flavius for distribution.  The Tribune drew the Prefect to one side. “I could not get more, not in the time anyway.  We will have another sweep next month but I should warn you some of these are not to be trusted.”
    “What do you mean?  Did anything happen to make you alarmed?”
    “No, it is just an itch I can’t scratch and Spurius was equally disturbed.  There wasn’t the same buzz as we rode here. One or two seemed happy enough but some of them have a very furtive look about them.”
    “Thank you for your advice Gnaeus but beggars cannot be choosers.  The Legate is expecting an ala and even now I am not taking him a full strength one.”
    “Just watch yourself.  How are the troopers working out?” Marius gave him a brief account of their appointments.  “Good, and as for Aulus, just send him back if there is a problem I am sure we can find another trooper to take his place. Tell me, how did you manage to get Decurion pay for them?  Not that it wouldn’t have pleased them I am sure.”
    “Simple accounting.  The Imperial clerks decreed that for six hundred men we would need twenty officers and there is pay for twenty officers.  When we are fully staffed we will have a problem but the chosen men are not being paid any more at the moment.  I am not sure they understand the concept of pay.”
    “And Publius is your paymaster?  Well good luck with his stiff neck. We will try to catch those deserters and I will send on the new recruits when we get them.  Any idea where you will be based?”
    “Tungri or Castra Vetera.  It depends upon the Legate.”
    Gnaeus took the Prefect’s arm.  “Well may Mithras watch over you.  I think you will need all the help you can get.”
    “And thank you Gnaeus.  You have helped me more than you needed to.”
    “Let us just say that my family almost fell foul of Caligula…”
    Neither Cava nor Flavius were happy at the allocation of the new men.  Some of them did not appear to have embraced the Roman army as an opportunity. One in particular, Sura, made Cava suspicious.  He wondered if he was judging him on his looks, for he had a long scar down one cheek which gave him an evil look to start with but there was something else which he could not put his finger on. Neither officer nor chosen man had the chance to do anything about it for the prefect was keen for them to head west and join the army.  Wolf was excited beyond words as he sat proudly behind the Decurion, next to Cava, with the standard in his hand.  He had seen the other standards and they were crude by comparison with the excellent handiwork of Gerjen.  The Prefect had not brought out the ala standard yet as he had neither standard bearer nor reason to use it but he was pleased that his auxiliaries had taken to the idea so readily.  He smiled when he saw Wolf holding a wolf.  He was a warrior to watch and for all the right reasons. He had warned his officers about the new men and Aulus had growled, “I’ll smell out the bad ’uns sir.  They won’t want to cross me twice!” Marius wondered if he had misjudged the sour looking trooper.
    The mountains which were a thin grey line in the distance grew day by day as they trekked west.  Prefect Proculus ensured that they changed horses each day to maximise the distance they could travel.  They learned to build a camp quickly, especially as the new recruits soon learned that the sooner the camp was erected the sooner they would be fed. Wolf enjoyed travelling at the head of the turma and he found that he could speak the Roman language quicker than the others.  Cava already had a good knowledge of the words he would need and Wolf listened to their conversations and he improved as quickly as Cava.  It enabled him to understand the Roman officers when they spoke with each other and it made him understand their motives and their actions.  They were not so different from him; they too had volunteered to get

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