|A Slave Runs Away|
All of the Cornelii are now in the carriage. They head for Rome along the Appian Way.
Meanwhile, in the country house, Davus is worried. Davus is Cornelius’s overseer and, if the master is absent, the overseer himself takes care of his master’s house. Davus therefore orders all of the slaves to come into the threshing-floor which is near the country house. In a short while, the area is full of slaves and slave women, who make a great noise.
Then Davus comes and calls “Be quiet, everyone!” in a loud voice. “Listen to me! Although the master is away, it is necessary for us to work hard.”
Then the slaves mutter, “Davus wants to be the master. Look! He has a stick. He is able to beat us. It is necessary for us to do as he orders.” Therefore they return to the fields, since they fear the overseer’s stick.
But Geta does not return. He neither loves the overseer nor fears the overseer’s anger. That night, therefore, because he does not want to work in the fields any longer, he prepares food and flees from the house. No one sees him and no one stops him. Now through the fields, now through the streets he hurries. When it is day, he hides himself in the branches of a tree. He sleeps there.
Meanwhile, although it is not yet light, Davus wakes all of the slaves. He orders them to go out into the fields and work there. But he does not see Geta. Where is Geta? Davus therefore is angry, and then worried. He stands at the gate of the country house and watches the road; but he does not see Geta.