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As her ship, the Orion, slides through the gateway and turns southeast, Miriam fastens her gaze on the Temple of Augustus and Roma: “Directly ahead of us, backlit by the morning sun, facing northwest toward Rome rather than southeast toward Jerusalem, the Temple of Augustus and Roma commands the cityscape from a lofty platform atop the harbor’s land quay.”

Later Phoebe, Miriam’s intrepid servant and scout, mounts the steps of the Temple in pursuit of a lean, serpentine figure:

I was about to circle back to the inn when, upon nearing the land quay, I looked up at the Temple of Augustus and Roma and spotted a lean, serpentine figure sprinting up the stairway to its shelf above the harbor. Really all I saw was a briskly-moving form until Isis fanned a breeze to inflate his cloak and dispatched a sunbeam to catch its edge. Only then did I recognize him …. So, with the assurance of Isis’s patronage, I inhaled a pocket of courage, ready to see what he was up to.

And, as you’ll see in THE DEADLIEST HATE, Phoebe did indeed need that infusion of courage.

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