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Scribes could read and write and made their living drafting, translating, and copying documents. They may have worked as secretaries and administrators for businessmen or as public servants for the government. Both Miriam and her fiancé, Noah, find fault with Drakon, despite the scribe’s facility with Latin as well as Greek.

Noah, in THE DEADLIEST LIE, gripes to Miriam: “I have to find a new scribe to replace Drakon. He’s worked long hours without complaint, has a keen memory, and speaks and writes Latin as well as you do, but I’ve caught him snooping more than once. Just this morning, he was copying my list of prospective clients. As soon as he heard me enter the office, he stopped and proffered some convoluted excuse for having opened my files.”

“Is he the one with the pockmarked face and the wolfish gray teeth who brings documents for my father to sign?” Miriam asks. “I always sensed something furtive about him.”

But even the guileless Phoebe confides to Miriam her impression of Drakon:

“Well, something about Drakon has always reminded me of a spider building a web one deathly strand at a time. Maybe it’s because when he’d wait for your father, he’d ask for Kastor. Remember him, the jackal-faced secretary with the clubfoot? The one your father sold to the Public Records Office in Alexandria? The two of them would whisper in Latin behind cupped hands, about what I don’t know, but then in a rhythmic sequence, Drakon would clap Kastor’s shoulder, rub his palms together, and strut off flicking his poisonous tongue across his lower lip.”

Sound like both are up to no good? Sure enough. As you’ll see, they both live up to others’ opinions, but that’s another story. Still, as far as scribes are concerned, they remain common in countries where literacy rates are low. In any case, take a look at THE DEADLIEST LIE, where all the trouble begins. Just click here.

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