“Ave, Good Morning.” Secundus entered the Forum Cafeterium and accepted a beaker of steaming caffeinus from Nellus, Rome’s best Barristerus. He declined the offer of some panum, bread, as the local baker was becoming notorious for his poor quality products.
“Salve, Hello.” Verbo Ipsum grumped back at the newcomer.
“What is wrong with you this morning?” asked Secundus.
“It is Octavius, your goat-herding brother.” replied Verbo. “He wanted me to bring a shipload of topsoil upriver from the harbour, from Centumcellae. He asked for a quote and said he would get back to me.”
“I’ll wager that he found a cheaper source.” laughed Secundus. “My brother is always looking for a bargain.”
“I’ll agree with that!” grumbled Verbo Ipsum. “He wanted to buy a load of soil that didn’t cost the earth.”