‘Ave, Ave! Good morning!’ Zoophilus entered the Forum Cafeterium and looked around. ‘Gratias tibi, Thank you.’ he said to the Barristerus, Nellus, taking his beaker of caffeinus. He went across to the tabula where his his friends were sitting.
‘What are you so cheerful about?’ asked the strangely grumpy Libertinus, the Roman man about town. Verbo Ipsum walked over to the counter to refresh his beaker of caffeinus.
‘I may be off on another voyage if negotiations go as well as I expect them to. Caesar wants some new exotic animals. What has upset you today?’
‘I was unable to get home last night so I had to stay at a caupona, a hotel. All night I was kept awake by strange noises. I’m certain they are haunted by a ghost!’
‘Is that the caupona next to the Temple of Mercury?’ asked Verbo as he returned to the tabula.
‘Why yes!’ exclaimed Libertinus. ‘How did you know?’
‘They have had that problem before and it is very hard to solve,’ said Verbo. ‘So yesterday they decided to fight fire with fire and called for an inn spectre.’