Sebastian had been in the town for only a short while when he encountered the ship’s captain, who had been looking for him. They stood in the street and talked. At first Sebastain reprimanded his friend for abandoning his duties for him.
‘I would hate to put you to any trouble but as you seem to enjoy it I won’t scold you any more.’
‘I couldn’t stay behind,’ said Antonio. ‘My wishes, sharper than filed steel, spurred me on. And it wasn’t just a desire to see you (although I would go further for that) but concern about what may happen to you, being unfamiliar with this part of the world. This country can be rough and inhospitable to a stranger without a friend or a guide. My high regard for you, combined with this fear, made me set out after you.’
‘My dear Antonio,’ the young man said, ‘I can only thank you, thank you and thank you again. Good turns are often shuffled off with the useless currency of ‘thank you’s’. If my worth were as great as my conscience you would be well provided for. What’s there to do here? Shall we go and look at the sights of this town?’
‘Tomorrow, sir,’ said Antonio. ‘It’s best to go and find your lodgings first.’
‘I’m not tired, and it’s still early. Please, let’s do some sightseeing around the notable places and historic buildings that have made this city famous.’
‘You’ll have to excuse me,’ said Antonio. ‘I can’t walk these streets without danger. I was once involved in a sea fight against the count’s ships. I was so central in it that, in fact, if I were captured it would be the end of me.’
‘You probably killed many of his people.’
Antonio shook his head. ‘The offence wasn’t of such a violent nature although it was such that it could easily have led to some killing. It could eventually have been settled with the repayment of what we took from them which, in the interests of commerce, most of our city did. I was alone in holding out so if I’m taken here I’ll pay dearly for it.’
‘Don’t walk about too openly then,’ said Sebastian.
Antonio laughed. ‘That’s not like me.’
‘Wait, sir,’ said Antonio. ‘Here’s my purse. The best place to stay is at the Elephant in the southern suburbs. I’ll order our dinner while you kill time and inform yourself by looking around the town. You’ll find me there.’
‘Why are you giving me your purse?’
‘Perhaps you’ll see something that you’d like to buy. I don’t think you have enough money to buy luxuries.’
‘I’ll carry your purse and leave you for an hour,’ said Sebastian.
‘At the Elephant,’ said Antonio.