as he led the way out the door into the large open-air garden, knife in hand. The garden, ahead and to the left, was surrounded by a series of pillars at regular intervals and bordered by a marble walkway. Beyond it to the left was the villa's high wall, some ten feet high. To the right, an opening was visible in the same wall that contained the door through which they had just passed that led back towards the atrium. There was also a short passage directly to the right beyond that opening that ended at the villa's right wall. To the right and some distance ahead were three doors lining the walkway on the right side of the garden. Scaevola
ran past them along the walkway, his toga flapping, towards a doorway at the end of the walkway, facing the rear of the villa, from which two Egyptian-looking guards bearing wicked-looking curved swords emerged. Also at the rear was another dead end leading to the villa's rear wall, bordered on the right by the opening from which the guards had emerged and on the left by another doorway.
"Get them!" Scaevola
shouted at the guards as he pointed back at the companions. "Take them alive if you can!"
Back in the study, Story
set fire to the papyrus scrolls with the candle, and they caught quickly. The fire was beginning to spread, and it probably would not take long to engulf the room considering how much flammable material was in it.