Vorenus's next stop is at a shrine to Venus, where he sincerely asks the goddess to make Niobe love him. Never hurts to ask, I guess. He cuts open his hand and lets the blood drip into the candle flame. Okay, so I was wrong.
Niobe, meanwhile, is apparently making some kind of offering of her own at home, judging by the recently extinguished but smoldering candles she's presently kneeling before. A hand touches her on the shoulder, and she starts. Vorenus, good student that he is, apologizes for startling her, talking like he's addressing a skittish horse. She rises, wondering who this guy is in her house who looks like her husband but doesn't act like a complete ass.
We next see Vorenus doing Niobe the favor of allowing her to wash his feet. Ah, well, baby steps. Now without his armor and cape, he dutifully says, "You're very beautiful." She doesn't seem to know how to respond. He confesses that he hasn't treated her well, and makes the excuse that she was only thirteen when they married, and he was gone soon after that. If Jerry Lee Lewis couldn't make it work, what made him think he could? Anyway, he says that now she's a woman, and he knows nothing of women. Hey, at least he knows about that button now, which is a whole lot better than not knowing about it. Vorenus: "Soldiering is all I know, which is not useful. I have been sullen and untrusting and cold. But I can change." Niobe's face is beginning to crumple with emotion. Vorenus continues, "I will swear on the life of my daughter's son that I will change if you would have it so." Niobe sadly starts to tell him just what a meaningless oath that is, but he stops her, saying, "The past is gone. Can we start again?" Niobe nods, and embraces him gratefully.
Pullo rides at a gallop along the road where he last saw the girl and the oxcart, until he catches up to them. The oxen have stopped, and the girl is lying on the ground next to the cart. Obviously she wasn't dragged any distance, because the rope isn't stretched to its limit behind the cart and she still has all of her clothes and flesh. Despite this, Pullo looks concerned as he dismounts and approaches her, then relieved as she opens her eyes when he kneels over her. He cuts her bonds, (which don't look all that well-tied in the first place), and leaves her lying on the ground rather than helping her up or offering her water. Instead, he climbs up onto the oxcart and throws aside the canvas covering its contents. This reveals a number of large strongboxes. Pullo lifts the lid of one and makes a face like everyone in Pulp Fiction did when they opened Marcellus Wallace's briefcase. He slams the lid shut, breathing heavily. He opens a second case. It, too, no doubt contains more gold than Pullo's ever seen in his life. He finishes throwing off the canvas, revealing at least six more chests just like the first two. But before he can dump out all the gold and roll around naked in it on the spot, he hears a martial fanfare off in the distance and realizes that Caesar's men must be drawing near. He quickly covers the chests again, picks the girl up, and puts her on the cart's driver's seat. As Caesar's white horse comes into view, Pullo chases his own horse away and throws a dark blanket around his shoulders to hide that bright red cape he's wearing. That done, he pulls on the rope at the front of the wagon to get the oxen moving, and manages, with considerable effort, to get the cart rolling slowly behind him so he can get out of sight. You know, Pullo, if you handed the entire Roman treasury over to Caesar, I bet he'd make you at least a corporal.