Quintus, Volpe, and their group of hit men get directions from someone in the street. The vicious chipmunk closes in.
Over at Vorenus's, the party is most definitively over. Niobe squats on the ground sweeping up the fragments of Janus, and suggesting to Vorenus that they go and have the day absolved. Vorenus complains, "An omen is an omen, and this is as bad as they come. No point throwing money at it. Your sister and her husband can never come here again." "As you say," Niobe says, trying to sound unhappy about it.
The little scene is interrupted when Quintus's party strolls in. "Salve, pleb," Volpe says insolently. "Centurion Lucius Vorenus?" Vorenus comes around the table, asking what's going on. Quintus demands the location of the treasury gold, "and be quick about it, dog." Vorenus still has no idea what Quintus is on about, even when one of his henchmen presses the point of his curved sword under Vorenus's jaw, and even when Niobe is grabbed and a knife held to her throat as well. Kevin McKidd's Scottish accent gets very pronounced when he insists that he doesn't know of any gold. Quintus walks him through it: he knows that Vorenus was the Chief of Scouts in the XIIIth legion, and that he stopped a grain wagon on the Via Flaminia last week. Vorenus denies none of it: "We did. Driven by soldiers disguised. We chased the soldiers and left the wagon." As Vorenus says this, a litter surrounded by cheering peasants comes to a stop outside. We can't see who it is, though, because the top of the archway cuts off our view of the litter's passenger. I have a theory, though. Quintus asks if Vorenus never returned to the wagon, and Vorenus says that there wasn't time, given his orders. As far as Vorenus knows, the wagon is still where he left it. As the litter outside is lowered to the ground, revealing its passenger to be none other than Titus Pullo (yep, that was my theory), Quintus pronounces Vorenus's story a lie and orders his man to carve a chunk out of Niobe.
But before that happens, Quintus notices the commotion outside and raises his hand for a halt. He turns and looks as Pullo -- dressed in a fine blue sash over his soldier's tunic, his hair a bit longer, and with that Jennifer-Lopez-looking slave girl all dressed up at his side -- tosses coins to the crowd he's attracted. "A clamor for my beloved friend Lucius," he calls. The crowd obliges as Pullo happily approaches the courtyard, asking his beloved friend, "Why so glum and gloomy?" But he soon sees the answer, getting serious at the sight of the armed men holding the Vorenii at bay. Vorenus in particular is developing a severe case of razor burn before our very eyes. "Who's this, then?" Pullo asks of Quintus. Volpe answers, "His noble honor Quintus Pompey, commander of Tyrrhenian Fleet. Neptune's Scourge." Pullo acts all mock-impressed at the "Neptune's Scourge" bit. "Looking for a wagon of treasury gold," rumbles Vorenus, who's almost certainly figured it out now. Quintus says something threatening to Pullo, who responds, "You be off now, short-ass. And take these scum with you." Neptune's Scourge prepares to draw, but Pullo has already thrown a shower of coins into the air as a diversion. The beggars who've followed him in dive for the money, knocking Quintus's men over. Quintus himself lunges straight at Vorenus, who bounces Quintus's head off the banquet table a couple of times while Niobe watches from the safety of the staircase. I don't know where the slave girl is during all this. If she thinks that by hiding she's going to escape my nicknaming her J. No, she's got another think coming.