A Friendly Wager

Robert Graves’  ‘I, Claudius’.  Page 228, line 19:

Hermann and Flavius were the oldest of friends but they also had the weirdest of relationships.  Hermann was taking both German and Latin in school.  He was getting good grades in German, and was also quite fluent in it, as well as enchanted with it.  Never fond of Latin, though, he was doing rather poorly in that class.

Hermann desperately needed a car, and was about a thousand dollars short of the full price of the one he really wanted.  His friend tried to make a deal with him.  “Speak only Latin for one full month,” he promised solemnly, “and you’ve got the money.”


Dumbfounded and scared, Hermann didn’t know what to think. *Hermann began talking German but Flavius said that unless he talked Latin the conversation was at an end.

Eventually Hermann gave in, knowing only too well that it was his only hope.   Day and night he did everything possible to bluff his way through it all, feeling like a character out of an episode of ‘I Love Lucy’ or ‘The Twilight Zone’, stuck in a world he could neither understand nor control.  He quite desperately wanted to give up, and very often veered so close to a slip of the tongue. 



Inevitably the full thirty one days had finally past.   Hermann had somehow gotten through it all, and Flavius, a gentleman and true to his word, was quite willing happily to concede defeat.  He gave Hermann the thousand dollars. 



The very first thing Hermann did when he got the car was to take Flavius on an unusually long ride, through four counties, playing Oktoberfest music all throughout the trip.



I’ve grown quite fond of The Haunted Wordsmith’s Page And Line Challenge . I’ve chosen Robert Graves’  ‘I, Claudius’.  Page 228, line 19.  The sentence immediately following the askterisk is the line.  As I said when first I responded to this prompt, it’s an excuse to take advantage of my interest in  classic western literature.


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