Page:The Amazing Emperor Heliogabalus.djvu/116

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(barring accidents, of course) about 15th June. Thence, we are told, he took shipping and attempted to reach Byzantium ; but the battle was not to the strong ; the attempt was rendered abortive by the avenging deity in the shape of a great north-west wind, which threw him back upon the coast near Chalcedon. There the well-informed agents of the Emperor Antoninus came up with him, and discovered his whereabouts by means of Macrinus' imperial procurator, to whom, being short of funds, the Moor had foolishly sent in his extremity.

The discovery was tragic ; the lord of the world, the man whose sceptre threatened the Gods and commanded the sun, was discovered by his pursuers hidden in a small house on the outskirts of Chalcedon, trembling with a fever and fright, brought on by the fatigues and emotions of his hurried journey. He was promptly put into a chariot and taken back towards Antioch by his captor Aurelius Celsus. By the time the party reached Cappadocia news was brought that Epagathos had failed in his mission, and that Diadumenianus was killed, which so utterly upset the poor gentleman that he deliberately threw himself from his chariot, in the hope of ending his disappointed existence and escaping a worse fate. In so doing he broke his collar-bone instead of his neck. There was certainly no luck for Macrinus till he reached Archelais, about 75 miles from the frontier of Cappadocia, when, presumably acting under fresh orders, the Centurion ordered him to be put to death, a merciful release from the sufferings which his stupidity and incapacity