Hostage Lands

Hostage Lands
By Douglas Bond

Neil lives in Britain.  He does not like learning Latin, he thinks Latin is a dead language.  His teacher says the Roman wall that he lives by can speak!

Heading home from school,  his four wheeler hit a rock.  It fell hard, making a hole.  Neil saw something glittering under his ATV.   He dug some and discovered a spear head!  He thought that it was a Roman one.   He also found a very old brown leather box that he took home.

Neil dusted the dirt off and very carefully cut it open.  He learned there were lots of writing tablets.  He could not read them because they were written in Latin!
The next day he asked his teacher, Miss Klitsa, to help him decipher the Latin.  He showed her the spearhead.  She decided that it was not a joke and told him to decode the tablets and gave him a Latin grammar book.

Neil started to decipher the tablets and he learned it was a diary by a Roman soldier named Rusticus.

Rusticus was a centurion and he was going on a practice march with his best soldiers.   Their  enemy, the Celts, attacked.  The Romans fought hard, but only Rusticus and his Optimo survived.  They were rescued by Calum, a Celt, who was a Roman soldier who ran away from Rome.

Tribune Festus was the second in command to Legate Julius who was sick.  They were the two highest in command over Rusticus.  Festus sent Rusticus on an extremely dangerous mission to spy on the enemies!   He needed their chariot numbers and when and where they were going to attack.  Rusticus was disguised as a mute Celt.  Calum goes with him to be his voice.  If they did not get that information soon, then Festus was going to kill them.

Rusticus and Calum met the Celts after a boar attacked one of the Celts.  Calum cleaned and bandaged the Celt’s wounds.  They were taken to the Celt village.   The chief said if the person who got attacked dies, Rusticus and Calum die.

The victim lived through the night.  The next day everybody learned that Rusticus was a Roman because he went through a test and it was something that he could not do right.

Calum sneaked back to the Roman fort and if the soldiers recognized him, they would kill him.  Rusticus doesn’t know if he should stay with the Celts or go save Calum.  If he stays with the Celts then Calum will be killed.  If he goes to save Calum he needs to tell Festus everything Festus wants to know.

What will he chose?  If you want to find out, read the book!

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