But, notwithstanding all his cunning, he was detected in his double
dealing, and his career was suddenly brought to a close, before the
great final conflict came on. There was a barber in Caesar's household,
who, for some cause or other, began to suspect Pothinus; and, having
little else to do, he employed himself in watching the eunuch's
movements and reporting them to Caesar. Caesar directed the barber to
continue his observations. He did so; his suspicions were soon
confirmed, and at length a letter, which Pothinus had written to
Achillas, was intercepted and brought to Caesar. This furnished the
necessary proof of what they called his guilt, and Caesar ordered him to
be beheaded.

This circumstance produced, of course, a great excitement within the
palace, for Pothinus had been for many years the great ruling minister
of state,--the king, in fact, in all but in name. His execution alarmed
a great many others, who, though in Caesar's power, were secretly wishing
that Achillas might prevail. Among those most disturbed by these fears
was a man named Ganymede. He was the officer who had charge of Arsino,
Cleopatra's sister. The arrangement which Caesar had proposed for
establishing her in conjunction with her brother Ptolemy over the island
of Cyprus had not gone into effect; for, immediately after the decision
of Caesar, the attention of all concerned had been wholly engrossed by
the tidings of the advance of the army, and by the busy preparations
which were required on all hands for the impending contest. Arsino,
therefore, with her governor Ganymede, remained in the palace. Ganymede
had joined Pothinus in his plots; and when Pothinus was beheaded, he
concluded that it would be safest for him to fly.

He accordingly resolved to make his escape from the city, taking Arsino
with him. It was a very hazardous attempt but he succeeded in
accomplishing it. Arsino was very willing to go, for she was now
beginning to be old enough to feel the impulse of that insatiable and
reckless ambition which seemed to form such an essential element in the
character of every son and daughter in the whole Ptolemaic line. She was
insignificant and powerless where she was, but at the head of the army
she might become immediately a queen.

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