Peter G. Walsh (ed.), Oxford World's Classics: Apuleius: The Golden Ass
But he then realized that the soldier, impervious to all his pleas, was even more determined to put an end to his life, for he had now turned the vine-rod round, intending to split the gardener's head with the knob at the thicker end. So my master had recourse to hasty measures of defence. He pretended that he was trying to grasp his opponent's knees to arouse his pity, so he bent low in suppliant fashion. But he then seized both his feet, raised him high, and brought him down heavily to earth. He then proceeded to assault his entire face, hands and ribs with his fists, elbows, teeth, and a stone which he grabbed from the road. From the moment that he lay prostrate on the ground the centurion could not fight back or offer any resistance. He had to content himself with repeated threats that if he got back on his feet, he would cut him into little pieces with his sword. The gardener took note of his words, snatched the sword from him, threw it as far away as he could, and resumed the attack on him with still fiercer blows. The soldier was flat on his back, and hindered by his wounds; he could devise no means of ensuring his survival, so he took the only course available to him, and pretended to be dead.
The gardener then took the sword with him, mounted my back, and headed directly for the town. Without even a thought of visiting his allotment, he went to lodge with a close pg 189friend of his, to whom he told the whole story. He begged this friend's help in his hour of danger, asking that he should conceal his ass and himself long enough for him to keep out of sight for two or three days, and thus escape indictment on a capital charge. His host was not unmindful of their longstanding friendship, and readily took us in. My feet were roped together, and I was dragged upstairs into the attic. The gardener stayed in the shop downstairs, where he crept into a chest and hid there, with the lid closed over his head.