Conan to Publio:
I want to know if a Zingaran named Beloso, or he might call
himself anything, is in this city. He's tall and lean and dark
like all his race, and it's likely he'll seek to sell a very
Publio to spies (later):
Send your men into the markets and wharfside dives and learn if
one Beloso, a Zingaran, is in Messantia. Conan said he had a
gem, which he will probably seek to dispose of.
Publio back-shifted `have' into `had', but kept the present tense
of `will'*. Why? If Conan's information about Beloso's posession of
the gem deserves a degree of remotentess exressed by the past
tense, why not give like treatment to his words about the intent of
Beloso to sell it, i.e.:
Conan said he had a gem, which he would probably seek to dispse of.
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