Unfortunately for the boys, the innkeeper decided to rob them, thinking that their possessions would make easy pickings. That night the felon crept into the room where they slept and murdered them where they lay. To hide his heinous crime, and profit still further from the villainous deed, he chopped up their bodies, pickling them in barrels of brine, planning to sell their flesh to his customers as salted pork.
However, Bishop Nicholas learnt that the boys were due to visit him and so set out in search of them. His enquiries eventually brought him to the inn and, when questioned about the boys, the innkeeper panicked, telling Nicholas that the boys had been there but had left the following morning. Nicholas was having none of it and set about searching the premises. It did not take him long to find the barrels which held the boys’ dismembered corpses.
With a dramatic change of heart, no doubt brought on by extreme guilt, the innkeeper broke down and confessed his sins, begging the bishop for forgiveness. The saint was utterly convinced by the innkeeper’s desire to repent and prayed for both him, and the dead boys. As he concluded his prayer, the body parts reunited and the boys emerged from the brine barrels, alive and wholly intact. And so they continued on their way to Athens.