Pompeius, being cast down by so many misfortunes, marched away with his senatorial council to the towns to spend the rest of the winter, expecting a successor to come early in the spring. Fearing lest he should be called to account, he made overtures to the Numantines secretly for the purpose of bringing the war to an end. The Numantines themselves, being exhausted by the slaughter of so many of their bravest men, by the loss of their crops, by want of food, and by the length of the war, which had been protracted beyond expectation, sent legates to Pompeius. He publicly advised them to surrender at discretion, because no other kind of treaty seemed worthy of the dignity of the Roman people, but privately he told them what terms he should impose. When they had come to an agreement and the Numantines had given themselves up, he demanded and received from them hostages, together with the prisoners and deserters. He also demanded thirty talents of silver, a part of which they paid down and the rest he agreed to wait for. His successor, Marcus Popillius Læna, had arrived when they brought the last instalment. Pompeius being no longer under any apprehension concerning the war, since his successor was present, and knowing that he had made a disgraceful peace and without authority from Rome, began to deny that he had come to any understanding with the Numantines. The latter proved the contrary by witnesses who had taken part in the transaction, senators, and his own prefects of horse and military tribunes. Popillius sent them to Rome to carry on the controversy with Pompeius there. The case was brought before the Senate, and the Numantines and Pompeius debated it there. The Senate decided to continue the war. Thereupon Popillius attacked the Lusones who were neighbors of the Numantines, but he accomplished nothing, and on the arrival of his successor in office, Hostilius Mancinus, he returned to Rome.