Phalinus and those that were with him turned and went. But the messengers from Ariaeus, Procles and Cheirisophus came back. As to Menon, he stayed behind with Ariaeus, They brought back this answer from Ariaeus: "'There are many Persians,' he says, 'better than himself who will not suffer him to sit upon the king's throne; but if you are minded to go back with him, you must join him this very night, otherwise he will set off himself to-morrow on the homeward route.'" And Clearchus said: "It had best stand thus between us then. If we come, well and good, be it as you propose; but if we do not come, do whatsoever you think most conducive to your interests." And so he kept these also in the dark as to his real intention.
After this, when the sun was already sinking, he summoned the generals and officers, and made the following statement: "Sirs, I sacrificed and found the victims unfavourable to an advance against the king. After all, it is not so surprising perhaps, for, as I now learn, between us and the king flows the river Tigris, navigable for big vessels, and we could not possibly cross it without boats, and boats we have none. On the other hand, to stop here is out of the question, for there is no possibility of getting provisions. However, the victims were quite agreeable to us joining the friends of Cyrus. This is what we must do then. Let each go away and sup on whatever he has. At the first sound of the bugle to turn in, get kit and baggage together; at the second signal, place them on the baggage animals; and at the third, fall in and follow the lead, with the baggage animals on the inside protected by the river, and the troops outside." After hearing the orders, the generals and officers retired, and did as they were bid; and for the future Clearchus led, and the rest followed in obedience to his orders, not that they had expressly chosen him, but they saw that he alone had the sense and wisdom requisite in a general, while the rest were inexperienced (1).
(1) The MSS. add the words, "The total distance of the route, taking Ephesus in Ionia as the starting point up to the field of battle, consisted of 93 stages, 535 parasangs, or 16,050 furlongs; from the battle-field to Babylon (reckoned a three days' journey) would have been another 360 stades," which may well be an editor's or commentator's marginal note.
Here, under cover of the darkness which descended, the Thracian Miltocythes, with forty horsemen and three hundred Thracian infantry, deserted to the king; but the rest of the troops—Clearchus leading and the rest following in accordance with the orders promulgated—took their departure, and about midnight reached their first stage, having come up with Ariaeus and his army. They grounded arms just as they stood in rank, and the generals and officers of the Hellenes met in the tent of Ariaeus. There they exchanged oaths—the Hellenes on the one side and Ariaeus with his principal officers on the other—not to betray one another, but to be true to each other as allies. The Asiatics further solemnly pledged themselves by oath to lead the way without treachery. The oaths were ratified by the sacrifice of a bull, a wolf (2), a boar, and a ram over a shield. The Hellenes dipped a sword, the barbarians a lance, into the blood of the victims.