<<<
>>>

Anabasis

Page: 61

When they had breakfasted and the march recommenced, the generals planted themselves a little to one side in a narrow place, and when they found any of the aforesaid slaves or other property still retained, they confiscated them. The soldiers yielded obedience, except where some smuggler, prompted by desire of a good-looking boy or woman, managed to make off with his prize. During this day they contrived to get along after a fashion, now fighting and now resting. But on the next day they were visited by a great storm, in spite of which they were obliged to continue the march, owing to insufficiency of provisions. Cheirisophus was as usual leading in front, while Xenophon headed the rearguard, when the enemy began a violent and sustained attack. At one narrow place after another they came up quite close, pouring in volleys of arrows and slingstones, so that the Hellenes had no choice but to make sallies in pursuit and then again recoil, making but very little progress. Over and over again Xenophon would send an order to the front to slacken pace, when the enemy were pressing their attack severely. As a rule, when the word was so passed up, Cheirisophus slackened; but sometimes instead of slackening, Cheirisophus quickened, sending down a counter-order to the rear to follow on quickly. It was clear that there was something or other happening, but there was no time to go to the front and discover the cause of the hurry. Under the circumstances the march, at any rate in the rear, became very like a rout, and here a brave man lost his life, Cleonymus the Laconian, shot with an arrow in the ribs right through shield and corselet, as also Basias, an Arcadian, shot clean through the head.

As soon as they reached a halting-place, Xenophon, without more ado, came up to Cheirisophus, and took him to task for not having waited, "whereby," he said, "we were forced to fight and flee at the same moment; and now it has cost us the lives of two fine fellows; they are dead, and we were not able to pick up their bodies or bury them." Cheirisophus answered: "Look up there," pointing as he spoke to the mountain, "do you see how inaccessible it all is? only this one road, which you see, going straight up, and on it all that crowd of men who have seized and are guarding the single exit. That is why I hastened on, and why I could not wait for you, hoping to be beforehand with them yonder in seizing the pass: the guides we have got say there is no other way." And Xenophon replied: "But I have got two prisoners also; the enemy annoyed us so much that we laid an ambuscade for them, which also gave us time to recover our breaths; we killed some of them, and did our best to catch one or two alive—for this very reason—that we might have guides who knew the country, to depend upon."


<<<
>>>