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Myths and Legends of All Nations Famous Stories from the Greek, German, English, Spanish, Scandinavian, Danish, French, Russian, Bohemian, Italian and other sources

Page: 88

And as he spake he cast his great spear at the horse, so that it sounded again. But the gods would not that Troy should be saved.

Meanwhile there came certain shepherds dragging with them one whose hands were bound behind his back. He had come forth to them, they said, of his own accord when they were in the field. And first the young men gathered about him mocking him, but when he cried aloud, "What place is left for me, for the Greeks suffer me not to live and the men of Troy cry for vengeance upon me?" they rather pitied him, and bade him speak and say whence he came and what he had to tell.

Then the man spake, turning to King Priam: "I will speak the truth, whatever befall me. My name is Sinon and I deny not that I am a Greek. Haply thou hast heard the name of Palamedes, whom the Greeks slew, but now, being dead, lament; and the cause was that because he counseled peace, men falsely accused him of treason. Now, of this Palamedes I was a poor kinsman and followed him to Troy. And when he was dead, through the false witness of Ulysses,[Pg 155] I lived in great grief and trouble, nor could I hold my peace, but sware that if ever I came back to Argos I would avenge me of him that had done this deed. Then did Ulysses seek occasion against me, whispering evil things, nor rested till at the last, Calchas the soothsayer helping him—but what profit it that I should tell these things? For doubtless ye hold one Greek to be even as another. Wherefore slay me and doubtless ye will do a pleasure to Ulysses and the sons of Atreus."

Then they bade him tell on, and he said:

"Often would the Greeks have fled to their homes, being weary of the war, but still the stormy sea hindered them. And when this horse that ye see had been built, most of all did the dreadful thunder roll from the one end of the heaven to the other. Then the Greeks sent one who should inquire of Apollo; and Apollo answered them thus: 'Men of Greece, even as ye appeased the winds with blood when ye came to Troy, so must ye appease them with blood now that ye would go from thence.' Then did men tremble to think on whom the doom should fall, and Ulysses, with much clamor, drew forth Calchas the soothsayer into the midst, and bade him say who it was that the gods would have as a sacrifice. Then did many forbode evil for me. Ten days did the soothsayer keep silence, saying that he would not give any man to death. But then, for in truth the two had planned the matter beforehand, he spake, appointing me to die. And to this thing they all agreed, each being glad to turn to another that which he feared for himself. But when the day was come and all things were ready, the salted meal for the sacrifice and the garlands, lo! I burst my bonds and fled and hid myself in the sedges of a pool, waiting till they should have set sail, if haply that might be. But never shall I see country or father or children again. For doubtless on these will they take[Pg 156] vengeance for my flight. Only do thou, O King, have pity on me, who have suffered many things, not having harmed any man."


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