The Adventures of Odysseus and The Tales of Troy
Page: 30'"Nay, nay, old man," said Patroklos, "I may not speak to Achilles to ask for such a thing."'
hen," said Nestor, "do thou thyself enter the war and bring Achilles' Myrmidons with thee. Then might we who are wearied with fighting take breath. And beg of Achilles to give you his armour that you may wear it in the battle. If thou would'st appear clad in Achilles' bronze the Trojans would think that he had entered the war again and they would not force the fight upon us."'
'What old Nestor said seemed good to Patroklos and he left the hut and went back along the ships. And on his way he met Eurypylos, a sorely wounded man, dragging himself from the battle, and Patroklos helped him back to his hut and cheered him with discourse and laid healing herbs upon his wounds.'
'And even as he left old Nestor's hut, Hector was before the wall the Greeks had builded to guard their ships. On came the Trojans against that wall, holding their shields of bulls' hides before them. From the towers that were along the wall the Greeks flung great stones upon the attackers.'
'Over the host an eagle flew, holding in its talons a blood-red serpent. The serpent struggled with the eagle and the eagle with the serpent, and both had sorely wounded each other. But as they flew over the host of Greeks and Trojans the serpent struck at the eagle with his fangs, and the eagle, wounded in the breast, dropped the serpent. Then were the Trojans in dread, seeing the blood-red serpent across their path, for they thought it was an omen from Zeus. They would have turned back from the wall in fear for this omen had not Hector pressed them on. "One omen is best, I know," he cried, "to fight a good fight for our country. Forward then and bring the battle to those ships that came to our coast against the will of the gods."'
'So Hector spoke. Then he lifted up a stone—such a stone as not two of the best of men now living could as much as raise from the ground—and he flung this stone full at the strongly-set gate. It broke the hinges and the bars, and the great gate fell under the weight of the tremendous stone. Then Hector leaped across it with two spears in his hands. No warrior could withstand him now. And as the Trojans scaled the walls and poured across the broken gate, the Greeks fled to their ships in terror and dismay.'
'Patroklos saw the gate go down and the Trojans pour towards the ships in a mass that was like a great rock rolling down a cliff. Idomeneus and Aias led the Greeks who fought to hold them back. Hector cast a spear at Aias and struck him where the belt of his shield and the belt of his sword crossed. Aias was not wounded by the stroke. Then Aias cast at Hector a great stone that was used to prop a ship. He struck him on the breast, just over the rim of his shield. Under the weight of that blow great Hector spun round like a top. The spear fell from his hands and the bronze of his shield and helmet rang as he fell on the ground.'