The Adventures of Odysseus and The Tales of Troy
Page: 21'Achilles was the child of Thetis and Peleus—of an immortal woman married to a mortal hero. He grew up most strong and fleet of foot. When he was grown to be a youth he was sent to Cheiron, and his father's friend instructed him in all the ways of war. He became the greatest of spearmen, and on the mountain with the Centaur he gained in strength and in fleetness of foot.
'Now after he returned to his father's hall the war against Troy began to be prepared for. Agamemnon, the king, wanted Achilles to join the host. But Thetis, knowing that great disasters would befall those who went to that war, feared for Achilles. She resolved to hide him so that no word from King Agamemnon might reach him. And how did the nymph Thetis hide her son? She sent him to King Lycomedes and prayed the King to hide Achilles amongst his daughters.
'So the youth Achilles was dressed as a maiden and stayed with the daughters of the King. The messengers of Agamemnon searched everywhere for him. Many of them came to the court of King Lycomedes, but not finding one like Achilles amongst the King's sons they went away.
'Odysseus, by Agamemnon's order, came to seek Achilles. He knew that the youth was not amongst the King's sons. He saw the King's daughters in their father's orchard, but could not tell if Achilles was amongst them, for all were veiled and dressed alike.