Books > Old Books >The Elson Readers Book Six (1910)


Page 232

STORIES OF GREECE AND ROME
THE STORY OF ACHILLES

"Antilochus will bear the tidings to Achilles. Yet I doubt whether he will come, in spite of all his wrath against Hector, for he has no armor to cover him. Let us think, then, how we may carry Patroclus away from the men of Troy."
Then said Ajax the Greater to Menelaus, "Do you and one of your men raise the body in your arms, and meanwhile Ajax and I will keep off the men of Troy."
So Menelaus and his companion ran forward and lifted up the body. But the Trojans ran with a great shout when they saw them, as dogs run barking before the hunters when they chase a wild boar; but when the beast turns, lo! they flee this way and that. So did the men of Troy flee when Ajax the Greater and Ajax the Less turned to give battle.
But still the Greeks gave way, and still the Trojans came on, and ever in the front were Hector, the son of Priam, and Aeneas, the son of Anchises.
In the meantime Antilochus came to Achilles, who, seeing that the Greeks fled and the men of Troy pursued, was already sore afraid. And Antilochus said, weeping as he spoke:
" I bring ill news-Patroclus is dead. The Greeks fight for his body, but Hector already has his arms."
Then Achilles took some of the dust of the plain in his hands and poured it on his head. He lay full length upon the ground and tore his hair. Antilochus sat weeping; but he held fast the hands of Achilles, lest the great warrior should slay himself in his grief.
Hearing his cry from where she sat in the depths of the sea, Thetis, his mother, came and laid her hand on Achilles and said :
" Why weepest thou, my son? Hide not the matter from me, but tell me."

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