Eurykleia did as she was told, and
bolted the women inside their room. Then Odysseus and his son made
all haste to take the helmets, shields, and spears inside; and Athena
went before them with a gold lamp in her hand that shed a soft and
brilliant radiance, whereon Telemakhos said, "Father, my eyes behold
a great marvel: the walls, with the rafters, crossbeams, and the
supports on which they rest are all aglow as with a flaming fire.
Surely there is some god here who has come down from
"Hush," answered Odysseus, "hold
your noos in peace and ask no questions, for this is the
manner [dikê] of the gods. Get you to your bed,
and leave me here to talk with your mother and the maids. Your mother
in her grief will ask me all sorts of questions."
On this Telemakhos went by
torch-light to the other side of the inner court, to the room in
which he always slept. There he lay in his bed till morning, while
Odysseus was left in the room pondering on the means whereby with
Athena's help he might be able to kill the suitors.
Then Penelope came down from her
room looking like Aphrodite or Artemis, and they set her a seat
inlaid with scrolls of silver and ivory near the fire in her
accustomed place. It had been made by Ikmalios and had a footstool
all in one piece with the seat itself; and it was covered with a
thick fleece: on this she now sat, and the maids came from the
women's room to join her. They set about removing the tables at
which the wicked suitors had been dining, and took away the bread
that was left, with the cups from which they had drunk. They emptied
the embers out of the braziers, and heaped much wood upon them to
give both light and heat; but Melantho began to rail at Odysseus a
second time and said, "Stranger, do you mean to plague us by hanging
about the house all night and spying upon the women? Be off, you
wretch, outside, and eat your supper there, or you shall be driven
out with a firebrand."