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So spake he, and swore thereto an idle oath, and stirred the heart of Dolon. Forthwith then he cast about his shoulders his curved bow, and thereover clad him in the skin of a grey wolf, [335] and on his head he set a cap of ferret skin, and grasped a sharp javelin, and went his way toward the ships from the host; howbeit he was not to return again from the ships, and bear tidings to Hector. But when he had left the throng of horses and of men, he went forth eagerly on the way, and Odysseus, sprung from Zeus, was ware of him as he drew nigh, [340] and spake to Diomedes: “Yonder, Diomedes, cometh some man from the camp, I know not whether as a spy upon our ships, or with intent to strip one or another of the corpses of the dead. But let us suffer him at the first to pass by us on the plain [345] a little way, and thereafter let us rush forth upon him and seize him speedily; and if so be he outrun us twain by speed of foot ever do thou hem him in toward the ships away from the host, darting after him with thy spear, lest in any wise he escape toward the city.” So saying the twain laid them down among the dead apart from the path, [350] but he ran quickly past them in his witlessness. But when he was as far off as is the range of mules in ploughing—for they are better than oxen to draw through deep fallow land the jointed plough—then the two ran after him, and he stood still when he heard the sound, [355] for in his heart he supposed that they were friends coming from amid the Trojans to turn him back, and that Hector was withdrawing the host. But when they were a spear-cast off or even less, he knew them for foemen and plied his limbs swiftly in flight, and they speedily set out in pursuit. [360] And as when two sharp-fanged hounds,—skilled in the hunt, press hard on a doe or a hare in a wooded place, and it ever runneth screaming before them; even so did the son of Tydeus, and Odysseus, sacker of cities, cut Dolon off from the host and ever pursue hard after him. [365] But when he was now about to come among the sentinels, as he fled towards the ships, then verily Athene put strength into Tydeus' son, that no man among the brazen-coated Achaeans might before him boast to have dealt the blow, and he come too late. And mighty Diomedes rushed upon him with his spear, and called: [370] “Stand, or I shall reach thee with the spear, and I deem thou shalt not long escape sheer destruction at my hand.”

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