He spake, and hurled his spear, but of purpose he missed the man, and over his right shoulder passed the point of the polished spear, and fixed itself in the ground; and Dolon stood still, seized with terror,
stammering and pale with fear, and the teeth clattered in his mouth; and the twain panting for breath came upon him, and seized his hands; and he with a burst of tears spake to them, saying: “Take me alive, and I will ransom myself; for at home have I store of bronze and gold and iron, wrought with toil;
thereof would my father grant you ransom past counting, should he hear that I am alive at the ships of the Achaeans.”
Then in answer to him spake Odysseus of many wiles: “Be of good cheer, and let not death be in thy thoughts. But come, tell me this, and declare it truly.
Whither dost thou fare thus alone to the ships from the host in the darkness of night, when other mortals are sleeping? Is it with intent to strip one or another of the corpses of the dead? Did Hector send thee forth to the hollow ships to spy out all, or did thine own heart bid thee?”
To him then Dolon made answer, and his limbs trembled beneath him: “With many infatuate hopes did Hector lead my wits astray, who pledged him to give me the single-hooved horses of the lordly son of Peleus, and his chariot richly dight with bronze; and he bade me go through the swift, black night close to the foemen, and spy out
whether the swift ships be guarded as of old, or whether by now our foes, subdued beneath our hands, are planning flight among themselves, and have no mind to watch the night through, being fordone with dread weariness.”
Then smiling upon him Odysseus of many wiles made answer: “Verily now on great rewards was thy heart set, even the horses of the wise-hearted son of Aeacus, but hard are they for mortal men to master or to drive, save only for Achilles whom an immortal mother bare.
But come tell me this, and declare it truly: where now, as thou camest hither, didst thou leave Hector, shepherd of the host? Where lies his battle-gear, and where his horses? And how are disposed the watches and the sleeping-places of the other Trojans? And what counsel devise they among themselves?—to abide
where they be by the ships afar, or to withdraw again to the city, seeing they have worsted the Achaeans?”