Then straightway he went up to the city and asked for Idomeneus; for he declared that he was his friend, beloved and honored. But it was now the tenth or the eleventh dawn since Idomeneus had gone in his beaked ships to Ilios
. So I took him to the house, and gave him entertainment
with kindly welcome of the rich store that was in the house, and to the rest of his comrades who followed with him I gathered and gave out of the public store barley meal and flaming wine and bulls for sacrifice, that their hearts might be satisfied. There for twelve days the goodly Achaeans tarried,
for the strong North Wind penned them there, and would not suffer them to stand upon their feet on the land, for some angry god had roused it. But on the thirteenth day the wind fell and they put to sea.”
He spoke, and made the many falsehoods of his tale seem like the truth,1
and as she listened her tears flowed and her face melted
as the snow melts on the lofty mountains, the snow which the East Wind thaws when the West Wind has strewn it, and as it melts the streams of the rivers flow full: so her fair cheeks melted as she wept and mourned for her husband, who even then was sitting by her side. And Odysseus
in his heart had pity for his weeping wife, but his eyes stood fixed between his lids as though they were horn or iron, and with guile he hid his tears. But she, when she had had her fill of tearful wailing, again answered him and spoke, saying:
“Now verily, stranger, am I minded to put thee to the test, whether or no thou didst in very truth entertain there in thy halls my husband with his godlike comrades, even as thou sayest. Tell me what manner of raiment he wore about his body, and what manner of man he was himself; and tell me of the comrades who followed him.”
Then Odysseus of many wiles answered her, and said: “Lady, hard is it for one that has been so long afar to tell thee this, for it is now the twentieth year since he went thence and departed from my country. But I will tell thee as my mind pictures him.
A fleecy cloak of purple did goodly Odysseus wear, a cloak of double fold, but the brooch upon it was fashioned of gold with double clasps, and on the front it was curiously wrought: a hound held in his fore paws a dappled fawn, and pinned it2
in his jaws as it writhed. And at this all men marvelled,
how, though they were of gold, the hound was pinning the fawn and strangling it, and the fawn was writhing with its feet and striving to flee. And I noted the tunic about his body, all shining as is the sheen upon the skin of a dried onion, so soft it was; and it glistened like the sun.
Verily many women gazed at him in wonder. And another thing will I tell thee, and do thou lay it to heart. I know not whether Odysseus was thus clothed at home, or whether one of his comrades gave him the raiment when he went on board the swift ship, or haply even some stranger, since to many men
was Odysseus dear, for few of the Achaeans were his peers.