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[170] Then Odysseus of many wiles answered him and said: “Verily I and Telemachus will keep the lordly wooers within the hall, how fierce soever they be, but do you two bend behind him his feet and his arms above, and cast him into the store-room, and tie boards behind his back; [175] then make fast to his body a twisted rope, and hoist him up the tall pillar, till you bring him near the roof-beams, that he may keep alive long, and suffer grievous torment.” So he spoke, and they readily hearkened and obeyed. Forth they went to the store-room, unseen of him who was within. [180] He truly was seeking for armour in the innermost part of the store-room, and the two lay in wait, standing on either side of the door-posts. And when Melanthius, the goatherd, was about to pass over the threshold, bearing in one hand a goodly helm, and in the other a broad old shield, flecked with rust— [185] the shield of lord Laertes, which he was wont to bear in his youth, but now it was laid by, and the seams of its straps were loosened—then the two sprang upon him and seized him. They dragged him in by the hair, and flung him down on the ground in sore terror, and bound his feet and hands with galling bonds, [190] binding them firmly behind his back, as the son of Laertes bade them, the much enduring, goodly Odysseus; and they made fast to his body a twisted rope, and hoisted him up the tall pillar, till they brought him near the roof-beams. Then didst thou mock him, swineherd Eumaeus, and say: [195] “Now verily, Melanthius, shalt thou watch the whole night through, lying on a soft bed, as befits thee, nor shalt thou fail to mark the early Dawn, golden-throned, as she comes forth from the streams of Oceanus, at the hour when thou art wont to drive thy she-goats for the wooers, to prepare a feast in the halls.” [200] So he was left there, stretched in the direful bond, but the two put on their armour, and closed the bright door, and went to Odysseus, the wise and crafty-minded. There they stood, breathing fury, those on the threshold but four, while those within the hall were many and brave. [205] Then Athena, daughter of Zeus, drew near them, like unto Mentor in form and voice, and Odysseus saw her, and was glad; and he spoke, saying: “Mentor, ward off ruin, and remember me, thy dear comrade, who often befriended thee. Thou art of like age with myself.”

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