Then Laertes answered him again, and said: “If it is indeed as Odysseus, my son, that thou art come hither, tell me now some clear sign, that I maybe sure.”
And Odysseus of many wiles answered him and said: “This scar first do thou mark with thine eyes, the scar of the wound which a boar dealt me with his white tusk on Parnassus
, when I had gone thither. It was thou that didst send me forth, thou and my honored mother, to Autolycus, my mother's father, that I might get
the gifts which, when he came hither, he promised and agreed to give me. And come, I will tell thee also the trees in the well-ordered garden which once thou gavest me, and I, who was but a child, was following thee through the garden, and asking thee for this and that. It was through these very trees that we passed, and thou didst name them, and tell me of each one.
Pear-trees thirteen thou gavest me, and ten apple-trees, and forty fig-trees. And rows of vines too didst thou promise to give me, even as I say, fifty of them, which ripened severally at different times—and upon them are clusters of all sorts—whensoever the seasons of Zeus weighed them down from above.”1
So he spoke, and his father's knees were loosened where he stood, and his heart melted, as he knew the sure tokens which Odysseus told him. About his dear son he flung both his arms, and the much-enduring, goodly Odysseus caught him unto him fainting. But when he revived, and his spirit returned again into his breast,
once more he made answer, and spoke, saying:
“Father Zeus, verily ye gods yet hold sway on high Olympus
, if indeed the wooers have paid the price of their wanton insolence. But now I have wondrous dread at heart, lest straightway all the men of Ithaca
come hither against us, and
send messengers everywhere to the cities of the Cephallenians.”
Then Odysseus of many wiles answered him, and said: “Be of good cheer, and let not these things distress thy heart. But let us go to the house, which lies near the orchard, for thither
I sent forward Telemachus and the neatherd and the swineherd, that with all speed they might prepare our meal.”
So spoke the two, and went their way to the goodly house. And when they had come to the stately house, they found Telemachus, and the neatherd, and the swineherd carving flesh in abundance, and mixing the flaming wine.