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And Cyrus was nettled at hearing this and went away without a word; and when he had summoned up his courage to make the venture, he went in, after he had laid his plans how he might with the least annoyance broach the subject to his grandfather and accomplish for himself and the other boys what they desired. Accordingly, he began as follows: “Tell me, grandfather,” said he, “if one of your servants runs away and you catch him again, what will you do to him?”

“What else,” said he, “but put him in chains and make him work?”

“But if he comes back again of his own accord, what will you do?”

“What,” said he, “but flog him to prevent his doing it again, and then treat him as before?”

“It may be high time, then,” said Cyrus, “for you to be making ready to flog me; for I am planning to run away from you and take my comrades out hunting.”

“You have done well to tell me in advance,” said Astyages; “for now,” he went on, “I forbid you to stir from the palace. For it would be a nice thing, if, for the sake of a few morsels of meat, I should play the careless herdsman and lose my daughter her son.”

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