On this the goatherd Melanthios
went by back passages to the store room of Odysseus, house. There he
chose twelve shields, with as many helmets and spears, and brought
them back as fast as he could to give them to the suitors.
Odysseus’ heart began to fail him when he saw the suitors
putting on their armor and brandishing their spears. He saw the
greatness of the danger, and said to Telemakhos, "Some one of the
women inside is helping the suitors against us, or it may be
Telemakhos answered, "The fault
[aitios], father, is mine, and mine only; I left the
store room door open, and they have kept a sharper look out than I
have. Go, Eumaios, put the door to, and see whether it is one of the
women who is doing this, or whether, as I suspect, it is Melanthios
the son of Dolios."
Thus did they converse. Meanwhile
Melanthios was again going to the store room to fetch more armor, but
the swineherd saw him and said to Odysseus who was beside him,
"Odysseus, noble son of Laertes
, it is that scoundrel Melanthios,
just as we suspected, who is going to the store room. Say, shall I
kill him, if I can get the better of him, or shall I bring him here
that you may take your own revenge for all the many wrongs that he
has done in your house?"
Odysseus answered, "Telemakhos
and I will hold these suitors in check, no matter what they do; go
back both of you and bind Melanthios’ hands and feet behind him.
Throw him into the store room and make the door fast behind you; then
fasten a noose about his body, and string him close up to the rafters
from a high bearing-post, that he may linger on in an