Now when Laertes
and the others
had done dinner, Odysseus began by saying, "Some of you go out and
see if they are not getting close up to us." So one of Dolios’
sons went as he was bid. Standing on the threshold he could see them
all quite near, and said to Odysseus, "Here they are, let us put on
our armor at once."
They put on their armor as fast
as they could - that is to say Odysseus, his three men, and the six
sons of Dolios. Laertes
also and Dolios did the same - warriors by
necessity in spite of their gray hair. When they had all put on their
armor, they opened the gate and sallied forth, Odysseus leading the
Then Zeus’ daughter Athena
came up to them, having assumed the form and voice of Mentor.
Odysseus was glad when he saw her, and said to his son Telemakhos,
"Telemakhos, now that you are about to fight in an engagement, which
will show every man's mettle, be sure not to disgrace your
ancestors, who were eminent for their strength and courage all the
"You say truly, my dear father,"
answered Telemakhos, "and you shall see, if you will, that I am in no
mind to disgrace your family."