Meanwhile the suitors were
throwing discs or aiming with spears at a mark on the leveled ground
in front of Odysseus’ house, and were behaving with all their
old hubris. Antinoos and Eurymakhos, who were their
ringleaders and much the foremost in aretê among them
all, were sitting together when Noemon son of Phronios came up and
said to Antinoos,
"Have we any idea, Antinoos, on
what day Telemakhos returns from Pylos
? He has a ship of mine, and I
want it, to cross over to Elis
: I have twelve brood mares there with
yearling mule foals by their side not yet broken in, and I want to
bring one of them over here and break him."
They were astounded when they
heard this, for they had made sure that Telemakhos had not gone to
the city of Neleus. They thought he was only away somewhere on the
farms, and was with the sheep, or with the swineherd; so Antinoos
said, "When did he go? Tell me truly, and what young men did he take
with him? Were they freemen or his own bondsmen - for he might manage
that too? Tell me also, did you let him have the ship of your own
free will because he asked you, or did he take it by force
[biê] without your leave?"
"I lent it him," answered Noemon.
"What else could I do when a man of his position said he was in a
difficulty and asked me to oblige him? I could not possibly refuse.
As for those who went with him they were the best young men we have
in the dêmos, and I saw Mentor go on board as leader -
or some god who was exactly like him. I cannot understand it, for I
saw Mentor here myself yesterday morning, and yet he was then setting
out for Pylos