The Athenians did not interfere with their work, for they were afraid of dividing and1
weakening their forces; and they were pressing forward that part of the line on which they were employed. So the Syracusans when they had sufficiently completed a part of their stockade and cross-wall, leaving one division to guard the work, retreated into the city with the rest of their army. The Athenians now destroyed their conduits, which were laid underground to bring drinking-water into the city. Then, choosing their time at noon when the Syracusan guard remained within their tents (some of them had even retired into the city) and when the vigilance of their sentinels at the stockade was relaxed, they took a body of three hundred chosen hoplites of their own and some light-armed troops, picked soldiers, to whom they had given heavy arms, and bade them run quickly to the cross-wall. The rest of the army proceeded in two divisions under the two generals, one towards the city in case the enemy should come to save the wall, the other to that part of the stockade which adjoined the postern-gate of the city.
The three hundred attacked and captured the further end of the stockade, from which the guards retired and fled inside the new outer wall which enclosed the shrine of Apollo Temenites2
. The pursuers pressed forward and made their way in after them; but they were forced out again by the Syracusans;
and some Argives and a few of the Athenians fell there. Then the whole army, turning back, destroyed the cross-wall, tore up the stockades, carried the stakes to their camp, and raised a trophy.