But the constable was not so deficient in energy.
He took a cane from the inn-keeper, and pushed it under the bed, and poked into
everything, even the cracks in the walls. Giton twisted away from the stick, drew in
his breath very gently, and pressed his lips close against the bugs in the bedding.
. . The broken door of the room could not keep anyone out, and Eumolpus rushed in in
a fury, and cried, “I have found a thousand pieces; for I mean to follow the
crier as he goes away, and betray you as you richly deserve, and tell him that
Giton is in your hands.” He persisted, I fell at his feet, besought him
not to kill a dying man, and said, “You might well be excited if you could
show him the lost one. As it is, the boy has run away in the crowd, and I have
not the least idea where he has gone. As you love me, Eumolpus, get the boy
back, and give him to Ascyltos if you like.” I was just inducing him to
believe me, when Giton burst with holding his breath, and all at once sneezed three
times so that he shook the bed. Eumolpus turned round at the noise, and said
“Good day, Giton.” He pulled off the mattress, and saw an Ulysses
whom even a hungry Cyclops might have spared. Then he turned on me, “Now, you
thief; you did not dare to tell me the truth even when you were caught. In fact,
unless the God who controls man's destiny had wrung a sign from this boy as he
hung there, I should now be wandering round the pot-houses like a fool.”
. . .
Giton was far more at ease than I. He first stanched a cut which had been made on
Eumolpus's forehead with spider's webs soaked in oil. He then took off his torn
clothes, and in exchange gave him a short cloak of his own, then put his arms round
him, for[p. 199]
he was now softening, poulticed him with kisses, and said,
“Dearest father, we are in your hands, yours entirely. If you love your
Giton, make up your mind to save him. I wish the cruel fire might engulf me
alone, or the wintry sea assail me. I am the object of all his transgressions, I
am the cause. If I were gone, you two might patch up your quarrel.” . .