The spies, then, thus misled, left the city; but Aratus, immediately after the morning meal, sallied forth, joined his soldiers at the tower of Polygnotus, and led them on to Nemea. Here he disclosed his design, to most of them then for the first time, and made them exhortations and promises.
Then, after giving out as watchword
‘Apollo Victorious,’ he led them forward against Sicyon, quickening or retarding his progress according to the revolution of the moon, so as to enjoy her light while on the march, and as soon as she was setting to be at the garden near the wall.
There Caphisias came to meet him; he had not secured the dogs (for they had bounded off before he could do this), but had locked up the gardener. Most of his men were disheartened at this and urged Aratus to retire; but he tried to encourage them, promising to lead them back if the dogs should prove too troublesome for them.
At the same time he sent forward the men who carried the scaling-ladders, under the command of Ecdelus and Mnasitheus, while he himself followed after them slowly, the dogs already barking vigorously and running along by the side of Ecdelus and his party. However, they reached the wall and planted their ladders against it without mishap.
But as the first men were mounting the ladders, the officer who was to set the morning-watch began making his rounds with a bell, and there were many lights and the noise of the sentries coming up.1
The invaders, however, crouched down just where they were on the ladders, and so escaped the notice of this party without any trouble; but since another watch was coming up to meet the first, they incurred the greatest danger.
However, they escaped the notice of this guard also as it passed by, and then the leaders, Mnasitheus and Ecdelus, at once mounted to the top, and after occupying the approaches to the wall on either side, sent Technon to Aratus, urging him to hasten up.