When Cyrus was now dead, Artasyras, the king's Eye,1
chanced to pass by on horseback, and recognizing the eunuchs as they lamented, he asked the trustiest of them,
‘Who is this man, Pariscas, by whom thou sittest mourning?’ And Pariscas answered:
‘O Artasyras, dost thou not see Cyrus dead?’ Astonished at this, then, Artasyras bade the eunuch be of good courage and guard the dead body, but he himself went in hot haste to Artaxerxes
(who had already given up his cause for lost, and besides was physically in a wretched plight from thirst and from his wound), and joyfully told him that with his own eyes he had seen Cyrus dead. At first the king promptly set out to go in person to the place, and ordered Artasyras to conduct him thither; but since there was much talk about the Greeks, and it was feared that they were pursuing and conquering and making themselves masters everywhere, he decided to send a larger company to see where Cyrus lay. So thirty men were sent, with torches.
Meanwhile, since the king was almost dead with thirst, Satibarzanes the eunuch ran about in quest of a drink for him; for the place had no water, and the camp was far away. At last, then, he came upon one of those low Caunians, who had vile and polluted water in a wretched skin, about two quarts in all: this he took, brought it to the king, and gave it to him. After the king had drunk it all off, the eunuch asked him if he was not altogether disgusted with the drink.
But the king swore by the gods that he had never drunk wine, or the lightest and purest water, with so much pleasure.
‘Therefore,’ said the king,
‘if I should be unable to find and reward the man who gave thee this drink, I pray the gods to make him rich and happy.’