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[295] So they spake in prayer and Pallas Athene heard them. But when they had prayed to the daughter of great Zeus, they went their way like two lions through the black night, amid the slaughter, amid the corpses, through the arms and the black blood. Nay, nor did Hector suffer the lordly Trojans [300] to sleep, but he called together all the noblest, as many as were leaders and rulers of the Trojans; and when he had called them together he contrived a cunning plan, and said: “Who is there now that would promise me this deed and bring it to pass for a great gift? Verily his reward shall be sure. [305] For I will give him a chariot and two horses with high arched necks, even those that be the best at the swift ships of the Achaeans, to the man whosoever will dare—and for himself win glory withal— to go close to the swift-faring ships, and spy out whether the swift ships be guarded as of old, [310] or whether by now our foes, subdued beneath our hands, are planning flight among themselves and have no mind to watch the night through, being fordone with dread weariness.” So spake he and they all became hushed in silence. Now there was among the Trojans one Dolon, the son of Eumedes [315] the godlike herald, a man rich in gold, rich in bronze, that was ill-favoured to look upon, but withal swift of foot; and he was the only brother among five sisters. He then spake a word to the Trojans and to Hector:“Hector, my heart and proud spirit urge me [320] to go close to the swift-faring ships and spy out all. But come, I pray thee, lift up thy staff and swear to me that verily thou wilt give me the horses and the chariot, richly dight with bronze, even them that bear the peerless son of Peleus. And to thee shall I prove no vain scout, neither one to deceive thy hopes. [325] For I will go straight on to the camp, even until I come to the ship of Agamemnon, where, I ween, the chieftains will be holding council, whether to flee or to fight.” So spake he, and Hector took the staff in his hands, and sware to him, saying: “Now be my witness Zeus himself, the loud-thundering lord of Hera, [330] that on those horses no other man of the Trojans shall mount, but it is thou, I declare, that shalt have glory in them continually.”

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