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“But,” said Cyrus, “it is possible to devise a pretext that will be credited both here and also there, if some one bring them word that I wish to institute a great hunt; and horsemen I should ask of you openly.”

“A very clever scheme!” said Cyaxares; “and I shall refuse to give you more than a reasonable number, on the ground that I wish to visit the outposts on the Assyrian border. And that will be no lie, for in reality,” said he, “I do wish to go there and to make them as strong as possible. And when you have gone ahead with the forces you have and have already been hunting for two days, I will send you a sufficient number of the cavalry and infantry that are mustered with me, and you may take them and make an inroad at once. And I myself, with the rest of my forces, will try to be not far away from you, to make my appearance upon the scene, should occasion require it.”

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