a few days, until everything is arranged between the Pelasgians and Cychreans.”
Byssa gazed sullenly into vacancy.
“Beware, Periphas!” she said. “This will surely bring misfortune.”
45 “To you or to me?” asked Periphas.
“That I do not know,” replied Byssa. “But one thing I do know. It will cause bloodshed.”
as shrugged his shoulders.
“Look,” he said, pointing to a bear-skin couch, “you can rest here in safety; you must be weary. May the gods grant you pleasant dreams—in the morning everything will seem brighter.”
With these words he left her, went to the outer part of the cavern, passed through th
e entrance, and walking several paces away clapped his hands.
There was a rustling sound among the huge piles of moul
dering debris above the cavern. A dark figure clad in skins, with a huge staff in his hand, stood outlined against the grey evening sky. It was the herdsman who supplied the
cave with provisions.
“Have you done what I ordered?” asked Periphas. “Have you put sentinels on both sides and brought the men?”
“When you sound the horn,
Periphas, twenty Pelasgians will hasten to your aid.”
“Do they know Lyrcus, the Cychrean?”
“Not all of them, but some do.”
“Very well. When he comes, the
men must hide until he is half-way between them. Then let him be surrounded. I will make the man rich who brings me Lyrcus alive or dead. Tell the warriors so.”
Periphas then ent
ered the cave and lay down on the couch of skins flung behind the boulder projecting at the entrance. It was a still, star-lit evening,
yet46 spite of the peace and silence without, a strange restlessness seized upon him. Sometimes he felt a presentiment of impending misfortune, at others he exulted in the thought of having Byssa in his power. Thanks to the green leaf he had held in his mouth when he carried her away, none of the Cychreans had recognized him. But so long as Lyrcus knew
not where to turn he would not summon the warriors. He would pursue his quest alone and fall into the ambush. At the thought Periphas rubbed his hands and became absorbed in planning how he should best humiliate his captive.