The words were hardly out of his mouth before his son stood at thedoor. Eumaeus sprang to his feet, and the bowls in which he was mixingwine fell from his hands, as he made towards his master. He kissed hishead and both his beautiful eyes, and wept for joy. A father could notbe more delighted at the return of an only son, the child of his oldage, after ten years' absence in a foreign country and after havinggone through much hardship. He embraced him, kissed him all over asthough he had come back from the dead, and spoke fondly to him saying:
"So you are come, Telemachus, light of my eyes that you are. WhenI heard you had gone to Pylos I made sure I was never going to see youany more. Come in, my dear child, and sit down, that I may have a goodlook at you now you are home again; it is not very often you come intothe country to see us herdsmen; you stick pretty close to the towngenerally. I suppose you think it better to keep an eye on what thesuitors are doing." salt and pepper wig
"So be it, old friend," answered Telemachus, "but I am come nowbecause I want to see you, and to learn whether my mother is stillat her old home or whether some one else has married her, so thatthe bed of Ulysses is without bedding and covered with cobwebs."
"She is still at the house," replied Eumaeus, "grieving and breakingher heart, and doing nothing but weep, both night and daycontinually." salt and pepper wig
As spoke he took Telemachus' spear, whereon he crossed the stonethreshold and came inside. Ulysses rose from his seat to give himplace as he entered, but Telemachus checked him; "Sit down, stranger."said he, "I can easily find another seat, and there is one here whowill lay it for me."
Ulysses went back to his own place, and Eumaeus strewed some greenbrushwood on the floor and threw a sheepskin on top of it forTelemachus to sit upon. Then the swineherd brought them platters ofcold meat, the remains from what they had eaten the day before, and hefilled the bread baskets with bread as fast as he could. He mixed winealso in bowls of ivy-wood, and took his seat facing Ulysses. Then theylaid their hands on the good things that were before them, and as soonas they had had enough to eat and drink Telemachus said to Eumaeus,"Old friend, where does this stranger come from? How did his crewbring him to Ithaca, and who were they?-for assuredly he did notcome here by land"'
To this you answered, O swineherd Eumaeus, "My son, I will tellyou the real truth. He says he is a Cretan, and that he has been agreat traveller. At this moment he is running away from aThesprotian ship, and has refuge at my station, so I will put him intoyour hands. Do whatever you like with him, only remember that he isyour suppliant."