UNDER the guidance and protection of Anaxagoras and the slave, the
children were soon ushered into the court of the richest house in Athens,
and then Anaxagoras sent a message to Pericles, who was dining with a
group of men in a large room opening off the court. When the slave opened
the door of the banquet-room, the children caught a glimpse of men
reclining on couches, with wreaths about their heads, and heard for an
instant the sound of laughter and gay voices. The smell of food came
also, and the Twins sniffed the delicious odor hungrily. Soon Pericles
appeared, wearing a wreath upon his brow, and, as Daphne thought, looking
more like a God than ever. Anaxagoras told him the story which the Twins
had told to him.
"A very neat plot! Is it not?" said Pericles gravely, when Anaxagoras had
"They said something about you too," said Daphne, lifting her eyes to
"Indeed!" said Anaxagoras. "So I am in it, too! What did they say?"
"They said you were an old fox," said Daphne. The two men laughed.
"I trust I may live up to their opinion of me," said Anaxagoras.
Then Pericles looked at the children and laid his hand gently upon their
"So you ran alone through Athens at night to warn me, did you?" he said.
"And you have been in great danger for my sake? I shall know how to deal
with those two pious old serpents of the Acropolis. Thanks to you, I
shall not fall into their coils. And Pericles does not forget an
obligation. Now, my little Spartans," he added, tipping up their chins
and looking at their pale and pinched faces, "it's time you had something
He clapped his hands and a slave appeared. "Say to Hipponicus that two
friends of Pericles are in the court, and he begs that they may be served
there with the best the house affords."
The slave disappeared and soon returned bringing such a feast as the
Twins had never tasted in their whole lives before. Pericles waited,
talking quietly with Anaxagoras, until their hunger was partly appeased,
and then he spoke to them again.
"Now, my brave Spartans," he said, "since you have been so considerate of
my safety, it is well that I should look after yours. Have you any idea
where your Father may be found? He is probably searching the town for
"We were to spend the night at the house of my Uncle Phaon, the
stone-cutter," said Dion, "but we don't know where he lives."
"Phaon," said Pericles, stroking his beard. "Is he not a workman in the
shop of Phidias the sculptor? He has a stone-cutter of that name, and,
now I think of it, he is called Phaon the Spartan."
"That must be my uncle," said Dion, "but I don't know where he lives. I
have never been to Athens before, and Uncle Phaon does not come to the
"We can find out from Phidias," said Anaxagoras, and, turning to his
slave, he said, "Run quickly to the house of Phidias and say to him that
Pericles the Archon wishes to know where to find the house of Phaon the
The slave sped away and returned in a short time with the message that
Phaon lived near the northwest gate. "And I know the way there," added
"Very well," said Anaxagoras. "We will take these children there. Then I
will await you at your house, Pericles, for I wish to hear the end of the
story, and to know how you deal with those two old traitors."
"Now that I know their purpose," said Pericles, "it is easy to defeat it!
I shall return no word to their abuse. When I reach my house, I shall
politely offer my assailant the escort of my slave, to light him home
with his torch."
Anaxagoras laughed heartily.
"Good," he cried, "and humorous as well. A torch to light up their evil
faces is the last thing in the world they would wish to have. You could
not devise a more perfect plan to foil their wicked schemes."
"I wish all plots might be as easily frustrated," said Pericles gravely.
Then, turning to the children, he added kindly: "You have nothing further
to fear. My good friend Anaxagoras and his slave will see you safely to
your uncle's house, and he will surely know where to find your Father."
"You won't let Lampon catch us and sell us for slaves, will you?" begged
Daphne, shuddering. "They said they would sell us in Alexandria."
Pericles' brow darkened. "They threatened that, did they?" he exclaimed.
"The wretches shall not lay a finger on you! Pericles the Archon has said
it. And now you must hurry away. Your Father will be torn with anxiety
until he sees you again. To-morrow morning I shall send a messenger to
your uncle's house with a package for you, which you must not open until
you are safe at home again. And when you grow up to be strong, brave
men, I shall expect you to be generals in the army of Athens at the very
"I can't grow up to be a strong, brave man," said Daphne in a very small
voice. "I wish I could. But I'm a girl."
"A girl!" cried Pericles in amazement, "and so brave! Surely then you
will at least be the mother of heroes some time. But after this stay more
quietly at home, my child. Women should have no history." And he
disappeared through the door into the banquet-hall.
When the Twins, accompanied by Anaxagoras and the slave, finally reached
the house of their uncle, they found the door open and people hurrying
excitedly to and fro, carrying torches in their hands. In the court of
the house stood Melas, talking with Phaon and his wife.
"I have searched every nook and cranny of the Acropolis," Melas was
saying. "I do not see how they could have escaped me."
"It's a punishment of the Gods," said the wife of Phaon. "You should not
have let Daphne run the streets like a boy. It's against nature. No
decent Athenian girl would be allowed to. I never put my nose out of my
Mother's house exeept on the days of women's festivals until I was
"But, my dear," said Phaon mildly, "you forget the Spartans are
"I should say they were!" snapped the wife of Phaon, "and now they may
see what comes of it. It's my opinion these wild children have fallen off
the cliffs on the north side of the Acropolis."
Melas shuddered, sank down upon a stool, and hid his face. Just at that
moment there was a sudden rush of feet behind him and he felt four arms
flung about his neck. Spartan though he was, Melas trembled, and his eyes
were wet as he clasped his children in his arms, Anaxagoras stood in the
doorway a moment smiling at the happy group, and then gently slipped away
without waiting for any thanks.
Early the next morning a basket addressed to the "brave children of Melas
the Spartan, from Pericles the Archon," was delivered by a slave at the
door of Phaon. The Twins had been eagerly expecting it, and when it
arrived they were no less eager to start for home, since Pericles had
told them not to open it until they were under their own roof once more.
Their aunt, the wife of Phaon, was filled with curiosity to know the
contents. Moreover, since she had learned the whole story of the night
before and knew that the children had won the favor and were now under
the avowed protection of Pericles, her respect for them and for Spartans
in general had greatly increased.
"Let us see what gifts the great Pericles has sent you!" she cried, when
the package came.
"No, no," said Daphne hastily. "He said we should not open it until we
"Very well, then," said the wife of Phaon, sulkily, "only then I shall
never see what's in it."
"Well," said Daphne piously, "you remember about Pandora, don't you? I
wouldn't dare open it until the time comes!"
To this the aunt could make no reply, Melas, too, had no wish to linger
in Athens after the experience of the day before. The children were in
terror of meeting Lampon, and Melas himself felt it would be a great
load off his mind to get them safely back to their quiet house on Salamis
once more and into their Mother's care. So they bade Phaon and his wife
good-bye and started before noon for the Piraeus.
At the dock they found the boat ready for its return journey across the
bay. Nearby was the large black hull of an African ship, bound for
Alexandria. Dion pointed to it.
"Suppose we were on that this minute," he said to Daphne, and Daphne
covered her eyes and shook with horror at the mere thought of it.
It was nearly night when the three weary wanderers climbed the last
hill and turned from the roadway into the path which led to the old
farm-house. Lydia was standing in the doorway with Chloe behind her,
smiling, and Argos came bounding out to meet them, wagging his tail and
barking for joy.
It was a happy party that gathered around the hearth fire that night.
Lydia had prepared a wonderful feast to greet the travelers. There were
roast chicken, and sausages too, and goat's milk, and figs. They opened
the basket by fire-light, and if all the Christmases of your whole life
had been rolled into one, it couldn't have been more wonderful to you
than the gifts of Pericles were to Dion and Daphne. There was a soft robe
of scarlet for each of them, with golden clasps to fasten it. There were
a purse of gold coins and two beautiful parchment books—all written by
hand, for of course there were no printed books in those days. There were
gifts for their Father and Mother, too, and, best of all, a letter
written with Pericles' own hand and addressed to "Euripides the Poet, of
Salamis." With it came a note to Melas, saying he might read the letter,
as he wished him to know its contents. This was the letter:—
"Pericles the Archon to Euripides the Poet, Greetings.
"The bearers of this letter are friends of mine who have rendered me a
great service. By their timely warning I was enabled to foil a plot to
make me appear to the public as an enemy of the Gods. As sufficient
recompense I commend them to your friendship. No greater service can be
rendered Athens than to raise up noble and patriotic defenders. To this
end I commit these children to your guidance, the girl no less than
the boy. Give them, I beg, the benefit of your wisdom, since they have
proven themselves worthy of such honor, and Athens shall one day thank
you for this service."
And so it was that Dion and Daphne, the Spartans, not only mastered the
learning of their time, but also became the friends of Pericles the
Athenian and of Euripides the Poet, and perhaps now wander with them in
the Elysian Fields.
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