Book 17: The Fight Over Patroclus’ Corpse
Red-haired Menelaus saw that the Trojans had slain Patroclus. He ran to the corpse and stood over it to protect it like a mother cow protects her first-born calf. Menelaus stood over the corpse with his spear and his shield.
Euphorbus wanted the fruits of his kill, so he challenged Menelaus. Close to the corpse, he boasted to Menelaus, “I was the first Trojan to wound Patroclus. I speared him. Let me have the corpse to further my kleos. If not, I will kill you, also.”
War-seasoned Menelaus replied, “Zeus, listen to this arrogant youngster! Listen to his boasts! The leopard, the lion, and the wild boar are all proud, but none is as proud as the sons of Panthous: Euphorbus and Hyperenor. Earlier, Hyperenor challenged me. He insulted me and said that I was the weakest of all the Greek warriors. I sent him home, but he did not go home alive. His homecoming brought no joy to his wife and his parents. And now you challenge me! Go back to the other Trojan troops. Stay safe. Challenge me, and I will give you a bloody death. I will give you a bloody education about whom you ought not to challenge.”
Euphorbus did not retreat to the Trojan troops. He replied, “Menelaus, now you will pay for the life of my brother whom you killed. You boast about making his wife a widow. You boast about bringing grief to his and my parents. I can lessen their grief by bringing them gifts: your bloody head and your bloody armor. I will give them to my parents: Panthous and Phrontis. But let’s stop talking. It’s time to fight and see who will kill the other.”
Euphorbus stabbed Menelaus’ shield. The shield was stronger and bent the point of Euphorbus’ weapon. Euphorbus retreated, and Menelaus pursued him and speared him in the throat. Menelaus put all his strength into the thrust of his spear. The spear went through Euphorbus’ soft neck, and Euphorbus fell. He was a young man, and he paid attention to his hair, which he braided like the hair of the Graces. He decorated his hair with gold and silver clips. But his hair and clips were bloody now.
A farmer will tend a young olive tree on a hilltop. The farmer waters it carefully, and the young olive tree bursts into bloom. But a gale wind arises and rips it out of the earth, and it lies on the ground, fallen and dead. Euphorbus was like that young olive tree.
Menelaus had killed him, and now Menelaus stripped him of his armor.
Menelaus was like a powerful and dangerous mountain lion that sees a herd and picks out the best heifer. The mountain lion bites the heifer’s neck and kills it and then begins eating the heifer. The dogs and shepherds make a lot of noise, but they are too afraid to attack the mountain lion.
The Trojans were afraid to challenge Menelaus as he stripped the armor from Euphorbus’ corpse.
Apollo took the shape of the Trojan Mentor and challenged Hector, who was trying to capture Achilles’ immortal horses. Disguised as a mortal man, Apollo said to Hector, “You have better things to do than chase Achilles’ immortal horses. Only Achilles, whose mother is immortal, can control them. Menelaus is protecting Patroclus’ corpse. He has killed Euphorbus!”
Hector surveyed the battlefield and saw Menelaus stripping the armor off Euphorbus’ corpse, which was still spurting blood. Hector charged Menelaus and filled the air with a war cry. Menelaus heard Hector and said to himself, “What is the best thing for me to do? If I leave Euphorbus’ armor and Patroclus’ corpse, won’t I be criticized? After all, Patroclus was fighting to help redeem the honor that Paris stole from me. But am I able to fight Hector and his Trojans by myself? They can circle me and kill me. I am one warrior against many. Be careful. Hector is having a day of glory; Zeus is helping him. If Zeus is helping Hector, the Greek warriors will forgive me for retreating.
“I need help to fight Hector. If I can find Great Ajax, he and I together could fight Hector and his Trojans. Then we could bring Patroclus’ corpse back to Achilles’ camp. This is a bad situation, and this course of action is the best that we can do in it.”
Hector and the Trojans kept charging toward Menelaus, and he retreated. He left behind Patroclus’ corpse, but he kept turning to look back to be ready to fight if necessary. He was like a lion that the dogs and farmhands force away from the farm. The lion does not want to leave, but the dogs and farmhands force it to.
Menelaus reached the other Greeks and looked for Great Ajax, who was fighting on the left flank. Great Ajax was trying to convince the other Greek warriors to fight fiercely — Apollo had made them afraid. Menelaus ran to him and said, “Friend, help me. Patroclus is dead. Help me to recover his body so that we may bring it to Achilles. Hector is now stripping Achilles’ armor from Patroclus’ body so we cannot bring the armor back to Achilles.”
Great Ajax went with Menelaus. Hector was eager to chop off Patroclus’ head and then drag the rest of the corpse to Troy to feed the dogs and birds. But Great Ajax charged him, and Hector threw Achilles’ armor to aides to take back to Troy. Hector retreated, and Great Ajax guarded Patroclus’ corpse. He was like a lion guarding its cubs when hunters see them. Menelaus stood beside Great Ajax.
Glaucus, who was now the leader of the troops from Lydia, said to Hector, “Where is your fighting fury? You need to start planning how to save Troy without the help of the Lycians. Why should we fight for you if you are going to allow the Greeks to let dogs and birds eat Sarpedon’s body? Sarpedon fought fiercely for Troy when he was alive. Now you are unwilling to fight for him and save his body from dogs and birds. If I can get the Lycians to obey my orders, we will leave Troy and return to Lycia. If only you could fight well enough to get Patroclus’ corpse and drag it to Troy, we could trade it for Sarpedon’s armor and corpse.”
Glaucus did not know that Apollo had taken Sarpedon’s body to Lycia. He thought that the Greeks had taken Sarpedon’s armor and body back to the Greek ships.
Glaucus continued, “Patroclus was a great warrior and Achilles’ great friend. The Greeks will definitely trade to get his body back. But you are afraid to fight Great Ajax. He is a better, stronger, fiercer warrior than you!”
Hector replied, “Glaucus, you are a good man and a good warrior, but you are speaking nonsense. I thought that you were more intelligent. I am not afraid to fight Great Ajax. But Zeus is more powerful than any mortal. Zeus can turn a brave man into a coward. Zeus can also make a brave man even braver. He both gives and takes away kleos. Watch me fight! See if I am a coward or if I can stop a Greek from trying to protect Patroclus’ corpse.”
Hector shouted to the Trojans, “Be ready to fight. I am going to put on the armor of Achilles — armor that I stripped from Patroclus’ corpse!”
He ran after the aides who were taking Achilles’ armor to Troy. Away from the fighting, Hector took off his own armor and put on Achilles’ armor. When Achilles’ father grew old, he gave this armor to Achilles, but Achilles would not grow old.
Zeus saw Hector putting on Achilles’ armor. He knew that Hector would soon die. Zeus said, “Poor Hector. You are not thinking of dying, but death is quickly coming for you. The armor you are putting on is that of a great warrior — a great warrior whose kind and gentle and strong friend you killed. You stripped Achilles’ armor from Achilles’ friend. I will give you strength and fierceness in battle to recompense you for your death that is soon to come. You will never return from battle alive, Hector. You will never give Achilles’ armor to your loving wife, Andromache.”
Zeus bowed his head. He changed Achilles’ armor so that it fitted Hector well. Ares filled Hector with fighting fury. Hector motivated his men to fight well: Mesthles, Glaucus, Medon, Thersilochus, Asteropaeus, Disenor, Hippothous, Phorcys, Chromius, and the prophet Ennomus, who knew how to interpret bird-signs. Hector told them, “Listen to me, all of you allies. When I called on you to come to Troy and fight, it was not for show. I needed and need you to protect Trojan women and children. That is what I want. I tax the Trojans to give you gifts and food so that you will fight fiercely. So let us now fight the Greeks. Let us feel the joy of war. If anyone can force back Great Ajax and drag the dead Patroclus to our chariots to haul back to Troy, that warrior will get half of the spoils and he will get kleos that will be the equal of my own.”
This reward was worth fighting for. The Trojans and Trojan allies attacked Great Ajax, hoping to get the body of Patroclus and drag it to Troy, but their hope was foolish. Great Ajax was a mighty warrior, and he had killed many men around the corpse of Patroclus. Still, Great Ajax said to Menelaus, “We are outnumbered. Theirs is a mighty force. I don’t think that we can stay here, alone. I am afraid that Patroclus’ corpse will feed dogs and birds inside the walls of Troy, and I am afraid that you and I will die here. Hector and his Trojans are covering the battlefield. Shout for help. I hope that someone will hear you.”
Menelaus was known as the lord of the war cry. He shouted, “All Greek captains who fight for Agamemnon and me and drink our wine and command your own men, help us. I can’t see where you are because of the dust kicked up by so many warriors, but come and save Patroclus’ corpse. Don’t let the Trojans feed it to the dogs and birds!”
Little Ajax heard him and ran to help. He arrived first, followed by Idomeneus and Idomeneus’ second-in-command, Meriones. More captains followed them, but only the gods can name them all.
Hector charged the Greeks the way that surf charges into the mouth of a swollen river. The surf booms as it crashes against land. The Trojans charged the Greeks, but the Greeks were ready to fight them. They stood ready to fight in a circle around Patroclus’ body holding their shields in front of them. Zeus created a heavy fog to help hide Patroclus’ corpse. Zeus had not hated Patroclus when the mortal was alive, and Zeus did not want Trojan dogs to eat Patroclus’ corpse.
The Trojans forced the Greeks to retreat and leave Patroclus’ corpse behind although they did not kill any Greeks. Instead, they tried to drag away Patroclus’ corpse. Great Ajax, the best warrior of the Greeks except for Achilles, led the Greeks as they attacked the Trojans. He fought in front like a wild boar that charges dogs and hunters and makes them run and pursues them. Now Great Ajax charged the Trojans and forced them to scatter although they wanted to drag Patroclus’ body back to Troy.
The Trojan Hippothous had tied a shield strap around Patroclus’ ankle. He was dragging the corpse away, hoping to win kleos and praise from Hector. Great Ajax charged Hippothous and speared him through his helmet, cracking the horsehair crest. Hippothous’ brain burst out of his skull as he dropped Patroclus’ foot. Hippothous’ body fell onto Patroclus’ body, face-to-face. Hippothous died far from Larissa, his home. The spear of Great Ajax prevented Hippothous from repaying his parents who had reared him. He died too young.
Hector hurled his spear at Great Ajax, but he dodged death and the spear hit Schedius, who was from Phocis. Hector’s spear went through his collarbone and came out through his shoulder. He fell, and his armor rattled.
Great Ajax stabbed Phorcys, who was trying to protect the corpse of Hippothous. Great Ajax ripped open Phorcys’ belly and his intestines fell out. Phorcys fell and clawed at the ground. The Trojans backed away, and the Greeks dragged away the corpses of Hippothous and Phorcys and stripped off their armor.
The Trojan warriors were on the verge of running back to Troy, overcome by fear, and the Greeks would have seized great kleos because of their own great merit despite the will of Zeus. But Apollo took the form of the Trojan Periphas, the son of a herald to Aeneas’ father. Disguised as a mortal, Apollo spurred Aeneas to fight fiercely: “Aeneas, no one can save himself when the gods are against him. But here and now Zeus is for you and the Trojans. Zeus wants the Trojans to triumph over the Greeks. So why are you and the other Trojans so afraid and so unwilling to fight?”
Aeneas looked at the god and recognized him, and then Aeneas shouted to the Trojans, “Hector! Trojan captains! Don’t retreat to Troy! A god just told me that Zeus wants us to fight and win. So charge the Greeks! Don’t let them take Patroclus’ corpse back to the ships! Not without a fight!”
Aeneas went to the front of the Trojan line and the Trojans turned around and faced the Greeks. Aeneas speared Leocritus all the way through his body. Leocritus’ friend Lycomedes grieved but hurled his spear and buried it in the liver of the Trojan ally Apisaon, the best of the warriors from Paeonia, except for Asteropaeus.
Asteropaeus wanted revenge, but the Greeks maintained a good defensive formation, protecting themselves with their shields, surrounding Patroclus’ corpse, and defending it with their spears.
Great Ajax gave the Greeks orders: “Protect the corpse! Nobody try to be a hero! Stay in defensive formation, and don’t jump in front of the line to try to make a kill. Stand shoulder to shoulder, and protect the corpse of Patroclus.”
Warriors on both sides inflicted mortal wounds, and blood covered the ground. But the Trojans suffered many more deaths than the Greeks, who fought in tight formation. Greek warriors defended Greek warriors.
The battle around Patroclus was difficult to see because of the haze of dust kicked up by warriors and fog sent by Zeus, but other parts of the battlefield were clear, lit well by bright sunlight on a cloudless day. Some warriors fought from a distance, shooting arrows and dodging arrows. Others fought face-to-face and suffered as warriors hacked at opposing warriors.
Fighting in the front lines on one side of the battle, the Greeks Antilochus and Thrasymedes did not know that Patroclus had died. They thought that he was still alive and fighting in the front lines although Nestor had ordered them to keep watch and note who had died and whether any Greeks were retreating.
The fighting and the dying continued all day. The work of war did not stop.
Around the corpse of Patroclus, warriors sweated. In the fight to possess Patroclus’ body, the warriors engaged in a tug of war. A tanner sometimes gives a huge bull’s hide to his laborers, and they stretch it, pulling it as hard as they can. Much like that, Greeks and Trojans grabbed Patroclus’ body and pulled. The Trojans hoped to bring the corpse to Troy. The Greeks hoped to bring the corpse to their ships and to Achilles. Ares, god of war, delighted in the struggle and the slaughter.
Achilles still did not know that the Trojans had killed Patroclus, whose death had occurred far from the ships and by the walls of Troy. Achilles believed that Patroclus was still alive and would return soon. Achilles thought, Would Patroclus try to conquer Troy without my help? No.
Achilles’ mother, the goddess Thetis, had told him many things, but she had never told him directly that Patroclus would die without him nearby to protect him and keep him alive.
The fight continued over Patroclus’ body, and a Greek shouted, “We can’t return to our ships without Patroclus’ body! We will lose kleos! It is better to die here and now than to let the Trojans take his corpse to Troy!” And a Trojan shouted, “Keep fighting even if you are fated to die beside the corpse of Patroclus!”
So they fought and kept fighting, but away from the fighting Achilles’ immortal horses wept. Achilles’ charioteer tried to get the horses to return to the ships, but they resisted. Sometimes, he whipped them. Sometimes, he tried to coax them with winning words. But they stayed and continued to mourn. Their heads hung low like the depictions of horses on a gravemarker. Achilles’ immortal horses wept, grieving for the death of Patroclus and the coming death of Achilles.
Zeus saw the immortal horses, and he pitied them. He said, “Why did we give you to a mortal: Achilles’ father, Peleus? He will die, but you horses are immortal and will never grow older or die. Did we want you to suffer? Did we want you to learn about the pain of mortals? Mortals suffer more than any other being on the earth. Almost all animals are mortal, but they do not know that they are mortal and do not think about their coming deaths. Gods are immortal and know that they will never die. Only human beings are mortal and know that they will die and think about their coming deaths. This makes mortals wretched. However, I will never allow Hector to capture you immortal horses and use you to pull his chariot. He has Achilles’ armor. That is enough. Hector can boast now, but he will die soon. But I will give you immortal horses strength so that you can save the life of Automedon and take him back to the ships. I am giving the Trojans a day of glory. They will kill and kill again until they drive the Greeks back to their ships.”
Odysseus was still wounded and unable to fight. Watching the battle from the ships, he thought, The gods are born and they grow older until they reach a certain age and then they stop aging. Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades are all mature men and they will never grow older. Apollo and Hermes are young men, and they will never grow older. Human beings can grow old. Human beings are mortal, and they can die at a young age or at an old age, but they will definitely die. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily. Mortality makes our decisions important. We have only a very limited amount of time to live. Will we spend it wisely or foolishly? A god can waste thousands of years on trivial pursuits and still have eternity to do something important. Human beings can’t. And who is a hero? A hero is someone who risks his life to save other people. Great Ajax is a hero. He fought magnificently to keep the Trojans from setting fire to our ships. He saved himself, true, but he saved the rest of us, too. Only a mortal can be a hero. A god in a good mood may go into a burning house and save someone, but the god is risking little. The god can’t die. If the god is injured — or wounded in battle — the god will quickly heal. And saving someone will take only a little of the eternity of time that lies before the god. A mortal who tries to rescue someone from a burning building is risking everything: life. Mortality need not be a curse; mortality is what makes heroism possible.
Zeus gave Achilles’ immortal horses strength, and they galloped, taking Automedon with them. Automedon did his best to control the horses. They came close to the Trojans, but no spearman stood in the chariot, so no one could kill a Trojan.
Alcimedon shouted, “Automedon, what are you doing? These are poor battle tactics! You have no spearman! Patroclus is dead, and Hector is wearing Achilles’ armor that Patroclus wore to battle!”
Automedon replied, “Alcimedon, you are a good charioteer. You are better at controlling these horses than anyone except Achilles and Patroclus. You take over and drive this team. I’ll fight on foot.”
Alcimedon climbed aboard the chariot, and Automedon jumped to the ground. Hector saw them and said to Aeneas, “I see Achilles’ team. They have drivers who cannot control them. You and I can capture them, if you work with me. These two Greeks can’t stand up to us.”
Hector and Aeneas, and their fellow Trojans Chromius and Aretus, moved to capture the horses and to kill Automedon and Alcimedon. But Automedon was alert. He shouted, “Alcimedon, keep the horses close to me. Hector hopes to kill both of us and take the horses. He is so implacable that he will do that or die in the attempt.”
Then Automedon called for help: “Great Ajax! Little Ajax! Menelaus! Let other warriors defend Patroclus’ body. Because of you three, we Greeks are still alive. Here come Aeneas and Hector — they are Troy’s best warriors! They are better warriors than I, but the gods may bless me as I hurl my spear.”
Automedon hurled his spear and hit Aretus’ shield. The shield broke, and the spear rammed through Aretus’ shield and war-belt and stuck in his stomach. A farmhand sometimes kills a bull for butchering. He swings an ax and hits the bull behind its horns. The bull rears up and then falls. Much like that, Aretus reared up and then fell on his back. The spear quivered in his intestines.
Hector hurled his spear at Automedon, who saw it coming and dodged death. Now Hector and Automedon would have fought with swords, but Great Ajax and Little Ajax arrived in answer to Automedon’s call for help, and the Trojans backed away. Hector, Aeneas, and Chromius left the dead Aretus behind. Automedon started to strip off Aretus’ armor, shouting, “I have made the psyche of Patroclus feel a little better although this dead warrior is only half the man that Patroclus was.”
Automedon then climbed into Achilles’ chariot. His hands and feet were dripping blood just like the paws of a lion that has killed and fed on a bull.
The fight for Patroclus’ body intensified. Zeus sent Athena to the battlefield to encourage the Greeks. He wanted the Greeks to rally — briefly — on the day of Hector’s triumph. Zeus sometimes sends a lurid rainbow as an omen to warn humans of approaching war or a blizzard that will put an end to all kinds of work. Iris, whose mode of transportation is the rainbow, sometimes brings news of war and other tragedies. Now Athena came wrapped in a lurid cloud to encourage the Greeks to kill and kill again. Lurid clouds sometimes forecast bad weather.
The first Greek she encouraged was Menelaus. She assumed the form of Phoenix and said to him, “You will be ashamed if the Greeks succeed in taking the corpse of Patroclus to Troy and allow the dogs and birds to eat it, so fight fiercely and encourage your men to fight fiercely!”
Menelaus replied, “Phoenix, I pray to Athena that she will give me strength and courage to defend Patroclus’ body. Hector is fierce and never stops stabbing with his spear. He never stops killing. Zeus is giving him kleos today.”
Menelaus had prayed to Athena instead of any of the other gods — she was thrilled. She answered his prayer and gave him strength and courage. She also gave him persistence. A horsefly is persistent. It wants human blood. Each time the man brushes the horsefly away, back again it comes. It wants to feed on human blood.
Standing over the corpse of Patroclus, Menelaus hurled his spear and hit Podes, cutting his war-belt and ripping his skin and body. Podes fell. He had been a drinking buddy to Hector, and he had been courteous and wealthy.
Apollo assumed the form of the Trojan ally Phaenops, a man whom Hector valued most of his foreign allies. The disguised Apollo said, “Hector, why are you afraid of Menelaus? He has not been a great warrior before today, but now you are holding off from attacking him although he has killed your friend Podes.”
Hector felt grief and rushed to fight Menelaus, and at that moment Zeus hurled a thunderbolt from Mount Ida, and he shook his storm-shield that could cause any army to panic. Zeus was now giving the Trojans triumph and routing the Greeks.
Peneleos was the first Greek to be hurt. Polydamas speared his shoulder and hit bone.
Hector speared Leitus in the wrist. No longer could he fight the Trojans with spears. Leitus ran for the ships.
Hector rushed at Idomeneus, but Idomeneus speared him. He hit Hector’s breastplate, but his spear broke. The Trojans shouted, first in horror and then in relief. Hector hurled his spear at Idomeneus and missed him but hit Coeranus, the charioteer and aide of Meriones. Idomeneus was fighting on foot that day, but Coeranus saved Idomeneus’ life by driving the chariot up to him. Although Coeranus saved Idomeneus’ life, he lost his own life. Hector’s spear came up under Coeranus’ jaw. His teeth fell from his mouth, and his tongue was cut in two. He fell to the ground, taking the reins with him.
Meriones grabbed the reins and said to Idomeneus, “Whip the horses and drive to the ships. The Greeks will not be victorious today.” Idomeneus obeyed.
Great Ajax and Menelaus saw that the Trojans were winning. In frustration, Great Ajax said, “Anyone can see that Zeus favors the Trojans now. All Trojan weapons hit a Greek target, even when weak warriors hurl them. Our spears hit only ground. They are harmless to Trojans. What is the best thing we can now do? How can we save our own lives and still carry Patroclus’ body back to the ships? Right now, Hector is invincible. We cannot stop him. We need to get word to Achilles that Patroclus is dead. I am sure that he does not know. But I can’t see anyone we can send to Achilles. This dust and fog make it impossible to see! Zeus, at least make it so that we can see! If you are going to kill us, at least do it in the clear sunlight!”
Zeus heard and granted Great Ajax’ prayer. The dust and fog dissipated, and the sun shone. Great Ajax could see.
He said to Menelaus, “Look for Antilochus, Nestor’s son. He is a swift runner. If he is still alive, he is the one to carry the bad news to Achilles, to tell Achilles that his great friend Patroclus is dead.”
Menelaus was exhausted but obeyed. A lion grows exhausted from fighting the dogs and men who guard sheep and cattle. The lion craves meat, but the dogs and men fight him all night long. The lion charges and charges again, but the men and dogs fight him and drive him away from the sheep and cattle each time. Finally, at dawn, the lion leaves, exhausted and hungry.
Menelaus left Patroclus’ body, reluctantly. He was afraid that the Trojans would capture the corpse. He said to Great Ajax, Little Ajax, and Meriones, “Remember how gentle and kind Patroclus was when he was alive. Protect his corpse, now that he is dead.”
Menelaus then left and searched for Antilochus, looking to the left and to the right like a sharp-eyed eagle that flies high, looks for and sees a rabbit, and swoops down and tears its life away. Menelaus hoped that Antilochus was still alive. Fortunately, he quickly saw him on the left flank. Menelaus called to him, “Antilochus, today victory goes to Troy. They have killed Patroclus. Run to Achilles and tell him the horrible news: Patroclus is dead. Hector killed him. If Achilles acts quickly, he may be able to help us to bring Patroclus’ body — stripped of armor as it is — back to the ships.”
Antilochus hated the message that he had to bring to Achilles: His best friend was dead. He gave his armor to his aide Laodocus, and then he ran as fast as he could to Achilles’ camp. Antilochus wept as he ran.
Menelaus put Thrasymedes in charge of the men whom Antilochus had commanded, and then he ran to defend the corpse of Patroclus, standing alongside Great Ajax, Little Ajax, and Meriones. He told the two Ajaxes, “Antilochus is taking the news of Patroclus’ death to Achilles. But how can Achilles help us? He has no armor! He is a big, strong, powerful man, and ordinary armor will not fit him. He will be furious at Hector, but how can he fight him? Achilles is not invulnerable, although he does have a goddess for his mother. So what can we do to take Patroclus’ body back to the ships?”
Great Ajax said, “You and Meriones grab hold of the body and carry it. Little Ajax and I will protect you and fight Hector and the Trojans. We two Ajaxes are no strangers to war, no strangers to protecting others.”
Menelaus and Meriones lifted Patroclus’ body onto their shoulders. The Trojans and their allies closed in to attack. The Trojans were like dogs that attack a wounded boar before the hunters can reach it. The hounds want to rip apart the boar, but it turns back and charges the pack of hounds. They are afraid, and they scatter out of the boar’s path. The Trojans charged them, and Great Ajax and Little Ajax turned toward them, and the Trojans were afraid.
They made their way to the ships as the Trojans pursued them like a flash fire racing its way to a city, catching houses on fire as winds whip it to frenzy. Much like that, the Trojans bore down on the Greeks. Menelaus and Meriones worked like mules pulling heavy loads of timber as they worked to get Patroclus’ body to the ships.
The two Ajaxes fought off the Trojans. Great Ajax and Little Ajax were like a rocky ridge that stops the waters of a flood. The Trojans kept coming, led by Hector and Aeneas. They were like hawks or falcons pursuing crows or starlings as they pursued the Greeks, who raced for the ships.
Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved
Barnes and Noble