Pilose at Pylos

Telemakhe and Peisistratos stood at the Pylos peer, hand in hand in a friendly gesture. Their arms ached in a fervent wish to be holding one another closer. Their eyes carefully, but endearingly searched each other's depths. They could not reveal their feelings before Telemakhe's crew for if word spread, even unintentionally, that Telemakhe was having relations outside of the suitors, her life and the stability of the Ithakan government could be endangered.

"Please thank your father, Nestor," said Telemakhe, "For his help. I couldn't have asked for a better charioteer. I will see to it that our local temple of Apollo contacts you, so you can begin some of your network trials."

"You had better get going if you wish to leave today. Otherwise my father might descend like a fog cloud and insist that you stay one more day so he might not send you away empty-handed. Not that I would mind. You are always welcome here," said Peisistratos.

"You are equally welcome in Ithaka," said Telemakhe, her mouth drawing into a pout of frustration. How she would have enjoyed a passionate goodbye kiss. She did give herself permission to hug Peisistratos which he heartily returned. Telemakhe then turned to her people and started arranging the final loading of gifts and stores.

As she had finished pouring out libations and was about to board, a young unshaven man came dashing toward the ship. One of the crew pointed him her direction.

"Friend, it is good I caught you at libation before heading out to sea," said the hirsute man, "Please, by whatever you hold dear, tell me the truth: who are you, who are your parents and where are you going?"

Telemakhe felt somewhat taken aback but answered forthrightly, "I am Telemakhe, daughter of Penelopos the artist and Odysseus that lost warrior of the Trojan Wars for whom I made this journey for news. My quest has been completed and so now I return to my home in Ithaka."

"Excellent, I would like to go to Ithaka. My name is Theoklymenos," he said holding his hand out to shake Telemakhe's. "My father was the magician Melampous. I could hide this fact, but I want you to understand, I have had the bad fortune to accidentally kill a cousin. This cousin has a number of powerful friends and family who now seek to exact vengeance upon me. These I have fled and they will kill me unless I leave these shores in all haste. I will gladly pull an oar upon your ship for passage to your fair country."

"When you are this desperate to leave, we would probably have to peel you off the gunnel if I were to refuse. Fine, you are welcome aboard. We could certainly use another pair of hands," said Telemakhe motioning him onboard. At that moment a hawk, Apollo's courier, flew over Telemakhe carrying a dove. The hawk pulled out the dove's white feathers, releasing them so that they fell like snow about her. Then in a twinkling the hawk miraculously turned into three birds and flew off in separate directions.

Theoklymenos, a natural prophet, gazed in surprise at both Telemakhe and the receding birds. "You come from a great house and are indeed destined to command a powerful domain, you and your children and their children. However, the signs portend that you are in a unique position with the deities, for you will not be constrained to a single path, but rather you and your family will be able to choose this destiny or others."

Telemakhe could only look puzzled herself at Theoklymenos' prognostication. She boarded the ship and called for the sails to be unfurled. She searched for a moment for Peisistratos' face upon the pier and sent one last thought of tender farewell. Then they were off.

Eumaios Well Stay.

Copyright © 1998 Katherine Phelps