Odysseus stopped by this morning and announced that he was going to do an inspection of the Ithacan encampment tomorrow.

After I had called our men to order, the General berated them for a good thirty minutes. In his words, the men looked like: "A stinking flock of lecherous seleni!"

Odysseus informed them all that the camp better look like "an Olympian wedding hall" by tomorrow morning, or heads were going to roll.

Before he stomped off, he nodded to me and said: "See to it, Eurylochus!"

The General was right. Our camp badly needed to be cleaned. However, I knew that his sudden desire for order was actually a result of the failed horse-capturing attempt. Flexing his authority over the men was a way for Odysseus to save some face.

Anyway, the rest of the day was pretty frantic. Nervous men were lined up at my tent all afternoon. Some were there to make sure that I understood that their tent had been clean all along, and that it was the other men who were to blame. Others were curious to know what an Olympian wedding hall looked like. -Some men started sticking flowers on their tents.

Macar had it the worst. Suddenly, everyone wanted new sandals, belts and bedrolls. I could hear his grating voice cussing out soldiers all day.

The laundry women were quickly overwhelmed, and instead resorted to giving the men lessons on how to clean their own tunics. The sight of a few hundred naked Ithacans slapping their clothes against the rocks brought a lot of cheer to the other armies.

The barber was frantically cutting more beards than he had in a month.

By nightfall, the camp looked much improved. No tents were sagging, no bones were scattered about the firepits, new latrines had been dug and the overfilled ones had been covered.

I am sure that Odysseus will be pleased.


Late last night, Odysseus, Diomedes, and their horse-stealing crew ventured out to capture some Trojan steeds.

This is how Polites related it:

First off, things looked good. Polites guided the two dozen men up to the spot where he had spotted the Trojan horses two nights before. Everything appeared the same.

As there were a dozen Trojan guards hanging about, accompanied by just as many villagers, Odysseus decided that surprise, combined with a quick show of force, would scatter the Trojans and leave the horses for the taking.

The plan was that Odysseus, Diomedes, and a dozen of the men would sneak up, and when they got close, charge in and quickly kill a Trojan or two. –Polites was with this crew.

The other group of men, lead by Macar, were to follow in soon after, grab as many horses as they could and ride back to the beachhead.

That isn’t what happened.

Odysseus and his team had little difficulty getting close to the guards. The Trojan guards and the villagers were chatting about a fire, and the moon was almost new. In addition, the terrain north of Troy is hilly and is full of outcroppings of rocks and scattered boulders.

In fact, the men were able to get within about 20 yards of the fire without being noticed by their quarry.

Unfortunately, in addition to the Trojan guards and villagers around the fire, there was also some shepherd boys scattered about, looking after the peasant livestock.

One of these boys shot an arrow into Patroclus’ face.

Although it was a flesh wound, sticking only into his cheek, Patroclus was no longer able to maintain his stealthy composure. Polites said that Patroclus let out a torrent of slurred explicative, initiated by a thunderous: “Muvver of Zeuf! Fuckin Harpy Shif!”

To make matters worse, Patroclus’ fury did little to dissuade the adolescent archers. -Soon a rain of underpowered arrows began to fall upon Odysseus and his men.

Things got worse.

Despite the loss of surprise, Diomedes assumed that the plan was still on. Raising his sword, he yelled and charged into the Trojans, followed by a handful of men.

Odysseus on the other hand thought that the plan was to be abandoned. Raising his sword, he ordered a retreat and began to run in the direction of Macar, followed by a handful of men, including Polites.

Polites said that Macar’s crew was equally confused and broke into three groups: One followed Macar to capture the horses, one high-tailed back to the beach, and one stood frozen, unsure of what to do.

All the while, shepherd boys peppered everyone with a barrage of painful, but non-lethal arrows.

To Odysseus’ credit, he didn’t really chicken out. After meeting Macar, he realized that Diomedes had attacked, and he reordered those present to charge back for support.

Unfortunately for Diomedes, this left him and his few men outnumbered and without the benefit of surprise. By the time that Odysseus had returned, only Diomedes and Patroclus were still standing.

Polites said that they found Patroclus fighting three Trojans at once. He figured that Patroclus must have killed five men in about as many minutes.

And, with the aid of Odysseus and his men, it seemed that they might yet succeed. However, almost as immediately as they reached the fire, two of our guys were killed by very powerful arrows. -Trojan archers were shooting from the city walls. Macar was shot in the foot.

Odysseus and Diomedes sounded a retreat in unison, and all those remaining ran back to the beach.

Eight of our men were killed. Five were wounded.

All told, three horses were captured. Two were captured by the first men to retreat, and one was taken by an angry Macar, who couldn’t walk due to an arrow in his foot.

Odysseus didn’t stop by today.


Well, the horse thieves are off tonight.

It is supposed to be very hush-hush, but it is pretty obvious that something is going on. The Argosians that are tagging along have been hanging out in our camp today. The guys are pretty psyched and have been acting somewhat riotous.

Following lunch, Polites and Euryalus started off with a mock battle wielding some large wooden tent stakes. After about an hour, there were about twenty guys standing around, seeing who could throw a dead goat the furthest.

Patroclus tossed the thing almost thirty meters. I have to say, it was an impressive feat.

Odysseus walked up in the middle of the goat tossing. Rather than discourage it, the General was immediately determined to break Patroclus’ record.

His first toss was close.

Although the men were impressed, Odysseus was displeased and he really put everything he could into his second throw.

Unfortunately, Odysseus’ wind-up for the second toss was more than this dead goat could bear. One of the goats hooves came off, and the carcass went sailing into a nearby fire pit. This knocked over a large pot of stew, and burned a cook’s leg pretty severely.

That put an end to the fun.

Elpenor stopped by later and told me that some of the wood-gathering Minyan sailors thought they had seen Achilles’ ship. Apparently, it was very early and still dark, but some of the men swear they saw a Magensian galley about two days south of here.

I told Elpenor not to spread this rumor.

Odysseus stopped in a little later and dictated one of his letters to Penelope. I am not sure if he is concerned that he won’t come back tonight, or if he just wants to send a letter telling her how brave he is.

The guy actually told her that he is going on a dangerous mission tonight. I quote: “Sweet Penelope, your General must embark on this night on a most perilous adventure. My thoughts will be of you, and I pray Ares, God of Battle, will keep me in his favor.” -Personally, I don’t know why he would want her to worry. I think it just makes him feel like a badass.

I didn’t mention the rumor about Achilles to him.


Polites has his horse-stealing crew together. Misenus is going with them. So is Macar. I told Polites that I would rather if Macar didn’t go, but Macar is very good with horses, and Polites said that he could really use his help. I guess that he is right.

It seems that Diomedes has asked Achilles’ pal Patroclus to go with them. I am not so sure that is a good idea. Patroclus is still pretty bitter about Achilles leaving, and I am sure that he is looking forward to getting at the Trojans again.

It makes me wonder how Odysseus got Agamemnon’s approval for this excursion. –I assume that he must have. Diomedes wouldn’t be that stupid, anyway.

One of the other guys coming on Diomedes behalf is Euryalus. I don’t know much about him, but he and Polites really seem to have hit it off. Euryalus ate lunch with us today. He has a wicked impersonation of Agamemnon.

Elpenor and Epeius stopped by while we were eating to fill me in on some details regarding the Horse.

After the two of them left, Euryalus started off with a new impersonation of Epieus. I have to admit that it was dead on, and I couldn’t help but laugh. He does Epieus’ mouth-breathing lisp perfectly. Unfortunately, Polites thought that it was hysterical, and he has been doing a much poorer imitation of it all day.

The small horse-raiding troupe is meeting later this evening, and I have to admit that I am happy that Odysseus didn’t ask that I attend. I really have a bad feeling about this adventure, and I am more than content not to be a part of it.

I have come to realize that the actions of our army are dictated much more by the fragile egos of our commanders than they are by any military strategy.


Polites says the Trojans are grazing their horses outside of the city. He saw them let several out last evening through the northern gate. A small guard was with the horses, and these Trojans mingled with some local villagers who were watching livestock of their own.

I reported this to Odysseus after breakfast, and he didn’t seem very surprised. He told me that he has a plan to capture some of these horses. I guess that he has been formulating this plan with the Argosian general Diomedes. He asked that I get a list of about a dozen men whom he can take with him. I assume that he wants to do this soon.

I have a feeling that this is just another way of Odysseus sticking it to Ajax. It was really embarrassing to Ajax that one of his traded horses had been captured during Hector’s raid. Odysseus capturing more Trojan horses would just be a way to rub his face in it.

I asked Polites that he go on this raid, since he is the one that knows where the horses are at. -He isn’t too thrilled about it.

To make him feel better, I told him that he could decide which other Ithacans would go with him.

Everything else is pretty quiet.

Today was the seventieth birthday of Nestor, King of Pylos. I had to go with Odysseus to a banquet in his honor tonight.

The food was great, but it was terribly boring. Nestor is an ancient guy. He looks much older than seventy.

Anyway, he was one of the guys that went with Jason looking for the Golden Fleece. I guess that is pretty wild, but I didn’t really want to listen to him talk for four hours. The guy kept going on about all of his exploits, and Agamemnon and all of the other commanders kept toasting him and kissing his ass. –I thought it would never end.

Odysseus thinks that he is the best.

I am not saying that he isn’t a great guy or anything, but it really wasn’t the way that I wanted to spend my evening.

I still have a bunch of stuff to get finished before I can get to sleep.


I think that Epieus has a thing for Elpenor, and I don’t think that Elpenor has a clue.

It has been great having those two working together on the Wooden Horse. The build site is extremely clean and organized, and work on the base is well underway.

It is obvious that Elpenor likes hanging out with Epieus. Epieus isn’t a bad guy, but I suspect that Elpenor is fond of him because, unlike the other men, Epieus doesn’t give Elpenor a hard time.

On the other hand, Epieus seems equally as fond of Elpenor. However, I have a feeling that Epieus has other motivations.

Yesterday, Elpenor was in my tent to give me an update on their progress. Epieus was with him, and it made me a little uncomfortable the way that Epieus was staring at Elpenor as he was giving his report.

Now, I have nothing against Epieus’ motivations if they are in fact, those kind of motivations. However, I do hope that Elpenor isn’t as clueless as he seems.

I say that because Polites made a comment to me about the horse boys, and knowing Polites, he won’t let any opportunity to rag on Elpenor slide. –With an opportunity as big as this one, Polites could be merciless.

In other news, I guess that Odysseus did cause quite a stir yesterday. A general edict was passed through camp today that there is to be no more trading with the Trojans under any circumstances. This is sure to piss a lot of people off. There is no doubt in my mind that the trade will continue. It is just going to be a lot more difficult.

Odysseus himself came by today. He wanted to know if the Trojans are grazing their horses north of the city. I told him that I didn’t know, but I asked Polites to get a few guys together and to go and find out.