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097 - Doctor Who and the Myth Makers

097 - Doctor Who and the Myth Makers

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Long, long ago on the great plains of Asia Minor, two mighty armies faced each o ther in mortal combat. The armies were the Greeks and the Trojans and the prize they were fighting for was Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world. To the Greeks it seemed that the city of Troy was impregnable and only a miracle could bring them success. And then help comes to them in a most unexpected way as a st range blue box materialises close to their camp, bringing with it the Doctor, St even and Vicki, who soon find themselves caught up in the irreversible tide of h istory and legend... ISBN 0 426 20170 1

DOCTOR WHO THE MYTH-MAKERS Based on the BBC television serial by Donald Cotton by arrangement with the Brit ish Broadcasting Corporation DONALD COTTON Number 97 in the Doctor Who Library published by The Paperback Division of W. H. Allen & Co. PLC

re-sold. Allen & Co. Tiptree. by way of trade or otherwise. H. P LC 44 Hill Street. Essex The BBC producer of The Myth Makers was John Wiles the director w as Micheal Leeston-Smith ISBN 0 426 20170 1 This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not. 1985 Printed and bound in Great Britain by Anchor Brendon Ltd. Allen and Co.H.A Target Book Published in 1985 by the Paperback Division of W. hired out or otherwise circulat ed without the publisher's prior consent in any form of binding or cover other t han that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser. be lent. PLC in 1985 Novelisation copyright © Donald Cotton 1985 Original script c opyright © Donald Cotton 1965 `Doctor Who' series copyright © British Broadcasting C orporation 1965. . London W1X 8LB First published in Great Britain by W.

who wrote the music .To Humphrey Searle.

Youn g Lovers 23 A Victory Celebration 24 Doctor in the Horse 25 A Little Touch of Hu bris 26 Abandon Ship! 27 Armageddon and After Epilogue .CONTENTS 1 Homer Remembers 2 Zeus Ex Machina 3 Hector Forgets 4 Enter Odysseus 5 Exit the Doctor 6 A Rather High Tea 7 Agamemnon Arbitrates 8 An Execution is Ar ranged 9 Temple Fugit 10 The Doctor Draws a Graph 11 Paris Draws the Line 12 Sma ll Prophet. Quick Return 13 War Games Compulsory 14 Single Combat 15 Speech! Spe ech! 16 The Trojans at Home 17 Cassandra Claims a Kill 18 The Ultimate Weapon 19 A Council of War 20 Paris Stands on Ceremony 21 Dungeon Party 22 Hull Low.

I never thought I'd make it past thirty! Men do not frequently survive to senility in these dangerous times . and my name is Homer.. You think it's sad to be old? Nonsense  it's a trium ph! An unexpected one. in the stubble of the empty fields. and dreaming.. There  it's rather good. so sit down. and meet my dead friends in the shadows of the nether world. I don't know if that will mean anything to you. Teeth gone. No matter... under the olive-trees  that's right. nothing but an old man.. What do you see? Why. for I have a tale or two still to tell. whoever you are and have a slice of goat's chee se with me. that is why I do it.1 Homer Remembers Look over here. and a song or two to compose and throw to posterity. But it is a name once well considered in poetic circles. before I pass Acheron. I tell you. I eat very little else these da ys. and remembering. sitting in the Autumn sunshine. or a proper concern for the elderly. no reputation lasts forever. here. That is what old men do. you'll find.. a myth maker.. But then. at that. I suppose I can hardly be considered much of a threat t o anyone. of course. being blind.. having nothing better to occupy their time.. so somehow I have been allowed to live. I heard your footsteps when you first entered the grove. although probably more by ne gligence than by charity. I am. and lean against the rubble of the fa llen city which once was . you see. and since that i s what I have become.. because. by the pile of broken stones and the cracked statues of old gods. But that is why I sit here. And I am grateful .

whic h.. and though I could do little to influence. I hope they're lizards! If they are scorpions. although I must say. But I w as not blind in those days. as I need h ardly remind you. of course. and that. And what events they were! Troy  this mound of masonry behind us  was then the greatest city in the world. was standing on a tortoise! All nonsense. I was a wanderer then. because the world then was not as it is known to be now. A rather small flat disc. and to the West. we know now that the disc is very much larger and floats on some kind of metaphysical r iver. and the lizards run across my bare feet  at least. and to some extent  not being a complete fo ol  interpret them. At all even ts. it fell away to night an d old chaos. All we were absolutely sure of was that the available space was a bit on the cr amped side. just beyond the Pillars of Hercules. be asked to give an account of themselves. I could a t least observe the course of events. it was considered to be. I don't quite follow the argument myself. it was bounded to the East by the Ural Mountains. and the latest geographical th inking was that it balanced rather precariously on the back of an elephant. long ago when I was young. that wasn't t oo difficult a trick. they sat four-square on most of Asia Minor. Although I must admit. for some reason. at the very least.. perhaps you would be so kind? Thank you! And I remember the beginning of it all. meant that they . while the scavengers flap in the ruins. And the Trojans appeared to have rather more than their fair share o f it. where the barbarians lived . Listen. And what happened to the North and South we didn't like to enquire.Troy. In fact. as I am now  and so thoroughly undist inguished in appearance that I could pass unnoticed when men of greater conseque nce would.

mad as minotaurs about the whole situation. Agamemnon. King of Mycenae. Perhaps you will have heard of La Vie Parisienne.controlled the trade-routes through the Bosphorus. as you'll agree. the Trojans themselves handed it to him on a platter! Well. And the n. by Zeus. and it was a beauty  adultery! The adulterer in question was Paris. very natur ally. the unlikelihood of their ever achieving th e throne does seem to induce irresponsibility which  combined. with an inflated income  how shall I put it?  well. of course. it aggravates any amorous propensitie s they may have. Agamemnon just couldn't seem to find one. we all know about princes and their libidinous ways: thei r little frolics below stairs  their engaging stage-door . Paris had them! In overabundance and to actionabl e excess! He was  not to put too fine a point upon it  both a spendthrift and a le cher. Men always need a cause befo re they embark on conquest. Often it is some trifling differen ce of philosophy or religion. I need hardly say more: except perhaps. wa s their war-leader. the Greeks. And. and that made things difficult for him. as is well known. with no elbow room at all to speak of. but the trouble was he couldn't think of any excuse for star ting a war. the origins of which have long been forgotten by all sensible people. and they were. Which left my fellow-countrym en. in mitigation. But no  in spite of sitting up nights and going through the old documents. Well. just as it was beginning to look as if he'd have to let the whole thing slide . King of Troy. secon d son of Priam. and spending days bullying the historians. And then. He also had the fiendishly dangerous quality of charm: a bad combination. one Trojan did. sometimes the revival of an ancient boundary dispu te. Well then. ac tually. that the secon d sons of Royal Houses  especially if they are handsome as the devil  have a lot o f temptation to cope with.

et cetera  he roused their indignation to the p itch of a battle fleet. he'd have known that Troy was a very tough nut to crack  by no means the little mud-walled city-state he was u sed to. and then  Heaven help us all!  abducted the Queen of S parta! Yes. And if we are charitable. and they set sail for Troy on a just wave of retribution . was secretly delighted! Just the thing he'd been waiting for! Summoning a hasty conference of kings. at which he boiled with well-simulated apoplectic fu ry  the Honour of Greece at stake. we turn a blind eye. But if Agamemnon had done his homework properly. to bring her home to meet his parents! The mind reels! Anyway  while Menelaus himself was pardonably upset. Paris had  but even so! And then. Possibly. I thought you'd sit up! Her name was Helen and she was the wife of h is old friend Menelaus. And the Gre eks seemed to have left their nut-crackers at home. . although how one can possibly know without conducting the most exhausting research. So for ten long years  if you believe me  the Greek Heroes sat outside those enormous walls. this sort of permissible regal intrigue wasn't enough for Paris. Or so people said. Agam emnon. having abducted her. And Menelaus  wait for it  just happened to be Agamemnon's younger brother! So there you are! Leaning over backwards to find excuses for P aris.haunting jaunting? Just so. his big brother. while any virtuous anger they may once h ave felt evaporated in the heat of home-thoughts and of the girls they'd left be hind them. But a pparently. I cannot imagine. Impregnable is the word  although you might not think it now. List en  he first of all seduced. I suppose one should admit that Helen was the most beautiful woman in the world. quarrelling among st themselves and feeling rather silly.

And this was the stalemate situation when some trifling. and the Greek camp faded and fe stered in the summer haze. . forgotten business of a literary nature first brought me to the Plain of Scamander. Well. since nobody s eemed to mind. I lay down on the river bank and went to sleep. where Troy's toples s towers sat like the very symbol of permanence. it had been a long journey: and.

by bronze-studded.. begging to be giv en a chance. Yo u know the one: big place  all right if it isn't raining. the like of which I had seldom heard outside that theatre  what's its name?  in Athens. Blind anger.2 Zeus Ex Machina Two men were fighting in a field. sweat-stained . and the sound of it woke me. the clash of sword on armour. in the middle of a summer siesta.. They were both big men. for some reason. somewhat inadequa tely. once they get going. So I g ot up cautiously.. these sort of people. as they snarled and cape red and gyrated! Made me sneeze. `somone will get hurt  and I hope it isn't me. as is my professional habit. And having nothing to do and being thoroughly awake now  damn it!  I watched and listened. on a baking hot Asiatic afternoon. `In another moment. boiling-over physique was restrained. of course. they had chosen to accompany their combat with an ear-splitting stream of bellowed imprecations and rhetorical insult. too  they were kicking up clouds of it. or a stifled sigh  it matters lit tle which. and if you care for suc h things. The noise was exc essive! There was. b ut one was enormous with muscles queuing up behind each other. I rather do! But not. who they involve.' I thought. thank you. merely pulli ng my cloak over my head with a muttered groan. when my feet hurt and my head aches! The dust. This whole. I think it's called. well-hidden behind a clump of papyrus. or something  you can be sure of that.. Which I must say. and mace on helm  you will have read about such things  and these I might have tolerated. But.' Because they don't care.

I must confess I didn' t like him. not a Greek. beplumed horse's he ad helmet. Which he certainly needed. Even the mighty Ajax. King Priam's eldest son. I believe the Greeks have a word for it nowadays. F urthermore. of course. in view of everything else about him. as of pride in the displaying of his perfectly proportione d body. had pleaded a migraine on being invited to indulge in single combat . He had that look of Narcissistic petulance one so often sees on the face s of health fanatics. or of what the tanners had led it to expect. So. was  the leather probably f elt  far beyond the call of duty. and which creaked and groan ed with his every action-packed movement. and war-lord of Troy. which he wore as casually as if it were a shepherd's sheepskin cap: a nd this. Se ams stretched and gussets gaped.leather armour. One could hardly blame it! To confine. His opponent was a differ ent matter. as he spun and pirouetted to avoid the great bron ze. such bursting physical extravagance. smelled abominable. and with the grace of a danc er. although I felt a certain sympathy for him at being so obviously out of his league. th at during the course of this ridiculous war he had been avoided by the Greeks as scrupulously as tax-inspectors are shunned by writers. he could only be the renowned Hector. even partially. or on male models who pose for morally suspect sculptors. meant that he was a horse-worshipping Trojan. I wondered who he could be. no doubt. younger by some ten years. I had heard. Hector was so notoriously invincible. which. I would say. He was more lightly armoured than Hector: but I couldn't help feeling that this was not so much a matter of military requirement. two-handed sword which Hector wielded  in one hand  as casually as though it w as a carving knife in the hands of a demented chef. On his head was a towering.

which for some reason. `Murderer!'. `Your friend. To understand is not necessarily to approve. Did you not hear him? He feared the dark. `Patroclus was a boy. Who.. (We shall notice the phenomenon again and it is a s well to be prepared. . really. But the question of his identity was soon solved. skipping.' A boy? Quite so. Achilles and Patroclus: their relationship was well-known  and it explaine d everything. were even no w circling the improvized arena with an eye to business. Achilles. whimpering for hi s master. though meat a trifle run to fat. and fed to the jackals.' Not bad. and chose to ignore it. and made better sport. and was loth to enter it wit hout you! Come  let me send you to him.with him. T rojan. and yet here was this slender.) But Hector was not to be discouraged by such rudimentary rodomantade. where he waits in Hades! Let me throw him a bone or two!' Well. spat Achilles. you say?' sa id Hector warming to his theme: `Well he died most like a dog.. I may say. obviously intent on pursuing the matter to the foregone conclusion of his being sliced into more easily disposable sections. but the world will be the swee ter for it.. my lightfoot princeling?' inquired the giant politel y. ballet-boy. without wit. Patroclus fled me further.' So there I h ad it. heroes alw ays adopt at times like these. they will whiten well enough in the sun  They may foul the air a little. `Out o f breath so soon. what can you say to a remark like that? But after a momen t's thought Achilles achieved the following: `Your bones would be the meatier. as the two heroes paused for a gulp of dust. `A boy. Well all's one.. on the spur of the moment: especially if you have to speak in that approximation to blank verse.

. there came a rumble of thund er. I can hardly believe my memory. as I know now.. and..`Run.. I challenge you: descend to earth and save him. run! Run just a little more. or find words to describe it. Hector! Beware the rage of Olympus!' The remark didn't go down at al l well. `Beware the voi ce of Zeus. and sneered triumphantly. as one of those summer storms that pester the Aegean came flickering up from the South.. you superstitious... it was like nothing I had ev er seen in all my travels. Achilles. dartdodging decade nt? Hear me.! . by all th e gods. But I swear there came a noise reminiscent of a camel in the last stages of dementia praecox. and subsided.. eh? Not even to be the swiftest of the Greeks? Must I rob you of even that small distinction?' Achilles was noticably piqued. `Hector.. Achilles! Or else.. Zeus: accept from me the life of your craven servant. by a curious coincidence. before you die! What. speechless. Hector knew he'd made a g ood debating point. and Achilles could take a cue when he heard one. at that moment. `Ha! Who am I to fear the thunder.. I swear. the most extraordinary thing happened: even now. after all he'd won prizes. hobble-dehoy Olym pians  those little gods to frighten children? What sort of gods are those for a man to worship?' And now. `The gods? What gods? Do you dare to swear by your petty pantheology? That ragbag of squabbling.. and. there appeared on the plains beside us a small dark blue building of indeterminate architecture! I t was certainly nothing of Greek or Asiatic origin. don't you wan t to leave a legend? Wouldn't you like the poets to sing of you. out of nowhere.' And. it was the TARDIS.' he said.

I had not. Certainly not. Th at surprises you? Well. as I say. The Trojans.3 Hector Forgets You. of course. or rather where they were yesterday. as you will have gathered from Hector's nihilistic comments.. have no such uncomfortable superstitions to support them in their hour of need. T o say we were all flabbergasted is scarcely adequate.. Well. it's not a bad idea. Put it this way. but as far as basic theology is concerned. agog to intervene in human affairs. will probably have heard of the TARDIS. however. and they were properly grateful to the bloodstock for . it was their cavalry that put them where they are today. no  to be hone st  not really expecting. we Greeks are constantly expecting the materialisati on of some god or other. whoever you are. pe rhaps.. No  but. They'd come riding out of their distant nomadic past to found t he greatest city in the world. and try to probe the future as one does. however remote. our religious education has prepared u s to accept it. It's the sort of thing that happens to other people. There h as certainly been enough talk about it since! At the time.. on the other hand. they wil l read entrails with the best of them. should it occur. they begin and end with the horse. but hardly before one's own eyes in the middle of everyday affairs. the ch urch has warned us of the possibility. but perhaps it will serv e for the moment? Mind you. such as the present formalistic bloodletting. But that is by no means to say we anticipate it as a common phenomenon. when you think about it: after all. Oh. a nd you may well imagine the effect that its sudden appearance produced  not only upon my apprehensive self  but upon the two posturing fighting-cocks before me.

They even had some legend.. I believe. he was an uncommonly decent chap at heart  fond of his dogs and ch ildren. they had nothing that you or I would recognize as a god. there's not a lot you can do about a wound like t hat  and Hector didn't. So  there lay Hector. But apart from that. . Blood and stuff everywhere. it was! The thing pierced Hector's body in the region of th e clavicle. As he fell to his knees. dumbfounded by this immediate. blinking i n the sunshine. of course) when suddenly the door of t he TARDIS opened and a little old man stepped out into the afternoon. looking for trouble. and emerged. With a look of pained astonishment at being knocked out i n the preliminaries by a despised and out-classed adversary. somewhere in the lumbar district. But there it is  you can't go barn-storming a round. you know! I do n't like to think of it. within the meani ng of the act. A great pity. Very nasty. and all that sort of thing. by all accounts. I would imagine. quite literally. but it was nothing like the foul reality. So.. I'll wager. or w hatever. of the three of us it was Hector who was the most put out.making it possible. in fact. and not expect to find it occasionally. And now it was Achilles' turn to fall to his knees. and packed it in for the duration. his golden blood lacing his silver skin (and that's a phrase someone will pick up one day. which would return to save them in time of peril.. unforseen acceptance of his challe nge to Zeus. when the TARDIS came groaning out of nowhere.. or at least. about a mythical Great Horse of Asia. he subsided relucta ntly into the dust. Well. because. But I mustn't anticipate. Achilles rallied sufficiently to run him through with a lance. festooned with his internal arrangemen ts. that's what I say! Always taken very good care to avoid it myself. I had up t ill then.

no doub t  whenever that was  but just a shade past it. bu t at the time he looked  I hope he'll forgive me if he ever hears about this  he l ooked. I say. I gathered later. when you think about it. if they're honest. like the harassed captain of a coaster who can't remember his port from his starboard. he'd found the Earth all right. they've completely forgotten what a sprocket is! . if you ask me! He blamed the mecha nism of course  claimed it was faulty. rather. Vicki and Steven. he claimed. but unfortunately. but then don't they always? We've all hear d it before  `Damned sprockets on the blink!' or something. I gather. But he did n't look so then. he couldn't navigate. when all the poo r old chap wanted to do was get back to earth and put his feet up for a bit! Wel l. A sort of superannuated Flying Dutchman. several thousand miles and as many years from where he really wanted to be: which was. All very well for him. brilliant as the devil in his time. in fact: and not f ar out. you see. ricochetting from one more or less disastrous planetary landfall to another. my word! I believe he has grown a great deal younger since. at that. and find him a most impressive character. some plac e called London in the nineteen-sixties  if that means anything to you? He'd prom ised to give his friends. being a Time Lord. that for some time t he TARDIS had been tumbling origin over terminus through eternity. he belonged everywh ere. bless him! Oh.At this point I must digress for a moment to explain that I have met the Doctor on several occasions since. because they thought it was somewhere they might be happy and belong for once. because he didn't truly belong anywhere  or. when all the time. a lift there. or some such nonsense! But the trouble was.

surprised. who you are?' `I am Achilles  mightiest of wa rriors!' Yes. Sand burning his cuirasses. I've heard of you.' Achilles looked pleased... `Has my fame then spread even to Olymp us? Tell me. yes. `Dea r me! Do you really? And may I ask. ?' .. s ensitive. (And I must say he didn't look a lot li ke him. eh? Yes.. `Why.' He lumbered to his feet. perhaps. well. rubbing his knees. expecting to be able to ask his way to th e nearest water-hole from a passing bush-man. a Trojan warrior bleeding to death at his feet. After all. `Eh? What's that? I'm not your father. he found himself being worshipped by a classical Greek hero.At all events.. clearing the matter up rather neatly. then must I do so.) `What's this? Who do you take me for?' `The father of the gods. and rul er of the world!' announced Achilles. no doubt. you could tell.. well. `If Zeus bids me rise. with.?' Not an easy question to answ er truthfully. shall we say? Or. moreover. to say the least. `This won't do at all  get up at once!' Achilles was glad about that.' `I must say. he could say that now. Vicki and Steve n were probably listening... `Greatest in battle.. never mind. So you can imagine his confusion when.. you don't sound particularly humble! Achilles. `And this poor fellow must be. Achilles didn't help matters much by immediately addressing him as `F ather!' Disconcerting.' He gave up and ch anged the subject.. that you are rather. my boy! Certainly not!' objected the Doctor. I pray. lustily. he was apparently under the impression that he'd landed in the Ka lahari Desert. and he was having a bit of trouble with the crew in consequence.. what you have heard of me. humblest of your serva nts. but the Doctor did his best... `Zeus?' enquired the Doctor.

. I do nothing of the sort. you come in the guise of an old beggar.. it has been most interesting to meet you. Achilles barred his way. if you wi ll excuse me. I really must return to my  er  my temple here. drawing his sword.!' `I beg your pardon. `do you realize who you are addressing? Kindly let me pa ss. and the Doctor was aware of it. but obviously such conversations cannot continue indefinitely. He began to shuffle.. `Well. With one of those leaps which I always think can do balletdancer s no good at all.' he barked. `Eh?' he enquired. as a swan. you appeared as a bull. I have no beard. as you se e. prince of Troy  sent to Hades for blasphemy against the gods of Greece!' `Blasphemy? Oh.. with dawning social embarrassment.`Hector. Before I  er. Unpardonable. to me. you understand? I have to be there to keep an eye on things. my dear Achilles. if you had appeared in your true form. `No.' `The others?' `Er  yes  the other gods. Achilles  I'm sure he meant no particular harm by it!' ` Did he not? He threatened to trim your beard should you descend to earth!' He'd done nothing of the sort of course.. The others will be w ondering about me. strike you with a thunderbolt!' . but now. I would have been blinded by y our radiance! It is well known that when you come amongst us you adopt many diff erent shapes. T he Doctor quailed. `Oh.. To Europa. Gods don't expect that kind of th ing.. so I really should be getting back' And h e turned to go. to Leda.' said the Doctor. putting his finger on the flaw in the argu ment.. `Did he indeed? But. and one couldn't blame him.' Yes .' `But still your glory shines through!' `So I should hope indeed. really.

. and the Trojan archers.' `And one of them lies here  in the . And how the Doctor would have talked himself out of that one.' `Then come with me in triumph to the camp. of course. camp of Agamemnon. and songs will be sung in my honour. He didn't fancy that.. . There th ey sit. my comrades.. you know.. they will say. would that be such a bad idea?' He wished he hadn't.. `Lord Zeus. now that Hector is dead. and implore you to remain. Honour is satisfied. secure behind their walls. we fight in your name! Would you have the Trojan m instrels sing of how we fled before their pagan gods?' The Doctor smiled patient ly. our general! Hear me out.' Well..' Well. surely.' `What of that? Oh. `Oh  I think you'll find Olympus can look after itself for a good many years yet.Achilles quailed in his turn. they will be jubilant enough for a while. and give my friends that message.. I have many other com mitments.' All good stuff you see? `Many of the Greeks will coun t the death of Hector enough. and still they defy us. whilst we rot in their summers and starve in their crack-bone winters. under the circumstance s. Always a splashy speaker. Achilles. But our ranks have been thinned by pestilence. `Well. `Forgive me  but I must brave even the wrath of Zeus. I pray: for ten long years we hav e laid siege to Troy. wiping his face.' `Well. `implore' yes  but sti ll difficult.. and sail for h ome!' Ever the pacifist the Doctor interrupted. as I am sure you will appreciate. reasonable enough. `I really don't see why I should. Achilles now grew as sibil ant as a snake. Menelaus will drink too much.

and out stepped a barrel-chested. whom any sensible time traveller would have d one well to avoid. I suppose. Because just then the bushes behind them parted in a brisk manner. at that time Odysseus would have been about fortyfive. piratical character. He was followed by a band of obvious cut-throats.we shall never know. whose twinkling e yes and their sardonic accessories belied a battle-scarred and weather-beaten bo dy  which advanced with what I believe is called a nautical roll. .

A half score Trojans will not whistle easily tonight. Come. `Ah. `So far from camp. Night may fall. offensively. And what of you?' H e wiped the evidence from his cutlass. and came up with an undebatable answer. cursory glance.4 Enter Odysseus He and Achilles were technically on the same side.' said the Doctor. pirate!' warned Achilles. we wouldn't want to lose you. hastily. Odysseus spared him a scornful. and all unprotected from a prisoner?' Achilles made shushing gestures. on learning that Jehovah's had ano ther idea. that you dare to tempt my sword?' Odysseus co nsidered the question. `Not yet a prisoner? Then you should have screamed for assistance. of course.' he said in tones of awestruck reverence. Odysseus. `T his isn't a prisoner. you were not the Lord Achilles. let us s ee you home.' he said modestly. He is not one to tempt providence. boy?' `Have a care. There he li es. and find thee from thy tent!' `I'd resent his att itude. `What's this. but then. are you. `Ar e there no Trojan throats to slit.' . now they smile with their bellies.' contributed the Doctor. old fellow. Achilles groaned inwardly. if I were you.. We found `em laughing by the ramparts. `Been busy have you?' Achilles played his ace. Achilles?' Odysseus enquired. I grant you. `Nothing to speak of. Different types of chap altogether .. `I met Prince Hector. lad. rather like Job. `Throats enough. `Certa inly not. but you could tell that neither of them was too happy about it.

' `So I should think. that he should come to this! You stumbled on him here. but I didn't like to interrupt  Achilles was all too obviously getting intoxi cated by his talent for embroidery. `I battled with him for an hour or more. of cour se. `No doubt.. Whereat I was almost moved to spare him. `Zeus. you say. Odysseus noted the bleeding remains  and you cou ld tell he was impressed. who urged me on to strike. But what a year this is for plague! The strongest must fall. Perhaps not surprisingly.' `And so. eh? Well.' he said. he cr ied for mercy... stamping.. I say. as you say. . Prince Hector lies.Astonished for once in his life.' rumbled his appreciative audience. `But. `Zeus was instrumental..' `The deuce you did? And fled him round the walls. Odysseus.. I've been most interested.' said the Doctor. Well.' acknowl edged Achilles grace-fully. and there your lance remains in seeming proof of it! I must ask your pardon. boy  there.' hissed Achi lles through pursed lips. as he lay dying?' `I met him here in single combat. bravo.. I could have said what really happened. the significance of this escaped Odysseus. Odysseus.' scowled Achilles.' `Oh. until my greater skill o'ercame him! Beaten to his knees. `But tell me. with a bow to the Doctor. of course.. as I was about to sheathe my sword in pity. Prince Hector. `no doubt he was . what of Zeus? He intervened. you struck  like lightning? W ell. getting a word in edge wise. there was a flash of lightning  and Lord Zeus appear ed. I think you said? And then?' `Why there he stands  and listens to your mockery. mark this. till down he fell exhausted? A famous victory!' `I me t him face to face. Lightfoot.' he exclaimed.' `Yes indeed.

A bunch of tattooed ruffians tossed him aloft like a teetotum in a tan trum. very rough. we have much need of your assista nce! Don't cower there. come . Achilles. your blasphemy and laughter at the gods is very well in Ithaca.. `You shall have honour enough. You will come with us. and set him on their sweating shoulders. Achilles at lea st objected. I claim the honour to escort him! Let him walk to the ca mp with me!' But not a bit of good did it do. `What's that. thank you. `Oh..' `Odysseus. snapping a spear between his nerveless fingers.' Useless. and carry him in triumph to the camp!' The Doctor struggled. A cut-throat or two did look vaguely apprehen sive. before you dare indulge it here! Forgive him. And. as I should say! If you indeed be Zeus. lad. but there's nothing at all to forgive. To do him credit. And since he has been so condescending as to visit us. Think.. he was. Odysseus glowered like the Rock of Gibralter on a dull day. all the same. that old man? That thread-bare grey pate? Now. Father Zeus  he is but a rough and simple sailor.' `Aye . but scarce as simple as you seem to think!' growled the gallant ca ptain. Odysseus stumped f orward.I wouldn't have advised it myself. who joined our holy cause for booty. `What. Abject now.' the Doctor hastened to assure him. before the night's out.. who knows? maybe we shall . but their leader rocked with the sort of laughter you hear in Athenian tav erns at closing time. bear him up. but it was plainl y no use. Zeus is on our side  or so Agamemnon keeps insistin g. and siezed him by the scruff. of course. though. lads. no  I hardly think. man  o r god.' `Then will you not come with us?' begged Achilles. `I've no doubt he means w ell. `Odysseus. `We ll.

do s ome of you take up that royal carrion yonder. and the mortal remains of Hector. At length. felt  extremely fo olish.' said Odysseus. we crave the pleasure of your c ompany at supper. he spat after them: `Yo u will not laugh so loud. Odysseus!' he shouted. Father Zeus. That should prove equally entertaining. `Will I. `you will explain why you are lurking near the Graecian lines  and how you practised on the slender wits of young Achilles. Achilles? Well. lest none believe his story. in my opinion. for his part.' Rather foolishly. no doubt. Prince of Troy. you have to say something don't you? Then he sprang nimbly off towards the Graecian line s by an alternative route. The latter was unimpressed. while the echoes of Odysseus's laughter reverberated round the d istant ramparts. reasonably. And perhaps a tale or two of Aphrodite. always having a nose for a good story. looked  and.' And they marched away over the skyline. I followe d at a more leisurely pace. Achilles. I think. put up your sword. But meanwhile. At least so much must we do for Lo rd Achilles. when Agamemnon hears of this!' Well. carrying with them the helpless Doctor. Nay.. Achill es drew his sword. lads. eh?' The Doctor splutt ered with indignation: `Nothing would induce me to indulge in vulgar bawdy!' `We ll then. `You will pay for this. And..have a little of the truth as well. boy! We comrad es should not quarrel in the sight of Zeus. when the war-party was out of earshot. we shall see. .

Someti mes he found Vicki almost as tiresome as the Doctor. back in the TARDIS. hasn't he? Now look at him  trussed like a chicken and being taken to God kn ows where!' `Well. For. `the Doctor would stop trying to pretend he's in control of events we mig ht get somewhere! Why isn't he honest enough to admit that he has no idea how th is thing operates? Then perhaps we could work out the basic principles of it tog ether  after all. if they are bushmen. I mean. I do have a degree in science! But no  he's always got to know b est. and now. Vicki and S teven. `If only. he hadn't joined the Space-Research Project to play the giddy-goat with Time as well! And if he didn't get back to base soon. Steven. the retrea t of events on the scanner. `They didn't look like aboriginal bushme n..' said Vicki. as they told me later. his two companions. looking on the bright side. but this was becoming ridiculous. After all. as they say. or rather. `Do you think this is the Kalahari Desert  or has he got it wrong again?' `Of course he has!' snapped the irritated ex-astronaut. had been watching the progress.5 Exit the Doctor Meanwhile. the Doctor's situation was giving ri se  as again they say  to serious concern. and they were pardonably worried.' mused Vicki. awkward questions were gong to be asked. here he suddenly wasn 't! You can imagine the conversation. c ompassionate leave is one thing. he had only stepped out for a moment to enquire the way.. `perhaps they've taken him to see their cave drawings?' .' he said. After all.

these characters would have been the original myth makers.' she admitted.' .. I thought the Greeks were civilized?' `Only the later ones. But they were certainly nothing of the sort  and that's why I'm worried about the Doctor. `perhaps he made a joke?' `If so.. So. Magnificent men who had m arvellous adventures. But I su ppose. Steven.' `Don't be silly. let's hope it was a practical one for a change! They didn't look as if they'd appreciate s ubtle humour. like Jason and the Argonauts. they seemed to treat him with great respect. what can we do?' `I know what I' m going to have to do.' `I'm afraid you'v e been reading too much mythology..' `I don't know. Don't you remember anything from school? Its my belief we 've gatecrashed into the middle of the Trojan War  and. Heaven help us! Te n years that little episode lasted as I recall!' `Well. in a sense.. You know. if so. Vicki. Vicki  real life was never like that..' `What do you mean?' `I mean the ruffians whose rather shady little exploits wer e magnified by later generations. until they came to seem like heroes.. whoever they were. darn it... `Oh.' `All right then. follow them. if we're ever to get out of this. I imagine these sort of people were little better than bar barians!' `But I've always been told they were heroes. a nd see if I can't rescue him before he gets his brilliant head cut off! Not that it wouldn't serve him right. do use what little sense I've tried to teach you! Those men were Ancient Greeks  that's who they were. Have it your way.Steven regarded her with the sort of explosive pity one does well to avoid. they were lau ghing at him!' `Yes. Steven.

' Steven sighed. You should be quite safe!' `Yes. and loped off after the rest of us.. these people weren't gentl emen  and they certainy didn't treat women  even young girls  like ladies! No. Well. as he opened the double doors. Just stay inside the TARDIS  and no one can get at you. you must stay here till I get back!' `And what if you don't get back?' `Thank you.. can't I come too? If this is the Trojan War. and I'd love to see the real Agamemnon. in that case. . took his bea rings. do you? Vicki. her brain seething with mental reservations. And Steven stepped out on to the plain of Scamander. I'd hate to miss it..`Well. `Yes  and no doubt he'd love t o see you. don't le t yourself get taken prisoner. but supposing. You still don't understand. whatever you do. I haven't t ime to argue  just do as you're told for once!' She watched him rebelliously.. But she said no more. V icki  nice of you to think of that.' `Look here.

if ever there was .6 A Rather High Tea For some reason  not intentional. I assure you. And how did I know it was Agamemnon. hounding his family the way they did. Agamemnon himself and a dinner guest were busily attacking the light refreshment with all the disg usting gusto of a dormitory feast in a reform school. Couldn't happen to a nicer fellow! The Furies must have been off their heads. and pretty soon I found myself outside the Commander 's quarters  the war-tent of Agamemnon. And it really doesn't matter. of goat-skin  and badly cured goat-skin at tha t  it flapped and sagged in the humid air. most of them. A justifiable homicide. At all events .  I contrived to arrive at the Gree k camp before the others. it may have been time for his evening press-ups o r something  but I really don't know. who looked as though he deserved every bit of what was coming to him when he got hom e. And a fairly squalid sort of affair that was! Made. with old thigh bones and a skull which had seen better days. who didn't seem to be a very sma rt body of men  playing skittles. Possibly Odysseus and his men had got themselves invol ved in some more mayhem and casual butchery on the way home  it would have been l ike them. one hoped. you may ask? It was impossible to mistake him  one has seen portraits. of course. which. as far as I could tell. had nothing to do with the even ing meal! Because. as I could see through the open tent-flap. and heard the unsavoury stories: a great coarse bully of a man. I found it easy enough to avoid the sentries. And as for Achilles. each movement of the putrid pelts rele asing an unmentionable stench.

Now. neve r mind. I'm not getting any younger. `You drink too much. of course.' belched Agamemnon. and.' he added.. ` Ten foul years we've been here. and learn a little dignity . A sprinkling of the latter cowered cravenly in the offing. I'd say! But that.. it was Agamemnon all right: those rather vicious good looks an d the body of an athlete run to seed look fine on the Mycenaean coins. you've dragged me backwards to fiasco  and this disastrous T rojan escapade takes the Bacchantes' bath-salts for incompetence! If not the Gor gon's hair-net. anxious to clinch the matter with a telling phrase. well. Menelaus uncorked himself from a bottle of the full-bodied Samoan. playing `catch the ham-bone' amid a shower of detritus which the master tossed tidily over his shoulder. I want to go home!' `You won't get a lot older if you take that tone with me  brother o r no brother! What's the matter with you. there was a wealth of sibling feeling concealed in their gruff remarks. man? Don't you want to see Helen again ? Don't you want to get your wife back?' .' Blearily. instead of a dropsical old camp follower? Try to remember you're my brother. Agamemnon. it had been full before he spoke. And there was plenty of that in evidence. No. and generally carrying on. For that's who his companion was. apa rt from an unfortunate family resemblance.one. without a doubt. is to forget that I'm your brother! Ever since we were boys. and far off in the future. `One of the reasons I drink. after a hard day beating the living daylights out of the domestic help. with his mouth full  or at least.. at that time. I suppose. `Why can't you learn to behave more like a king. while otherwise engaged in putting the f ear of god into Menelaus. well. relaxed and unlaced as he was. is another story. but not i n the flesh..

I don't.. as was expected of you. but there may be. damn it! They kill their wife's lovers. quite frankly. you understand?' `Not to mention King Priam's trading concessions. I warned yo u at the time. The effect was unpleasant. I'll wager i t won't be the last time either. I was heartily glad to see the back of her.' He recorked himself.' . of course! You're just making my marriage problems serve your political ambitions.. `There was that awfu l business with Hercules. Candle flames trembled. Makes me a laughing stock. you knew perfectly well what she was like before you married her. And if you' d raised the point before. `You shouldn't talk like that in front of the servants. And Paris was quite prepared to let the whole issue be decided by such a contest  he told me so. Of family honour. it wasn't the first time she'd let herself be  shall we say  abducted?' said Menelaus. I must remind you that these ambi tions would have been served just as well if you had killed Paris in single comb at. `I don't say there is. raising his to a whisper.' he admitted. But since you were so besotted as not t o listen.`Now I'm glad you asked me that  because. moodily. you'd have saved us a great deal of trouble. However. no. and sank back into their sockets: as did hi s brother's blood-shot eyes. `No w. `Well. So don't blame me be cause you've dragged us into a full scale war  because I won't have it. Think I don't know?' Agamemnon sighed deeply. it became a question of honour to get her back. Everybody knows that. even at a range of se veral yards. lowering h is voice to a bellow. `There may be some truth in that. That's what betrayed husbands do. remember? And if we ever do get her back. If you w ant to know. no good would come of it.' Agamemnon looked shock ed.' he said. I can't keep on rushing off to the ends of the Earth after her.

reasonably. B ut at this moment Achilles made the entrance for which he'd been rehearsing.Menelaus looked aggrieved. He had wisely discarded any elaborate form of words in favour of the simple. Mind you. Menelaus staggered to his feet.' `True. That will lend credibility. `When?' he inquired irritably. it would be suicide!' `Now you don't know till you've tried. To his surprise. Menelaus did mop his bro w and sink back on his quivering buttocks: but Agamemnon's reaction was perhaps not all that could have been desired by a popular hero of the hour. he didn't get it. giving a grudging nod with a chin or two. Tell you what. do y ou?' asked his brother. He's as cowardly as you are!' `Once and for all. I am not a coward! I wish you wouldn't keep on. Menelaus obviously thought so. `I think this is a very good idea of yours. `How in Hades did that happen?' . if you're such a fire-eate r.. why don't you challenge someone else. I shall issue the challenge first thing in the morning on your be half. to o. He tapped the tab le with a fist like diseased pork. then  if only for the look of the thing? Why not challenge Hector.' said Agamemnon. if you remember? First thin g I did when I noticed she'd gone! Ten rotten years ago! And the fellow wouldn't accept. `So you did.' `Well.. dramat ic announcement: `Hector is dead!'  and he waited stauesquely for his well-earned applause. and blanched beneath his pallor to prove it. for instance?' In a vain attempt to increase his stat ure. Generals are not used to having their master-plans so abruptly rebuffed. `But I did challenge him. won't it?' And no doubt he would have done. and so he wouldn't. `Are you demented? Not even Ajax would go a gainst Hector.

' agreed Agamemnon. if that could be managed. I have other more important news!' ` More important than the death of Hector? What a busy day you've been having. you did. Menelaus. `I think I'd prefer to make my report officially.' said Achilles. So.`This afternoon. `Here. rather stiffly.' `Yes. tomorrow morning  before our a ssembled forces. rather lamely  his whole effect spoiled..' explained Achilles. You' ve done very well  better than anybody could have expected. there came a sudde n lightning flash. yes  of course you have.. and Father Zeus appeared before me!' There was a silence. because I am. then. `I slew him myself.' he added hopefully.' comforted his brother. damn it! Still. try ing to recapture the original impetus..' `I suppose something might be organi zed on those lines. `Oh. Go on. weren't you? Well. have I been wearin g my sandals to shreds. did you? Well. to be sure. dur ing which Menelaus spilled his wine. of course. was the high spot. `Eh?' he enquired nervously. I don't say we couldn't use a story like that  it's quite a . why don't you sit down and tell us about it?' `If you don't mind. haven't you Achilles? Mind you.. Still  there's another good idea wasted!' `What do you mean "wast ed"?' pouted the understandably crestfallen combatant. yes. now we'll just have to think of something else for him to do . `he's been listening to too much propaganda . `At the height of my battle with Hector.' Achilles took a deep breath.' `But for the moment. you could tell he felt . `It's all righ t. This. too late for comfort. `it's just that Menelaus here was about to challenge him. congratulati ons. you mustn't think I'm not pleased with you. after an hour or so of single combat.

in fac t. I ran ahead to warn you. be Zeus  and then where would we all be?' `Precisely. `I tell you. he appeared out of thin air. It may. complete with his temple. `Guard.' Recognition at last! `Perditi on take Odysseus! After all.' Agamemnon considered. `May be Zeus?' trumpeted Achilles..good notion in fact.' `But it's true. `Heaven help us!' `Be quiet.. `He appeared from nowhere. `You did well.. Even as the guard struggled to attention. `They did w hat?' `Odysseus mocked him. his initiative was frustrated by events. preparatory to completing his esteemed order. taking another large gulp of his medicine.' agreed Menelaus. you can't be too careful these days. `Hmm. I tell you!' said Achilles. in the shape of a little old man. He succeeded only partially  then t hought better of it... and did the table-thumping trick again instead. h e would do  that's what he does!' moaned Menelaus. this little old man of yours?' `I'm afraid I have to report that Odysseus and his men took him prisoner!' Now it was Agememnon's tur n to attempt the leaping to the feet routine. indignan tly. One had heard of these cases. stamp ing petulantly. But you mustn't go taking that sort of thing seriously  or y ou'll lose the men's respect. i ndeed? And where is he now. go seek the Lord Odysseus and command his pres ence here. Odysseus himself ba rrelled through the tent-flap. M enelaus!' said Agamemnon. . Then they seized him  and they're dragging him back h ere now. for the second time in as ma ny minutes.' `Oh. did he.' But it wasn't a good day for Agamemnon. of course.

`who dares command Odysseus?' An d he flung the good Doctor into the centre of the appreciative audience before h im. . bubbling with menace.`Command?' he questioned.

`Ah.. and even dares to laugh at Zeus?' `Careful. you know. the dignified entrance the Doctor would have chosen. I have that honour. `Exactly!' he said. just so. I take it. `I.. got under the table. are Agamemnon?' `Well. that is to say.7 Agamemnon Arbitrates It was not.' he replied def ensively. do they now? Then perhap s you will explain why this mountebank. er.. but with his usual resilience. and gods must go a-begging. left t o himself. dotard!' ru mbled Odysseus. `It seems. you see? And you could tell Agamemnon was somewhat dis concerted by it.. Then you.' `I would pr efer to  at least until we see whether you are worthy of the title. presumes to be a law unto hims elf  insults your guests. call me Lord Agamemnon  but let that pass for the moment. he determined to make the best of a ba d job. .' he said to the company at large.' `Dear me. Rather neatly he did it too. `that times upon Ol ympus are not what they were. under the circumstanc es  because so unexpected. most people.' `Most people find it advisable to take that for granted. before Ag amemnon could attempt to stand on ceremony.' The remark had a mixe d reception: Menelaus. in my opinion. perhaps. `That is what I should like to know! Who is in command round here?' Absolutely the right tone. Odysseus. for instance. while Achilles looked angry and Agamemnon thoughtful.

confirming the Doctor's opinion and emerging cautiously from hiding. out of patience. with all his faults. `After I am dead. you see my quandary? I suppose I can hardly ask for your c redentials. `If. `Which only you would be fool enough to take. I come to yo u in peace. and perceptive with it  and he se ems to disagree. t hen what could one man do.`Odysseus will be reprimanded.' `Should that make any difference? Whether I be god or man. `Of course he's right  of course we must  and it's what I've been trying to do. or I shall undertake it for you!' Achilles bounded fo rward. suppose for a moment that I were an enemy.' snarled Odysseus. Whereas Odysse us. hastily. The Doctor knew it.' said the Doctor. `I sugges t. not by a long sight. Odysseus. can I?' `I would not advise it. Now. `Look here.' he conceded. which are you?' Not wishing to commit himself at this point.' added his brother. `Didn't Achilles tell you?' `Achilles is a good lad. alone. and tried to grab some of the action. with all respect. and made what he too k to be a shrewd point. `And a good point. and only then!' . he's Zeus and he's come to help us?' A good try  but he still hadn't won the meeting over. don't you see. the Doctor passed the buck. but impressionable.' admitted Agamemnon.' Achilles was fee ling a bit left out of things. in that impetuous way of his. But if I may inquire. is a man of the world. eh?' `A neat phrase. however that you treat with me honour  as befits a stranger. Fools.' `Quite so. `The man is a spy! D eal with him  and be brief. you are who you say y ou are. against the glory that is Greece. that is.

) `So it would be stupid to kill him now. first of all. Only Achilles seemed inclined to pursue the matter. it could easily cost you the war.' he added cunningly. `No. if he had to. do get up. to the relief of the rest of thos e present. `Father Zeus. `If you insist.' But Agamemnon lurched mountainously between them. Achilles  whether he knows it or'not.' `Oh. `What  do you prop hesy as much?' `I can almost guarantee it. `all ow me to withdraw. the man is a boor.' said the Doctor embarassed. wouldn't it? When you are almost within sight of victory?' This.' said the Doctor recklessly.' `Then since my thoughts seem to be of such little account. Odysseu s is one of my most able servants. there's a good chap . giant killer.' he smiled. Agamemnon beamed incredulously. not swordplay. and knelt at the Doctor's feet. `I s hall be happy to oblige you. both of you! This needs further thought. of course. Not that you can kill me. went down very well. my dear fellow.Odysseus could make a concession. If you command me I will let the pagan air he values into his blasphemous guts.' said Odysseus. `but it you we re foolish enough to attempt it. I ask your pardon. what my position here is to be? Am I to be tre ated as a god or as a spy? I may say that I shall not remain unbiased by your de cision. almost cringing with unsought servility. `Silence. He is the man who will shortly bring about Tr oy's downfall.' . of course. of course. I for one. may I ask. a s he must have known it would. I hadn't written at the time.' (He must have read my book. you see? Which. `Almost? ' `Well. want no dealings with the gods  I need a breath of pagan air!' And he stormed out into the night.

having looked at the thing from all angles. of course. so you must appreciate my dilemma.' quavered the abject latter. I promise you that!' `Yes. `Yes. whilst you are enjoying our hospitality.' he said. Or rather. the prisoners of their congregations. I suppose I may be  but we m ust risk it. but I don't. yo u mean? Typically spineless advice. as usual. if you p refer.' `Arrest? How d are you? You'll be sorry. So you mustn't be offended. I could describe it as a probationary period of cautious worship. But on the other hand. if I may say so! But for once. to some extent. `Yes. Thank you. Can't we arrive at a compromise?' `Kill him just a little. the same thing m ight happen. `even attractive. most gods are. . and then you prove to be a spy after all. I propose to place you under arrest. if we don't kill you.' `Excell ent! Then do sit down and have a ham-bone. I'm afraid yo u're probably right!' He turned to the interested Doctor. `Very we ll. After all. I quite see. He could hardly do otherwise.Agamemnon pondered the logic of this.' And there for the moment the matter rested. that sounds most acceptable. And meanwhile we shall hope to enjoy the benefits of your e xperience and advice. `I wish I did. In fact. And it will be a very reverent arrest. How about that?' The Doctor made the best of it. What do you think Menelaus?' `I don't know. seemed to. Either pros pect terrifies me.

8 An Execution is Arranged Because, of course, Odysseus had only seemed to storm off into the middle distan ce. For he was never a man to let his judgement be clouded by controversy, howev er boisterous, and he had been much struck by the Doctor's claiming to be a man alone  and therefore harmless. He didn't believe for a moment that the Doctor was harmless, and therefore assumed logically that he was probably not alone, eithe r. And he felt he should have thought of that before  and went scouring the night for the support forces. It was this sort of reasoning which made him the most d angerous of all the Greek captains; this, and an arrogant independence of spirit which made it difficult at times to diagnose his motives, or to forecast which way he would jump in a crisis. Well, on this occasion it was Steven he jumped on . Personally, I was well concealed in a clump of cactus I wasn't too fond of; bu t Steven had elected to climb into a small tree, where he looked ridiculously co nspicuous against the rising moon, rather like a 'possum back on the old plantat ion. And the hound-dog had him in no time at all. Oh, a well set-up fellow Steve n may have been, who'd done his share of amateur athletics during training, but he was patently no match for Odysseus who was like nothing you'd meet in the sec ond eleven on a Saturday knock-about. So he was hauled from his perch in very sh ort order and with scant ceremony. `So, what have we here?' said the hero, grinn ing like a hound-dog that had thought as much. `Another god, perhaps?'

You couldn't blame Steven for not rising to the occasion as he might have done h ad the circumstances been different  and if he'd known what Odysseus was talking about. `I am a traveller,' he announced, lamely. `I had lost my way, and I saw t he light.' Very likely, I must say. He didn't look as if he'd seen the light. Od ysseus snorted, to indicate his opinion of this closely reasoned alibi. `Come,' he said, having concluded the snort, `at least you are the god Apollo to walk in visible past sentries?' Steven attempted injured innocence. `What sentries?' he inquired, `I saw no sentries.' `Did you not? Well, maybe they are sleeping  and w ith a knife between their ribs, I'll wager! Shall we go seek them together? Or w ould that be a foolish waste of time? Well, the light attracted you, you say? Th en little moth, go singe your wings.' Of course, no twelve stone man likes to be called `little moth'  but there's not much he can do about it, if he's hurtling through a tent-flap, like an arrow from a bow. So he let the remark pass for the moment, and presently found himself in the centre of a circle of surprised but interested faces  one of whom, he was glad to notice, was the Doctor. Nevertheles s  difficult, the whole thing. `And who is it this time?' asked Agamemnon, reason ably enough. His tea was being constantly interrupted by one airborne, hand-hurl ed stranger after another. Odysseus positively purred with complacent triumph. ` My prisoner, the god Apollo,' he announced, smiling. So might Pythagoras have mu rmured QED, on finding he could balance an equation with the best of them. `Achi lles, will you not worship him? Fall to your knees? He is, of course, another Tr ojan spy 

but of such undoubted divinity that he must be spared.' He was enjoying his litt le moment. Steven did his best to spoil it for him. `I'm not a Trojan,' he asser ted firmly, `I did tell you I'm a traveller  well, a sort of traveller  and I lost my way.' Well, it did get a laugh, but not the sort he wanted, by any means. Sa rcastic, it was. They looked as if they'd heard that one before. In danger, he r ealised, of losing his audience, he appealed to the Doctor. `Look here, you seem to have made friends quickly enough. Explain who I am, can't you?' `Ah,' chirru pped Odysseus, `so you do know each other then? In that case no further explanat ion is necessary. You must certainly be from Olympus and the gods are always wel come. I ask your pardon. Drop in any time.' `Well,' enquired Agamemnon of the Do ctor, packing a wealth of menace into the syllable, `have you nothing to say?' S urprisingly, especially to Steven, the Doctor looked puzzled. `I have never seen this man before in my life!' he lied stoutly, with a dismissive wave of his ham -bone, `He is, of course, merely trying to trick you.' Steven, for his part, loo ked as if he'd aways expected his ears sometimes to deceive him  and now his frie nds were adopting the same policy. `How can you sit there,' he stammered, `and d eny ' Words failed him, and just as well too, because Agamemnon had heard quite e nough of them to be going on with... `Silence,' he barked, clarifying this posit ion. `Take him away, Odysseus. Why must I be troubled with every petty, pestilen tial prisoner? First cut out his tongue for insolence, then make an end!' But Od ysseus was after bigger game. `Softly now. Suppose we are mistaken, and the man is just an innocent traveller, as he told us? I could never sleep easily again, were I to kill him while

`it would be ver y much safer.' `And shall he be put to death?' `I would strongly advise it. but rhetoric must be served. Lord Odysseus! What. that. Can't be too careful. eh?' mused Odysseus. `Ah.' he judged. is he a spy or not?' The Doctor looked bored with the whole subject.. it looks very much as if he is.' grinned Odysseus. `of something or other.' Even Menelaus perked up. Achilles and Odysseus.' he commanded not a moment too soon. blandly.' recommended the Doctor. I didn't think one stain more or less would be noticed . an d then spoilt it all by adding. Remorse would gnaw at my vitals  and I wouldn't want that. now we have it. unanimous for once. I suppose. `O n second thoughts. on the whole. `Well. Zeus decides we should release him to return to Troy!' `Do no t mock me. would be most satisfactory. `I claim this quavering traitor as a sacrifice to Olympus! Bring him t herefore to my temple in the plain at sunrise tomorrow. and look ed quite excited at the prospect. I must say. Al l-seeing Zeus  this man who presumptiously claimed your friendship. the Doctor rose imperiously. Open season on spies having been decl ared. `I neither know nor ca re. of course.any doubt remained. would you stain the tent of Agamemnon with a Tro jan's blood?' Personally. `Conclusive proof. who seemed to think it w as about time for something of the sort. `A miracle. `Stop. I would say. and then I will show you a miracle!' Here he contrived a covert wink at Steven..' . drew their swords and advanced on the wretched Steven. and the Doctor warmed to his theme acc ordingly. can you?' An air of business h aving been concluded pervaded the meeting. At which point. `Have you lost your senses the pair of you?' Th e two heroes paused in mid-execution.

were there. quite a crowd of those concerned assembled to enj oy the spectacle. we shall see. `Well. But you can't beat a good public execution for boxoff ice. `And exactly what sort of mi racle do you intend to show us?' he enquired. if there is no thunder on the plain..But Agamemnon wanted tomorrow's programme itemised. And tomorrow. Steven and the Doctor. I have a sword will serve for two. `Why  I sh all  er  I shall strike him with a thunderbolt from Heaven! That'll teach him!' `O h. And Menelaus wasn't  he had a hangover. together with a motle y assemblage of the brutal and licentious.' As if to confirm his doubts. the next day dawned to a heavy drizzle. as well as one. come to see the fun. But Achilles was n't there  he was sulking in his tent again. having had his triumph postponed in favour of the major attraction. of cour se. And both Agamemnon and Odysseus were in close support. very spectacular!' approved Odysseus. And one o ther essential item was missing: not a temple of Zeus was to be seen anywhere! O vernight the TARDIS had vanished. . The Doctor improvized. The two principals. Our weather is so unpredictable. and in spite of the rain..

in fact. or people stop believing in you in no time. `Or perhaps further to the left . Father Zeus. perh aps. and were bumping it along in a way that boded no good to its alre ady erratic mechanism  or to Vicki's either. or so mething.. of course. the Doctor and Steven took the panic-stricken assumption that Vicki ha d somehow dematerialized the TARDIS.' he explained to the others.' `Or. No. has to have. come to that. ..' he temporized. nastily. now. And what I saw yesterday didn't strike me as being particularly ecclesiastical. at that very moment. These sand-hills are so much alike.. as Prince Paris and a patrol of Trojans trundled the time-mac hine into Troy. as spoils of war! Somehow they had contrived to get the thing up onto rollers. about to produce the promised rabbit. `You're quite sure. the poor child was being shaken about like a ti cket in a tombola. discovers he's left it in his other ha t! `It should be somewhere here. she had done nothing of the sort  and just as well for eve rybody.9 Temple Fugit At first. by sitting down on the control panel.. and the Doctor looked as foolish as a conjuror.. More like a sort of rabbithutch.. But. but. that you ever had a temple?' `Of co urse I had. it's extremely hard to say. w ho. the weight of centuries has made you absent-minded?' suggested Odysseus. you must have seen it yourself! Every god has a temple.' `Precisely my point. we wer en't to know that at the time.

`you must help me to get it back  and at onc e. I. if you don't believe me. Didn 't I mention that?' `Yes.' `They've captured it. `Something has been here.' The skies had blown clear by now. bring forward the prisoner. but not before the rains had softened the ground. he's not here. `Yes. yes. indicating the furrows in the mud. Well. until he reads your war mem oirs. these men are both spies. unfortunately for you. and therefore will we give you leave to go there? Just so. In any case. he saw it materiali ze. Perhaps Lord Agamemnon here will still believe. Now.' `So it would begin to seem. `some several tracks which lead a cross to Troy! Enough of this foolishness! Your friends in the city have doubtle ss thought your ruse successful. and Agamemnon wa s casting about for tracks. `Very well.. Achilles will say anything to be the centre of atten tion.. the sacrifice can only be performed within the temple. of course? Yes. have heard enoug h. and reclaimed their own. `But I tell you. you'd like that I'm sure.. fling a thunderbolt  or d o something to rise to the occasion. Fathe r Zeus. Lord Agamemnon.. yes..' The Doctor was beginning to run out of ste am.' he admitted. No doubt he felt he'd c hampioned a losing cause and held it tactful to be absent. reluctantly. and someone.' `Aye.' agreed Odysseus. which temple is now in Troy. Kill this Trojan. you mean. But then. like an over-weight boar-hound. too.`Nothing of the sort! Ask Achilles. left by the TARDIS.' .' s aid the general. `Look ..' `So he said.' contradicted the Doctor. for one.  you have but one chance left to prove yourself. as you promised.' Odysseus tapped a sandal impatiently.' `And walk into a trap. Admit your fault.

as a gift to the blow-flies and a warning to their fellows. finish the business. `Yes. of course. ` Seize him! It is enough that you have trifled with my credulity. I shall not forget your part in this  you brought them both to camp. and Agamemnon splashed angrily off through the mud. `Rest assured we shall never hold it against you. quite so. in a very little while.' `Aye. Odysseu s. and the Doctor knew it. in front of my captains. pour ing oil on troubled flames. since we have two Trojans all alive. enjoy your little joke..' Brave of him. and as painfully as possible. but his honesty proved useless. Lord of men.' `As you wish.' `Oh. . `Well  very well. and made me loo k a fool. perhaps. may I not question them? Just a formality. of course. remember! Now. Drag what inform ation you can from them. and this man is my friend. But first. But nothing detrimental!' Agamemnon contro lled himself with the difficulty he always experienced. Let them rot here. disembowelled and unburied. we can't afford to lose you  at the moment!' `You are very kind.' roared Agamemnon. telling how Agamemnon dined with Zeus. He looked at the vicious circ le of angry. at t he head of his sniggering soldiers. unimportant trifles.The game was obviously up. Then report to me  and don 't delay. don't say that. with a mocking bow. But I ask you to believe that neither of us is a Trojan. disbelieving faces and he smiled sadly. O great commander. A song or two. and be brief. much as I might welcome it myself . and begged a Trojan prisoner for advice. The sun is up. And do not brin g their bodies back. There is no need to labour the point.' soothed Odysseus.' smiled Odysse us. about the fire. and. `I care not who you are. patrols are out. like their army's present strength and future plans. I though t.. I am not Zeus.

They closed their eyes and waited for the end. They watched th e manoeuvre with fascinated horror. didn't I? You nev er knew where you were with Odysseus.' said Odyss eus.' He did so. first of all. Then. tell me who you reall y are!' I told you he was different from all the other Greeks. and tested it appraisingly on the blade's edge. `It's all right. without a detectable strug gle. mannikins. turning to his two terrified prisoners.Odysseus watched them go. They opened their eyes. He plucked a hair from his beard. `And now then. and wiped it thoughtfully on his sleeve. It fell in two. he drew his great bronze sword. `I was only going to lean on it. . folding his tattooed arms on t he ornate hilt. wondering if perhaps there was a future to face after all.

Agamemnon. Your costume is not Trojan.' said Steven. `Aye  and so at first I thought. `So who do you think we are now? ' `I do not know.' `Nothing of the sort  I am a doctor of science not medici ne. will not so much as comb his hair until he reads the new day's auguries. and. if I have to keep defining my terms.' `A doctor of what?' enquired Odysseus. and your posturing as Zeus was so absurd. I think you said?' Odysseus laughed.' .' `Def ine what you like  but remember the terms are mine not yours! And I shall be pati ent.. I mean. and you are not a Trojan.. `Oh.' `I did not posture. I ask again. do not lie to me. He is so god-fearing that he sees them everywhere  and trembles at 'em all.' said Steven. I'm glad you've revised your opinion.. I was content to have that fool. if you value your lives. who are you?' ` I think we'd better tell him.. But I a m not Achilles.. Doctor.10 The Doctor Draws a Graph `But I thought you'd already made up your mind who we are. So. dear me.' `He thrust the role upon you? This I can believe. And so. later. puzzled. I do not think Trojan wit could sink so low. after a surprised pause. this is obvio usly going to take some time. believe. No.. That muscle-bound body-building Narcissus fears his shadow in the sunsh ine. in that sa bre-toothed. Only this time.' said the Doctor. `Trojan spies. ceramic-shattering way of his. `A doctor now? Hippocrates a re you? Have a care. How da re you! I merely met Achilles.' `Well.

seizing on the vital point. a nd so really.. Interested in everything. `No. leaving Steven to wind things up: `. being something of an adventurer himself. and eventually grou nd to a somewhat stammering standstill. I think the Doctor realized this. no one has mentioned cutting throats!' `Of course they h aven't. or of getting away with their skins in the sort of condition they would wish. and erased it scornfully wi th his foot. and personally I wouldn't have bet much on thei r chances of being believed. quite by accident. `As it is. A difficult task. Just another miscalculation of the Doctor.. now. obviously. `Some form of . I think a margin of error of a ce ntury or so is quite understandable.So the Doctor began to explain about the TARDIS. he was.' `I wouldn't call it a miscalculation. I haven't quite decided. and only brig htened up when they came to the stories about their previous adventures  which he naturally would. with all eternity to choose from.' continued Odysseus.' He scowled. Nevertheless a longs hip isn't a TARDIS by any means. here. I'd never heard of them myself . never mind Einstein? Of course. `Now. my b oy! In fact. we arrived in your time. Odysseus. Odysseus however seemed to be labouring somewhere between incredulity and incomprehension. up till then.' said the Doctor. No. however. I think I've done rather well to get us to Earth at all!' `I'm glad you're so pleased with yourself! I suppose I should be grateful for being about to have my throat cut?' Odysseus turned from a spac e-time graph which the Doctor had drawn in the sand. ' If the Doctor had a fault. it was that he never knew when to leave well alone. but I must say I found the whole concept fascinating. reassuringly. be cause how do you describe a timemachine to a man who has never even heardof Eucl id. `I had some-thing rather more painful in mind  painful and lingerin g for the both of you.

' `Well.' `Well. you see. is why I am tempted to b elieve you. relieved. Therefore. I propose to release you. I think your story is probably true  ot herwise you could not have dared to tell it.' `So would I. I believe. Fascinating. some people have gone so far as to call me an uncouth. barbarian pirate! They haven't lived long afterwards.' `Possibly it is. I have travelled far in my life upon what yo u would probably call deplorable adventures.' said the Doctor.' `Conditions. But not one of them has had the effrontery to strain my credulity as you have done. Odysseus. no  I make it a r ule never to meddle in the affairs of others!' `Then I would advise you to break it on this occasion. `I think that's very nice of you. indeed!' said the Doctor. perhaps. `it' s all quite true. Agamemnon. In fact.' The hero roused himself from his reverie. I really don't see why you shouldn't. that you use this almost supernatural power of yours to devise a scheme for the capture of Troy!' `But I'm afraid I can't do that! Oh.' said Steven. no doubt? That is quite customary. among primitive peop les. That. but the y've said it. And so. cert ain conditions. but I am  extremely primitive! I have none of the urban sophistication of my friend.ritual death. mark you. will you please be quiet? I'm afraid I don't share y our admirable scientific detachment! Listen. `Didn' t he? Oh. my friend didn't mean to imply that you were primitive. pray are they ?' `Why.' gulped Steven. it is n't! You haven't heard what I have in mind for you yet. `And what. . no. And they have brought me into conta ct with a great many deplorable persons who have told me various outrageous stor ies of myths and monsters.' `Oh. And they were quite right.' `Doctor. There are.

Penelope. It seemed po intless to follow them for the moment. and booty they shall have! So I am going to give you forty -eight hours to think of something really ingenious. Steven asked. How would they cope with a time -machine. Odysseus sliced through their bonds with a backhand sweep of his cutlass..' As he said this . `That isn't long. My wife. Becaus e if you fail. until a better n otion occurred. So.. I should be very. and I woul d hate to be made to seem a fool. and then drove his two protesting prisoners back the way they had come.`Quite so. Besides.' Ever the realist. I thought I might call them. I wondered. I thought it was time for somebody to see what might be happening inside the city of Troy for a change. why  what a collaborator the Doctor would make. at least. So alrea dy I had half decided to sail for home. I mean. Al ready half a dozen ideas for new books were clamouring for attention in my reeli ng mind  science fiction. will never believe that it has lasted this long. . very angry. It would only upset you. I pro mised the boys booty. if tim e travel were really possible. without so much as a priceless Trojan goblet to show for it. I had learned quite enough astonishing ne w facts for one morning. `What happens if we fail?' `I shouldn't enquire if I were you.' `Two days?' calculated the Doctor.' `It should be enough if you a re as clever as you say you are. I shall have been foolish to have believed your story. I am getting more than a little tired of this interminable w ar. You see. gulping in his turn. I went to find out. and I wanted to digest the implications. but it does seem a pity to have wasted a ll this time.

Well. like his deceased elder brother. I have to admi t that an army is one thing and an inconspicuous. Prince Paris was pleased with himself no end  you cou ld tell that! He strutted about the little building like a peacock in full court ship display. all the same. Except that  my word!  the thing was as heavy as lead. quite a nother.11 Paris Draws the Line It wasn't as difficult to get into Troy as you might suppose. however modest. and with what I . the gates were barred and bolted behind us. I arrived outside the main gates  very impressive they wer e. just as Prince Paris and his men were man-handling the TARDIS through there. I was cheerfully accepted as a colleague by one and all. and that removed any doubts I might have had about the Doctor's story. I cal culated that they might be glad of some assistance. By no means a bully-boy. However to be fair. At all events. I must say  solid bronze by the look of them. Nothing to it. and wasn't as fagged out as the rest of us. in fact. then met the eye from outside  if you follow me? So we were all ext remely glad to set it down. and a cr owd of miscellaneous spectators were giving us a bit of a cheer. groaning and so forth that was going on. casually dressed poet. considering all th e heavy weather the Greeks were making of it. he could afford to. Quite obviously. And in no time. there we were in the main square. No one so much as raised an eyebrow. he hadn't been doing a lot of work. with brass ornamentations. so I rolled up my sleeves and lent a shoulder. there was far more of it inside. But an interesting looking man. Consider ing all the stertorous breathing.

at any rate. And as I cowered behi nd a giant pilaster with flowered finials. No. there!' Yes. He didn't look like a debauchee  far fr om it. that he thought he'd pulled off rather a coup. more like an unwilling conscript. as I had. but well-preserved and still formidable. In his mid-sixties. As it was. an d possibly just the thing to stiffen the sinews  if you hadn't been up all night. A fanfare of sorts. father. fluff et cetera out of them. or whatever it was  a great stone colu mn anyway.' . I should think. I took it to be. shortly after we'd just done so. I couldn't take it at that h our in the morning. outside what I took to be the palace. anyway  and I wondered if half t he stories one heard about him were true. we'd done that as well. The sort of man you wouldn't at all have minded having a drink with  except that it would have been a reasonable bet that he'd have left his money in his other uniform. and I scurried away to suitable cover. the most Godawful noise broke out. downwind of Agamemnon's tent. Intelligent. or knowing the reason why. prepared to make the best of things for the sake of family tradition. that was new. accustomed to getting his own way. `Sound the trumpets!' Well . `Halt!' he command ed. and added. another light sleeper emerged. knocked the moths.believe is called a sensitive face. So he thought for a moment. and all that. Anyway. `Cast off the ropes. while the surprised warrio rs fumbled about for the instruments. Paris pranced proudly forwards. like a war-horse saying `haha!' to the trumpets: `It's Paris. it was obvious at the moment. Nobody had thanked me for my help. returned from patrol. and after a short pause. `By the Great Horse of Asia is non e of us to rest? Who's there?' You could sense at once that he was a Trojan of t he old school. but you don't really expect that these days. `What is it now?' King Priam asked irritably.

`You are not putting that thing in my temple. `It 's a sort of shrine. yet? Have you killed Achilles?' `Ah. I'd have thought. furthermore. . `I sought Achilles. I flung my challenge at him. father. `And what. What is it?' Paris had been rather afr aid of that.' snarled a shrill voice from the opposite side of the square.' said Paris. standing on the steps of the temple in question. you go back and wait until he gets his cou rage up! Upon my soul. `What's that you've got ther e?' `A prize. and there was Paris 's sister. Cassandra. even to the Graecian lines. captured from the Greeks. boy? Have you avenged your brothe r. as it proved. and scratched his he ad. father. `You don't like it where it is?' `I do not. what sort of son?' He noticed the TARDIS for the first time. Hector. I hadn't thought of that. do you propose to do with this seeming shrine?' Paris tilted his helmet over one eye. But he did his best. why can't you do it quietly? What news.' `Captured. what sort of brother are you? And. Right in everybody's way! How ar e the chariots meant to get around it?' `Ah.' `Right ho! Then how about if we put it in the temple?' Not a bad s olution. but he skulked within his tent and feared to face me. may I ask. I must say. you say? I should th ink they were glad to see the back of it. but at this moment there was an interruption to the s teady flow of reasoned argument.' A likely story. and not at all good enough.`Well.' `Think a bout it now. He wasn't sure  and you couldn't blame him. it seems. `Well..

' h e said. really Cassandra. put me in mind of her brother Hector in drag. which was always considerable. offensively: `And why do you imagine they a llowed you to capture it?' This was going too far  even from a sister one has kno wn from infancy. it will proba bly prove to have all sorts of uses. don't you think?' `And what sort of use would you sugge st?' `Well.' `Now what on earth do you mean by that? The Greeks haven't got it anymo re. rudely. `Ah.. But.' `Nothing of the kind!' snapped Priam. do I? Once we've examined it thoroughly. Cassandra. we coul d. and leave it for the moment? As a sort of  well. if you like?' `A monument to what?' asked Cassandra. Go and bring Achilles' body.' `Yes.' She sneered. `No. `Allowed me to? Now. old thing.A bad woman to cross. have they? I have. perhaps. there you are. if you want to do something useful! Get bac k to the war!' `And take that thing with you. i f you can imagine such a thing. Father and I were rather hoping. there are limits. if you knew the weight of it! Can't I just move i t to the side of the square. I'm quite sure it will. Honestly. `Well. as far as Paris was concerned.' added Cassandra. bringing back blessed shrines that nobody wants. as a monument.. I don't know. to my initiative. and she had now reached them. It seems a pity not to make some use of it. I don't think you qu ite appreciate the sort of effort that went into ' . it's the first sizeable trophy we've captured since the war started. I say. look here. obviously glad to let him d own. `Don't drag me into it. Cassandra. not let ting the matter rest. After all. the point is. `Well. uses to the Greeks. as is well known . for instance. with as much veh emence as she could muster. Paris quailed before her.

' said Paris.. I hardly think you need to interpret that one! Reall y. we brought it into Troy. I don't frankly. And furthermore. gloomily. yes. Then in the n ight. where do you think? Out there on the plain.She ignored his local outburst.' `I thought as much! Don't you see.' sai d Priam. They're ge tting very careless these days. `Now. I suppose?' `Well as a matter of fact.' contributed Priam. `This has broken my dream! The auguries were bad toda y. not let ting up for an instant. C assandra?' `Thank you! I dreamed that on the plain the Greeks had left a gift. and fell upon us as we slept. for go odness sake. as though it had offended her in some way. yawning behind his chin-guard. have you taken a good look at this gift  as you call it? Go on.' `I think I' m beginning to. you were mea nt to bring it into Troy?' `No.' `Paris.' `Ah. `what was this dream of yours. Cassandra. a nd although what it was remained unclear. very well.. very we ll. don't you?' Cassandra struck a dramatic pose.' `Unguarded. `your sister is high priestess. I awoke full of foreboding!' `I never knew you when you didn't. `Yes  well.' `That's i t?' asked Paris. let her speak. from out its belly soldiers came. Paris was now thoroughly on the de fensive: `Now. tak e your time  examine it carefully  that's right. just how many soldiers do yo u think are lurking in it? A regiment. `Where did you find it?' she persevered. perhaps? I hate to . just what are you both getting at? Always have to try and spoil e verything for me. Now.

old thing. .' returned Priam.. Paris had one final go at saving his hardearned trophy. that's rather the trouble. Not a dent or a blemish. in front of the staff. `but why don't we open the thing and see?' `Well.' he added. the thing is mine  I found it! So leave it alone. inspecting his dam aged digit. `There d oes seem to be a sort of door  but it won't open. would you like to try?' She rejected the offer with dignity. servitors and scullions scurried about to fetch the necessary. `Stand back! I have a short way with locks. `It's locked from the inside!' An d she beat her breast.. Then.' While attendants. can't you?' But Priam's blood was really up now. in what must have been rather a painful way. and so admit an army! I t's exactly the sort of scheme Odysseus would think of!' `Then I hope I'm not be ing too practical for everybody. Paris swallowed a smug smile. nex t time? Cassandra. reasonably. Bring branches.' And he attacked the door of the TARDIS with ill-concealed malevolence. so m uch the greater gift. `The thing need not be opened. `Oh. however. fire and sacrificial oil! We will make of it an offering to the gods of Troy  and if there be someone within. `Perhaps you'll believe me. but you'd be lucky to prise even two small Spartans o ut of that. `Out of the way. `Now wait a moment all of you! Whatever it may be. He'd not on ly hurt his thumb on the door. he re sented being made a fool of. boy! The th ing must be destroyed before it harms us! Further. like an owl stuck in a chimney.' `What did I tell you?' shrie ked Cassandra.disappoint you. is it?' Priam seized Paris's sword.' said Paris. but like Odysseus and Agamemnon before him.' `Fools! Even one man could unbar the gates.

. wit h so much sacrificial oil splashing about the place. I thought. in a somewhat irresponsible manner. he prepared to set fire to the TARDIS.brandishing a burning branch.

if you notice. So I mingled with the mob. Quick Return From what I had heard the Doctor tell Odysseus. I mean `Funeral pyre. if it does harbour treachery. but. Pa ris tipped me the wink and gave me the thumbs up. out. people are so used to short. on the other hand. I said: `Wait! It's not for me to tell you how to run things. should we not pause to ascertain if such a gift would be acceptable to the gods? It may. but on the other hand. out. Or so Steven had told the Doctor. snappy slogans on these occasions. clearing my throat. be exactly what they've always wan ted. because it certainly held them for the moment. an d I raised it in quite a long speech too. I suspected that the machine was pretty well indestructible anyway. a young girl. and even Priam stopped in midignition to consider my remarks. at the last count. because. then might it not seem as if you're trying to shuffle it off on them? Because they'd hardly be likely to thank you for that. and raised my voice among the general hubbub.12 Small Prophet. would they? Just an idea  thought I'd mention it. So. I think. of course. in my experience. of course. on e of our time travellers was missing. but I managed fairly well. as Cassandra maintain s.' Not easy to say that sort of thing in a populist bellow. but before you actually initiate an ir reversible conflagration. nobody pays a blind bit of attention to them. if memory served  and naturally I didn't want her to be barbecued in her pr ime. out!' wo uld simply fail to grip. that. .

' `Don't be sill y  of course I'm not! I'm every bit as human as you are.`Yes. because she very sensibly took Cassandra's harangue as a cue to come amongst us. will you. hear m e.' Well. `Ah. who gallop with our destiny! If you would have us take this gift. for we ar e merely mortal. `Then who is she?' demanded Cassandra. I pray you. `O. `This is no Horse of Heav en. but could hardly refuse. pagan goddess of the Greeks. whoever s he was. you Horses of the Heavens. tha t you claim to know the future?' . She stepped out through the doors like a sylph fro m a sauna.' The effect was electric. must h ave been glued attentively to the scanners watching the preparations for her inc ineration with some concern. under the circ umstances.' She wasn't that pleased. `This is no Spartan soldier either. You are some puny. and inquired politely. Show us your will. Once more she struck that long-suffering attitude of hers.' `How comes it then.' he noticed approvingly. on top of everything else. as I had hoped. `How do you so? You are no Trojan goddess. I'm no one of any importance. `but I do kn ow a bit about the future. Paris beamed and would certainl y have twirled a moustache. if he'd had one about him. `You need my guidance? I shall be prepared to help in any way I can. Have a word with them. then let us see a sign.' said Vicki. of course it did  like anything! Except that Cassandra naturally felt that she should have a mono poly on that sort of thing. and bristled accordingly. if that's what interests you?' Well.' Priam observed . obviously prepared to object. and we need your guidance. decisively. Vicki. Cassandra? Better to be on the safe side. that is a point  we don't want a lot of offended gods to deal with.

' persisted Vicki. `That's right. like a trout o bserving a label on a may-fly.' `Why. Well. and get it over. child  I wish to question you. or any thing. skilled in augury!' `Yes. but I haven't.' `Then how dare you practice prophecy?' `Well. `Come here.' said Paris. He turned to Vicki. `Well. `Not as far as I know. yes  all those dreary entr ails.' Cautiously. `you know you're always going on about it yourself. yes. I mean. have I ?' said Vicki. tell me  and you a Greek?' .' Having already bristled. Cassandra. is notoriously u nsound!' Paris joined the bridling bristlers.' `Of course she isn't. I haven't done yet. Don't be coarse. Vicki left the shelter of the TARDIS. reasonably. Now then. `I wish I had .' Priam coughed. We know. and approac hed the king.' It was Vicki's turn to bristle or bridle. prepared to make an i ssue of it. perhaps this young lady's read the same ones?' `Are you a priestess?' demanded Cassandra. I've never even seen Agamemnon. Paris. you wouldn't like him at all. `What an idea! I'm nothing of the sort. `Your judgement of young women. `not at all yo ur type. flights of birds and so on. `You are some drab of Agamemnon's sent to spread diss ension. I don't care what anyone sa ys  she's as innocent as she's pretty!' `Then you'd better give her a golden appl e.' said Paris `I can tell.' `Oh. I never took any examinations.' said Priam making an obscure classical reference. She did both. before Vicki could answer. `I am a priestess. really.' said Paris.`Oh. Cassandra now brid led.

`That's an outlandish sort of name. `before she addle s all our wits! If she isn't a priestess. Why. I really don't think we can call you Vicki  far too difficult to remember. I tell you. she must die!' `I do wish you'd both be quiet for a moment. A Trojan t ype of name. No.`No. One of those frightfully quick ones. What about. `Vicki?' he repeated doubtfully. child.' she suggested spitefully.. `She's tr ying to confuse you.' sighed Priam. Kill the girl. and not a moment bef ore. Now. before you make a complete fool of yourself again. Cassandr a  you're not to harm her. So you see. She turned on him like a viper  if that's the snake I mean.' said Paris. isn't it?' `A heathen sort of name if you ask me!' contributed his bouncing daughter. Cassandra! Well.. you're half enchanted already. Get back to your Spartan adulteress. `I'm from the future. anyway  ` You purblind satyr.' said Vicki. `I don't think I quite foll ow. don't be absurd. then she's a sorceress.' This was a facer . even for the wise old autocrat. that won't arouse comment. `Nob ody did ask you. `Good girl! There  you see? Neither o f you has any idea how to handle children. tell me first of all  what is your name?' `Vicki.' `Of course. `Eh?' he inquired. `Now. I don't have to prophesy  bec ause.' `Oh. we must think of another one for you. as far as I'm concerned the future has already happened.' said Vicki. and deserves t o die! There are standing orders to that effect. you shall die when I say so. for the defence.' `That's very comforting. It only needs a little patience and u nderstanding. you don't.' said Vicki.' snapped Cassandra. going in to bat again. let me see  what about . you mustn't be frightened.

until we fit them. you claim to come from the future?' She nod ded modestly. I . for the sake of dramatic shape.Cressida? I had a cousin called Cressida once  on my father's side of the family. would you. but no  never mind! I digress again  and that's tactless of me. The y shape our lives. more than ever we are of what we imagine to be our destinies. and mould our personalities. Would that suit you. not absolutely everything.' `Thank you. We are only w hat our names tell us to be. after all. And why . Poetic licence.' Confound the girl! My b ook is essentially true  although to be fair. supposing his real name had been.' And from that instant she was lost forever. And I'm told a lot of that is on ly myth  nothing at all to do with what really happened. when Priam was still speaking. because. `Very well. then  Cressida it shall be. and made him an unclassifiable enigma. which was an advantage in his line of work. now?' She considered the question. as you will appreciate.. Always liked the sound of it.' `Quite so. and at last found her proper place in Time and History! For we are the prisoners of our names. It preserved his independence from Fate. and that is why they are so very important. `So. do you think?' `It's a very pretty name. I expect you know a good deal about this particular war we're having at the moment? Or you'd hardly be here. it's called  but then. I mean. There ar e lots of places and times I haven't been to yet.' s aid Vicki. I only know what I've read. I do embroider a bit here and there . the Doctor never revealed his own. incidentally. Cressida. then. . `Now then. I'm only quite young. `Well to be honest.' said Vicki. as I say . you know everything that's going to happen?' `Wel l. But on the other h and. presumably. `that's who I am.

not at all. the cunning old fox! `Look. very well. don't argue. by any chan ce. `Well. Do you follow? That's the whole point!' Pari s saw it at once. I shall be very seriously displeased. so I was as much in the dark as the rest of them. of course  your responsibilities. I just wouldn't want to stand in his way. Achilles should kill you. Well. all right. or you can't see the blood.' Paris agreed.' `As soon as that?' `Yes. And if. of course.' said Paris. goodbye.' `Not at all. `but I really don't see why Troilus shouldn't go? More his sort of thi ng. Cressida  come along into the palace. then Troilus will have two elder brothers to aveng e  and will fight the better for it. Paris  just get out there!' `Oh. as it were. Heaven help us all. I'm sure. I see.hadn't written it at the time. give me some sort of indication of what to ex pect. and didn't care for it. gloomily.' said the unhappy prince. that's all. `I haven't had anything to eat since ' Priam turned on him impatiently: `You get back to the front. that would be very nice.' `Oh. `only too pleas ed.' `Yes indeed. and you must shoul der  I use the word loosely. `Never mind.' And with a lack-lustre salute to whoever might be . Goodbye Cressida. and you can. we shall meet this evening. and in any case. I expect you could do with something to eat?' `Thank you  yes. a general outline of Greek strategy.' `Oh. If you haven't killed Achilles by n ightfall.' said Priam.' `Because you are now.' `Now. my eldest son. we have to knock off as soon as the light goes. All being well. Paris  and thank you for standin g up for me.

your true priestess! Or give me a sign. I thought my best plan would be to stroll gently ba ck . having thus inspired and invigorated his eldest. ever the optimist. And your protest will be entered in the official records. `Yes.. she can always say  I told you so! I remember once.' Vicki hesitated.. even if there were. so that. I suppose. as she stalked back into the temple. This way. I hoped no sort of sign. so you've nothing to worry abo ut. as reques ted. when Cassandra made up my mind for me. `Are you quite sure? I dont want to ups et anybody. he turned on his heel. on such a short acquaintance. because at that point. I pray you. yes. if thi ngs do go wrong. that s he is false  then will I strike the blow myself!' Well she certainly looked capab le of it. And. Cress ida  you and I must have a long talk. quite frankly. or some such. and for Vicki's sake. he and Vicki disappear ed into the palace  and I didn't think I should presume to follow them.' `She will bring us nothing but doom. `Hear me.interested.' But what he remembered we shall never know.' `Oh. and low-profiled back to the war. But it didn't seem as if there'd be a lot I could do abo ut it. you mustn't worry about Cassandra  she always takes the gloomie st possible view of things. `come along. death and disaster. It's a form of insurance. you gods of Troy!'  and why she should have thought they w ere deaf I don't know  `Strike with thy lightnings the fledgling upstart who seek s to usurp Cassandra. my dear. I was wondering what to do next. slashing about her with a snake-s kin whip. having had enough of Cassandra fo r one action-packed morning. I've got a feeling you're going to bring us luck. was in the offing. Cassandra  you have made your point.' remarked Cassa ndra.' said Priam. `Now then.

.to the Greek camp.. Who knows  I might even be able to scrounge a bite of breakfast. . and see how the Doctor was getting along with his war-plans.

and wandere d moodily along the beach. and heading for the Hesperides. no matter how many times he hears ill of himself.' said my informa nt.' So I trudged seawards. you kn ow. haphazard straggle of a cantonment!  where I ass umed he would have taken his prisoners. `You can usually find him there.13 War Games Compulsory I did. In fact . where I had a tentative concert engagement. I generally used to try and spend midsummer there when I could: cooler. I w as able to mingle at will amongst the lower ranks without exciting much curiosit y. arrange to get a couple of rather bristly wild boar chops at the Greek commissariat. in exchange for a tune or two on my lyre  did I ever mention that I used to play a bit? And thus fortified. set out to find Odysseus' quarte rs  not easy in that ill-planned. in fact. and very much nicer class of girl. and wo ndering if I wouldn't be better employed getting the hell out of Asia Minor. my steps we re beginning to drag a bit. aiming the occasional kick at a dead dog-fish. and eventually a hoplite of sorts suggested that I try down by the shore  appa rently Odysseus kept himself apart from the other heroes whenever possible  and h e pointed out where the Ithacan flotilla was drawn up on the sand. looking like so many stranded sea-monsters. . So. and I dare say that in another second or so I might well have given up the whole misguided project  when suddenly I heard my name men tioned. And that's something will always set a chap to eavesdropping. But being so obviously Greek myself. thinking on these things. `when he isn't busy insulting his allies. or putting the fear of god into th e rest of us with his crack-brained schemes.

or something.So I peeked over the prow of the nearest long-ship. why on earth should the Trojans drag it into the city? They'd be far more likely to burn it where it stood . `it couldn't possibly work i n practice.' argued Steven. if he didn't dream of doing it soon.' the Doctor was saying. And I couldn't wait to hear what that was! I soon learnt. however. all he had to do was what I told him. I was tempt ed to agree with him.' Well. in late r years. and fill the thing with soldiers. The whole idea was preposterous! `I don't see why. I could have told him that there and the n! That's one of the troubles with time-travel. supposing we did build a great wooden horse. One sees the dangers. and. of course: get it wrong. poring over a lot of papers. so tha t. It's obviously just something Homer thought up as a good dramatic de vice. you might very likely not get a chance to exist in it yourself. I'd never think it up at all. whatever happened. apparently. he always preferred to go forward rather than backwards in time. you see. and yes  there were the Docto r and Steven. and the whole future could b e altered. spread out all over the  what do you call 'em?  thwarts . and then get on with it. he couldn't wipe himself clean off the slate by accident! But the trick is: don't play the giddy-goat  just apply to the history books for instructions. The Doctor was always s o anxious not to alter the course of history by meddling. `No my boy. brows wrinkled and so on. And if you alter the future too much. I must say. if you follow me? I suppose that's why. And since. that he sometimes didn 't realize history couldn't happen if he didn't give it a helping hand now and t hen. and what lo oked like machinedrawings. `Well. I'd have written o ne myself before too long. I would never dream of doing it myself.

' `That's very presumptious of you. `because. And that being the case.' acknowledged Odysseus. that i f and when we . nothing to bring about the fall of Troy. `after Odysseus g ot through with us! I'm afraid you're right. I suppos e he'd been down in the bilges. in point of fact.' admitted the Doctor. yo u'd better hurry up and think of something else. `Vicki? What's that? And why should I spare it ?' `Oh. Doctor. `Perhaps not  but I really do n't see what you can expect me to do about it? You don't imagine. and.' `I hope so.' ` It's simply this: if I'm to help you sack the city.' said the Doctor. `Ha ven't you thought of anything yet?' `Nothing of any particular value. But I have thoug ht of some conditions of my own.' I was glad he'd remembered her at last. And if they have taken the TARDIS into Troy. climb ing out of a sort of hatch-way. then she's probably still inside it. then you must promise that V icki will be spared. But you may as well tell me what they are. and pay attention!' said Steven  rather unwise ly I thought.' `We can't be sure of that. remember!' `Forty-two now. caulking  or whatever it is you do in bilges.' Steven pointed out. I was beginning to wonder. especially us. for her sake.' said Odysseus pleasantly. `at least. it's your time you're wasting  not mine. and swatting a wasp with a paint-brush. they'd assume she was on e of our spies. in that case. I must say. I'd say she's probably past worrying about by now. after a pause. and a pretty lot of fools we should all look then! Especially the soldiers!' he added. I really don't see how you're going to enforce them. I suppose. Odysseus looked puzzled. if she left it. `No. do pull yourself together. `I told you about Vicki only this morning. do you. After all. We've only got forty-eight hour s.

I'm not sure what they're doing with their prisoners of war at the moment.' For a mo ment I was afraid Odysseus was going to laugh again.' . After all.enter Troy. `You must tell me about them sometime. It may be ju st imprisonment. I imagine. An unpredicatabl e lot. as w e did. Depends on how they feel at the time. `You really are anxious to die. `it's quite simple. Dam' barnacles g et in everywhere.' he explained. At the moment I happen to be rather busy. to the life! `I hope you don't think it's as easy to get into Troy as you suggest? If it were. it may be hanging in chains for the vultures.' Odysseus rubbed his chin with the paint-brush  fortunately without noticing. and the war would be over by now. as you said. a trifle subdued.' `Oh. `List en a moment.. Bluebeard. aren't you? They'd take you for a spy. to the subject under discussion. the Trojans. preparing to descend to his bilges again. I'm no use to you here.' `Then. I shall have time to ask every young woman I see if she's a friend o f yours. `Hmm. He regarded it with astonishment  and t hen returned. On the other hand. You can't afford to let you rself be taken prisoner  I can!' Odysseus looked as near to pitying as he ever wo uld. and he spat out a gob of paint instead. But wiser tonsils prevailed . inhaling a certain amount of paint. I'd have done it myself years ago. I should be a prisoner of war. the biga mous pirate.' `Not if I were wearing uniform.' `I'm not proposing to break in  there are other ways. The Doctor can manage very well without me.' said S teven. and try to get her out before you attack. before I cut her throat? It just wouldn't be practical. `let me go now. are there indeed?' He yawned..' Steven persevered.

. so. So off Steven popped  and Odysseus tu rned to the Doctor: `Well. What about a uniform ?' `Can't help you there.`I'm prepared to take the risk.' `Thank you. Tell me  have you thought of tunnelling? ' `It's been tried. Wait a minute last week my friend Diomede died of his w ounds on board  and they don't know he's dead  so you can take his identity as wel l as his armour. I thought.' . under the circumstances.. you don't seem to be of any particular use here. if you're prepared to let me go. `after that. I'm afraid  you'd look ridiculous in one of mine. `You know. `I can't say I have. And.' `Dear me! I wonder  have you considered flying machines?' Oydsseu s raised an eyebrow. You'll find his things up for'ard  and you're about his size. The men won't work the hours.' And he looked quite as if he meant it. O dysseus  I'll try to be worthy of them.. if you can manage to kill a couple of them before you let yourself be captured.!' `Then you'll help me?' `I don't see why not.' he said.' he admitted. Every little helps. what we want is something revolutionary. we sha ll all be very grateful. And. as with a winch.' You could tell Odysseus was impressed. `tell m e about them.' Tactful. A good lad. altog ether different fitting. No. now. that's really very brave of you. `I'm sur e you will be.. of course.' `All right  I'll do my best. off you go. I hope you're not going t o disappoint me?' `I sincerely hope not. I'm sure he wouldn't mind. because he said so. as you say. I should have been quite distressed to have put you to death myse lf.

we don't know what to expect until it hits us! Next time  if there is one  the Hesperides! . Zeus be thanked. after all. This is where the action's going to be. `Perhaps I'll give Hesperides a miss this year. it's sure to make good copy: The Fall of Troy  an eye-witness account from your man in Scamander!' Eye-witness? Well. the boar-chops were beginning to lie rather heavy  so I pa dded stealthily out of earshot and made a cautious way back to the plain.' For. `It's time for my siesta. where there was a shady tree of which I had pleasant memories. I remember thinking. Just before I went to s leep. however eventually! And when it ha ppens.`Flying machines. indeed! Enough of his nonsense!' I thought. in fact.

he put his finger on the flaw in Steven's suggestion. if you remember?  seeks revenge!' There was. and draw thy sword!' And. out of the bushes stepp ed Steven. But . you jackal! Paris. so help me. Turn. the lion of Troy  and brother of Hector. not even an echo from the rampar ts. shall we say? Which. `but then you are not Achilles. and welcome. no reply. `Come out and fig ht. which weren't entirely sure they'd heard correctly. tend t o be long and orotund. s eeking whom he might devour  as per definite paternal instructions. So he was alm ost bound to make at least some sort of vengeful gesture. and after a moment's thought enquired gently. he could have his people. But rallying swiftly.' he said. `Do you not dare to face me?' And sudd enly to the vast surprise of those present. are you?' . returned to save his p eople! Well. `I dare to face you.14 Single Combat You will hardly believe this. there was an answer. looking every inch the long-awaited folk-hero. He mopped his brow. `Ah. as far as Paris was concerne d  he wasn't going to stand in anyone's way. I had forgotten that the war-like Paris was patrolling the plain. when compared to the usually brief and bloody sequel. Paris. if he wanted his suppe r to be kept warm for him. of course. of course. w agging a fore-finger. that was quite obvious. but for the second time in twentyfour hours I was woken up by the sounds of battle  or by what I at first took to be the sounds of same  or by its vocal preliminaries. as we have seen. `Achilles!' he was calling quietly.

`friend of Odysseus. then.' co nceded Paris. they should have let Menelaus and me settle it by the toss of a coin. I assure you.. come to that. but Steven tapped him on the shoulder. be roused.' said Steven. and you a Trojan! Is that not quarrel enough?' `Well. and now I'm sure of it. as if he'd read somewhere that slow motion indicated menace. and took the way out so kindly offered. Diomede!' Not wha t Steven wanted at all. `You are no gentleman.' he added.' `Which I now propose to resolve. `I am a Greek. I do not seek your blood  I seek Achilles!' He turned to continue the sear ch.' This was becoming far more difficult than Steven had anticipated. perhaps.. are you aware you're speaking of one of your commanding officers? And o ne of my oldest friends.. for the moment. letting the style slip a little. But Paris took the question as be ing rhetorical  and never mind the insult: `I.. I say!' To my astonishment.. `And must Achilles. Never mind  it worked: Paris stiffened indignantly.. gracefully. Neither is Menelaus. adulterer?' I must say he'd hit off the s tyle to the very last alpha and delta  most impressive! You'd have thought he'd b een talking like that ever since drama school. to establish his cr edentials. in a general way. `Draw thy swor d. Paris began to do just that  although. to undertake the death of such as you. Besides. `Now be very careful! You're taking everything far too seriously. Paris! I've never thought so.. `but personally I think this whole thing has been carr ied a great deal too far. I have no quarrel with you. neatly.`I am Diomede. er. He resorted to out-dated patriotism. like gentlemen. Paris smiled with relief. He tried again. I'm prepared to let that p ass. `Di omede.' parried Steven.' he added.. . I mean. come to that? The Helen business was just a misundersta nding.

. and managed to dodge the first astonishing assault: but obviously you can't keep that sort of thing up for ever. after all. what do they say ?' `That rather would they face Prince Hector  aye. A chap can only take so much. `Why.`Very well. clarifying the position. of course. Paris looked angry. and Troilus. Fortunately for Steven he was quick on his feet. I should have listene d to my friends. and  as Paris moved in triumphantly for the death blow.' . `I beg yo ur pardon?' he enquired.. yes. too  than mighty Paris. `but little did I know when I challenged you. interested. fell on one knee. that you were indeed the very lion of Troy! I am not worthy to be slain by you.' he contrived to growl. pretended to trip..' admi tted Steven. as a rule I would. `I yield  I am your prisoner!' added Steven. now. You are said to be unconquerable. `I'm afraid you've gone very much too far!' And sudd enly he was no longer the fool and coward he had looked and sounded. if you haven't the remotest idea how to use a sword yourself. but a remar kably efficient swordsman.. `Now there.' he said. out for the kill. Surely you wou ld rather die than be captured?' `Well. `but you'll be sorry for this. bec ause for the first time. `Oh. said `I yield!' Paris was completely disconcerted. I would not trust you to keep a promise!' There w as no stopping the boy: but I thought he might perhaps have overdone it now. So he did the only thing possible under the circums tances. but. Trojan. look here  that simply is not done.' `Really?' enquired Paris. I promise you !' `That is a comfort.

I wasn't going to miss a moment of this for anything.' Paris glowed. obviously. On your feet..`Well. .. of cour se. Achilles! For today. I could tell them tales about your valour which would make even grey-haired Priam blanch to hear them. has other business.' Well.. you really do astonish me! They don't say that in Troy. I hardly think I can oblige him at the moment. could you really ?' `Aye  and will do! I pray Achilles may not meet you. I hoped.. like a fool. back to the dear old impregnable fortress. Diomede! If th at's your name? Now will I drive you like a Graecian cur into the city! Farewell .. looking round apprehensively. Even now he prowls the pl ains  and what would happen to our cause. if he were vanquished?' `Yes..' `Then they mus t learn to! Oh. so off I trotted after them. no doubt.. I take yo ur point. Prince of Troy. Paris. but not just now. `I say.. can I? There will come a day of r eckoning.... `But if I have a prisoner. just in time fo r a late tea.' said Paris.

into the bargain. Obviously he loathed the war. I'd played `friendly voice in crowd' only that morning  and stopped his valued t rophy getting scorched. that you need to . the trouble was that he was an intellectual  which me ans. I ask? I suppose when you come right down to it. if th ere were really no alternative. and yours truly bringing up the rear. So when he noticed me floundering afte r them through the common asphodel and other drought-resistant flora. being a martyr to that sort of thing himse lf. and he quite understood. So we entered the city in close formation: Paris at point. I take it. I must say: because apparentl y Steven was the only prisoner he'd ever captured  and naturally he wanted to mak e the most of it. I declined the honour. as a reward. But for all that. pleading a sli pped discus. as was only fitting. on that account. Which was pretty often. Commander'. head bowed in shame. then. He just didn't fancy getting killed for no good reason. the very picture of loyal retainer  and murmuring. when I caught up. but one you couldn't help liking. and everything about it . `Remember you are m ortal. he seemed quite pleased: called a halt and waited for me.15 Speech! Speech! Paris must have been getting used to seeing me about the place by now  after all. so it was easy to underestimate him. whenever the conqueror looked like overdoing the clasped hand s above the head business. Paris. like Hector had been  and where's the harm in that. offered to let me carry the prisoner. A strange man. chin in air. I didn't blame him in the least. Stev en centre. he'd j ust proved that he could use a sword as devastatingly as the best of them.

Diomede. A couple of trumpeters stopped lark ing about with their dice. and as soon as he saw he'd got as much of their attention as was ever likely. After a brief discussion amongst themselves. Alone among the Greeks. So then. Paris climbed on top of the TARDIS  which was still. it did him no good. Flags were waved in a desultory manner. where he'd left it  and made a short spee ch. you wil l notice . `Well. `My friends.know the reason for everything. as you so rightly see. makes his action all the more commendable. and a startled cheer or two rang out. deservedly popular hero. as he must have known from th e outset how it would turn out! He had heard of my reputation. let's hear it for Diomede!' After the very briefest respectful silence. but nevertheless. considerin g no one had had any time to prepare for it. and got fell in behind. before not doing it. it was quite a decent little triumph. whereupon we were treated to a selection of gems from `T he Fair Maid of Troy'  and that soon brought the crowds out. today I have met one honourable exception: my prisoner. Anyway. they decided o n a suitable programme. `nobody can d eny that total war is an unpleasant pursuit  especially when fought under the pre sent conditions. and it probably explains why we got on so well  because I'm one myself in a quiet way. which was pushing it a bit. the re doubtable and hitherto undefeated. a s the expression is. thank Zeus. a s you may have noticed. and that. Well.' he began. h e proceeded. A strong man. as soon as they noticed us. I thought. he did not flinch from what he considered to be his duty. in my o pinion. even the best of mili tary families is likely to throw up one of those every generation or so. against enemies who refuse to come out and be defeated like gen tlemen! `However. he has dared to face me on the field of battle in single combat.

`So. let me remind you that we fight for the honour of the House of Priam. at some time or other ? `Thank you for your loyal attention. my well-known father. in conclusion. he slid painfu lly off the TARDIS. who really ought to be given more of a chance  then the war can be brought to a swift and victorious end. No  public life will never be for me. . Troilus. my friends  and may the Great Horse of Asi a be over you always!' At least that's what I think he said: and then sensing wi th his orator's instinct that he'd just about covered everything. beneath a lo yal hail of well-meant vegetable offerings. an d lastly. we fight for the honour of Troy itself. to face my brother. and as worthy an opponent as I am likely to find in a coon's age! `And so I say this: it's a start! If only some of his companions are emboldened by his example to face me  or perhaps. rather. and Steven and I followed him in to the palace. we fight for the honour of Helen  as who has not.

I was actually there. so just get that Babylonian column back on your shoulders. can't you? `We are going to found a city. the building had been impressive. you can just imagine it. inside. and beyond! Even from the outside. you know  one gets so used to the idea that we Greeks were the ones who rocked the cradle of civilization.16 The Trojans at Home I will say this for the Trojans: they did themselves uncommonly well when it cam e to the basic luxuries of life! It's odd. of course  and long may it remain there  but then. and all the rest of it. it took your breath away  and a greater contrast to Agamemnon's tent could scarcely be imagined. the splendid sanitary arrangements  th e lot! The architecture of the palace. of course. whereas Troy was built on oilbearing shale. and I saw the whole thing: the cantil evered aqueducts. if nothing else! I m ean. That took yo ur breath away for quite different reasons. that it comes as something of a shock to realize that the Trojans w ere way ahead of us when it came to gracious living. but I tell you . we're sitting on top of the stuff. because we wrote most of 'em ourselves. and look pleasant !' Otherwise . So presumably Priam's ancestors must have hauled it with them from whereve r they came from in the first place  which shows confidence. I tell y ou. which is no use to any body. before the deluge. was like nothing else I'd s een this side of Babylon  and I've been to most places. Marble featured prominently  and wher e they'd got it from I can't imagine! We Athenians have some in and around the A cropolis. the under-floor heating. for instance. You won't find that in the history books.

we can't take every thing!' Anyway. of course  but anyw ay. although I don't see it myself. happy. and meant that they had to win in the end. festooned here and there with silks and tapestries showing Hercules and people about their vainglorious business  and pictures of horses ev erywhere. and abs olutely the god Apollo to the life. he see med to be completely unaware of it  just a pleasant. at le ast young Troilus was unmistakeable  only about Vicki's age. And the nice thing was... who zip about Olympus. for once. `For god's sake. Anyway. woman. you know. all-Trojan boy. wi th promise of being every bit as much a force to be reckoned with as his .mutter and grumble. well-off and privileged family  which is decadent and reactionary. I'm told. but I couldn't place him. While the Greeks were a qu arrelsome bunch of unscrupulous riff-raff without two morals to rub together  whi ch is progressive. all the way to the coast  with the Queen Mother saying she'd liked everything better where it was. and he must have been about somewhere. I suppose: the Trojans were just one big. with details of their track records and pedigrees worked in gold threa d on a giant ivory stud-book. Most of the princes I didn't know. if you remember  which she must have brought with her from Sparta. unspoilt. I would say. Tha t was the trouble. with Paris teetering on the ladder with the luggage. Or possibly Hermes? One of those devilish go od-looking ones. There was even a picture of Helen's father  a swan. but I'm not at all sure that Priam did either  there were so damn' many of them! Deiphobus I' d heard of. naturally. there it was now. because of the ine vitable tide of history. and very interesting it was to see them al l together. and saying. Probably snat ched it from her dressing table at the last minute. most of the Royal Household had assembled for refreshments in th e dining-hall by the time we arrived. All idle speculation.

that much was quite clear! `Well. There were only three ladies present: a nd one of them was Vicki  or Cressida. but a raving beauty. anyway. secure in the knowledge of her newly discove red devastating powers. the way things are!' This view was obviously not favoured by the second lady pre sent. that is. as I suppose I should call her now  and she was obviously enjoying herself no end. What an unpleasant woman. arguably better writers than I. who sat at her feet looking as if he didn't know his heart from te a-time  he was eating it out. Other  even. `it had to happen sometime  and the sooner the better. Cassandra. as if trying to remember the exact formula for turning young lovers into frogs. `What 's one adolescent princeling more or less?' Helen seemed to be thinking.' I suppose I should try to describe her  although it isn't easy. And I think I know the reason  or one of the reasons. good luck to them both. . My word  she had done well for herself since this morning . and looking absolutely radiant. `there' s bound to be plenty more along in a moment. a s princesses always do. at Priam's right hand  dressed like a princess. She was sitting in the place of honour. and made a thoroughly inadequate mess of it. was toying absent-mindedly with a gemencrusted goblet. seething with illconcealed malice. have tr ied. anway. whom we have met before.' I thought. knowing as I did what the Doctor and Odysseus were co oking up for them beyond the city walls.brother Hector  if he managed to live long enough. And I wouldn't have b anked on that at the time. to be sure! But the third of the trio couldn't have cared less what was going on a s long as the rest of the men gave her their full and undivided attention. which at the moment she was turning full blast on poor y oung Troilus. and no mistake! A complete transformation! No longer the lovable young tom-boy space-urchin.

come to that. But for you. was the insoluble root of the whole stupid trouble. is that wha tever she looked like in fact. alone! Because I'll bet if you showe d that description of yours to someone else who'd seen or imagined her. thank yo u very much! And furthermore. quintessential feminine beauty  why should I do all the work?  an d that would be Helen  for you. was one of those women who are not only all things to all men. whatever they were. Do this now  as they say when they're trying to sell you something: write down your own ideal of abs olutely perfect. Still. it wou ld have been very tiring living with Helen. even her h air seemed to change colour while you were actually looking at her: and her figu re seemed to flow and mould itself from one sensuous shape to another. would be what you'd alw ays remember as long as you lived. I'd have died for her. and no mistake! Menelaus must have bee n mad to let her go. he'd pro ceed to describe someone quite different  his own ideal. Just one of those things. like an a moeba looking for a meal! It was quite uncanny. the image of what you thought she was would be wh at you'd been looking for all your life. what you wanted right now. I've never forgotten her. b ut who are different for each of those men  that's the point. plump and voluptuous. but Paris would have been mad not to have taken her. no doubt s he made the odd remark.. you see? Why. myself  and very nearly did. and I'm going on ei ghty  but damned if to this day I can tell you why. I don't remember. with everyone from milkman to tax-in spector trying . would you?'  but if so. and what you wanted right now. I don't recall her actually saying anything  but then. and th at of course. like `Pass the Oriental spices. with her looks. Oh.Helen. All I do know... or slim and athletic? Impossible to say. I don't know. well.. she didn't need to. No  a neat trick she had. to be honest. Was she tall or short. As to her voice. you see.

I can't! But enough of maudlin fa ntasy and vain regrets.to get her alone for a moment... I have a story to tell. . so perhaps I'm well out of it? But you can't help thinking  even now  can you? Well. and must get on with it. at any rate.

beca use she kept changing the subject. d'you see? Raids the Greeks supply lines with his cavalry. I couldn't help thinking. that girl! In fact. ignoring the gaffe.' said Priam. they do contrive to keep u s in a certain style. `my nephew. And he wasn't getting very far. when you're under seige?' `Well. you see. He's in charge of our mo bile force. Still a child in many ways. and all the others were looking at Helen. was affectionately contemplating her reflection in a bowl of soup .' As a grand inquisitor. in turn. he'd have been nowhere! All this w ould have been nuts and wine to Agamemnon.' she said. while Priam did his best to ply Cress ida with shrewd questions about the future. yes. you know.' he chuckled. nobody seemed to notice us much at first. The Greeks laugh at us for our horse-gods: but I sometimes think that if we'd kept all . `I didn't k now such a thing as cavalry existed yet. `do you manage to live like this. Cass andra was glaring at the pair of them.' she aske d. she was making most of the running. brings us a little something from time to time. `Oh. So for a while we hovered in the offing. No fool. as far as questi ons were concerned. `but in fact. They thin k it's barbarian bandits. Troilus. in spite of everything. who.' said Priam.17 Cassandra Claims a Kill In spite of Paris understandably wanting to make the big entrance. `we're all horsemen at heart. modestly. reaching for the lotus sauce with a tablespoon. `How on earth. Aeneas. was looking at his Cressida. ble ss my soul. helping herself to another slice of breast of peacock.

the smallest detail may be important!' `I suppose it may. by any chance?' `Well. but Cressida paused with a forkful of imported Herperidean asparagus half-way to her lips. a good horse will carry the day every time. `It's funny you should say that about horses. before you go looking for it. yes  but nothing of any importance. I'm afraid we've gone rather sof t in here. you're not eating anything.' The fork continued its interrupted journey. `What 's funny about a horse?' `Oh. Take my advice. you know. a long time ago.. `A story about this war. Cressida. young Cressida. There's nothing like security.' he said. what do you mean?' said Priam. `But you must h ave something. to be honest.' . I'm sure. one might have thought.. we'd have done far better. get yourself a horse. behind the walls.' acknowledge d Vicki. to sap the initiative  so think of that. No.. Aren't you hungry?' Troilus blush ed. just reminded me of a story I re ad. years ago. I'm relying on you to tell us every thing you know. Th e very last word in warfare. could well have exhausted the subject of horses.. before you eat yourself to  I mean.. It's just a silly legend. and Priam wa tched it with interest.our strength in cavalry. prepared to be offended. `and before you think of settling down.. `Troilus.. or you won't keep your strength up.' `What sort of silly legend? Now look here. Swept `em back into the sea where they belong. nothing really. `Funny? Why. and admitted to having rather lost his appetite just lately..' she refle cted. glaring at Troilus. A horse is a fine animal. a horse is! That's why a Trojan will do anything fo r a horse!' This. if you really do come from th e future.

' she persevered. he looked in vain for popular acclamation. `I'm sorry. `Oh. `When will you learn not to come burst ing in here when I'm busy?' The two faithful trumpeters took the hint.' she began.. scattering mud and blood everywhere! Get him out of here!' Pa ris took a deep breath. In fact. No one seemed in the least interested or impressed. Paris!' exclaimed Priam. not so many hours ago.. `it's just that the Greeks ' But at this moment Paris coughed. On such tr ivial circumstances rest the destinies of nations! `Father. .' he announced. I just t hought you might want to question him. a nd one of their very best.. especially as he's come all this way. It seemed to be the dawning of the age of the antihero. and squared. In fact. `Never mind Troilus and his anaemia! I want to hea r this legend about a horse. and sidled back where they came from. I like a good horse story. you mus t force yourself. his shoulders: `He is not in the least rotten  he is an officer. quite the contrary . Greater love et cet era. and perfectly clean. Step forward. `Confound you. offering him her plate. Cressida look ed reluctantly away from Troilus for one moment  and choked over an olive the nex t. approximately. `I've captured a Greek!' And like Achilles. in due course. father..' he explained unnecessar ily.What a ridiculous remark! The boy was a rippling mass of muscle! `Go on.. and stepped forward to take his share of delayed limelight.' `Well.. Diomede!' As Steven obeyed. But Priam interrupted. so I think you should speak to the man. so I may. well. paused in mid-fanfare. he's a hero. but  Gr eat Heavens  that isn't him is it? What in Hades do you want to bring him into th e banquetting hall for? Can't you see we're in the middle of dinner? Bringing in rotten prisoners.

what more proo f do you want that she's a spy? Kill her! Kill both of them! Kill! Kill! Kill!' Well. I sidled inconspicuously after the trumpeters. There didn't s eem to be anything further I could usefully do. superfluously. . Cassandra now took centre -stage. `You heard. as they say. I wanted to meet him anyway  and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. Priam recoiled  the picture of a king who's been put u pon. `What was that he called her?' he enquired icily. the picture of a prophetess who'd told everyone as much. `That was the name she called herself when w e found her! And she recognized him. too! And since he's a Greek.' he hissed t hrough the gritted teeth he kept at the corner of his mouth. that seemed to sum up the general feeling of the meeting.' she squeaked. `Please be quiet. to let the Doctor know what was going on. `What on earth are you doing here  dressed like that?' St even cast his eyes to heaven.`Steven. but I thought it might be a good idea at this point. of co urse: the damage was done. Vicki. did n't you?' she asked. and as Vicki ran idiotically to Steven for protection. instead of leaving things to Troilus and Paris to sort out. But too late.

I arrived. Oh. rather damp. as I say. and fling it over the side of th e boat.' said the Doctor. just as Odysseus had dropped in for a routine check on the Doctor's progress. I should think.18 The Ultimate Weapon I was getting to know my way back and forth across the plain rather well by now.. `You were asking me about flying machines. he had the gall to p roduce a paper dart from amongst the documents. and I must say. you had to keep fording that little river. but most fort unately. he didn't seem to have made much. without much confiden ce. discouragingly. as it seemed at the time. He produced an armful of drawings. for embattled heroes blaring iambics at each other.. `What did you say it was?' he enquired  with admirable self c ontrol. as far as I could see from my h iding place in a thicket of sea-holly.. I thought. and it. `I think this may interest you. Scamander wasn't a big plain as pla ins go  not your steppes of Asia by any means: and the only problem was. Odysseus noted the fact without enthusiasm. Neverth eless.' And to my horrified amazement. The Meander. After all. well. . Well?' rumbled Odysseus. it didn't take me too long to arrive back at Odysseus' ship. of course. I wa sn't  you were telling me about them. this is one of them..' repeated the Doctor. Anyway. I remember it was called. and spread them out on the hatch way in t he evening sun. it mea ndered to coin a phrase. which wandered about all over the place like a brook intoxicated. where it nosedived into a decomposing starfish. proudly. `W ell. the merest hour. I believe?' `No. and keeping a weather-eye open. `A flying machine.

you take up the slack in the middle. somewhat taken aback. it would be possible to bu ild a very much larger one. capable of carrying a man?' `And what earthly good w ould that do?' `Think..' The Doctor grew imp atient: `Nonsense. you twist the strips together  so. did you. `Ping!' he illustrated. d'you say? Sou nds like a rather vulgar barbarian oath to me. come to that!' `Oh. Telemachus. Next. I can't say I have. So did I. Yes. producing his fatuou s masterstroke. `Capital! If you're already familiar with the basic principles.' But the Doctor was nothing if not resilient. `Yes. my dear Odysseus: a whole fleet of them could carry a com pany of your men over the walls.. to me. and into Troy!' `Oh could they now? And how wou ld we get them into the air?' `Catapults!' said the Doctor. My son. Catapults. it makes it very much easier to explain. `Excellent. if you must know. And rather better ones.' `Go on  what do I do then. Odysseus! A catapult is.. I thoug ht you'd have heard of them.' he cried. Then you fasten the two ends securely. used to make th em to annoy his tutors. look here.' `No. you could easily make one out of strips of ox-hide. `I beg your pardon?' `Catapults.`It looks more like a parchment dart. indeed?' said the Doctor. and you stretch it like a bow string. I've made a drawing of one. Use it as a hammock?' . I must try it out on Agamemn on  Catapults to you. well.. First. That dart is merely the prototype of a very simple aerial conveyanc e!' `What are you talking about now?' `Don't you see. my lord! And very many of them! Yes.

`Well.`Nothing of the sort! You pour water over it. I should think . C. perhaps Agamemnon. what happens then. cheering up somewhat.. with a soldier clinging to its back  and it g lides.' `I wasn't thinking of Nestor!' `You weren't?' . here's one soldier who's doing nothing of the sort!' The Doct or looked caring and compassionate: he had every sympathy with human frailty.' `Like an arrow in a bow?' `Precisely! And then. Doctor. doesn't it? Thereby produc ing the most colossal tension between the two points here. then  if you're afraid?' `Now that might be quite an idea!' mused Odysseus. Fellows a fool! No  we'll have to think of someone else.. following a curvilinear trajectory. an d said so. eh?' `It begins to smell. No w. It also shrinks. now you place you r flying-machine at the point of maximum strain.' he said at length. for your in formation.' `I know  but he wouldn't s ee it that way. as Odysseus considered the matter `I see..' `Never mind that. `But no  he wouldn't go alo ng with it. tell me Odysseus. `Well. So.. you let go!' `Always as well to remember to do that!' `An d Eureka! It flies up into the air.. and into the very hear t of Troy! Nothing could be simpler!' A passing seagull made a harsh comment.. of course he could. and leave it to dry in the sun. Old Nestor would do admirably. for the moment. anyone would do: a child could operate it!' `Really? Or an old man?' `Oh yes.' `Well. over the wall.' `Whyever not? It would be a privilege.

that I propose to fire ou over the walls of Troy.`No. Then you can help them for a change. a very great deal! Yes. Yes. there's more?' `Oh. is there? Go on!' D i t y . I think that's a very g ood idea of yours  and it seems such a pity to waste it.' `No. The weight-volume ratio's all wrong. you are now expendable. by his ears which went puce. I don't know about that. What is t?' `The machine won't work!' `Are you sure?' `Positive. of course.' `Yes. That'll teach `e m!' `But I should be killed!' `You must do as you think best. B ut. look here  I seem o have made a mistake in my calculations. what do yo u mean?' `Well. you'll just have to fly without it. `I should be extremely honoured.' `Wait! I haven't failed you yet!' `You mean . if your machine won't work.. I've just had a far better idea!' `Nothing like the prospect of death to concentrate the mind.' `Good thing you thought of it in time.. after all the hard work you've put in. `Well. You deserve it. we'll just have to face it. I'm afraid: ma n was never meant to fly!' `Oh. But since you have failed me. surely the catapult will work all right. won't you?' `What. Tell me. I could tell. d o you see? Silly of me!' `Very. Doctor  how would you feel about being the first man to fly?' The octor's brain raced in ever-diminishing circles.' `I hop ed you might be.' he said. dear me  there's a problem. I mean.

I should think. and you leave it on the plain for the Trojans to capture! How ab out that?' `It would be one way of solving our food shortage. What on earth are you rambling on about now?' `I'm trying to tell you. `Is it a riddle?' `No. would sail away over the horizon. I suppose.' `Don't bother  I know perfectly well what a horse looks li ke.' `Good. then you fill it with your p icked warriors. Then that's the first half of the battle. having looked at the pl an from every angle. aren 't I? Listen  you make the body of the horse hollow. wouldn't it? Everyone of you not required for horse-co nstruction duty. no  of course not ! I mean. and sentenced the world to Greek civilization. I 'll do you a drawing.' `I can't wait for the sec ond.' said the Doctor triumphantly. Because that's what it would seem to have done. Look. about forty feet high. `W hat would you say to a horse?' he asked.The Doctor took a deep breath.' `And only come back once the horse is inside the gates?' . a huge wooden horse  Oh. `And ju st how would they expect it to do that?' asked Odysseus. Got any more ideas?' `I do wish you'd pay attention! Can't you see  they'll drag it into the city?' `It's my belief you're demented! Why on earth would they do a silly thing like that?' `Because. come down to save them!' There was a long pause. `they'll think it's t he Great Horse of Asia. `By frightening away the Greek army.

So there was o bviously going to be no chance of getting the Doctor alone for a moment. and occasionally giving one of those great diabolical laughs of his. they were bound to be in prison.`Precisely! Splendid! I knew you'd see it! Well. `Doctor. I wouldn't have tho ught.' `To quantify the project. `On the other hand. What we writers really nee d is absolutely water-tight copyright laws. that might be again st it.' I said. and gamble on the possibility of his not killing me b efore good faith could be established. he kept pacing the deck. but I don't suppose we'll ever get ' em. and  probably the bravest thing I've ever done  hopped buoyantly over t he gunnels to deliver my message. because. cautiously. of course. `you don't know me. no. waiting to be execut ed by the due process of law. how does it strike you?' asked the Doctor. `I must think it over..' murmured the Doctor. if he was going to get them out of it: certainly not long enough for him to build a damn' great wooden horse. beaming like Archi medes on a good day. `At least.' Well. we'll ask Ag amemnon over for a drink. give me half an hour to work out a few details. And if I can't find a flaw. I couldn't wait h alf an hour to tell the Doctor the bad news about Steven and Vicki. if they weren't already dead. excited as if he'd thought of it himself. The snag was that Odysseus showed no signs of being about to retire to his cabin to do his thinking. but I as sure you I'm a friend: and I have to tell you that Steven and Vicki have both . growling to himself. `If you prefer it. I therefore stepped confidently out of th e shadows. so there wouldn't be all that long for him to hang about congratulating himself. I don't think its ever been done before.' he admitted. judging by the sound effects: so I t hought I'd better risk it.' said Odysseus. in certain quarters. and put it to him.. But Ody sseus did seem to be in a good enough mood. Tell you what.

' he said. won't you?' And then. the theory being that if you don't give anyone else a chance to say anything. because there isn't a lot of time. really. I'm afraid. you see ? She's the one who wants them to die. considering I hadn't done a lot of this exhaust ed messenger gasping out the tidings business before. as being a touch to o melodramatic. `Sorry. you'll just have to learn to take a more one-sided view of things. .' Well. I had considered clutching one of them by the arm for support. but decided against it. I've often noticed that chaps d on't seem able to kill other chaps to their faces. No  I was relying on the element of surprise. you see. my little Cyclops. I thought that wrapped t he whole thing up rather neatly. possibly from you. I suppose it is. for various reasons which I won't bother you with now. it more or less worked? Because Odysseus didn't actually kill me: he p ut out my right eye with a marlin-spike. instead! And then he laughed  just to sh ow that everything was all right. And. I fainted. and I'm sure a word in the right quar ter. Lord Odysseus  would resolve the matter of their identity in no time. But something's got to be done  because it's that Cassandra. and sentenced to death by the Trojans. `my hand slipped. do you know. there's not a lot they can do about it till you've finished.been captured. A sort of convention. Mind you the Trojans don't seem to be at all bad chaps on the whole. do you? Well now. until they've told them that that's what they're going to do. So you like the Trojans.

why Odysseus didn't kill me I shall never know: but perha ps he thought he had. well. and other marine b ric-a-brac of a more or less noisome nature. `That's what you get for trying to do someone a good turn!' I thought. I was lying in the scuppers. I like to think that the Doctor m ade some sort of protest. some hours later. I was covered in fish-scales and crabs' legs. In fact. however ineffectual. a s I came to. where Odysseus had o bviously kicked me. I can understand that  now. that sort of wound can often be fatal  especiall y when delivered without proper surgical care. But there wa sn't a lot he could actually do. and no doubt he did. Because one of the traditions o f war is that you have to believe the enemy are fiends incarnate. I can afford to take a rather les s jaundiced view of the matter than I did at the time. And anyone who takes the opposite view is not only on their side. after the lapse of forty-odd years. without getting the chop himself. and was very sorry to find I ha dn't.. That's what it was like  so I'll trouble you to bear . Now. about the whole e pisode.. and I suppose I should mention in p assing that I was in the most excruciating pain I had ever known  or had believed was generally available outside the nethermost circle of Hades! No point in goi ng on about it: but I tell you. To add to my pleasure.19 A Council of War Of course. I suppose I must adm it that the whole thing was largely my own fault: I should never have said that I quite liked the Trojans! Simply asking for it. After all. Quite! Yes. But at the time I was. sour. but a bounder and a cad into the bargain. not wanting bleeding corpses cluttering up the deck. I wanted to die.

now you're beginning to get the point! They don't grow that big. not even that Great Horse of Asia the Trojans worship. `war will never be the same again!' `Show them the working-drawings.' said Agamemnon. I remember. a nd a selection of brooding evil-looking faces.' he said. The genial host was excited as a schoolboy. `Now. The Great Horse of Asia do esn't exist. if you think I'm being altogether too flippant. A very big horse. it's revolutionary. no one seemed very impr essed at the outset  and you couldn't blame them. come on  what sort of a horse?' Men elaus tried again: `A big horse?' `Precisely.' objected Menelaus. `isn't it?' `Well done. it was all a very long time ago. There! What do you make of that?' Understandably. That's why we're going to build one for them  as a sort of present!' `Go on. In any case. A horse at least forty feet high!' `But. Surprisingly. . a s I say. Menelaus was the first to venture a diagnosis. except where a lantern illuminated the Doctor's designing board. `they don't grow that big  do they? I mean.' `Ah. All very well for them. `It's a horse. Because Odysseus had obviously se nt out the formal invitations as arranged. and Agamemnon and Menelaus were now a mong those present. I thought  but somehow ominous. all t he same. M enelaus. his slow brain stirring in its sleep. A couple of death's head moths were fooling about in the lam plight. But to resume: it was dark by now.the fact in mind. `I tell you. patronisingly.' said Odysseus. Not that I go much on signs and portents as a rule  but you know what I mean. Zeu s be praised. D octor.' he wa s saying. and busy explaining the whole horrendous scheme to his dubious guests.

' `You'd better not be. rooting about in his beard. and hide out there in the plain. I prefer to keep my eye on you. after dark. or so they think. I've just thou ght of it. But can't I join you later? I'm afraid I should only be in the way. the rest of you take the fleet. `It is now. of cours e. `we come to the difficult bit. No. and naturally assume it's the Great Horse which has driven us away. And then the rest is up to the Trojans. `Why is there always a catch?' he grumbled. and you sail away!' Menelaus lit up a bit at that. of course.The Doctor took over the sparkling exposition: `We build it of wood. where something had com e to his attention. `Marvellous!' he said.' agreed Odysseus.' `I'm with you so far. yes.' he explained patiently. you sail back again.' Men elaus subsided. and the Doctor. As a covering force. `But I thought you said that the best warriors were going to be inside the horse?' objected Agamemnon. Because someone has to winkle Achilles out of hi s tent for long enough for him to take his Myrmidons. And then we fill it with a picked team of your best warriors.' The Doctor leaped like a gaffed salmon. What next?' `Why. Oh. that's all. `Now. And what's more we build it as quickly as possible. Doctor. `A first rate idea ! Oh. `No.. `I shall be there with m y Ithacans. `So they will be. and we buil d it hollow.. yes  I like it very much!' `And then. so as to rescue my friends. So they danc e . I'm afraid I've gone off it now!' But nobody cared what Menelaus thought. They see we've all gone home. before anyone could ask him why. `That wasn't part of the plan!' he objected. to rescue your friends?' `Yes.' said Odysseus. Don't you want to be on hand.

. and then they dr ag it into the city!' `Are you sure they do?' enquired Agamemnon. I dragged my bleeding remains over the bulwarks. `b ut I've given the matter some thought. . old war lord. my men will leave the horse and open them again.' `That is a calculated risk. letting the rest o f you in. you never know what those da mn' fellows are going to do. of course they will. cover it with garlands.around it like maniacs. I set out for Troy once more. sobbing and stumbling . Agamemnon.' sighed Odysseus. I should think. and. `Suppose they set fire to it? In my experience. would they?' `All right  but once they've got the horse inside. that is. slapping each other on the back. not unreasonab ly.. `Yes.' said the Doctor. if you follow me closely. and they'd hardly destroy one of their ow n gods.' he concluded triumphantly. the Trojans were wor king from the same script! But I'd heard enough to be going on with: and while t hey were all busy. dear. Well. rolling up the b attle plan. won't the y close the gates again?' `Oh. But during the night. and saying how clever they w ere. Nothing could be simpler. of course it couldn't: provided. won't they? Thus.

and. So I trudged ba ck across that damn' plain  keeping a wary look-out. o ne can cope with jackals  but one doesn't want lions. under a hibiscus bush. he was a decent enough ch ap at heart  I doubt if his sister would have done as much. helped me to clean up the mess. for t he beasts of the field. as I say. a nd in those days there were a good few of them about. I was carefu l. `Hello. you may think  but remember. As I say. Well. And just as well. with my remaining eye. nudging each other and chuckling in anticipation. or things of that nature. He was most sympathetic. as far as he could without proper facilities. probably made some cr ack about blind Fate. of course. I wasn't reasoning too clearly at that time: and the only thought in my throbbing head was that if Vicki and St even had to wait for the doctor to get his ridiculous horse built before they we re rescued. So. too  because I nearly trod on my old friend Paris. what was left of them might not be worth the effort. who was s ensibly taking a little time out from war. again. and were following along. What on earth' s that on your face?' I told him it was probably the remains of my eye  and expla ined as much of the circumstances as seemed advizable. or something equally tactless. I was wondering where you'd got to. because a jackal or so had picked up my blood-trail. ' he said. without mentioning the Do ctor.20 Paris Stands on Ceremony A silly thing to do. `so there you are. I wasn't going to tell him about the Trojan horse  not while it remained the only chance of get ting the Doctor's friends back  and as he babbled resentfully away about . But even so.

Nevertheless. `do you hear hi m?' . Apparently Steven and Vicki hadn't been killed outright.' she appealed. at which point I had held it tactful to withdraw my brooding presence from the proceedings. so that was enc ouraging for them.how he'd always wanted to be a shepherd. Now. before you give us all galloping religious mani a! I really cannot face another of your tedious tirades at the moment!' The chur ch's one foundation rocked on its heels. I managed to gather just what had happened after I left the royal apar tments. `Then get back to your temple. if we are to believe him. an d birds of ill-omen shouting the odds  and by Zeus. since Hector's death. `It pleases you to make frivolous observations? So be it. I am officer commanding all Trojan force s in the Middle East. of course. Cassan dra. but apparently nothing could stop Paris now . you will recall. But Paris. `How dare you? I am high-priestess of Troy!' Well. and how difficult his father could some times be. `Father. with the jackals yapping about us. Cassandra? G uards  put up your weapons! I am in command here!' `Of everything but your senses . she was.' she sneered. remember that what follows is the story as I had it from Paris. `Since when have you given orders to the military. stepped forward as angrily and boldly as a boa-constrictor about to be robbed o f its breakfast. and I will not tolerate interference from a fortune-teller of notorious unreliability!' That shook her. out there on the plain that night. had just launched one of her wellknown and popular diatrib es culminating in a death-wish. it seems. I wish I'd paid more attentio n to them!  so you mustn't be surprised if he comes out of it rather well.

I am not ashamed. `The prisoner? Yes. on the other hand. helpfully. rotating in her turn. that's it! One pathetic prisoner. rotating a finger in his ear. i f you would refrain from patronizing me in front of the prisoner!' Helen. possibly  but a lot of us have damn' silly first names. . There is none in all our ranks who coul d stand against the wrath of Paris. wasn't. `Yes. This went down like ipecacuanha after sago! The audience choked as one. `Want to tell them about our little spot of sabre-rattl ing. when he seeks revenge!' `You see?' Paris app ealed to the company at large.' Having got so far without being struck from the records. after all. And if you'll take the trouble to look in the Greek Ar my Lists. You could tell sh e was impressed. and he thinks he's Hercules. `And I would be obliged. I was defeated.' explained Ca ssandra. `Eh?' e nquired Priam. of cou rse. O lion of Troy!' he said humbly. of course . it's most refreshing. Paris went further. `Which none but you could have caught. already! Succes s has gone to his head!' `Before you start sneering at the prisoner. father. you'll discover he's quite a catch!' Flattered. I thought you might be surprised. This is Diomede! Steven Diomede. Diomede?' Steven delivered a modified digest of their late encounter. Priam.Priam smiled into his napkin: `Yes. `I am treated with more respect by the enemy than by my own family!' `Perhaps they don't know you as well as we do.' said Paris. `What was that?' demanded Cassandra . didn't say anything. but her looks spoke slender volumes. Perhaps there is a man lurking behind that flaccid facade. `We f ought. you'd bette r hear who he is. Steven decided to take a hand. but through ninety degrees.

Tell you what I'll do: I'll gi ve you a whole day to come up with something. Diomede. postponed. now's your cha nce to prove it: you must either give me information which will lead us to a spe edy victory  or. last year? You won the Pen tathlon. or just time-travelling.' said Vicki.' `I'll do what I can. if you are who you say you are.' `Just a knack!' said Vicki. how in Hades should I know? But since Cressida says she pops about in Time as her whimsy wafts her.' said Priam. knocking back a nectar in one. of course. Cressida?' `That's right. it was at the Olympic Games. It's entirely up to you. so it was. So. didn't you?' `So I did  I mean. we could use so me of it right now. dear sister. you can use your supernatural powers to turn t he tide of battle in our favour.' said Steven. and you told everybody's fortune.`On the other hand. And the first of them is that Cressida and D iomede have clearly met before: so how do you explain that?' `My dear old entrai l-watcher.' `I suppose t hat could be arranged  or. `and then we al l went on to Diana's Grove. haven't you. or tea-leaves. `and perhaps the time has come. I have. `Well. thank you. and revision will not be necessary. I should think she's met lots of people. `Quite so. What a night that was! All came true.' said Vicki. perhaps they know me rather better. Cressida. or whatever it is. rising to the occasion. if you prefer it. `but you must promise not to harm Diomede. too! Goodness knows how you did it. imperturbab ly.' said Paris. How about that?' . whether it's sorcery. Surely. afterwards. `of course. or palmi stry. I reme mber. reverting t o her main thesis. `Sorcery!' snarled Cassandra. to revise your opinions?' `I am perfectly familiar with my opinions. at any rate. modestly.

as one of them.' said Vicki. of course. unless Paris has any o bjections. And now. `I'm sure you'll f ind the dungeons quite comfortable. doubtfully. presumably. they still were. when I want to get away from things. reasonably. honour being satisfied.`Well I'll try.' So off they were taken to the du ngeons. And there. Diomede.' said Paris. I often spend a quiet hour or two d own there myself. I must say. Cressida  you're boun d to find them the perfect place for thinking. anyway. What happens i f I can't?' Cassandra knew the answer to that one. `You will be burnt. and a spy!' `Well. I think you should both be taken away!' `No. I think that's very fair. as a sorc eress. `we don't want to overdo things. a false prophet. `but it's not very long.' conceded Pri am. Yes. .

I couldn't help wishing I hadn't got myself involved in the first place. it seemed to m e. in rough country with lions.21 Dungeon Party Well. a one-eyed poet. because she hadn't warned them. You see. thank you! So either way the Doctor was for it. But if I didn't do anything. believe me! So it was all very difficult. Here I was. and I must say. so that if the Trojans decided to burn it  whoops ! And if they just decided to leave the thing where it was. but I can't say I liked the way things were shaping one little bit. once they realized they'd been tricked. so to speak  thus enabling her to warn Priam. or dance round it jeering. the t hought of Hesperides grew more attractive by the minute. as you wi ll appreciate. But it was too late for that now. it was nothing whatever to do with me. if you remember. think what that would do to the Doctor! He was going to be inside the inf ernal machine. no doubt. and I had every reason to know what he was like in th at mood! I wouldn't wish to be cooped up with him in a horse's stomach under tho se circumstances. I was pleased to know they were still alive. Zeus knows. of course. even if it were possi ble to get word through to Vicki that the Doctor's fortunes were riding on a hor se. would be to get their revenge on Vicki and St even. looking foolish. confound him! . then Odysseus was going to be extremely cross at the far cical failure of the plan. and do herself a bit of good th ereby. then the first thing the Trojans would do. Never let surface charm fool you  they were n't as decadent as all that. a bout  not to mention blood-crazed myth makers  and the only person at all likely t o help me was the ineffable Paris.

so I thought I'd bett er stick with him  at least until I saw my way clear to hopping over the horizon. But I've always found it a very good rule to be a b it cautious about handing out the label unless unavoidable  which is why. a s one always is. to this day. who hated the war as much as he did? Yes.' J ust what I wanted. do you? Because i f so. and being anxious to prove it. and get that wound properly seen to. Because. `Great Heavens. he laughed a good deal at that. And then a n erve-scraping thought struck me: `You don't mean by Cassandra. one of the Titans. so I went along with that. my little Cyclops. So. he had bandaged my face with some sort of soothing herbs he'd found.' he said. And what was he on about now? Oh.' Well. was what Odysseus had called me. my name? Yes. I'd really rather not: I'd sooner just decompose quietly where I am. `Oh. being rather below par at the time.Although why he should bother. that's very good. I think you'd better come b ack to Troy. my tiny Titan. I take the `conf ound him!' back.' . if it 's all the same to you. of course  a nd quite reasonable. I'm tol d.' I said. before you start to fester. But the only thought which came to me. of course. and been generally pleasant. `As you observe. `Cyclops. nobody is entirely convinced that Homer ever existed  so I tempor ized. under my own power. as they say. all right. shortly after the operation. that's it! She'll have you fixed up in no ti me. having had a classical education. I was unable to say: unless he thought he recogni zed a kindred spirit. `Cyclops. at all events. no! Wouldn't tr ust her to so much as put a snail on a wart! No  tell you what  that other young s orceress  what's her name?  Cressida.' Paris flinched in turn. really. the one-eyed  couldn' t be better! Well.

and didn't hear half of it. Paris had no difficulty in getting us down into the labyrinthine catac ombs below the city. and the very best of luck! We eventually found Steven and Vicki in a djacent cells with communicating grating. they wer e swapping a certain amount of vitriolic back-chat. as we arrived. bat-attracting torches. Tactless of them. Which was something of a relief  because it meant I needn't feel all that indebted to him: and to be going on with. they did seem rather surprised to see us. under the circumstances. . Not the place I'd have chosen for a convalescent home. with a comparativ ely high heart. about whose fault it was the y were so situated. showed only too clearly that several previous patients hadn't come out of it too well. Here and there we passed a guard. And then I realized that  of course!  Paris was supposed to be out and about on his Achilles blood-feud business  and t hat's why he was so ready to help me: anything at all to postpone the fatal enco unter! So I needn't flatter myself that he enjoyed my conversation or company al l that much. left to myself: our guttering. As officer co mmanding. although saluting in a friendly enough way . Pleased to meet them. without worrying about what was likely to happen to Par is if the Doctor's plan worked. through which. And I noticed that. who'd been given the crypt concession to serve him right for so mething or other. but fortunately P aris was preoccupied with trying to find the right key. no doubt. prepared to give Fate another of my helping hands. I had quite enough people to try and help out of a mess. Now they stood skeleta lly in their recesses. grinning at nothing particularly funny for the rest of et ernity: my friend's ancestors. No  he'd just have to take his chance with the re st of them.I couldn't believe my luck  or have agreed more! So off I went.

`I know quite well how to look after myself,' Vicki was saying, `there was no ne ed at all for you to come galloping to the rescue! Who do you think you are  the American cavalry?' I must say, I didn't quite follow that, myself. However, I ca n only report what I heard. `All right,' said Steven wearily. `As long as you're quite sure you've got the message.' `What message? What are you on about now?' `I just want you to realize that you've been given exactly one day to find a way of defeating the Greeks.' `I'm quite aware of that, thank you!' `Good. And I ho pe you're also aware that, twenty-four hours ago, the Doctor was given exactly t wo days to find a way of defeating the Trojans. Got that, have you?' `I'm not a complete fool!' `Good, again. Because in that case we can leave all the armies a nd generals and heroes out of the equation, can't we? All we have to remember is that you and the Doctor have got all of today to defeat each other! Happy about it, are you? Confident?' `Oh, Steven! No  I hadn't looked at it quite like that. Me having to beat the Doctor! Golly Moses!' `That's very quick of you, Cressida ,' said Paris, getting the door open at last. `Yes, I'm afraid you have to be th e doctor. I say, you really can read the future, can't you? Well done! Yes, I've brought you a patient,' and he ushered me into the cell. I'm afraid the poor fe llow's had his eye gouged out  so do what you can for him, will you?' Vicki went pale  because I'm sure I wasn't a sight calculated to amuse and entertain. `But I don't know anything about -' she was beginning, when I contrived to wink with m y remaining eye  not as easy as you might think  and the bright girl took the

hint. `I'll be glad to help if I can,' she said, and fainted. Very helpful. Well , we brought her round without too much trouble; and I was able to take her plac e on the improvised operating table  a sort of ornamental rack, I think it was. ` Good then,' said Paris, `I'll leave you to it. If you think he needs an anaesthe tic, you can dot him one with that old mace there.' I was rapidly going off him! `I'll pop in later, and see how you are. Chin up, Sunshine!' And off he toddled .

22 Hull Low, Young Lovers To her evident relief, I dissuaded Vicki from attempting any miracles of modern surgery: so she did a little rudimentary facemopping and brow-soothing; and, oh yes, she made me a rather sinister eye-patch out of something or other. And then I gave them the glad tidings about the wooden horse. It didn't cheer them up an y. `But when I suggested that to him yesterday,' said Steven  so he'd suggested i t now?  `the Doctor said it wouldn't work!' `Well, now he's been converted,' I sa id, `thinks it's the greatest idea since Prometheus invented external combustion ! Mind you,' I admitted, `that's only since he decided man wasn't meant to fly  o therwise we'd have been up to here by now in giant paper darts!' I explained abo ut that; and, for the first time, Vicki perked up a bit. `He's gone gaga  thats w hat it is!' she squeaked. If that's his form at the moment, Steven, I'm not so w orried about the competition. I'm bound to come up with something at least margi nally better than that, I should think.' `Such as?' he enquired, sourly. `Well, give me time  I'll get there.' `As long as you let me know when you have, so that I can work out a way of stopping you. Don't be fatuous, Vicki: if you win, then the Doctor's for the high jump!' `And if he wins, we are  yes, I keep forgetting . Oh dear, isn't it all complicated?' `Very,' he gloomed. There was a long silen ce, to which I contributed as heartily as anyone. I did wonder whether to cheer them up by telling them about Odysseus' plan for do-it-yourself

is there? But after a while there was an interruption  provided by youn g Troilus. `it's just someone who's lost an eye.. `I prefer not t o take you at all: but if I have to. I'd got quite enough to worry about.' . in a state of ill-concealed seething jealousy. Cressida  how many men do you want in your life?' She fle w at him  as well she might. would you? Oh no. it's all soppy love and kisses with you.. at the time.. it was another. Troilus asked who I was. what about this Diomede. it's as a silly little jealous boy. that's all! I suppose you w ouldn't understand about a thing like that. wi thout getting involved in a teenage tiff! Before getting down to the main busine ss of the day. and pillage  but decided against it. Diana's Grove. I didn't believe a word of that story about meeting him at the Olympic Ga mes. you great musclebound oaf? What do y ou mean. isn't it?' `As a matter of fact.loot. I pretended to be unconscious. then? I tell you here an d now. `Oh. I wasn't likely contender in `The most eligible bach elor' stakes. wher e for the last half-hour he'd been doing his impression of `The Thinker'  and. rape. if it wasn't one prince. with ta ntrums! It so happens that Diomede is a very dear friend of mine!' `A friend? An d is that all?' `All? I suppose you couldn't understand about friend-ship. pe rsonally. Steven tactfully removed himself from the grating.' explaine d Vicki.' `And you're helping him look for it. how many men?' `Well. Well. indeed! What do you take me for?' She froze. No point in piling what'sit on t hingummy. I suppose? Really. nobody of any importance. `I've been nursing him..

' And Troilus swivelled a pivotted stone slab. I suppose we all did: the opening was obvious enough. We do that a lot!' `I suppose you're going to say now. don't let me stop you.' `Stop preten ding! It's right under your nose. I won't!' And lots more to the same effect. `aren't you going to come in.. now it had been pointed o ut.`Well. `because I've got my swo rd. because father used to send us to play down here.' said Vicki. and I'm just longing for an excuse to use it!' . Diomede? I mean.' I sat up instantly. Just the thing for playing noughts and crosses on. I know about it. And so Steven crawled through the hatch. he goes from cell to cel l. your other friend's got his head on the block now. and joined the company  looking rather foolish. Saves a lot of trouble. and kills them while they're asleep. when we were boys. that's all!' `Convenient for what ?' `Friendship  so you say!' `Oh. `Well. you don't use the executioner' s hatch?' `The executioner's what? I don't think I know that game. Really! At a time like this! `He's in the next cell. `The wall's only about three feet thick. `It's the way the headsman comes in at night.. Well. Look. of course it is.' continued Troilus.' warned Troilus. you needn't bother!' `Very well then. If we get a lot of difficult prisoners who look as if they're going to make a fuss. `Only don't try to start anything. here. Not a pleasa nt thought. I suppose?' `And w hat if he is?' `It just seems very convenient. I'd hate to think I was in the way.

Stev en hastened to assure him that he deplored violence in any form  especially that one. everything's all right. `but sometimes you make it very difficult. there wouldn't be a lot left.' said Vicki. Troilus. between bites. are you? You're too young!' . `Patrol?' enquired Vicki.' He picked up a hamper he'd dum ped by the door.' My heart bled for the boy.' `She does.. He turned in the doorway . and all over nothing. `Oh. `Look. I'm sure I don't want to see you. `I'd noticed that. Diomede is just my friend.. Love isn't easy at the best of times  and this w asn't one of them. are n't you. I say. you ca n jolly well go back where you came from! I can't think what you're doing here. Troilus sneered. are you quite sure you don't want some of this? I've been to an awful lot of trouble to get it  and the others would be furious. and relented. don't you? Very well  in that cas e I'll just take your food back to the kitchens. Steven?' `I try to be. We hastened to compete. please.' said Steven Diomede.' And he fell upon the salamanders in aspic like a wolf unfolded. `I suppose that's why Paris was able to capture you? I tho ught you looked as if there was something lacking!' Vicki sprang to Steven's def ence: `Look here. if you've just dropped in to insult my friend. Our stomachs rumbled as one stomach. do you mind if I join you? I haven't eat en since I got back from patrol.You could tell he was: he kept easing the thing in and out of its scabbard. Troilus. anyway. At this rate. `I'm sorry if I was rude  b ut you were being so silly. We ll then. doesn't she?' agreed Troilus.' `Oh. `Surely you're not mixed up in th e fighting. if they k new.

' he sighed. have you?' Vicki shook her head. sadly.' he added. she might be tempt ed to blow the official secrets act wide open. those are. and pounced on it with a glad cry! Of course  th ere was a way in which Vicki could seem to have helped the Trojans. unnecessarily. Troilus. `I'm sorr y to interrupt. although young love might be all very well in its way. after some discussion. Love can sometimes play the devil with ol d loyalties. i t was time to return to the matter in hand. but since you two seem to have so much in common. `Anyway. . `I'm afraid not. So I persuaded my mind to race in some last despairing circles and  do you know? it found something. do you think there's any chance you might persuade your father to let us out of here?' That put a damper on the proceedings. I'll bet I'm older tha n you are?' It was agreed. an d I was afraid that under this new-found infatuation of hers. and all that. and tell Troilus what the Doctor was preparing for their entertainment. Steven and I looked at each other. and shrugged: youth! Youth! Quite nauseating! But at leng th Steven decided that. `I say. as most of us have good reason to know.' he said. They chattered away to each other like a couple of budgerigars who've been at the cuttle-fish a bit.`These days. that they were both eighteen n ext birthday: and the earth-shattering coincidence of this. military service begins as soon as you can wrestle your weight in w ild-cats! Which I can. as I could have told him it would. I sup pose you haven't thought of anything. A cloud passed rapidly across the young prince's face and settled in the region of his eye-brows. seemed to take their minds off everything else for the time being. Don't be misled by those twinkling eyes of hi s  they're ice-crystals. `unless Cressida comes up with a brilliant idea for the war-effort.

that?' she said. catching on rather late in the day. Tell you what. `Do you really think so? It was only an experiment. come to that.without putting the Doctor at risk. `I thought that plan of yours for persuading the whole Greek navy to sail away. so did Vicki and Steven. if it's going to work at all. But it should be dawn by now. a fter all. and I bet it'll have done the same to the Greeks by now!' `Oh. Cressida. `Wa it here.' I m used. Troilus  why d on't you scoot up to one of the watch-towers. which I had forgotten to pass on to them. I don't know. and I'd think there'd be s ome sign of movement. There was one vital little piece of informat ion. was quite brilliant!' `What plan?' lisped the idiot child. . `Oh.' `Well. `Well. of course it's only about an hour since you did it. damnit. they obviously thought my wound had produced new complication s of a dangerous nature. ridiculously. and see if the retreat's started y et? I'd be jolly interested to know!' He looked at me with his eyes popping like seed-pods in summer. you know far more about it than I do  I'm not entirely sure of the details  but I must say. And then Troilus darted off on his errand like Atalanta in a marathon  though remembering. that spell you concocted put the fear of Olympus into me. obviousl y. so it may be rather early to say.' he said. `I'll go and see!' And off he went. Not having my privi leged information. to lock the cell door behind him.

was responsible! Anyway. by the time we entered the State Apartments. and presumably Cressida. and little savo ury biscuits there would be  he could promise us that! Well.23 A Victory Celebration We didn't have to wait very long: he was back in no time. of course we would s o care  although there was some little local difficulty at first about whether Di omede was included in the invitation: I mean `bring a friend' is one thing. tumult. the whole thing! A bevy of dancing girls was high-stepping it about the ballroom. scattering rose petals all over the mosaic  never mind that someone would have to sweep them up afterwards. would we care to come upstairs to a hastily summoned conference-cum-s aturnalia that Priam was preparing for us? Wild revelry. Paris had gone to make cautiously sure. as the slogan writers were already saying. there wasn't a lot he could do to u ndermine Troy all on his own  so why not forget and forgive? And the point was ta ken  as usual I had to think of everything!  so. but `an enemy alien' quite another. a Greek defeat was joy for Troy. Yes  the Greeks had gone! Not a ship to be seen anywhere. as I pointed out. but there seemed to be no doubt about the matt er: and since. so presumably they'd sailed for home. since his former asso ciates and colleagues had left him lurching. However. we were all congratulating each other like old friends wondering who 's going to pay for the drinks! Very uproarious and convivial. the wonder-girl who tells your fortune . and halves the house-work. bubbling with euphoria . . speaks your weight.

. poor dear. then I'd rather you didn't infest the festivities at all! Now look  I don't want to be hard on you  why don't you dance with that nice Diomede  he's all on his own? Caper about a bit like th e rest of us  enjoy yourself for once  it'll do you good!' . However. and any fatted calves in the vicinity had better watch out. `Stuff and silly nonsense!' shouted Priam. if anybody's. if I wasn't very much mistaken.' croaked Cassandra. as if to say he'd always known the prodigal daughter would co me up trumps. And Cassandra. `Go and feed the sacred serpents. amid the general rejoicing. dithe ring with delight. father!' And she was right. of course. my dear girl. Although the treachery was mine. because it had probably just occurred to her.Helen was smouldering as usual. `because it's some kind of treachery! Don't trust her further. old King Priam was on top of his form. absolutely in midseason shape. . but rather thought-fully. that if Menelaus really had gone back to Sparta. I fancied. if the y knew what was good for them. He advanced to meet us. hadn't she? But never mi nd  she'd get her gloomy revenge before too long. then she could whistle for any alimony she might have been expecting.' he said. with trimmings of sack-cloth and ashes  because really she'd achieved the necro mancer's equivalent of forecasting hail in a heat-wave. had slipped into something more than usually grotesque for the occasion  an eye-catching little snake-skin number . `Cressida. `why on earth couldn't you have told us before you were going to do something like this? You'd have saved yourself all that time in the cells  and us a great deal of needless worry!' `She didn't tell you. or something! If you can't behave pleasantly at a time like this.

' I couldn't believe my ears! And I was about to explain to him that I didn't th ink. `Ah.. I like d that! I'd done all the constructive thinking. incredulously. say. not wishing to commit himself. when there. and even the hips of the dancing girls bumped and ground to a standstill. That should give us time to get over the celebrations. you are right! There wa s what is known as a rapt silence. `it looks like rather a good party. so he doesn't need to rescue us af ter all. I didn' t like to go right up to the actual camp-site. `You think it's what?' asked Priam. it's time you were on your way?' This puzzled me..' `Why on earth not? Upon my soul there's nothing to be nervous of now  Achilles will have disappeared with the res t of them! Go back at once. and. don't you think?' `You're not using your head. and just meet us at the TARDI S later.' he snapped. it was in the Doctor's gift to cancel the operation. nine -thirty tomorrow morning. . to contribute much to the party spirit. and retired to the outskirts of the proceedings in a marked manner. if so. Cyclops. and.' said Priam.' said Paris.. bu t I think it may be the Great Horse of Asia!' Not the sort of remark. so far! `You've got to go and te ll the Doctor that we're quite all right now. and have a proper look!' `Well the point is that the re does seem to be something there. Tell him to forget about that fool horse. I don't really know how to put this. happy to see him for once . my boy  have the Greeks really gone?' `As far as I could tell from a dis tance. He beckoned me over to him . she didn't seem much taken with the idea. and suggest we rendezvous there at. Tell him where it is. `Well. ` I wasn't thinking of going on anywhere just yet. somehow. `As a matter of fact.. you may th ink. `Don't you think.' I said.To Steven's wan relief. here comes Paris.wa s an interruption.

I tell you. Cassandra  I will not have one word said agains t that horse! It's mine  I found it!' `And I won't hear one word against Cressida . Yes. `Will you not. `Yes. Standing all by itself. as we've known it!' Paris looked at her wearily. brought upon us by the cursed witch!' Paris t urned on her: `Now understand me. that she was right  but he'd had enough. She'd done all she could  and somehow she knew. if it isn't. d'you see? `Then woe to the House of Priam! Woe to the Trojans! And woe to the world. as if washing her hands of the whole affair. .. you should be able to see it from here  it's eno rmous!' So the meeting adjourned to one of the watch-towers. you pair of degenerate simpletons?' Cassandra said. the Doctor's brain-child  or mine! And.`Well.' said Troilus. you besotted young fool! She knows very well what it is! It is our doom  it is the death of Troy.. dear... it's first cousin to it. you know.' she sighed. shoulder to shoulder against the world! Jolly impressive  if it hadn't been so tragic. Just a wooden horse. I must say. and somehow sinister. Cassandra zoomed in. ask her. my hackle s rose at the sight of it! Odd  very! Even Priam was speechless for once. on the instan t. `Oh. `She's mine  now that I've found her!' Two brothers. there it was a ll right. Look.' ` That's the what. it looked formidable  ominous. Vicki w as first off the mark: `So that's the Trojan Horse. but no  there was more to it than that. I think he may have known. even at that distan ce. did you say?' asked Troilus. after all. and the game was over. even then. just this s ide of the Graecian lines.

`at any rate.' he said.`Well. I'm glad you're too late to say "Whoa" to the hor se! I've given orders to have it brought into the city!' .

I put my best one forward. I'm not going in reach of Odysseus again. But why. will it.' I said. if you don't mind awfully. for you and Helen t ogether in a gift-wrapped package! I've got my own life to be getting on with. do you?' I could have spat in her face. u nless you can manage to stop the Doctor somehow? You'll be slaughtered with the rest of us.' put in Vicki. you can be sure of that. `If you won't do it for me. and thinking  damn it!  of Helen all the way. I've been trying to keep my attention on other m atters ever since I first saw her. think of Helen. sidling up to us like the girl of silk and sherbet she'd ju st discovered she was. Surely you don't w ant her to be killed. `No red-blooded man is going to kill Helen. as soon as I couldn't avoid being alone with him again for a moment. `nothing will induce me to go back to that foul Gre ek camp! Look what happened to me last time. did it have to be me all the time? I was sick and tired of doing all the work and getting preciou s little thanks for it. dear little Cyc lops. that won't take up much of your time in the future.' `I'd rather not. `So you'd better hurry up.24 Doctor in the Horse `Now once and for all. Steven.' said Steven heartlessly. of course. if I hadn't been f ond of her. There comes a time when a man has got to put his foot do wn. in Zeus's name. So eventually. or it will be t oo late!' I saw the point. But. in any case. I went back to meet my destiny! . t hank you!' `Well.' `But I know you like her. will you?' `Please.

which had been pressed into service as ribs. and that was the end of his function. th e whole thing! But there it stood. Even if I could have contrived to have a quick word with the Doctor. the pair of the m. when I got up close to it. and Odysseus and t he Doctor had just fleshed out an idea the gods had thought of anyway. That's all. in my experience. like Trojans on a job creation scheme.' as Vicki so kindly pointed out. I haven't the remotest idea. as if it were a thing of beauty. nostrils flaring and eyes  Zeus knows what the y were made of. . and not a horr ifying. They stood there now. looking up at their creation. But even if he had listened. with drinks on the house afterwards! And the Doctor had sh own him how to go about it. and sharp about it. Weird. I suppose. and. there's nothing anyone can do to stop it. and I don't want to  flashing in the sunset. and you could swear it was almost pawing the ground and panting to be off on its ordained trail to m ayhem and murder! And the last of Odysseus' men were just climbing into its sagg ing belly: so one thing was quite clear  I was too late! Though what I could have done  what Steven and Vicki could have expected me to do  even if I'd got there e arlier. that horse was really something! Those Gr eeks must have worked  well. `A man of no import ance. to get it rea dy in time! In fact. to be fair there was no earthly reason why he should. they must have cobbled it together out of old sh ips' timbers and drift-wood. I don't see how that could possibly have helped. thank you  only do try not to get in the way. and I could see a thigh-bone or two from the old sk ittle-alley. why should O dysseus have paid any attention to him? All Odysseus wanted was the sack of Troy . doom-laden juggernaut.I must say. He probably wouldn't have listened to me anyway . But somehow there was more to it than that  as if it had taken on a life of its own. Once Fate is really on its way with the cap tions rolling.

Oh. just consider those fetlocks: there's no safety margin at all!' Odysseus gave the offending pastern-joints a c ursory glance. and together they began the precarious asc ent. I tell you. you know. `there's a war-horse and a half for you! That's something like a secre t weapon! Better than halfa-dozen of your crack-brained flying-machines!' The Do ctor. it hasn't got to last forever. what's the matter? Don't you trust your own invention?' `It 's not that.' he said. You've made you r horse.' `I just wish you understood a few more of the basic principles of mechanics. It's just that the whole c ontraption looks so mechanically unsound. Doctor. As long as it holds together till we'r e inside Troy. personally I have no wish to be made into a laughing stock! In fact. I've had second thoughts about the whole t hing. I think we should cancel the operation while there's still time. and now you must ride in it. philosophically. `Look ou t. the idea's good enough. as ideas go. I wouldn't have fancied it. `Well. `Why. it can collapse into a mare's nest if it wants to. not another word.' answered Odysseus. We're not trying to build one of the wonders of the world. Get up that rope-ladder. Supposing we're still inside when it collapses? What then?' `Then we shall all look extremely si lly. . I'll find some other way of rescuing my friends. `Well. I mean. to do him justice. `I wish I shared your confide nce.' `Now. Suddenly the Doctor froze.' Odysseus was saying.`Well. confound you!' He prodded the Doctor with his cutlass. as he picked the splinters out of his gnarl ed hands. was rather more doubtful.' he said.

and the trap-door closed after them. You were quite right. after all.' I wasn't surprised  they were spinning like spiders in a sa nd-storm. It's don e  and that's all there is to it. that blood-stained evening. the thought crossed my mind that now was t he time to say. `Stop it. But I shall always rememb er how he looked miserably back over his shoulder. what woul d have happened to Greek civilization. And no more could I.' `Well. as that compan y of decent Trojan soldiers marched into the clearing. Although. I think he knew even then. I wonder? Impossible to say. `And as to what's the matter. I should hope you did. you see. perhaps not. And that was the last I saw of the Doctor for quite some time. all h is well-meaning ingenuity had landed him up on the wrong side. I don't know.`Oh. For a fleeting moment. And the Doctor couldn't have changed things. what's the matter now? By Zeus. Doctor  here they come now. . i sn't it? A pretty lot of fools we'd look. I thought I saw a movement out there on the plain. and try to get some sleep!' `I never felt less li ke sleep in my life. you fools! Beware the Greeks bearing gifts!' or words to that effect. that for once in eternity. and all that came later? Would they have been able to produce anything to equal it. I suggest you try coun ting Trojans. So hurry up  and if you find you really can't sleep. you're making me as nervous as a Bacchante at her first orgy! Get inside. ev en if he'd wanted to. if no one took a blind bit of notice o f us. and took their first awes truck look at Paris's hellish trophy. s o long ago.' They scambled up the last few rungs of the ladder. Because if the Trojans had won the war. That's the whole point of the thing.

But what would have happened then? First, they'd have destroyed the horse, with the Doctor inside it. And then they'd have gone back home to tell Cassandra she' d been right all the time, before putting Vicki and Steven to death for being in volved in the treachery. And I couldn't be a party to all that, could I? So I le t the moment go. There'd been quite enough meddling already. Now I must just let History take its course. And the best I could hope for was to get a good view o f it. And considering what was still to happen, that was ironic, if you like.

25 A Little Touch of Hubris But as the Trojans began to drag their great, unwieldy prize out of the mud, I r ealized it was certainly going to take them quite a long time to reach base, to put it mildly  even if it didn't collapse on the way, as seemed likely. And so af ter all there was just one more thing I could do  I could warn Steven and Vicki t o get the TARDIS warmed up while there was still time. So that if and when the D octor was able to join them, they could zip to infinity without hanging about cr anking the starting-handle; or whatever it was they had to do, to get the thing mobile. I hadn't the remotest idea how it worked, of course  and, what's more, I don't believe they were entirely clear about it, either! Or they wouldn't have k ept bouncing about from side to side of N-dimensional space like a snipe on the toot. But that was their business, not mine, Zeus be praised! In fact, when you thought about it, nobody at this turning point in History appeared to have the v aguest notion about what was going on, or what they should do about it. Perhaps the participants in what later prove to have been great events never do: or is i t just that you only need one man with his eye on the ball to urge events onward s? If so, then Odysseus was the fellow in this instance  has to have been! He had the great advantage, you see, of enjoying violence for its own sake; and that w ith a pure, clear-sighted unswerving devotion, undistracted by any weak-kneed mo ral considerations! That's the way to succeed in life, you know: never see anyon e's point of view but your own, and you'll romp home past the

winning post. Bound to! But it's a difficult trick, and one that I never quite g ot the hang of. These Trojans, for instance, obviously had no conception of opti mum stress, or moments of inertia; and the horse was straining at every screamin g sinew, as they rocked it back and forth, trying to shift it out of the pit its own weight was digging for itself. I imagined that an outbreak of travel-sickne ss would shortly strike the occupants; so I moved smartly out from under, and re tired to a slight distance. But at last, with a final shuddering groan, the grot esque structure began to move  and once under way, of course, there was no stoppi ng it. Ropes, arms and legs snapped like old bowstrings as it trundled remorsele ssly forwards. Funny, what you notice: amidst the general haphazard destruction, one of its vast hooves came down on top of a nestfull of fledgeling larks, whic h I had been watching with affection. And I remember thinking: `Yes  and that's o nly for starters!' Think what Cassandra could have made of an incident like that ! But it was no use hanging about philosophising, so I set off ahead of them tow ards what I hoped would be my final involvement in this whole misguided farrago. There was no difficulty about getting in to Troy now: the enormous gates stood wide open, and the whole city seemed to have come out into the streets to enjoy the splendid, triumphal climax of the war. Poor fools! Little did they know that Zeus was about to slip them the staccato tomato! Before going in, I paused and looked back the way I had come. Already you could see the approaching monster qu ite clearly, silhouetted against the full moon; its great, grinning head nodding and tossing, as if to say: `You wait just a little longer, my dears; and what a nice surprise you're going to have!'

I cannot imagine why n obody but Cassandra seemed to suspect that anything might be a tiny bit wrong. Paris was the her o of the hour  there was no doubt about that. she'd contrived to forget the ghastly danger they were in. And you'll admit they had ev ery excuse for doing so. the Greeks had gone back where they came fro m. Women! Even Steven appeared to be having the time of his life: because the real Diomede had been quite a fellow. in fact.Indescribably ominous and horrible. Olympus--orientated Gre eks that the game was up. Cressida. Churlish not to. Quite. guest of honour a t the victory banquet  and how she was ever going to find an excuse for slipping away to the TARDIS for a moment. turned on my h eel. the whole thing! I shuddered. to tha nk for that. Not that she showed any sig n of wanting to. that I honestly believe that during my absence. like Ajax and Achilles. a nd that success doesn't come that easily in the affairs of men. The silly. things might have been different. it seemed. After all. and popped back into the palace  while it was still there. infatuated child was so enraptured with young Troilu s. I don't know: people generally believe what they want to believe  and the Troja ns wanted to believe that the war was over at last. So the least the Trojans could do under the circumstan ces was to invite the faithful old horse in for a bundle of hay and a bit of a s ing-song. and it was this macabre mani festation which had finally persuaded the superstitious. hadn't they? And it seemed they had their new little friend. Perhaps if Hecto r had still been alive to lead them. Not pe rhaps in the very first rank of heroes. I couldn't imagine. The general opinion seemed to be that she had somehow conjured this loathsome ancestral god of theirs out of thin air. But again . but still a like ly contender for second place in the . So there Vicki was. To this day.

and so forth. And then. and t hat the subsequent post-mortem had revealed its liver was all to blazes. . sensing a possible ally. I couldn't see how I was going to get near them. for which she was responsible. but the job had to be done some how  only the trouble was. asked her what was the matter. and looking rather left out of things. She took one look at me. And now that the war was over. they couldn't wait to say what a splendid chap they'd always thought him  our very gallant enem y. I hated to drag them both away to disillusion. she seemed to be. Which m eant. when the veterans could all swap reminiscences. amidst the general brouha-ha and rejoicin g. they were even arranging to hold anniversary reunio ns. they were so busy being lionised. and. who was crying cons picuously to herself in a corner. regretted by all. since my injury. having died. b ut a more personalized version. I kept forgetting that. apparently. and although that certainly wasn't a job calculated to cheer anyone up a great d eal. I'd had occasion to notice her before: one of Cassandra's accolytes. I'll swear. So I buck and winged my way over to her through the merry throng. I noticed a rather striking looking girl called Katarina. nevertheless I thought she was rather overdoing the soul-sick lamentation b usiness. and screamed.hierarchy. mine wasn't the sort of face you'd be happy to use as a model for the bedroom frescos  but I managed to c alm her down eventually. and get drunk together! Well . and he'd been captured. closely involving herself and Nemesis. that doom and disaster must surely follow  particularly when Ca ssandra got to hear about it: and not only a general cataclysm would there be. Whereupon she gave me some rigmarole about one of the s acred doves.

Cressida has. that if she'll take you at once to that portable temple of hers. pretty child. who was attempting a trick with two chairs. and off she went  to find a happy deliverance. At any rate. the well-kn own and popular Diomede. in return for past services. So. If she gives you an argument. but did be? I doubted it. because round about now t he cheers of the populace out in the square reached a crescendo. she looked rather surprised  as well she might  but sensible girl s don't argue with men who look like I did at the time. tell her it's a special favour to me. and so I made a circuitous way towards Steven.Well. Say that the Doctor will be there in no time. and then everything will be roses and ambrosia for both of you.' I said to Katarina. `your uncle Cyclops has the cure fo r what ails you! Or rather. and a quick gla nce through the window revealed that super-horse was negotiating the home straig ht. filed under antidotes. it seemed to me that her extremity might be my opportu nity  for getting both her and Vicki out of harm's way. I couldn't give her an argument about the first. panaceas .' Well. that is. Because I knew the trick. and elixirs. For I knew my yo ung friend fairly well by now: and whereas she wasn't likely to leave Troilus fo r the purpose of saving her own skin  lovers frown on that sort of thing. for som e reason  she might very well do so to save someone else's. being altogether more of a force to be reckoned with than your superior as events have shown. doom-struck for the use of. . and I gambled on the possibility that he would shortly appeal for a n assistant. `Listen. or so I sincerely hoped. Or so I reasoned. So go and tell her from me. But as to the second. she'll find the necessary on the bottom shelf of the altar. I could hardly do mo re in that direction. to general acclamation.

at least. ingenuity was positively bursting out of my ears.And it also occured to me that I really ought to have a shot at removing Troilus . that Apocalyptic evening! . from the disaster area. Oh. and I'd thought of a plan.

having dealt wi th these formalities. that girl! Relieved. was to consult Troilus in the matter: but fortunately he'd chosen that moment to step out onto the bal cony with Paris and their father. slipped silently out into the night with Katarina. then she nodded gl oomily. so happy a moment ago. regardless of expense. `I was too late. `What in Hades are you doi ng back here?' he snarled. and give your attention to the speciality act at the top of the bill. So I watched with some concern as she listened to the tale of woe. seemed to come to a decision  and not before time! She looked across the crowded room. that disenchanted evening. Her first reaction. of course. and caught my remaining eye. and causing him to drop one of the chairs on his toe. Then the poor tortured child. brushed away a tear or two  and. Vicki has . you'll see that the horse is waiting in the wings with fun and massacre for all. `And if you 'll stop showing off for a moment.26 Abandon Ship! I'd told Katarina to pile on the agony a bit.' I told him. and tapped Stev en on the shoulder  by bad luck choosing rather a crucial moment in his routine. and such an interesting blend of expressions flitted anxiously about her face that it fairly broke my heart to see it. I turned to the next item on my agenda. gave me a pathetic wave. in welcome. but now torn by divided loyalties. because it was going to take more than a sick headache to prize Vicki away from the proceedings  I could tell that. to acknowledge the vox of the populi. Well do ne.

at all sure how he would react. and they were busy with other matters. Exc ept for Troilus. but on second t houghts. Go and do thou likewise!' T o do him credit. I had toyed with the idea of sending him to the TARD IS as well. he got my drift at once. Another thing was that the Doctor was unlikely to find a chance of making his excuses to his new c ronies. so that he could live happily ever after with Vicki. I wasn't. without his having jealous young princes arguing the toss about the rights an d wrongs of the proceedings. so it was going to be a close-run thing anywa y. he was still a loy al Trojan  and might even decide to arrest the whole boiling of them. clear-eyed types. he ha nded me his remaining chair. Even though he was in love with his Cressida.therefore gone to wait for the Doctor in the TARDIS. That's the trouble with these clean-limbed. and sprinting for the TARDIS. if you catch them in the wron g mood. and Honour before either of them. when he dis covered what he would take to be their treachery. I'd got used to that over the y ears. So you have to be a bit careful and sound the ground. and pausing only to say he thought it a bit thick that I hadn't managed to hold up the invading force on my own. So that was that. and set off after the others. No  I did what I hoped was the next best thing  and n ever mind having to live with myself afterwards. and you can't always choose the company you'd like. . until after the battle had commenced. on reflection. with determined jaws: they're liable to put Coun try before Love. Apart from my not knowing how many passengers the thing was licensed for. I realized that wouldn't do at all. of course.

but he really did deserve what was coming to him  as don't we all. I could do no more.`Dear young Prince of the blood. and into the darkness of the plain  where. `I shan't forget this. `I wouldn't have put it quite lik e that myself. but meaning well. come to that. either.' I said. she was about to be proved righ t about most things. Paris was a charming. and  yes  civilized people I had learnt to be fond of but. out through the gates. of course. intelligent man. poor boy. to get where he was! And although even Cassandra probably had a point or so in her favour if you looked closely  never mind.' I said. when you think about it? Priam was a fairly benev olent old despot. wherever she was going. . Zeus willin g. treacherously. I looked round at all the happy .' `Then. They spoke of a short walk in th e moonlight  out in the countryside. as well he might.. he would be safe from the wrath to come. `but the supposition is sound in essentials.' he mused. `I think you should know that she and D iomede have just strolled outside for a moment. I had probably interfered too much alr eady. but he'd perpetrated an outrage or two in his time  must have d one. pleasant. there was no way of saving them. then. In fact. which is more comfort that most of us get. he sprinted like a cheetah who's just remembered an appointme nt.' He sagged at the knees.' he said. Cyclops. to boot?' He thought for a moment. and sweeter than Springtime. in the end. Well. And  who knows?  it was even possible that Vicki might get to hear about it one day.' I knew I would n't. `Thank you. or forgive myself. as he elbowed his way through the crowd in the square. and perha ps she might thank me. I watc hed him from the balcony.. But it was in a good cause. `am I right in supposing that my frien d Cressida is dearer to you than all the jewels of the Orient. once clear.

and turned my back on Troy for the last time. wouldn't it? And so that was the last of the mistakes I was to make in this whole sorry saga. if you remember. that's what I'd come for. without much humour. And then I wandered slowly out through the gates. I thought I might as well see the end of the affair from a safe distance  so I sat down on a hillock in the moonlight. I was a writer  and i t would all make good copy one day.' he enquired. under all the circumstances. . struggling and spitting like a kitten. what do you want  miracles? So I didn't say `goodbye' to anyone  but. such had been my intention. and awaited developm ents. I found it very difficult to say. do they? I mean. and I was flung. rather sadly. Hades. I couldn't be sure  but I waved anyway. Or rather. hadn't I? The scruff of my neck was seized in what is known as a vicelik e grip. made my way out into the sq uare. `Well. Because I'd forgotten about Ac hilles. little Cyclops. Did I only fancy I saw the Doctor's wise and worried old face. nobody lives forever. Well. but a couple of leagues f rom the doomed walls. `whose side are you on this time?' And. After all. looking out from one of the horse's eye-holes as I passed? `Is there a doctor in the horse? ' I wondered.And. into the heart o f a gorse-bush.

I suppose I shall have to finish the job off properly for him. I take it. before I see the colour of your tripes?' I couldn't think of a ny. do you? And I would like to say that my whole past fl ashed before me  but it didn't. Achilles. is there. and he began to wonder. `We ll then. as usual. had to skulk about away f rom the action. you noti ce? Oh no  they save that sort of courtesy for each other. you don't expec t steel in the bronze age. we'd better get on with it. `a ny last requests. in charge of the reinforcements? So he took it out on me. I mean. when a thing's got to be done?' The blade glinted in the moonlight  Damascus steel. should Odysseus get all the glory. `Now then. No point in hanging about. . A class thing really. `Odysseus thought he'd killed you the other evening: then apparently your body disappeared. and after waiting patiently for a bored second or so. he wondered. very smart!  as he raised his arm for the thrust. you know. do we?' He didn't bother with blank verse for me. an older man he heartily disliked. I n oticed.27 Armageddon and After Achilles wasn't in the best of moods anyway  you could see that. `We qu ite thought you were dead.' he continued. and furthermore.' he remarked pleasantly. while he. We don't want to leave any loose ends. No doubt he felt he'd been passed over in favour of an older man. That's the trouble with Odysseus. Why. the poor old boy gets delusi ons  half the time he doesn't know his breakfast from Wednesday! Well. the best damn' warrior in the regiment. But it's the sort of slight which hurts. he drew his sword.

Troilus was game. Even Hector hadn't found him a walk-ove r. while Achill es was the best the Greeks had to offer. as they whirled and pirouetted about the plain. swapping insults and carving the occasional slice out of each other. He was made of good stuff. and that was the sort of solid oak article the sit uation called for. `Wrong hero. it seems you feared to face Paris'  loyal to the last. We ll. when there came one of those unexpected interru ptions. I just had time to think that. He was also inexperienced at this sort of thing. And that was the end of my surviving eye! . that boy! `My brother Hecto r's murderer? Well. go to seek your friend Patr oclus.' And he flew at the sneering muscle-man like a falcon on a good day. I wouldn't let it  I wanted no part of my past. all right. and I didn't think I could b ear to watch. since it had brought me to this! No. And pretty soon I couldn't anyway  because a back-hand swipe by Ach illes caught me across what was left of my ruined face. after all. once and for all!' With a muttered apology to me for the delay. I'd be seeing Priam and t he boys in Hades any moment now. make no mistake about t hat! And it seemed to me there could be only one end to this ill-advised encount er. `You and I are going to settle this Cressida business.. But only for a moment. sleeping it off in a fox-hol e. smiling like a scimitar. my little cadet! Diomede is dead  so perhaps Achilles can oblige you?' For a moment Troilus looked a bit l ike a very young terrier who's stumbled on a tiger. a falcon he may have been  but Achilles was an eagle. the gods are fortunately so good at. but he was n't an Odysseus by any means. I'm afraid.In fact. `Diomede!' called Troilus. if you remember? No  I had grown fond of Troilus. you se e?  `but I thank Zeus for setting you before me! Now. approach ing at a gallop.. Achilles turned to face him.

anyway. and end the matter as promised. `let me help you back home. if we'll only listen! `And now. Armageddon just wasn't it i n.' Well. bu t how in Hades did you bring that off?' `Achilles caught his heel in the bramble s  stumbled. and I braced myself for my coming quietus. I would rather Achilles finished him off as quickly as convenient. and the sooner I was out of it. sounding like a felled tree. I had him.' said my friend Troilus. And soon there wa s no place like home  or nothing to speak of. then the crashing collapse of an ar moured body. `but what happened? Please don't think I haven't every confidence in you. that. and I was about to explain th at current medical thinking would incline to the suggestion that I rest where I damn' well was for a bit. And before long I heard what could only be a death -cry  a thoroughly unpleasant gargling noise. while wishing Troilus all the luck in the world. of course. for nations furiously raging! . Life had not had my best interests at heart for some time. A passing mood.' I said. One does think like that. where you can be looked after properly. I considere d. Troilus. little Cyclops. as Odysseus and his men started operations. `Come on. of course. when the most appalling racket I ever heard erupted in the far distance.' sai d Troilus. bless him! `Forgive me. that was the last thing I wanted. the better. so that he could turn his attention to me.' His heel? Wouldn't you know? Those orac les can tell us a thing or two. once I could speak aga in. bleeding in the dust. can't they.I was thinking as I lay there. at time s. `You can get up now  it's all over!' And he took my shattered he ad in his arms. screaming to ruin in the sudden silenc e. and that was it.

th e sound of something he'd already seen  light footsteps pattering towards us acro ss the plain. and stopped crying for everything he'd lo st. disappeared amongst what are laughingly cal led the myths of antiquity. the two of us. with the gr eatest scoop of his life being enacted before him. and the bubbling sobs of the slaughtered. isn't it? Your man in Scamander. I could do that all right  and soon began to wish I couldn't: the roar and crackle of flames. And I was glad. So I knew that my pathetic little plans had worked. while Troy. unable to see a blind  forgive me  thing! So I'm afraid I can't tell you very much about it. But as far as ear-witnessing is concerned. `Right! So this is where I get it in the thorax  and about tim e. and out of all the chaos at least the Doctor and his friends were away and clear  off to their next appointment in the Fourth Dimension. have been three days ago?  when the TARDIS firs t appeared on the sun-baked plain. after the mess I've made of things!' And then I heard. close at hand. Ironic. and how his Cressida ha d loved him  but that it wouldn't have worked in the long-run. because time-trave llers are really a different class of person. and I thought. too. becaue I'd grown fond of them all  especia lly little love-lorn Vicki! And so I explained to Troilus about the TARDIS. if you'll believe me. and the next minute Vicki  his little Cressida  . the crash of masonry as the top less towers tumbled to rubble. met his undignified end as a consequence. and about how I had deceived him. and the great Hector. after all. finest warrior of them all. Then suddenly he sat up. alone in the darkness. there rose that extraordinary noise I'd heard once before  could it only. and all t he sane sophistication it stood for. And the n. and you never know where to look f or them next.And so we sat there. if th at's what it's called. above all that. but only to save his life.

she had ve ry sensibly decided to let Katarina go adventuring with the Doctor and Steven in her place. Because you've got to make u p your mind where you really belong sometime. haven't you? And the sooner the be tter. soon after the Greeks had gone. And how Menelaus and Helen  so she was all right: good!  gesticulated angrily at each other all the way down to the beach. I call it. we saw horsemen approaching: and. . how they all sailed away for home. A splendid outcome. and the smoke rose from the ruins. And they told me how Odyss eus  who was now half-convinced that the Doctor was Zeus by the way!  and Agamemno n and the rest of the surviving heroes carried their booty of art treasures back to the galleys. of course. The only proble m being that they couldn't belong to Troy. and to settle down where her heart was. it was Aeneas and the Trojan cavalry. And w e thought of calling it Rome. And as Aeneas readily agreed. And then. I couldn't get much sense out of either of them for quite a while.rushed into his arms with what is usually described as a whoop of joy! And after that. And where did that leave us. one day to form the nucleus of the Parthenon collection. h eaven be praised. there seemed little to detain us: so we set off together to found a new Troy elsewhere. once you've fallen in love. come back too late to do anything but save our skins for us. because it wasn't there! So for three days we stayed starving in our hide-away. And so the story was over at last. you ma y ask? Well. no dou bt. as I might have guessed if I'd had time to think about it. Well. while the vultures circled in the pac ked rapacious sky.

and one thing led to another.Only we looked in at Carthage on the way. But if you ever read The Iliad  snappy title. No. as usual  and that will be several more stories I must write one day. Troilus and Cressida have looked after their blind friend very well. don't you? But just onc e. I thought I'd like to come back here and remember what really h appened. I suppose they felt that they owed me something  which makes a pleasant ch ange! And I haven't been idle: my great epic about the Trojan War has sold extre mely well. before I die. when I've time.. don't you think?  you mus tn't be surprised if you find no mention in it of the Doctor and the TARDIS. Yes .. And so.. I've put all that side of things down to Zeus and the Olympians. over the years. . that's what I've done. and tell it like it was.. Because that's what the public expects  and you have to give them that.

although not so old as Homer. I'm afraid. `Yes. in Carthage  you saved Aeneas. didn't you?' `He need ed saving! He'd wasted far too much time with that woman  and he had a city to bu ild. and led me off before the mob burned the library. silence except for the cicadas. and clambered rather laboriously to his feet: becaus e he was an old man. l ike you.' he said.' `And another time. Well. And tell me: how is Vicki?' `Middle-age d. there was silence in the olive-g rove for a while. too. Well. I suppose she would be by now. is she still? You do surprise me! Well.' `Ah yes. . give her my regards. and stumped away to try and remember where he'd parked the TARDIS. Should have stayed with me.' `So I should hope! A distinguished author.Epilogue After the old blind poet had finished speaking. and a steady munching no ise as his audience of one finished off the last of the goat-cheese. Having done so. you know  then she'd still have been eighteen!' `But not in love. `I must say I was glad to get out of that horse.' `Great Hea vens. `So it is you? I thought so. won't you?' A nd the Doctor brushed the crumbs off his frock-coat. he cleared his throat. you caught my arm. and t urned his sightless eyes towards him. I've always k nown! Once in the market place at Alexandria. I'm glad to find you so well. The nastiest contraption I've ever had the misfortune to travel in  and that's saying something!' The poet smiled.

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