Chapter 10

As we entered the gathering a young woman ran up and threw herself into Creos' arms. "My teacher!" she cried, "My teacher! I'm so glad The Gods came and brought you here so I can see you again before Castor and Pollux take me to my betrothed! I will miss you so! I wish so much that you could carry me into the sky again and hold me among the stars."
2 "I'm afraid you've gotten too heavy!" Creos answered. "But remember all the things I taught you, especially that your word is your honor. What you have promised you must always do. That is the most sacred of all things. Even if it would be better for you to do something else, if you have promised to do another thing, that is the thing you must do."
3 "I will always remember!" the young woman answered. "Come! Sit with me and mother. "Oh, aren't The Goddesses beautiful? They put me to shame and I am said to be the fairest among women."
4 "Hardly!" Aprhoditi answered. "If you are so beautiful when you are so young you will be even more beautiful when you are older."
5 The two women smiled at each other. "Come!" King Penalon cried. "Let this gracious one sit with me. What is that she carries?"
6 "My flute," Aphroditi told him. "I was in hopes I might get to play."
7 "Then you will be the first to perform!" the King cried. "I am sure the other musicians will be more than glad for a bit of rest! Come! Come! While the food is being laid out play us something lively to raise our spirits."
8 Aphroditi did so and all were spell bound! "Truly," the King cried when she concluded, "only a goddess could play such a magical instrument! Our poor performers are going to feel that they have been shamed, that their efforts will be poor in comparison!"
9 "But while we eat," Aphroditi encouraged, "let them show their efforts, that I may learn some of their music and join them, afterwards."
10 "So be it!" the King cried, "So be it!"
11 And we settled in to an enjoyable night. I noticed Helen's mother seemed very affectionate to Creos. My wife leaned over and whispered "Just who is that girl's father, anyway?"
12 "I'm beginning to wonder!" I told her.
13 We were well into the evening when the little King rose. "I have three gifts," he remarked, "for the goddesses, but I do not know which one should get what. I have a pin that looks like a golden bunch of grapes, I have a golden crown, and a golden apple that is inscribed 'To The Fairest.' I could not possibly decide who should get what! These were going away gifts for my daughter but she insists they should go to the goddesses, for they have graced us with their presence. Let her decide who should get what!"
14 He rose and motioned his daughter to rise, and a servant came forward holding the tray with the gifts on a pillow.
15 Helen did not hesitate. She picked up the golden apple and took it directly to Aphroditi. "To the fairest!" she declared.
16 Aphroditi took the apple and smiled. "Given by the fairest!" she complimented.
17 Helen picked up the crown and came to my wife. "Of course the crown should go to the queen of the goddesses!" she announced. "It is not fitting that any but her should wear it!"
18 My wife took the crown and smiled, staring at it in wonderment. Then, Helen took the pin and took it to Athene. "To us," she explained, "grapes are the symbol of sweetness and contentment. When one wears them it signifies that they are trying to bring forth these things within themselves. Obviously this symbol falls short with the one who shall wear it!"
19 Athene smiled. "You have taught this child well!" she told Creos. "She knows how to flatter!"
20 "She has been taught only to speak the truth as she sees it," Creos answered.
21 Athene returned his smile and nodded to Helen.
22 The entertainment continued and I noticed as everyone got a little bit drunk the womens' gowns seemed to open up, and their breasts become visible. My wife noticed, also, and whispered to me "Should we follow suit?"
23 "It seems to be the custom," I answered.
24 She quickly loosened the bosom of her gown, much to the delight of the men around us. Suddenly one of my escort standing nearby struck one of the men near him and he fell into the others with a crash! Everybody jumped.
25 "What is wrong?" King Penalon cried. "Why have you raised your hand against my son?"
26 My man looked towards me and I commanded "Speak!"
27 "My apologies, Lord!" he answered, "The young man asked me to be as a woman with him. Among my people this is a great offense, punishable by death. But as I am your guest, I only struck him mildly, in reply. If this is not your custom I apologize!"
28 The King looked angrily at his son. "It is not our custom!" he answered. "But as you are our guest I will abide by your customs. And I will tell my son and any others that desire such things, that they are not to approach your people! It is I who must apologize. We should've learned your feelings on these matters before doing such things! All is forgiven! Please continue your duties."

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