gave him a club like the one Herakles always carried made from the post that had once been his favorite toy. He waited until Herakles had been out for some time, and then sent the assassin into the little village where Herakles lived with his family. He upset carts, smashed out peoples' windows, and acted like he was roaring drunk, screaming loudly as he made his way through the village. Herakles' wife came out and said "Quiet down, my husband! You are disturbing the neighbors!" The assassin struck her down with a single great blow, then went into the house and killed the two children, then staggered off into the night. Only minutes later Herakles and Creos returned, for Herakles had been with Creos all night hunting a terrible creature that was murdering young women. They had found it was merely a man leaving marks with metal tools. Herakles had simply broke hs back and left him there. As they entered the village they were immediately sat upon. The men determined to kill Heracles before he killed anyone else.
16 "Whoa! Whoa!" Creos cried. "This could not be! Herakles has been with me all night! We killed a thing of evil to the north. You know I am good to my word! This could not have been Herakles! It was a pretender, someone trying to make you think it was him, and that he had done this terrible thing. Are there any of these person's tracks, undisturbed?"
17 "Here!" a man cried, "In the mud by my house! He left some good prints."
18 Everyone quickly hurried there. "Herakles!" Creos cried, "Step here and let us compare the prints!" Herakles did so.
19 "Look!" all the men cried, "The killer's prints are a little bit bigger than Herakles'. He looked like him, but it definitely wasn't him! Indeed, someone tries to deceive us!"
20 Creos got down on his hands and knees and sniffed the footprints. "And this man wears perfume," he remarked, "which Herakles never does."
21 "Yes!" a woman cried. "I smelled it and I wondered about it! I've never smelled anything quite like it before."
22 They went to Herakles' house. His wife and children lay outside, already wrapped for burial. "It is best you not see them," a kind neighbor insisted. "He was cruel in dispatching them. It is best you remember them the way they looked in life."
23 Creos put his hand on Herakles' shoulder. "Stay here, my friend. Your scent is strong, and will make it hard for me to follow the trail. I will follow it where it leads. Then if I cannot deal with it myself I will come back and fetch you."
24 "Do not deal with it yourself!" Herakles insisted. "Find the culprit and come back and get me. In the meantime I will bury my wife and children, because when I am done this night, I will never come back here again."
25 Creos understood and took up pursuit. In time he reached King Amphitryon's fortress and asked admittance. "What do you seek?" the King asked.
26 "Someone has killed Herakles' wife and children," Creos answered. "I followed his scent here. He is in your fortress. Allow me to search for him."
27 "This is not so!" the King answered, "You are mistaken! This person is not in my fortress. Begone!"
28 "I see!" Creos answered. "Very well, I will be gone. But I warn you now, Herakles will be here in a short time, and you'd better give him entry!"
29 "I have a hundred men here," the King answered. "Herakles does not worry me!"
30 "If you had a thousand," Creos answered, "it would not be enough. Anyone bearing arms in this fortress will die tonight!"
31 Creos turned to leave and Herakles' mother cried out "I would go with you. I will not stay here. That which is between me and this man is gone if he has had my grandchildren killed. I bid you, make him open the gate and let me depart."
32 "Open the gate!" Creos insisted, "Don't make me come and open it!"
33 "Go!" the King screamed. "I am glad to be rid of you!"
34 Herakles' mother turned to her son, Phillipi. "Your father has gone mad," she warned, "come with me, now! Your brother will kill all here! None will survive."
35 "My place is at my father's side," her son answered. His mother nodded, and without another word left.
36 When Creos got back to Herakles with his mother Herakles' bid the villigers to care for her, but to build her a new house, and to burn down his, to clear the ground and plant wheat upon it so that the grain of life would always grow before his loved ones' tomb. Then he bid all a good night and started off towards Amphitryon's fortress. Only one there survived to tell of what happened The women and children had fled, and the men stood ready. Herakles pulled the millstone from a windmill near the castle and used that as a shield against the archers, then drove it through the gates to gain entry. Once inside a man fell with every swing of his sword until finally bodies piled around him in the great hall, and there were only the moans of the dying. Herakles pulled Phillipi from among a pile of bodies and stood him up. "Finish me!" the boy pleaded. "Let me not be dishonored by being the only one that lives."
37 "My mother has lost her grandchildren tonight," Herakles answered. "She will lose only one son." He cast off
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