And then in came the sons of the heroes, and great Cheiron leapt up joyfully, and his hoofs made the cave resound as the lads shouted, “Come out, Father Cheiron, and see our game!”
One cried, “I have killed two deer,” and another, “I took a wild cat among the crags,” and another shouted, “I have dragged a wild goat by its horns,” and another carried under each arm a bear-cub. And Cheiron praised them all, each as he deserved.
Then the lads brought in wood and split it, and lighted a blazing fire. Others skinned the deer and quartered them, and set them to roast before the flames.
While the venison was cooking, they bathed in the snow-torrent and washed away the dust.
And then all ate till they could eat no more, for they had tasted nothing since the dawn, and drank of the clear spring water, for wine is not fit for growing lads.
When the remnants of the meal were put away, they all lay down upon the skins and leaves about the fire, and each took the lyre in turn, and sang and played with all his heart.
After a while they all went out to a plot of grass at the cave’s mouth, and there they boxed and ran and wrestled and laughed till the stones fell from the cliffs.
Then Cheiron took his lyre, and all the lads joined hands, and as he played they danced to his measure, in and out and round and round.
There they danced hand in hand, till the night fell over land and sea, while the black glen shone with the gleam of their golden hair.
And the lad danced with them, delighted, and then slept a wholesome sleep, upon fragrant leaves of bay and myrtle and flowers of thyme.
He rose at the dawn and bathed in the torrent, and became a schoolfellow to the heroes’ sons, and forgot Iolcos by the sea, and his father and all his former life.
But he grew strong and brave and cunning, upon the pleasant downs of Pelion, in the keen, hungry mountain-air.
And he learned to wrestle, to box and to hunt, and to play upon the harp. Next he learned to ride, for old Cheiron used to mount him on his back. He learned too the virtue of all herbs, and how to cure all wounds, and Cheiron called him Jason the Healer, and that is his name until this day.
HOW JASON LOST HIS SANDAL
And ten years came and went, and Jason was grown to be a mighty man.
Now it happened one day that Jason stood on the mountain, and looked north and south and east and west. And Cheiron stood by him and watched him, for he knew that the time was come.
When Jason looked south, he saw a pleasant land, with white-walled towns and farms nestling along the shore of a land-locked bay, while the smoke rose blue among the trees, and he knew it for Iolcos by the sea.
Then he sighed and asked, “Is it true what the heroes tell me—that I am heir of that fair land?”