Young Folks Treasury, Volume 2 (of 12) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 686 pages of information about Young Folks Treasury, Volume 2 (of 12).

So they rowed on over the long swell of the sea eastward, and out into the open sea which we now call the Black Sea.

All feared that dreadful sea, and its rocks and fogs and bitter storms, and the heroes trembled for all their courage, as they came into that wild Black Sea, and saw it stretching out before them, without a shore, as far as eye could see.

Then Orpheus spoke and warned them that they must come now to the wandering blue rocks.

Soon they saw them, and their blue peaks shone like spires and castles of gray glass, while an ice-cold wind blew from them and chilled all the heroes’ hearts.

As they neared them, they could see the rocks heaving, as they rolled upon the long sea-waves, crashing and grinding together, till the roar went up to heaven.

The heroes’ hearts sank within them, and they lay upon their oars in fear, but Orpheus called to the helmsman, “Between the blue rocks we must pass, so look for an opening, and be brave, for Hera is with us.”

The cunning helmsman stood silent, clenching his teeth, till he saw a heron come flying mast-high toward the rocks, and hover awhile before them, as if looking for a passage through.  Then he cried, “Hera has sent us a pilot; let us follow the bird.”

The heron flapped to and fro a moment till he saw a hidden gap, and into it he rushed like an arrow, while the heroes watched what would befall.

And the blue rocks dashed together as the bird fled swiftly through, but they struck but one feather from his tail, and then rebounded at the shock.

Then the helmsman cheered the heroes, and they shouted, while the oars bent beneath their strokes as they rushed between those toppling ice-crags.  But ere the rocks could meet again they had passed them, and were safe out in the open sea.

After that they sailed on wearily along the coast, past many a mighty river’s mouth, and past many a barbarous tribe.  And at day dawn they looked eastward, till, shining above the tree-tops, they saw the golden roofs of King Aietes, the Child of the Sun.

Then out spoke the helmsman, “We are come to our goal at last, for there are the roofs of Aietes, and the woods where all poisons grow.  But who can tell us where among them is hid the Golden Fleece?”

But Jason cheered the heroes, for his heart was high and bold, and he said, “I will go alone to Aietes, and win him with soft words.  Better so than to go altogether and to come to blows at once.”  But the heroes would not stay behind so they rowed boldly up the stream.

And a dream came to Aietes and filled his heart with fear.  Then he leapt up and bade his servants bring his chariot, that he might go down to the river-side, and appease the nymphs and the heroes whose spirits haunt the bank.

So he went down in his golden chariot, and his daughters by his side, Medeia, the fair witch-maiden, and Chalciope, who had been Phrixus’ wife, and behind him a crowd of servants and soldiers, for he was a rich and mighty prince.

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Young Folks Treasury, Volume 2 (of 12) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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