He was waiting for them on board his trireme. The leave-taking between himself and his young friends was especially affectionate. Bartja hung a heavy and costly gold chain round the neck of the old man in token of his gratitude, while Syloson, in remembrance of the dangers they had shared together, threw his purple cloak over Darius’ shoulders. It was a master-specimen of Tynan dye, and had taken the latter’s fancy. Darius accepted the gift with pleasure, and said, as he took leave: “You must never forget that I am indebted to you, my Greek friend, and as soon as possible give me an opportunity of doing you service in return.”
“You ought to come to me first, though,” exclaimed Zopyrus, embracing his deliverer. “I am perfectly ready to share my last gold piece with you; or what is more, if it would do you a service, to sit a whole week in that infernal hole from which you saved me. Ah! they’re weighing anchor. Farewell, you brave Greek. Remember me to the flower-sisters, especially to the pretty, little Stephanion, and tell her her long-legged lover won’t be able to plague her again for some time to come at least. And then, one more thing; take this purse of gold for the wife and children of that impertinent fellow, whom I struck too hard in the heat of the fray.”
The anchors fell rattling on to the deck, the wind filled the sails, the Trieraules—[Flute-player to a trireme]—took his flute and set the measure of the monotonous Keleusma or rowing-song, which echoed again from the hold of the vessel. The beak of the ship bearing the statue of Hygieia, carved in wood, began to move. Bartja and Sappho stood at the helm and gazed towards Naukratis, until the shores of the Nile vanished and the green waves of the Hellenic sea splashed their foam over the deck of the trireme.
Our young bride and bridegroom had not travelled farther than Ephesus, when the news reached them that Amasis was dead. From Ephesus they went to Babylon, and thence to Pasargadae, which Kassandane, Atossa and Croesus had made their temporary residence. Kassandane was to accompany the army to Egypt, and wished, now that Nebenchari had restored her sight, to see the monument which had lately been built to her great husband’s memory after Croesus’ design, before leaving for so long a journey. She rejoiced in finding it worthy of the great Cyrus, and spent hours every day in the beautiful gardens which had been laid out round the mausoleum.
It consisted of a gigantic sarcophagus made of solid marble blocks, and resting like a house on a substructure composed of six high marble steps. The interior was fitted up like a room, and contained, beside the golden coffin in which were preserved such few remains of Cyrus as had been spared by the dogs, vultures, and elements, a silver bed and a table of the same metal, on which were golden drinking-cups and numerous garments ornamented with the rarest and most costly jewels.