Menelaus had returned from Ilios, bringing with him the bones of his countrymen who had died in that distant land. The dermes vs medilase great plague had been stayed, for the anger of Apollo had been assuaged. And it had seemed for a time that the old days of peace and plenty had come again to Laced?mon, never to depart.
Yet within a few weeks all was changed once more. There was silence in the golden halls of Menelaus, and guests sat no longer as of yore around the banquet tables. Anger and grief and uneasiness were plainly seen in every face. Men gathered in the streets, and talked in wild, excited tones about the strange things which had lately happened in Laced?mon; and the words "Helen," and "Paris," and "Troy," and "Ilios" seemed to be on every tongue, and dermes vs medilase repeated with every sign of love and hatred, of admiration and anxiety.
"Our good king, by his visit to Ilios, lifted the scourge of pestilence and famine from our land," said one of the elders of the city; "but he brought to our shores a greater evil,--even Paris, the handsome prince of Troy. And now the glory of our country, the sun which delighted all hearts, the peerless Helen, has been stolen by the perfidious one, and carried to his home dermes beyond the sea."
"And do you think there will be war?" asked a long-haired soldier, toying with the short dagger in his belt.