12
The Encounter with Circe
We finally entered Croton, once Eumolpus had poured out
his monstrous deluge of words.*There we gained admission
to a modest lodging-house, and next day we searched for a
more imposing residence. We met a gang of fortune-hunt-
ers; they asked us what branch of business we belonged to,
and where we hailed from. So in accordance with the scheme
which we had jointly laid, we informed them of our origin
and identity, laying it on thick with a welter of words. There
was no doubt that they believed us. They at once vied fever-
ishly in pressing on Eumolpus offers of financial help
. . . these fortune-hunters were all competing to win Eumol-
pus' favour . . .
125 This went on at Croton for quite a while . . . Eumolpus
was ecstatic with his success, and so far forgot his earlier
parlous state as to boast to his cronies that no one at Croton
could resist his charm, that through the good offices of his
friends, his dependants could get away scot-free with any
wrongdoing. I myself, however, kept harking back to my
usual misfortunes rather than to the matter in hand. It was
true that every day I was stuffing and fattening myself on
an ever-increasing abundance of luxuries, and I was begin-
ning to think that Fortune had stopped observing me with
her beady eye. None the less, I said to myself: 'What if
some devious fortune-hunter sends a man over to Africa to
investigate, and finds out that we've been lying? Suppose
Eumolpus' slave becomes restive with our pleasant life here,
gives the nod to these friends, and betrays our whole impos-
ture in a fit of spiteful treachery? We'll surely have to take
to our heels again; we shall have to revert to the poverty
which we've overcome after all this time, and start begging

-124-

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