Euboulus would tell in Athens, in all Hellas, how he had remained with Leonidas and maintained Athenian honour when Corinthian and Tegean turned away. From “Glaucon the Traitor” he would be raised to “Glaucon the Hero.” Hermione, Democrates, and all others he loved would flush with pride and no more with shame when men spoke of him.
It was while the army lay at Platæa that news came which might have shaken Glaucon’s purpose, had that purpose been shakable. Euboulus the Corinthian had been slain in a skirmish shortly after the forcing of Thermopylæ. The tidings meant that no one lived who could tell in Athens that on the day of testing the outlaw had cast in his lot with Hellas. Leonidas was dead.
I am very good at detecting lies.” Glaucon repeated unfalteringly. “What proof that you were with Leonidas?” “None but my word. Euboulus of Corinth and the Spartans alone knew my name. They are dead.” “Humph! And you expect me to accept the boast of a traitor with a price upon his head?” “You said you were good at detecting lies.”
On the contrary, Glaucon, as he stood near, saw the general lift the discarded pot of broth and explore it again with the iron spoon. “O Father Zeus,” cried the incredulous Corinthian leader. “Are you turned mad, Leonidas?” “Time enough for all things,” returned the unmoved Spartan, continuing his breakfast. “Time!” shouted Euboulus. “Have we not to flee on wings, or be cut off?” “Fly, then.”
Glaucon sprang away from him and addressed the silent general. “Shall not Athens remain by Sparta, if Sparta will accept?” He could see Leonidas’s cold eyes gleam out through the slits in his helmet. The general reached forth his hand. “Sparta accepts,” called he; “they have lied concerning your Medizing! And you, Euboulus, do not filch from him his glory.”
“Zeus pity you!” cried Euboulus, running at last. One of the Spartans brought to Glaucon the heavy hoplite’s armour and the ponderous spear and shield. He took his place in the line with the others. Leonidas stalked to the right wing of his scant array, the post of honour and of danger. The Thespians closed up behind. Shield was set to shield. Helmets were drawn low.
While Euboulus, commanding the Corinthian contingent, was still questioning whether the deserter was worthy of credence, a scout came running down Mt. Œta confirming the worst. The cowardly Phocians watching the mountain trail had fled at the first arrows of Hydarnes. It was merely a question of time before the Immortals would be at Alpeni, the village in Leonidas’s rear.
The retreat of the Corinthians, Tegeans, and other Hellenes became a run; only once Euboulus and his fellow-captains turned to the silent warrior that stood leaning on his spear. “Are you resolved on madness, Leonidas?” “Chaire! Farewell!” was the only answer he gave them. Euboulus sought no more, but faced another figure, hitherto almost forgotten in the confusion of the retreat.
And when he entertained the ambassadors from Evagoras he had to borrow the plate. And we will read you what he left. Perhaps some of you, gentlemen of the jury, think this is a small inventory. Bear this in mind, that before our naval victory he only had a little estate at Rhamnus. The naval battle was in the archonship of Euboulus. 29.
The Spartan soldiers who had heard Glaucon avow his identity were dead. In the hurried conference of captains preceding the retreat, Leonidas had told his informant’s precise name only to Euboulus. And now Euboulus was slain, doubtless before any word from him of Glaucon’s deed could spread abroad. To Athenians Glaucon was still the “Traitor,” doubly execrated in this hour of trial.