Now on the morrow when the king heard what had befallen Nachor, he despaired of the hopes that he once had in him: and, seeing those wise and foolish orators of his mightily discomfited, he was at his wits' end. Them he visited with terrible outrage and dishonour, scourging some severely with whips of oxhide, besmearing their eyes with soot, and casting them away from his presence.
Deiphobus then came close up to Idomeneus to avenge Asius, and took aim at him with a spear, but Idomeneus was on the look-out and avoided it, for he was covered by the round shield he always bore a shield of oxhide and bronze with two arm-rods on the inside.
The Danish page laughed as he dodged the plaguing wand. "It is true that you owe something to my race, lord. He had great good sense, the Wide-Fathomer, to stretch his strips of oxhide around this dale and turn it into an odal." "Nay now, it was Alfred who had sense to take it away from him," the Etheling teased. But the boy shook back his long tresses in airy defiance.
So he found his father alone in the terraced vineyard, digging about a plant. He was clothed in a filthy doublet, patched and unseemly, with clouted leggings of oxhide bound about his legs, against the scratches of the thorns, and long sleeves over his hands by reason of the brambles, and on his head he wore a goatskin cap, and so he nursed his sorrow.
The old Gaul trembled from head to foot, looked imploringly at Neroweg, lowered his head and murmured: "Seigneur, my knees are bare, the torch will burn me " "Ho! You old brute! Do you imagine I would order you to extinguish the torch between your knees if they were covered with oxhide or jambards of iron?"
He made a framework of light rods for the interior and stretched on the outside an uncured oxhide, making an affair like an oval shield. For this he got laughed at and decided that it would be dangerous for him to try to use them in crossing the strait, so he let them go and ventured to undertake the passage with the fleet that had been equipped and had arrived.
For not for beast of sacrifice or for an oxhide were they striving, such as are prizes for men's speed of foot, but for the life of horse-taming Hector was their race.
Coiled round Toller's left arm were three slings, made from strips of raw oxhide, with pouches, large and small, for hurling stones of various size. Slung over his back was a big bag, also of leather, which contained his ammunition smooth pebbles gathered from the torrent bed, the largest being the size of a man's fist.
But do some of you toil at the oars in turn, sitting man by man; and half of you raise your shields of oxhide, a ready defence against the darts of the enemy, and guard our return. And now in our hands we hold the fate of our children and dear country and of our aged parents; and on our venture all Hellas depends, to reap either the shame of failure or great renown."
And grey-eyed Athene sent them a favourable gale, a fresh West Wind, singing over the wine-dark sea. And Telemachus called unto his company and bade them lay hands on the tackling, and they hearkened to his call. So they raised the mast of pine tree and set it in the hole of the cross plank, and made it fast with forestays, and hauled up the white sails with twisted ropes of oxhide.