Your Majesty! I beg of you let Pythias go home for a few days to bid farewell to his mother and sister. He gives his word that he will return at you appointed time. Everyone knows that his word can be trusted.
In ordinary business affairs-perhaps. But he is now a man under sentence of death. To free him even for a few days would strain his honesty-too far. Pythias would never return here! I consider him a traitor, but I am certain he is no fool.
You make me very curious, Damon, so curious that I’m willing to put you and Pythias to the test. This exchange of prisoners will be made. But Pythias must be back two weeks from today, at noon.
Your Majesty! I will take his place in the prison until he comes back. If he does not return, then you may take my life in his place.
Narrator-Pythias did not like the king’s bargain with Damon. He did not like to leave hisfriend in prison with the chance that he might lose his life if something went wrong.But at last Damon persuaded him to leave, and Pythias set out for his home. More than a week went by. The day set for the death sentence drew near. Pythias did not return. Everyone in the city knew of the condition on which the king had permitted Pythias to go home. Everywhere people met, the talk was sure to turn to the two friends.
The order with my official seal shall go by your own hand, Damon. But I warn you, if your friend does not return on time, you shall surely die in his place! I shall show no mercy!