Thereupon the generals sacrificed, in the presence of the Arcadian seer, Arexion; for Silanus the Ambraciot had chartered a vessel at Heraclea and made his escape ere this. Sacrificing with a view to 13 departure, the victims proved unfavourable to them. Accordingly they waited that day. Certain people were bold enough to say that Xenophon, out of his desire to colonise the place, had persuaded the seer to say that the victims were unfavourable to departure. Consequently he proclaimed by herald next morning that any one who liked should be present at the sacrifice; or if he were a seer he was bidden to be present and help to inspect the victims. Then he sacrificed, and there were numbers present; but though the sacrifice on the question of departure was repeated as many as three times, the victims were persistently unfavourable. Thereat the soldiers were in high dudgeon, for the provisions they had brought with them had reached the lowest ebb, and there was no market to be had.
Consequently there was another meeting, and Xenophon spoke again: "Men," said he, "the victims are, as you may see for yourselves, not yet favourable to the march; but meanwhile, I can see for myself that you are in need of provisions; accordingly we must narrow the sacrifice to the particular point." Some one got up and said: "Naturally enough the victims are unfavourable, for, as I learnt from some one on a vessel which arrived here yesterday by accident, Cleander, the governor at Byzantium, intends coming here with ships and men-of-war." Thereat they were all in favour of stopping; but they must needs go out for provisions, and with this object he again sacrificed three times, and the victims remained adverse. Things had now reached such a pass that the men actually came to Xenophon's tent to proclaim that they had no provisions. His sole answer was that he would not lead them out till the victims were favourable.
So again the next day he sacrificed; and nearly the whole army, so strong was the general anxiety, flocked round the victims; and now the very victims themselves failed. So the generals, instead of leading out the army, called the men together. Xenophon, as was incumbent on him, spoke: "It is quite possible that the enemy are collected in a body, and we shall have to fight. If we were to leave our baggage in the strong place" (pointing overhead) "and sally forth prepared for battle, the victims might favour us." But the soldiers, on hearing 22 this proposal, cried out, "No need to take us inside that place; better sacrifice with all speed." Now sheep there were none any longer. So they purchased oxen from under a wagon and sacrificed; and Xenophon begged Cleanor the Arcadian to superintend the sacrifice on his behalf, in case there might be some change now. But even so there was no improvement.
Now Neon was general in place of Cheirisophus, and seeing the men suffering so cruelly from want, he was willing to do them a good turn. So he got hold of some Heracleot or other who said he knew of villages close by from which they could get provisions, and proclaimed by herald: "If any one liked to come out and get provisions, be it known that he, Neon, would be their leader." So out came the men with spears, and wine skins and sacks and other vessels--two thousand strong in all. But when they had reached the villages and began to scatter for the purpose of foraging, Pharnabazus's cavalry were the first to fall upon them. They had come to the aid of the Bithynians, wishing, if possible, in conjunction with the latter, to hinder the Hellenes from entering Phrygia. These troopers killed no less than five hundred of the men; the rest fled for the lives up into the hill country.
News of the catastrophe was presently brought into camp by one of those who had escaped, and Xenophon, seeing that the victims had not been favourable on that day, took a wagon bullock, in the absence of other sacrificial beasts, offered it up, and started for the rescue, he and the rest under thirty years of age to the last man. Thus they picked up the remnant of Neon's party and returned to camp. It was now about sunset; and the Hellenes in deep despondency were making their evening meal, when all of a sudden, through bush and brake, a party of Bithynians fell upon the pickets, cutting down some and chasing the rest into camp. In the midst of screams and shouts the Hellenes ran to their arms, one and all; yet to pursue or move the camp in the night seemed hardly safe, for the ground was thickly grown with bush; all they could do was to strengthen the outposts and keep watch under arms the livelong night.
And so they spent the night, but with day-dawn the generals led the 1 way into the natural fastness, and the others picked up their arms and baggage and followed the lead. Before the breakfast-hour arrived, they had fenced off with a ditch the only side on which lay ingress into the place, and had palisaded off the whole, leaving only three gates. Anon a ship from Heraclea arrived bringing barleymeal, victim animals, and wine.
Xenophon was up betimes, and made the usual offering before starting on an expedition, and at the first victim the sacrifice was favourable. Just as the sacrifice ended, the seer, Arexion the Parrhasian, caught sight of an eagle, which boded well, and bade Xenophon lead on. So they crossed the trench and grounded arms. Then proclamation was made by herald for the soldiers to breakfast and start on an expedition under arms; the mob of sutlers and the captured slaves would be left in camp. Accordingly the mass of the troops set out. Neon alone remained; for it seemed best to leave that general and his men to guard the contents of the camp. But when the officers and soldiers had left them in the lurch, they were so ashamed to stop in camp while the rest marched out, that they too set out, leaving only those above five-and-forty years of age.
These then stayed, while the rest set out on the march. Before they had gone two miles, they stumbled upon dead bodies, and when they had brought up the rear of the column in a line with the first bodies to be seen, they began digging graves and burying all included in the column from end to end. After burying the first batch, they advanced, and again bringing the rear even with the first unburied bodies which appeared, they buried in the same way all which the line of troops included. Finally, reaching the road that led out of the villages where the bodies lay thick together, they collected them and laid them in a common grave.