This is a chapter of Evergreen Stories by W. M. L. Hutchinson. It includes the following stories: King Midas and His Strange Adventures — Alcestis, the Noble Wife — The Real Helen — Cupid and Psyche — The Vision of Er — Circe, the Island Witch — Bellerophon, the Rider of Pegasus — How Theseus Slew the Minotaur — Odysseus in the Land of Shadows — Heracles and the Poisoned Robe | The Story of Pheidippides — The Story of Solon, Croesus, and Cyrus
Odysseus in the Land of Shadows has the following chapters: 1. Odysseus and His Men Want to Leave Aeaea | 2. Odysseus Talks With Teiresias and His Mother in the Underworld | 3. Odysseus Talks With Achilles and Others in the Underworld | 4. The Greeks Leave Aeaea
A great fire of logs and brushwood was burning on the shore. Beside it stood Circe, her gold and scarlet robe lit up by the glow; nearby, her four handmaidens were setting out a goodly meal from baskets: meat ready roasted, white bread, honey, and jars of wine. Smilingly she greeted Odysseus and his crew as they stepped ashore.
“Ah, friends,” she said, “reckless adventurers you are indeed, who must needs go twice to Death’s abode, which others visit once only. Come, now, eat and drink, and sleep beside your ship this night, and tomorrow you shall set sail again.”
And the men did as she bade them, glad at heart because they saw the witch would not take them to her house again, but let them go free. When they had feasted, she took Odysseus by the hand and led him apart from the rest, and inquired of him what he had seen and done. And when he had related it all, she told him the course he must steer, the perils he would meet on his voyage, and how he might escape them. But chiefly she warned him, as did Teiresias, not to touch the sacred herds of the Sun, for that would be his undoing. After that, she bade him farewell…
Next morning, the crew were eager to depart, but Odysseus was mindful of his promise to Elpenor’s ghost and, taking his men with him, he went up to the house of Circe. The doors were closed and all was silent within. They found the dead body lying where it had fallen, and bore it down to the shore and gave it the rites of burning and burial, weeping and mourning for their comrade. Also, they raised a great mound and set his oar thereon for a memorial. And when all this was done, they sailed away with a fair wind from Aeaea, isle of enchantments.
Many adventures still awaited Odysseus before he came home at last, but, of all that befell him in his long wanderings, I think the two things that dwelt clearest in his remembrance were his sojourn with Circe and his visit to the Land of Shadows.