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
How Theseus Slew the Minotaur has the following chapters: 1. The Story of Theseus before His Birth | 2. Theseus Reunites with His Father Aegeus | 3. Theseus Finds Out about the Tributes for King Minos | 4. Ariadna Decides to Help Theseus | 5. Daedalus Helps Ariadna Help Theseus | 6. What Happened Once Theseus Left the Labyrinth | 7. Ariadna’s Destiny | 8. Daedalus and His Son Icarus
It was by his own valor and his skill as a swordsman that Theseus met the onrush of the Minotaur and laid that monster dead at his feet. But his escape, not only from the Labyrinth, but from Crete, he owed to Ariadne.
Besides the clue of thread, she had given him a cluster of dates and a small flask of wine, which he carried under his cloak, so that he might wait without faintness in the Labyrinth until midnight, for nowhere else would he be so safe. And at midnight, while all slept, she guided him and his thirteen companions to the harbor, where she had a little ship waiting, well-manned and provisioned. With muffled oars, the sailors rowed her out of harbor, then hoisted sail and away northward with a favoring breeze.
At dawn they sighted the fair isle of Naxos and put in there for fresh water — the one thing that had been forgotten in the haste of their departure. Ariadne, seeing a clear stream running down to the sea, must needs go ashore to bathe and refresh herself while the water casks were being filled. She went along the wooded banks, out of sight of the others, and having bathed in a pool of the stream, sat down to rest a little while. But being drowsy after a night of watching, sleep overtook her unawares…
When Ariadne woke, she knew that she must have been asleep several hours, for the sun was high overhead. Surprised that no one had come to look for her, she hastened back to the shore. There was no one there — and no ship in the bay! Thunderstruck, hardly trusting her eyes, Ariadne remained staring at the spot where it had been, as if she thought the waves had closed over it by some enchantment, and it would suddenly reappear. The cry of a gull swooping past roused her; she looked up — looked seaward… and saw the ship, already far out, heading westward under full sail. Already too far to hear her piercing cries — soon too far to see the glittering veil that she tore off and wildly signaled with as she rushed to a headland near… but in her frenzy of despair she still waved and shrieked, and cried out: “Theseus! Theseus! Oh, cruel! Oh, traitor, come back!” long after the dark Cretan sails had passed out of her ken. Worn out at last, she flung herself prone on the ground and prayed to die. But the gods, who willed otherwise, cast a merciful slumber over her…
Here Circe broke off her story, for it was growing late, promising to tell the rest on the morrow.