This is a chapter of The Trojan War, by C. Witt & F. Younghusband.
When evening approached, Hector again made a sign that he desired to hold parley with the Greeks. Both armies stayed from the battle, and Hector cried aloud, “Hear me, Greeks and Trojans. Zeus has not willed that the treaty should be kept, and now must we again fight until victory shall declare itself for this side or for that. Let then one of the bravest heroes of the Greeks stand forth and fight with me. And let it be agreed that the armor of him that is slain shall belong to the victor, but his corpse shall be given back to his own people that it may be buried with honor.”
Nine of the Greek heroes offered to fight with Hector, and when they cast lots to see which of them it should be, the lot fell to him whom the Greeks most desired — to the mighty Ajax, called the Greater, because there was another Ajax in the army who was less of stature than he. Greatly did he rejoice that the lot had fallen to him, and he clothed himself in armor from head to foot and went forth with a step as bold as the god of day himself, and with an air as gay as one who goes to the dance. In his left hand, he carried his huge shield, which protected him from the crown of the head right down to the feet; it was made of seven layers of strongest oxhide, covered with an eighth layer of bronze.
The Trojans were afraid for Hector, and the hero himself felt his heart beat quicker than was its wont.
Ajax said to him, “Though Achilles in his wrath remains by his ships, yet have we many heroes who fear not to fight with thee. Take, if thou wilt, the first throw.”
Hector stretched wide his arm and hurled his spear with all his might against Ajax. There was no lack of force in the throw, but the weapon went through but six folds of the shield, and stayed itself in the seventh. Then it was the turn of Ajax, and his spear pierced through shield and armor and would have wounded his adversary in a mortal part, but that Hector turned a little aside so that the weapon did but graze his flesh.
Both the heroes then drew forth their spears and fell upon one another like two lions or wild boars. Before long, Hector was slightly wounded in the neck, but he nevertheless raised from the ground a heavy stone and struck the boss in the center of his enemy’s shield. Then Ajax laid hold of a stone still heavier —a stone that would have been large enough for a millstone— and threw it with such force against the shield of Hector, that it crashed through it and caused him to sink upon the ground. He sprang up again, however, and the two heroes prepared to continue the fight with swords.
But by this time the sun had sunk low in the heaven, and the heralds who stood by to overlook the fight held out their wands between the two combatants and stopped them. Then said the herald of Troy, “Dear children, Zeus loves you both, for brave heroes ye are, both the one and the other. Cease therefore from the struggle, for now is darkness approaching, in which it behooves men to rest and not to fight.”
Ajax left it to Hector to decide whether or not they should continue the fight, for it was he who had given the challenge; and Hector said, “Let us cease for today; often again shall we measure our strength one against the other. But first, let us exchange gifts, that men may say of us that we separated in honorable friendship after a hard fight.”
Hector then presented to Ajax his sword with its sheath adorned with silver bosses and the sword belt belonging to it, and Ajax gave to Hector his waist belt of beautiful purple dye. So ended the battle for that day, and both parties left the field. The Trojans retreated within the walls of their city and held a council at which the aged Antenor spoke.
He said, “The sacred treaty has been broken by us —we cannot deny it— and I fear the wrath of the gods. Let us, therefore, be advised and restore Helen and her treasures to the Greeks.”
But Paris answered, vehemently, that the treasures indeed he would be willing to give up, if that would bring peace, but that with Helen herself he would not part for any price.
So on the next morning, a herald was sent to the chiefs of the Greeks to say that if they would make peace with Troy, all the treasures of Helen should be delivered over to them.
But the Greeks refused the offer; and Diomedes said, “If they were willing to give up Helen herself into the bargain we should nevertheless fight on, for even a fool must see that destruction is already hovering over the city.”
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They agreed however to make a truce for some days until the dead had been removed from the battlefield and buried honorably; and Greeks and Trojans met in peace, each side seeking among the corpses for their own dead. The Trojans piled those that belonged to them upon wagons and carried them into the city, where they were given over to their sorrowing relations, and solemnly burned. And the fallen Greeks in like manner received the funeral honors due to them.
The Greeks made use of this respite to protect their camp and their ships against any possible surprise by the enemy, and on the side towards Troy built a high wall that stretched the whole length of the camp. This wall had several gates in it, and it was further protected by a deep and wide trench.
They were also cheered during these days by the arrival of a ship from Lemnos, laden with wine. The king of the island had sent a thousand measures as a present to Agamemnon and Menelaus; the remainder was for sale. At this time coined money was not yet in use, but the Greeks had brought with them all kinds of valuable property —cups, and vessels of bronze, hides, live cattle, and slaves— and all these they gave willingly to the Lemnians in exchange for their wine.