The sun was now high in the sky and the temperature was rising rapidly, as Max made his way towards the edge of the camp. He hoped that the Greeks would be too busy to notice him and he hastily set off towards the dusty plain which separated the camp from the towering walls of the city.
He had almost made it to open ground when a shout stopped him in his tracks.
‘What are these?’ exclaimed a loud voice behind him.
Max didn’t look round and started walking again, hoping the person hadn’t seen him.
‘Hey! You there! Someone stop that cat!’
Max froze, hardly daring to breathe. What on earth was going on? He turned round slowly and spotted one of the Greeks bending down to pick something up off the ground. To his horror, Max saw the problem; behind him lay a trail of white feathers. He glanced quickly down at his feet and was aghast to see that there were virtually no feathers left on his ankles. His wings were slowly dropping off. The wax which had attached them to his paws was obviously melting in the heat of the sun.
‘Agamemnon,’ roared the Greek soldier. ‘I think we’ve got a problem. You’d better come here and look at this.’
Max paused for a moment, before deciding he should make a run for it. His indecision had cost him precious time, however, and he heard the warrior shout to two other soldiers standing nearby.
‘Stop that cat!’
As Max broke into a run, he was leapt upon by the two men and was dragged down to the ground, struggling and kicking with his, now wingless, back feet. He immediately became aware of a dark shadow looming over him and looked up fearfully at the menacing form of King Agamemnon who was glaring angrily back down at him.
‘So, Lord Hermes, you seem to be having a few problems with your wings,’ sneered the Greek king, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
‘Yes, it would appear so,’ answered Max bravely. ‘This hot weather plays havoc with them, you know.’
‘Enough,’ snarled Agamemnon. ‘Tie him up and have him taken to my tent. Well spotted, Odysseus,’ he said, turning to the warrior who was still gathering up the feathers from the ground. ‘You come along as well. You can help me interrogate this foul creature.’
Max’s bravery deserted him at that moment. He hoped this “interrogation” wasn’t going to involve torture. There was no way he could cope with that. Oh why on earth hadn’t he gone straight back when he’d had the chance? It wasn’t such fun being a god now, was it? He was furious with himself, partly for getting caught, but even more so because he realised he’d now wrecked their plan which had been on the verge of working. ‘Stupid, stupid cat,’ he muttered under his breath, as his legs were tied up with leather cords.
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