Once the ship is competely finished to the shipwright's satisfaction, Jason has Argus take him and some picked men out where the fish are big and plentiful. As soon as fish are sighted, it is time to break out the sail, so all hands can be free to bring in a harvest of a big school of sword-nosed fish.

When the ship returns to port, an Argonaut amuses himself by feeding a young, wild sicklebird--not an easy task, since the long-tailed, lizard-beaked birds are so fierce and usually belligerent, apt to attack a man.

Mopsos the young seer comes to town and reports for duty; he has been busy and could not come sooner, he explains to Jason. He had been detained by every king along his route to Iolkos, who all demanded to know the prospects for their kingdoms, whether favorable or not. He had not been able to give many of them good news, he added ruefully. A great many of these kings would soon lose their scepters--in a coming great war that would give them a victory that would bless them and curse them at the same time. How could it do both? Jason asked Mopsos. Mopsos smiled. "Too much honey will make a man deathly sick. So victory will make healthy men sick, as they grow greedy and wanton, and return to their kingdoms so full of themselves and their glory and laden with such booty they will become boasters nobody can bear, and the treasure will soon slip from their fingers, as it raises up assassins in their own wives, their sons, their households, and their palace guards!" Jason's admiring eyes shone, and he inclined his head to the younger man. "You truly are a wise head, a seer, though yet so young," he observed. "That is why I called you. We will need a wise and cool head such as heaven has given you, and your arms are strong enough for the oars. We have the great songster of the world, Orpheus, who will sing and make our heavy hearts lift and be glad. But you will make our heads wise on this long journey full of perils, so that we will not run and destroy ourselves over some foolish thing along the way."

Two sets of twins come to sail on the Argo. Of one set called Herakles and Apollo after the Greek gods, one lad is too slight in body to handle the champion-sized oars, but Jason knows he is an expert archer and will supply the men with plenty game. They arrive only to grieve as they hear from the men of a ship fleeing from battle that the twins' own city has fallen to their enemy, the Myrmidons, and their parents were slain when they could not pay the money demanded to spare their lives.

Several hundred adventurous young men from all over Achaea have come seeking a place on the Argo, and of these seventy-five refuse to return home, they are camped out waiting for a last minute chance to be called aboard to replace someone. As Jason has planned it without telling anyone, he boards in the dark of one early morning, and if any qualified Argonaut he has tested and chosen happened to be on hand, he got to go on the Quest of the Golden Fleece! The ones who weren't on hand, waiting expectantly for just this moment? Alas for them! Their window of opportunity, their rapture, had just passed them by! They'd have to wait for the next Argo and a Captain Jason to come along--and for sure, that wouldn't happen in their lifetimes. Fortunately, forty-nine of his official crew made it on, and the one who failed to show was off looking for a lost sheep so that a local Minyan noble's son--Lukeios--got to take his place, though Jason was not particularly eager to recruit an arrogant, young nobleman with such a wide mouth. But the nice thing about being shipmaster was he could always drop Lukeios off on the nearest sandbar if he acted up, or, if pressed hard enough, boot him into the water to feed the fish!

Not far from Iolkos lay the island of Lesbos, where the great poetess Sappho would sing her immortal songs and make little Lesbos famous for all time. But that would be centuries in the future from this time. The women on Lesbos, as Jason would discover, were in really desperate straits--thanks to their killing all their men for being unfaithful to them. He had fifty young men, willing no doubt to tie the knot with the most beautiful women on the island despite the risk of sharing the same fate as their predecessors, but the ladies of Lesbos wouldn't get his crew, he decided, if he had to scuttle the Argo himself and take them all, brides and bridegrooms, down to Pluto's locker! Three thousand frantic females, and fifty men to go round?--it was impossible and unspeakable--so after a brief meeting with the queen, Jason returned straight to the ship and they cast off before the queen could send her army and cut them off at the pass. Later accounts had them staying a while and enjoying a baccanalia with maenads and satyrs--but that was only someone's wish-fantasy. Women so desperate for mates as these were, would have never let the Argonauts go--and Jason was no fool to tempt fate.

At a safe distance from Lesbos, the Argonauts take a nice swim, only to be interrupted by an ininvited shark.

Mopsos travels with a companion--Wisdom--who was present at the foundation of the world. He was, therefore, never alone. His companion was always teaching him, and he was ever growing in understanding. Wisdom filled him, and kept filling him, as his thirst and hunger for Wisdom continued to grow, the more he journeyed in life with her. Not only were his paths guided by her, but by her he was purified and learned how to avoid the pitfalls young men normally fall into and walk righteously.

Despite the hard labor aboard ship when it is sailing, there is a chance of small talk now and then, but his fellow Argonauts soon learned that Mopsos, the "man with ten heads," was not one for small talk. Except for his little speech of introduction for Captain Jason's benefit, Mopsos scarcely said a word after that. If asked something, he had a way of just staring to one side and whistling, until the questioner gave up embarrassed over asking something so trivial. Lukeios, however, could not be easily put off. He could see that Mopsos did not suffer fools gladly, but Lukeios believed he was no man's fool. In fact, he looked down on most of the crew, being the son of a Minyan noble, from a family that took pride in being a founding family of Iolkos. Hadn't his people come from Lycia--the ancient homeland of his line--so that these ill-mannered, rough-speeched newcomers, the Achaeans, had nothing to boast of in his presence. Besides, he had come to regard no man's counsel better than his own. He only wanted to ask Mopsos certain things, just to test him because of his reputation for being both wise and a seer.

"That remains to be proven," Lukeios thought, knowing he had been able to break down any man of reputation in Iolkos--proof to him that all men were liars and imposters.

Taking a place nearest to the seer, Lukeois prepared for his first testing. He thought he had the right question, and when the opportunity came, he leaped.

"Tell me, friend, will we lack for fish now that you have joined with Orpheus on board?" Mopsos, taken aback, could not ignore this challenge and he responded, his eyes squinting, "What do you mean?" Lykeios smiled broadly. "I mean, with the wonderful harpster, who has the reputation of being able to charm birds and even the wild beasts, and now you, who can make old graybeards weep and hang their heads in shame with your great wisdom, we can simply call the big fish to the ship and they will even jump on board without our having to haul out the nets!"

Lukeios had to wait quite a while, as Mopsos eyed him narrowly. Finally, Mopsos said with a pitying tone, "You know nothing about it, yet you make fun of divine things."

My, that stung, and Lukeios would have drawn his sword if he had been wearing it and so barely controlled his rage over this insulting rebuke from an inferior. Managing to keep his exterior calm, he replied, "True, I know nothing, sir, so that is why I am asking you to explain what you just said."

That worked. Mopsos's expression changed, from blank, inscrutable wall to a half-opened shuttered window. He explained, as a father would speak to a child, how Wisdom created all things in the beginning, and he gave some examples, and Lukeios realized he was losing the contest and begged Mopsos to tell him more at another time--since his head was already splitting with so much knowledge.

Mopsos smiled this time. "All right," he said. "But tonight, if you are still wanting to know Wisdom, I will show you the source of my wisdom. It is available to all men who truly seek it." Intrigued, a little mystified despite the sneer that was always hovering on his lips, Lukeios wondered if Mopsos would be able to make good on his claim. Just in case Mopsos would fall flat on his common, impudent face, Lukeios decided to go along with Mopsos when they cast anchor for the night.

Mopsos was gazing at the stars, looking completely absorbed by what others around him didn't give a second glance, when Lukeios came up to him.

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