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By Harold Lamb

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Well, if you want a machine that can march with men, why don’t you hitch a horse to it? ” Immediately Philip’s shouting ceased. “Yes, if we put wheels on the shooter. We’ve done that. This piecemeal takedown is for mountain work. But suppose one horse pulls the machine; you need a man to drive the horse. ” The others were accustomed to following Philip’s lightning-quick change of ideas. ” But Deiades was still smarting under the king’s jeers. “Why didn’t you say it could be put on wheels? ” Philip spun around.

Do you wonder, child,” Olympias now addressed the little slave, “that the Greeks say the forebears of the Macedonians were centaurs men above and horses beneath? ” This pleased Olympias, who longed to see in her backward Alexander some instinct of leadership such as the boy Ptolemy displayed. Unfortunately Alexander was not really interested in cavalry, only in horses. That was a Macedonian trait. They were all farmers at heart. Even the phalanxmen who were being drilled in a new way by Philip insisted on returning home for the spring planting and the fall harvesting.

Alexander resented the silence of the philosopher who would never reveal the Mysteries he had ascertained for himself. Only at the end of the day, in the sunset hour, would the Stagyrite emerge from Ms study to walk through the gardens with the boys, glancing at the work they were finishing up, his lined head outthrust, his thoughts seemingly off somewhere in the cloudy horizon. And the first direct question he asked them set off Alexander’s quick temper. He wanted to know what they would do if they were caught in a small sailing craft offshore with a storm coming up.

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