Two Acts of Troy
The Tales of Aquarius, Aquila and Gemini

Chapter 4: Helen and the Spartan Princes

Two handsome young princes arrived in Sparta. Rumors said that they came from Mycenae, fleeing from their uncle after their father's murder. King Tyndareus was interested in knowing their story. Helen was interested in knowing the men.

Tyndareus called the strangers into his company to tell of their experiences and what they saw on the journey that brought them to Sparta. Every afternoon they were invited to see the king and tell another part of their story and every evening they were asked to stay for dinner.

Helen always made a point of being there and appearing to hang on every word of both brothers, although if they could read what filled her mind, it had nothing to do with what they were saying. In truth, their words never even registered as she was too busy wondering how they would react if she leaned forward, chin resting on her hand, and licked her lips, or whether a certain gown would accentuate her figure just right to make them lose track altogether of what they were saying. Her plan worked. They both turned to mindless idiots around her.

Clytemnestra watched the charade from across the table where she sat next to her new husband. She felt very fortunate to have married a real man instead of these stupid pawns who sat before her. Either one of them deserved Helen.

"It's time you choose a husband, Helen," Tyndareus told his daughter one evening after dinner. "You should choose between the princes of Mycenae. They both would like to marry you."

"I agree they are handsome," responded Helen, "but how can you expect me to marry a prince without a kingdom? I was born to be a queen."

The next day Tyndareus offered to give an army to the brothers to retake Mycenae. The army would be in the command of Agamemnon, the eldest of the two. After a time, the brothers returned successfully. Thyestes had been killed and Agamemnon was now the king of Mycenae.

"I don't want to marry Agamemnon," whined Helen.

As though she made her choice, Tyndareus proclaimed that Helen was engaged to Menelaus. Tyndareus' word was law and a wedding was held.

But Agamemnon did not wish to appear the rebuffed fool. He would marry Helen's sister to make it look like that had been the plan from the start. In the night he murdered Clytemnestra's husband, his distant cousin. Clytemnestra saw him do it, but no one believed her. "Why would a king and hero murder an unarmed man in the middle of the night? Clytemnestra had an evil dream." And so Clytemnestra was married to Agamemnon and sent to Mycenae to be his queen.

Chapter 3: The House of Atreus | Myth Index | Chapter 5: The Curse of the Golden Apple

Tales of the Immortal Night ©2003, J.J. Kuhl


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