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Odysseus, still disguised as the beggar, orders Telemachos to remove the suitors' weapons from the great hall, as planned.
Telemachos tells Eurykleia to go shut the women in their rooms while he does so. Well, this won't be suspicious at all.
Odysseus and Telemachos move the weapons together. Athene is conveniently lighting their way.
Telemachos is blown away by how deeply she's invested in helping Odysseus.
Penelope waits in her room for the beggar.
Melantho sees Odysseus coming up and insults him; he says that she should really think about what Odysseus would think of her behavior.
The queen tells the beggar about the long years she has spent waiting for her husband to return and how she tricked the suitors with her shroud-weaving routine.
But now she's desperate. She plans to marry a suitor soon, just to get out of Telemachos's house and let him live in peace. (Nooo!)
Finally, she persuades the beggar to tell her about himself. Odysseus assumes a fake name—Aithon—and weaves a complex story in which he came from Crete, fought in Troy, and later played host to Odysseus.
Penelope gets excited at hearing her husband's name, but she wants proof.
The beggar describes Odysseus's clothing, weapons, and men so perfectly that Penelope weeps.
It's cool! He'll be back…today!
Penelope isn't exactly unconvinced, but she offers the man a bath, clothes, and bed for the night.
The beggar, however, refuses the bath (which is really just a foot washing) unless he gets it from a maid as old and long-suffering as he is.
Playing right into his hands, Penelope offers the services of Eurykleia, Odysseus's nurse when he was young.
Eurykleia notices the strong resemblance between the beggar and Odysseus, but the beggar brushes it off by saying he gets that a lot.
She begins washing his feet.
Odysseus realizes something and freezes—he can't let her see the scar on his thigh. (Thigh? Just what kind of foot wash is this, anyway?)
Flashback to the scar story: as a boy Odysseus went on a hunt on Mount Parnassos with his grandfather Autolykos, where he was gashed in the thigh by a wild boar. It left an unmistakable scar.
Of course, Eurykleia spots the mark, figures out that it's Odysseus, and freaks.
Odysseus controls the situation and vows her to silence. Eurykleia promises to zip it.
In the meantime, Penelope, comes in to ask the beggar one last question. She describes to him a dream she had in which she joyfully watched the domestic geese in her garden. Sweet, until a mountain eagle swooped down and killed them all.
She and her attendant women began to wail in sorrow, but the eagle came back and spoke, saying that he is her lord returned and the geese are the suitors.
Gee, we wish all our dreams interpreted themselves for us.
Still, this isn't enough explanation for Penelope. She asks the beggar to interpret the dream…again.
The beggar, somehow avoiding rolling his eyes, tells her it means certain death for the suitors.
Penelope isn't convinced. She tells him that she's so tired of the courtship that she'll end it tomorrow with a contest: the suitors must string Odysseus's old bow and shoot an arrow through twelve consecutive axe heads. She will marry the suitor who wins it.
The beggar promises that Odysseus will be present for the contest.