You just can’t get the servants

A curious story, via F.A. Paley, Greek wit, 2nd ed. 1888:

Lysander, after the final defeat of the Athenians, despatched a quantity of coin and treasure to Sparta by sea, under the care of Gylippus, who had been the Spartan commander at Syracuse.  He, not aware that each sealed box contained under the lid a written statement of the contents, loosened the bottom of each and took out a quantity of silver money bearing the device of an owl.  The stolen money he concealed under the roof of his house, but he took the boxes to the Ephors, and showed them the unbroken seals. Finding the accounts did not tally, they were much perplexed, till they received a useful hint from a servant of Gylippus:– “There is a whole lot of owls roosting under master’s tiles.” — Plutarch, Vit. Lysand. ch. 16.


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