In Book XVII, the main characters arrive at the palace of Odysseus.
First, Telemachus tells Eumaeus he's going to talk with his mother and says that Eumaeus should bring the stranger over later so he can beg at the palace.
After Telemachus greets his mother, he tells her he has to go get his guest from Piraeus. Piraeus brings out Theoclymenus. He then tells Telemachus he should send women to fetch the gifts from Menelaus that Piraeus is keeping safe. Telemachus says he will do so, but only after he gets revenge against the suitors. In case he should fail, he wants Piraeus to keep the gifts. Telemachus then brings Theoclymenus inside, where he's bathed and fed. Afterwards, Penelope asks for word of her husband.
Telemachus tells his mother that he first went to Nestor, who treated him like a son, but had no word of Odysseus; then he went to Helen and Menelaus, who told him that they'd heard Odysseus was being kept unwillingly on Circe's island. Theocylmenus prophecies that Odysseus is already on Ithaca. Penelope makes promises to reward him if he's proven correct.
While this is going on, the suitors are playing games. When meal-time comes, they return for a dinner of sheep, goats, hogs, and a cow.
Eumaeus and Odysseus set out for the palace. En route they run into Melanthius herding his goats. He ridicules both Odysseus and the swine herd. He says if the stranger goes to the palace, stools will be thrown at him. Adding injury to insult, Melanthius kicks the stranger. Eumaeus curses him and prays to the nymphs to bring back Odysseus.
The stranger and Eumaeus arrive. An old, mistreated dog of Odysseus' recognizes his old master. The men then enter the palace. Telemachus tells Eumaeus to take food to the stranger and then let him beg from all present.
The stranger blesses the prince and eats. Athena tells Odysseus to test the goodwill of the suitors, even though none of them is to survive. The suitors give scraps, but Antinous yells at him. Telemachus tells Antinous he should be even more generous than the rest.
The stranger tells a new version of his story, but eventually Antinous interrupts him. The stranger says Antinous should have pity on him. Antinous hurls a stool, hitting the stranger in the back.
The other suitors criticize Antinous because there is always the possibility that the stranger is a god.
Penelope asks Eumaeus to bring over the stranger. Eumaeus tells Penelope the stranger says he was a friend of Odysseus' father. Penelope says that if the story of the stranger convinces her, she'll dress him in handsome clothing.
The stranger tells Eumaeus he'll go talk with Penelope privately in the evening.
Eumaeus says he has to get back to his animals and advises the stranger to be careful.
Read a Public Domain translation of Odyssey Book XVII.