The Living Mummy
With Four Illustrations in Color by
LOUIS D. FANCHER
FREDERICK A. STOKES COMPANY
Copyright, 1910, by
Frederick A. Stokes Company
All rights reserved
THE LIVING MUMMY
|I.||Concerning the Son of Hap||1|
|II.||A Patient of the Desert||13|
|IV.||The Sarcophagus's Perfume||29|
|V.||The Shadow in the Cave||42|
|VI.||Enter Doctor Belleville||53|
|VII.||The One Goddess||62|
|VIII.||Ottley Shows His Hand||75|
|IX.||A Cool Defiance||90|
|X.||The Capture of the Coffin||96|
|XI.||Good-bye to the Nile||104|
|XIII.||Hubbard Is Jealous||124|
|XIV.||The Pushful Man||131|
|XV.||A Quaint Love Pact||138|
|XVI.||Lady Helen Prescribes for Her Husband||145|
|XIX.||The First Victim||184|
|XX.||Lady Helen's Medicine Operates||193|
|XXI.||Hubbard's Philosophy of Life||204|
|XXII.||The Dead Hand||211|
|XXIII.||I Set Out for the East||220|
|XXIV.||The Gin Is Sprung||226|
|XXV.||The Mummy Talks||238|
|XXVI.||A Pleasant Chat with a Murderer||246|
|XXVIII.||The Struggle in the Chamber||275|
|XXIX.||Saved by Fire||293|
THE LIVING MUMMY
Chapter I Concerning the Son of Hap
I was hard at work in my tent. I had almost completed translatingthe inscription of a small stele of Amen-hotep III, dated B. C.,1382, which with my own efforts I had discovered, and I was feelingwonderfully self-satisfied in consequence, when of a sudden I heard agreat commotion without. Almost immediately the tent flap was lifted,and Migdal Abu's black face appeared. He looked vastly excited for anArab, and he rolled his eyes horribly. "What do you want?" I demandedirritably. "Did I not tell you I was not to be disturbed?"
He bent almost double. "Excellency—a white sheik has come riding on anass, and with him a shameless female, also white."
"The dickens!" I exclaimed, for I had not seen a European for nineweeks.
Migdal Abu advanced with hand outstretched. "Excellency, he would haveme give you this."
I took "this," and swore softly underbreath at[Pg 2] the humourlesspomposity of my unknown countryman. It was a pasteboardcarte-de-visite. And we—in the heart of the Libyan desert!
With a laugh I looked at the thing and read his name—"Sir RobertOttley."
"What!" I said, then sprang a-foot. Ottley the great Egyptologist.Ottley the famous explorer. Ottley the eminent decipherer of cuneiforminscriptions. Ottley the millionaire whose prodigality in the cause oflearning had in ten short years more than doubled the common stock ofknowledge of the history of the Shepherd kings of the Nile. I had beenlonging since a lad to meet him, and now he had come unasked to see meout on the burning sands of Yatibiri.
Trembling with excitement, I caught up a jacket, and hardly waiting tothrust my arms into the sleeves, rushed out of the tent.
Before me, sitting on an ass that was already sound asleep, despite aplague of flies that played about its eyes, was a little bronze-faced,grizzled old man attired from head to foot in glistening white duckand wearing on his head an enormous pith helmet. My Arabs, glad of anexcuse to cease work, squatted round him in a semi-circle.
"Sir Robert Ottley!" I cried. "A thousand welcomes."
"You are very good," he drawled. "I presume you are Dr. Pinsent."
"At your service."
He stooped a little forward and offered me his hand.
"Will you not dismount?" I asked.
"Thank you, no. I have come to ask a favour." Then he glanced round himand began deliberately to count my Arabs.
I surveyed him in blank astonishment. He possessed a large hawk-likenose, a small thin-lipped mouth and little eyes twinkling under browsthat beetled.
"Twelve, and two of them are good for nothing; mere weeds," said SirRobert.
Then he turned to me with a smile. "You will forgive me?" he asked,adding quickly, "but then Arabs are cattle. There was no personalreflection."
"A cup of coffee," I suggested. "The sun is dreadful. It would refreshyou."
"The sun is nothing," he replied, "and I have work to do. I am campedon the southern slope of the Hill of Rakh. It is twelve miles. I havefound the tomb for which I have been searching seven years. I thought Ihad enough Arabs. I was mistaken."
"You may have the use of mine and welcome," I observed.
He gave a queer little bow. "He gives twice who gives quickly. Thesarcophagus is in a rock hole forty feet beneath the level of thedesert. I simply must have it up to-night."
"They shall start at once, and I shall go with them; I am as strongas six," I replied. Then I shouted some orders to Migdal Abu. When Iturned it was to gasp. A woman had materialised from the sunbeams. Ihad completely forgotten that Sir Robert had a female companion. Allmy eyes had been for him. I swung off my hat and stammered some tardywords of welcome and invitation.
Sir Robert interrupted me. "My daughter—Dr. Pinsent," he drawled inslow, passionless tones. "My daughter does not require any refreshment,thank you, Doctor."
"I am too excited," said a singularly sweet voice. "Father's discoveryhas put me into a fever. I really could not eat, and coffee would chokeme. But if you could give me a little water."
I rushed into my tent and returned with a brimming metal cup. "TheArabs have broken all my glass ware," I said apologetically.
She lifted her veil and our eyes met. She was lovely. She smiled andshowed a set of dazzling teeth. The incisors were inlaid with gold. Iremarked the fact in a sort of self-defensive panic, for the truth isI am a shy idiot with pretty women. Thank goodness she was thirsty anddid not notice my confusion. Two minutes afterwards I was mounted onmy donkey, and we were off on the long tramp to the Hill of Rakh, theArabs trailing behind us in a thin ill-humoured line. We [Pg 5]maintainedthe silence of bad temper and excessive heat until the sun sank intothe sand. Then, however, we wiped our foreheads, said a cheerfulgood-bye to the flies that had been tormenting us, and woke up.
"I am immensely obliged to you, Dr. Pinsent," said Sir Robert.
"So am I," said Miss Ottley.
"The boot is on the other foot," I replied. "It's kind of you to permitme to be present at your triumph. Is it a king?"
"No," said Miss Ottley, "a priest of Amen of the eighteenth dynasty."
"Oh, a priest."
Miss Ottley bridled at my tone. "No king was ever half as interestingas our priest," she declared. "He was a wonderful man in every way, aprophet, a magician, and enormously powerful. Besides, he is believedto have committed suicide for the sake of principle, and he predictedhis own resurrection after a sleep of two thousand years."
"He has been dead 3285 years," sighed Sir Robert.
"Is that his fault?" cried the girl.
"It falsifies his prophecy."
She shrugged her shoulders.
"Ptahmes was his name," said Sir Robert, turning to me. "He was theright-hand man of Amen-hotep IV; but when that king changed hisreligion and his name and became Akhenaten and a devotee[Pg 6] of the oldworship of Heliopolis, Ptahmes apparently killed himself as a protestagainst the deposition of Amen, his particular divinity."
"Read that," said Miss Ottley.
She handed me a page of type-written manuscript.
It ran as follows:
"Hearken to the orders which are put upon you by Ptahmes, namedTahutimes, son of Mery, son of Hap.
"All my ways were regulated even as the pace of an ibis. TheHawk-headed Horus was my protector like amulets upon my body. I trainedthe troops of my lord. I made his pylon 60 cubits long in the noblerock of quartzite, most great in height and firm as heaven. I didnot imitate what had been done before. I was the royal scribe of therecruits. Mustering was done under me. I was appointed Judge of thePalace; overseer of all the prophets of the south and of the north. Iwas appointed High Priest of Amen in the Capital—King of all the Gods.I was made the eyes and ears of the king: keeper of my lord's heart andfan-bearer at the King's right hand. Great men have come from afar tobow themselves before me, bringing presents of ivory and gold, copper,silver and emery, lazuli, malachite, green felspar and vases of mernwood inlaid with white precious stones sometimes bearing gold at onetime 1000 deben (200 pounds weight). For my fame was carried abroad[Pg 7]even as the fame of the king, 'lord of the sweet wind.' And therewas spoken of me by the son of Paapis that my wisdom was of a divinenature, because of my knowledge of futurities. Yet on the sixth day ofthe month of Pakhons in the 18th year I desire to rest. My lord, at thesolicitation of the great royal wife and