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I may say here that we did not read these inscriptions ourselves. We could do it, of course, if we had time, but Gaddis, who is at least five thousand years old, inside, is better at it than we could be in a brief period like that, so we depend on him a good deal. Gaddis can read anything. A bird without a head, followed by a pair of legs walking, a row of sawteeth, a picked chicken, a gum-drop and a comb, all done in careful outline, mean “Homage to the Horus of the two horizons" to Gaddis, though I have been unable as yet to see why.
We went into the Hall, or Temple, of Khonsu, the moon-god, and here was a breath-taking collection of papyrus columns, short, thick, built to stand through the ages on the uncertain foundation of this alluvial plain. We passed into a sanctuary where the priests of Amen prepared the sacrifice, and Gaddis read the story on the walls, and pointed out for the twentieth time, perhaps, Horus, the hawk-headed god, and Hapi, his son, who has a dog head and can hardly be called handsome; also Anubis, the jackal-headed god of the Under World. We came to a temple with a wall upon which Seti recorded his victories over the forces of Syria, and pictured himself in the act of destroying an army single handed by gathering their · long hair into a single twist preparatory to smiting off this combined multitude of heads at a blow. We follow Gaddis through long tumbling avenues and corridors of decorated walls; we climbed over fallen columns that prostrate were twice as high as our heads; we studied the records which those old kings, in ages when all the rest of the world was myth and fable set up to preserve the story of their deeds. And remember, all these columns and walls were not only completely covered with figures carved in relief, but tinted in those unfading colors, subdued, harmonious, and more beautiful than I can tell.
How little and how feebly I seem to be writing about this stupendous ruin, yet I must conclud. presently for lack of room. We went into the Ramesseum, a temple literally lined with heroic statues of Rameses, where I made a picture of the fly-brush brigade, as we call ourselves now, because in Upper Egypt a fly-brush is absolutely necessary not alone to comfort, but to very existence. The fly here is not the ordinary house variety, fairly coy and flirtatious if one has a newspaper or other impromptu weapon, retiring now and again to a safe place for contemplation; no, the Egyptian fly is different. He never retires and he is not in the least coy. He makes for you in a cloud, and it is only by continuous industry that you can beat him off at all. Furthermore, he begins business the instant he touches, and he has continuously the gift which our fly sometimes has on a sultry, muggy day—the art of sticking with his feet, which drives you frantic. So you buy a fly-brush the instant you land in Upper Egypt, and you keep it going constantly from dawn to dark. The flies retire then, for needed rest.
We passed through another avenue of ram-headed sphinxes (some of the heads were gone) which Rameses built, and stood outside of the great temple of Amen, once called the “Throne of the World." Its magnificent pylons, or entrance walls, are one hundred
and fifty feet high and three hundred broad. We ascended one of these for a general view of the vast field of ruin.
Piled and tumbled and flung about lay the mighty efforts of a mighty race. At one place excavating was still going on, and a regiment of little boys were running back and forth with baskets of dirt on their heads, singing and sweating in the blazing sun, earning as much as two piastres (ten cents) a day. Men were working, too; they receive quite fancy sums -twenty cents a day, some of them.
Now that we were outside of the shaded temple and sanctuary enclosures our party was not very game. It was our first day in Upper Egypt, and the flies and the sun made a pretty deadly combination. We began to complain, and to long for the cool corridors and fizzy drinks and protecting screens of the hotel. We might have played golf or tennis in that sun, but seeing ruins was different, and we began to pray for the donkeys again. So Gaddis led us around by the Sacred Lake, where once the splendid ceremonials were performed-it is only a shallow pool now—and then once more we were on the donkeys, strung out in a crazy, shrieking stampede for the hotel. Gaddis rode near me. His donkey was a racer, too, but Gaddis did not laugh or cry out, or anything of the sort. He only wore that gentle serene smile, the smile of Egypt, observing trivial things.
In the afternoon we visited the Temple of Luxor, that beautiful structure which Amenophis III. built