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at our side we were immune to all that hungry horde of Arab vultures. We walked through unscathed. Our protector procured the entrance tickets for us; he selected two strong men to push and pull us up the long, dark, glassy-slick passage that leads to the sepulchre of Khufu in the very heart of the Pyramid; he went with us himself into that still mysterious place, explaining in perfect English how five or six thousand years ago the sarcophagus of the great king was pushed up that incline; he showed us the mortises in the stone where uprights were set to hold the great granite coffin when the laborers stopped to rest. It was a weird experience in the cool, quiet darkness of that mightiest of tombs with the flaring candles and eager sure-footed Arabs; it seemed to belong in Rider Haggard's story of She. Then, after we had seen the old black sarcophagus, which is empty now, and had remained a little in that removed place, trying to imagine that we were really in the very centre of the big Pyramid, we made our way out again to light and the burning desert heat. I settled with our Arabs with little or no difficulty, which is worth something in itself, and when we had found a quiet place I thanked our guardian and tendered him what I thought a liberal honorarium-fairly liberal, even for America.
He drew back a little.
I had not made it large enough then. I glanced about for some of the party who would have funds.
“I am sorry," I began, “it is not more. I will—" “I beg your pardon,” he repeated, “but I could
not accept anything for what is but my duty. I am only very glad to do what I may for you. I will do something more, if you wish.”
Then, of course, I knew it must be a dream, and that I would wake up presently in Shepheard's Hotel to find that we hadn't started for the Pyramids yet. Still, I would keep up the blessed trance a moment longer.
“You mean that you will not allow me to acknowledge your great favor to us?” I said in that polite manner for which our ship is justly famous.
"Not in money,” he said. “The Government pays me a salary for my work and this is only part of my work. It has also given me pleasure.”
I surreptitiously pinched myself in certain tender places to see if I couldn't wake up. It was no use. He persisted in his refusal, and presently produced an ancient corroded coin, Greek or Roman, such as is sometimes found among the débris.
“I should like to offer you this,” he said. “I found it myself, so I am sure it is genuine."
Ah, this was the delicate opportunity. “You will let me buy it, of course."
But no, he declined that, too. He wished us only to remember him, he insisted. He added:
“I have two scarabs at home; I should like to bring them to your hotel.”
It was rather dazing. The seller of scarabsgenuine or imitation—will not let a prospective purchaser get out of sight. I wondered why we should be trusted in this unheard-of way; I also wondered what those two scarabs were likely to be worth.
Could he come to-night? I asked; we should be sight-seeing to-morrow and leaving for Upper Egypt in the afternoon.
But no, he would not be home in time. He would wait until we returned from Upper Egypt.
So it was we had parted, and in the tumult of sightseeing up the Nile I had forgotten the matter altogether. Now, here he was. I counted up my spare currency, and waited.
He had on his best smile as he entered, also a brandnew uniform, and he certainly made a handsome figure. He inquired as to our sight-seeing up the Nile, then rather timidly he produced two of those little Egyptian gems—a scarab and an amulet, such as men and women of old Egypt wore, and took with them to their tombs.
“I got them from a man who took them from a mummy. They are genuine. I want to give them to you and the little la-dy," he said.
“But you must not give them to us—they are too valuable,” I began.
He flushed and straightened up a little.
Now, of course, no one who knows Cairo can ever believe that story. Yet it all truly happened, precisely as I have set it down. He was just a young Egyptian who had attended school in Alexandria, and he spoke and wrote English, French, Italian, and the dialects of Arabic. The Egyptian acquires the lore of languages naturally, it would seem, but that this youth should acquire all those things, and such a standard of honor and generosity, here in a land where baksheesh is the native god, did seem amazing. When we left, he wrote down our address in the neatest possible hand, requesting permission to send us something more.
Note.-As my reputation for truth is already gone I may as well add, a year later, that he has since sent two presents-some little funerary figures, and a beautiful ivory-handled fly-whip.
SAKKARA AND THE SACRED BULLS
NE begins and finishes Egypt with Cairo.
Starting with the Sphinx and Pyramids of the Fourth Dynasty, you work down through the Theban periods of the Upper Nile and then once more at Cairo, leap far back into the First period in a trip to Memphis, the earliest capital of Egypt, the beginning of all Egyptian things. After which, follows the Museum, for only after visiting localities and landmarks can that great climax be properly approached.
I think we were no longer very enthusiastic about ruins, but every one said we must go to Sakkara. There was yet another very wonderful statue of Rameses there, they said, also the oldest pyramids ever built, and the Mausoleum of the Sacred Bulls. It would never do to miss them.
I am glad now that I did not miss them, but I remember the Memphis donkeys with unkindness. The farther down the Nile the worse the donkeys. We thought they had been bad at Abydos, but the Abydos donkeys were without sin compared with those of Sakkara. Mine was named “Sunrise," and I picked him for his beauty, always a dangerous asset. He was thoroughly depraved and had a gait like a steam-drill. The boat landed us at Bedrashen and I managed to survive as far as the colossal statue of