“The circle,” he repeated, “the circle. ’Ra in his circle shall guard Amenotaph.’ The secret lies in the circle, Kit. Do you suppose it could mean the rim of the urn?”
Kit knelt beside him, following the inscription on the outside of the urn carefully with her finger-tip, the same as the Dean had done, and stopping when she came to a small circle in black and red outline.
“Do you suppose Ra lives here, Uncle Cassius?” she asked, poking at it thoughtfully. She peered on the inner side at the corresponding spot to the circle, and gave a little cry of excitement. There was the faintest sign of a circle here also, like one of the age cracks on Cousin Roxy’s antique china. “See,” she cried. “When you push on this side, the other gives a little bit.”
The Dean could not speak. He took the urn from her over to the window and carefully examined the inner circle through a microscope.
“Yes,” he said, fervently, “you are perfectly right, my dear. The circle moves. I think I shall have to take it to Washington on our way east. I would not take the responsibility of trying to remove it myself.”
“Oh, dear, it seems awful to have to wait so long,” Kit exclaimed, regretfully. “You know it seemed to me as if you could just press it through with your thumb, like this.”
She had not intended pressing so hard, but merely to show him what she meant, and lo, as Cousin Roxy would have said, under the pressure of Kit’s strong, young, capable thumb, the circle of Ra depressed and pushed slowly through, just exactly as Kit told the girls long afterwards, like when you plug a watermelon. The Dean looked on in utter amazement, as Kit lifted the urn and tested the inner section by shaking it. Then she peered into the circular hole, about the size of a quarter. The urn was fully two inches thick, and by inserting her finger into the space she found that it was made in two sections, with enough room between for a place of concealment.
“There’s something in here like asbestos, Uncle Cassius,” she began, and turning the urn upside down, she tried shaking it, using a little pressure on the circle to separate the two rims. Slowly they gave, while the Dean hovered over her, cautioning and directing the operation, until two complete urns lay before them. But it was not these which the Dean literally snatched at. It was the curious cap-shaped mass which fell out in the form of a cone. To Kit it appeared to be of no significance whatever, but the Dean handled it as tenderly as a new-born infant, and under his deft and tender touch it unrolled in long scrolls of papyrus.
The Dean rose to his feet solemnly, and his voice was hushed, as he said:
“Kit, you do not know what you have done. Some day the significance of this occasion will recur to you. All I can say is that you have lifted the veil of the past, and revealed the secret of Amenotaph.”