But Har-hat presented jeweled housings to Apis for the prospering of his search after Rachel, and set about assisting the god with all his might. He sent couriers, armed with a description and warrant for the arrest of Kenkenes and the Israelite, into all the large cities of Egypt. He ransacked Pa-Ramesu and the brick-fields, Silsilis, Syene, where there were quarries, and especially Thebes, which was large and remote, a tempting place for fugitives.
When he heard the news of the young sculptor’s death, he actually sent a message of condolence to Mentu, much to the tearful and unspeakable rage of the heart-broken murket. Yet, with all the limitless resources placed at the command of a bearer of the king’s fan, Har-hat continued to search for the young artist, until word came to him from Thebes several days later.
His next move was to bring to the notice of the Pharaoh that the taskmaster Atsu was pampering the Israelites of Masaarah and defeating the ends of the government. Furthermore, the overseer had treated with contempt the personal commands of the fan-bearer. So Atsu was removed entirely from over the Hebrews, reduced to the rank of a common soldier, and returned to the nome from which he came, in the coif and tunic of a cavalryman.
Thus it was that Har-hat avenged himself for the loss of Rachel, put all aid out of her reach, and kept up an unceasing pursuit of her.
THE TOMB OF THE PHARAOH
It was far into the tenth night that Kenkenes arrived in Thebes. On the sixteenth day Rachel would begin to expect him, and he could not hope to reach Memphis by that time. She should not wait an hour longer than necessary. He would get the signet that night and return by the swiftest boat obtainable in Thebes. The dawn should find him on the way to Memphis.
He entered the streets of the Libyan suburb of the holy city, and passed through it to the scattering houses, set outside the thickly-settled portion, and nearer to the necropolis. At the portals of the most pretentious of these houses he knocked and was admitted.
He was met presently in the chamber of guests by an old man, gray-haired and bent. This was the keeper of the tomb of Rameses the Great.
“I am the son of Mentu,” he said, “thy friend, and the friend of the Incomparable Pharaoh. Perchance thou dost remember me.”
“I remember Mentu,” the old man replied, after a space that might have been spent in rumination, or in collecting his faculties to speak.
“He decorated the tomb of Rameses,” the young man continued.
“Aye, I remember. I watched him often at the work.”
“Thou knowest how the great king loved him.”
The old man bent his head in assent.
“He was given a signet by Rameses, and on the jewel was testimony of royal favor which should outlive the Pharaoh and Mentu himself.”