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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 464 pages of information about The Yoke.

“Of a truth, I take peace with me, and I leave discord behind!”

[1] Shadoof—­a pole with a bucket attached, like the old well-sweep, used by rustics to dip water from the Nile.

CHAPTER XXXII

RACHEL’S REFUGE

Rachel stood by the parapet on the top of the Memphian house of Har-hat.  About her were no evidences of her former serfdom.  She wore an ample robe of white linen, with blue selvages heavily fringed.  About her neck was the collar of gold.  The costume was distinctly Israelitish, elaborated somewhat at the suggestion of Masanath, to whom Rachel’s golden beauty was a never-lessening wonder.  Compared to the tiny gorgeous lady, Rachel was as a tall lily to a mimosa.

Masanath was comfortably pillowed on cushions, close to the Israelite.  The rose-leaf flush on her little face was subdued and her dark eyes were larger than usual.  The physical discomforts of the plagues had overtaken her; and Rachel, the only one of all the household who had passed unscathed through the troublous time, had been so tender a nurse that Masanath recovered with reluctance.

This was the Egyptian’s first day on the housetop, and she was not happy.  The great pots of glazed earthenware, each a small garden in size, were filled with baked earth.  The locusts had taken her flowers.  In the park below the grass was gone and the palm trees were shadowless.  Her chariot horses had died in the stables; her pets had drooped and perished; her birds were missing one morning, and Rachel said they had flown to Goshen, where there were grain and grasses.  Furthermore, the year of freedom had almost expired and she began to anticipate sorrowfully.

The period of the Israelite’s residence with Masanath had been uneventful save for those grim, momentous days of plague and loss.  Deborah had survived the removal to comfort in Memphis only a month.  The brutal injuries inflicted by the servants of Har-hat had been too severe for her age-enfeebled frame to repair.  So she died, blessing the two young girls who had attended her, and promising peace and happiness to come.  Then they laid her in a new tomb cut in the rock face of the Libyan hills and wrote on her sarcophagus: 

“She departed out of the land of Mizraim before her people.”

And this was prophecy.

Thus was Rachel left, but for Masanath, entirely alone.  None of the afflictions had overtaken her.  A mysterious Providence shielded her.  Anubis, which she formally claimed as hers, was the only one of the numerous dumb dwellers in the fan-bearer’s house that had escaped.  And of him there is something to be told.

Shortly after the arrival of the Israelites in Memphis, Anubis disappeared for days.

“He is gone to visit the murket,” Masanath explained.

One noon Rachel, resting on the housetop with her hostess, saw him leisurely returning, by starts of interest and recollection.  Behind him, walking cautiously, was a man.

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