The Yoke eBook

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

“Small wonder that he was not willing to serve me,” he commented to himself.

If he observed the companion boat during the next five days it was to remark that since his own vessel kept sturdily alongside one of superior rowing force his men were of a surety earning the promised reward.  When they entered the long straight stretches of the Middle country the elegant stranger dropped behind and attended Kenkenes and his crew more distantly thereafter.

Except for these few occasions, Kenkenes had no thought of his surroundings.  He stood in the prow and looked down the shimmering width of river, in the direction his heart had taken long before him.  And when the white cliffs that proved him close to Memphis came shouldering up from the northern horizon, he had forgotten the stranger in the eager, trembling anticipations that possessed him.

[1] Seb—­The Egyptian Chronos.

CHAPTER XXXIV

NIGHT

On the morning of the eighteenth day, immediately after sunrise, Rachel came to the curtains over Masanath’s door, and put them aside.

Within, she saw her hostess yet in her bed-gown, her hair disordered and her tiny feet bare.  She stood before a shrine of silver, the statue of Isis in turquoise displayed therein, and an offering of pressed dates before it.  But there was no sign of devotion or humility in the attitude of the Egyptian.  One plump arm was stretched toward the image and the hand was tightly clenched.  Neither was there any reverence in her voice.

Rachel dropped the curtain and waited.  The words came distinctly through the linen hangings.

“Thou false one![1] thou ingrate!  Is it for this that every day I have sent two fat ducks to the altar in thy name?  Is it that I must be separated from my beloved and wedded to the man I hate, that I have prayed to thee day and night?  Who hath been more faithful to thee and whom hast thou served more cruelly?  Mark thou!  If thou darest to cause this thing to come to pass, night nor day shall I rest until I have found the bones of Osiris and scattered them to the four winds of heaven!  So carefully shall I hide them, so widely shall I scatter them, that no help of Nepthys, Toth or Anubis shall let thee gather them up again!  Aye, I will do it, though I die in the doing and remain unburied, I swear by Set!  Remember thou!”

Rachel went softly away.

After a time she returned.  She had covered her white dress with a mantle of brown linen and over her head she wore a wimple of the same material.  Her hair had been coiled and secured with a bodkin.  When she put her hand under the wimple and drew it across her mouth, only her fair skin and blue eyes distinguished her from any other Egyptian lady dressed for a long journey.

She lifted the curtains and entered, and it was long before she came forth again.  Then her eyes were hidden and her head bowed, for she had bidden farewell to Masanath.  She was returning to Goshen.

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The Yoke from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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