The Yoke eBook

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

The vanquished were struggling to gain their feet, and Kenkenes noted it with concern.  He was not gaining in this lull.  There were other stones about him.  He hurled the fragment with a sure aim, and a Nubian, who had been overthrown, dropped limply and stretched himself on the sand.

With a howl the remaining three charged.  They were too close for the second missile of Kenkenes to do any slaughter, and he went down under the combined attack, fighting insanely.

“Slit his throat,” Unas shrieked, tumbling on the captive, as Kenkenes’ superhuman struggles threatened to shake them off.  One of the men raised himself and made ready to obey.  Holding to Kenkenes with one hand, he drew a knife from his belt and prepared to strike.

At that instant, the captive caught sight of a pale woman-face, the eyes blazing with vengeance.  There was a flash of a white-sleeved arm and the thump and jolt of a dagger driven strongly through flesh.  The murderous Nubian yelled and tumbled, kicking, on the sand.  He carried a knife at the juncture of the neck and shoulder.

Instantly there was a chorus of yells.

“She-devil!  Hyena!”

Unas detached himself from the struggle and plunged after Rachel, now in full sight of Kenkenes.  He saw her retreat, warding off the fat courier with her hands; he saw her stumble and fall; he saw Anubis fly, with a chatter of rage, in the face of the courier, and struggling mightily, he threw off his captors, and leaped to his feet.

And then the light went out in Egypt!

[1] It was not uncommon for Egyptians to threaten their gods.

CHAPTER XXXV

LIGHT AFTER DARKNESS

A water-carrier in Syene was carrying a yoke across his shoulders and the great earthen jars swung ponderously as he walked.  His bare feet disturbed the red dust of the path down to the granite-basined river, and tiny clouds puffed out on each side of the way at every footfall.

On a housetop in Memphis, a gentlewoman, in a single gauze slip and many jewels, lounged on a rug and gazed at nothing across the city.  A flat-shanked Ethiopian fanned her listlessly and dreamed also.

A little boy, innocent of raiment, stood before a new tomb, opposite Tanis and awaited his father who labored within.

The water-carrier collapsed in his tracks; the lady shrieked; the Ethiopian dropped the fan; the little boy fell on his face—­all at the same instant.

From the sea to the first cataract, from the deepest recess in the Arabian hills to the remotest peak in the Libyan desert, Egypt was blinded and muffled and smothered in a dead, black night—­even darkness that could be felt.

Kenkenes stood still.  Harsh hands were no longer on him and for an instant no sound was to be heard.  Profound gloom enveloped him.  His every sense was frustrated.

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The Yoke from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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