The Yoke eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 582 pages of information about The Yoke.
But he leaped up into the little valley and followed it to its end.  There he climbed the sharp declivity and turned back in the direction he had come, along the flank of the hill that formed the north wall of the gorge.  The summit of the height was far above him, and the slope was covered with limestone masses.  There had been no frost nor rain to disturb the original rock-piling.  Only the agencies of sand and wind had disarranged the distribution on which the builders of the earliest dynasty had looked.  And this was weird, mysterious and labyrinthine.

At a spot where a great deal of broken rock encumbered the ground, Kenkenes unslung his wallet and tested the fragments with chisel and mallet.  It was the same as the quarry product—­magnesium limestone, white, fine, close-grained and easily worked.  But it was broken in fragments too small for his purpose.  Above him were fields of greater masses.

“Now, I was born under a fortunate sign,” he said aloud as he scaled the hillside; “but I fear those slabs are too long for a life-sized statue.”

On reaching them he found that those blocks which appeared from a distance to weigh less than a ton, were irregular cubes ten feet high.

He grumbled his disappointment and climbed upon one to take a general survey of his stoneyard.  At that moment his eyes fell on a block of proper dimensions under the very shadow of the great cube upon which he stood.  It was in the path of the wind from the north and was buried half its height in sand.

Kenkenes leaped from his point of vantage with a cry of delight.

“Nay, now,” he exclaimed; “where in this is divine disfavor?” He inspected his discovery, tried it for solidity of position and purity of texture.  Its location was particularly favorable to secrecy.

It stood at the lower end of an aisle between great rocks.  All view of it was cut off, save from that position taken by Kenkenes when he discovered it.  A wall built between it and the north would bar the sand and form a nook, wholly closed on two sides and partly closed at each end by stones.  All this made itself plain to the mind of the young sculptor at once.  With a laugh of sheer content, he turned to retrace his steps and began to sing.

Then was the harsh desolation of the hills startled, the immediate echoes given unaccustomed sound to undulate in diminishing volume from one to another.  He sang absently, but his preoccupation did not make his tones indifferent.  For his voice was soft, full, organ-like, flexible, easy with illimitable lung-power and ineffable grace.  When he ceased the silence fell, empty and barren, after that song’s unaudienced splendor.

[1] Set—­the war-god.

[2] Thebes.

[3] Amenti—­The realm of Death.

[4] Tuat—­The Egyptian Hades.

[5] Nomarch—­governor of a civil division called a nome.  A high office.

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The Yoke from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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