The Yoke eBook

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

After the speech, the silence fell, deepened, grew ominous.  None breathed, and the overwrought nerves of the court reached the limit of endurance.

Then Moses answered.  His tones were quiet, his voice full of a calm more terrifying than an outburst had been.

“Thou hast spoken well,” he said.  “I will see thy face no more.”

Another breathless silence and he turned, the courtiers shrinking from his way, and passed out of the hall.

At the doors, his eyes fell upon Seti.  He made no sign of surprise.  Indeed his glance seemed to indicate that he expected the prince.  He raised his hand and extended it for a moment over the boy’s head, and went forth.

The strength went from Seti’s limbs, the passion from his brain, and when Rameses with grim purpose in his face beckoned him, he obeyed meekly and prostrated himself before the angry king.

[1] Zoan—­The Hebrew name for Tanis.

CHAPTER XXXIX

BEFORE EGYPT’S THRONE

The distance by highway between Memphis and Tanis was eighty miles, a little more than two days’ journey by horseback.

Masanath had required two weeks to accomplish that distance.  She refused to travel except in the cool of the morning and of the afternoon; if she felt the fatigue of an hour’s journey, she rested a day at the next town; she consulted astrologers, and moved forward only under propitious signs; she insisted on following the Nile until she was opposite Tanis, instead of taking the highway at On and continuing across the Delta.

The most of her following walked, and she proceeded at the pace of her plodding servants.

She spoke of her freedom as though she went to meet doom; she gazed on the sorry fields and pastures of Egypt as though the four walls of a prison were soon to shut out heaven and earth from her eyes.

She was now within ten miles of Tanis, fourteen days after her departure from Memphis.

Four solemn Ethiopians bore her litter upon their shoulders, and another waved a fan of black ostrich plumes over her.  The litter was of glittering ebony, hung with purple, tasseled with gold.  At her right, was Unas; at her left, Nari.  Behind her were dusky attendants and sooty sumpter-mules.

Her robes were white, and very fine, but there was no henna on her nails, nor kohl beneath her lids, nor jewels in her hair.  So she would prove that, though she was a coming queen, she was not glad of it.  Hers was not the spirit that hides its trouble and enamels the exterior with false flushes and smiles.  She enveloped herself in her feelings.  She tinctured her voice with them; she made her eyes languid with them; and the touch of her hand, the curve of her lips and the droop of her head were eloquent of them.

By this time, she had despaired.  There was yet an opportunity to spend another day covering the remaining ten miles, but she would loiter no longer.  She was tired, of a truth.

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The Yoke from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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