“Tell the Amalekite that thou comest from an Egyptian noble. For such thy master is, and this chieftain is more willing to take command from Egypt than from Israel.”
The servant in his enthusiasm and the importance of his mission told the Amalekite that he came from a prince of Egypt.
The chieftain was a youth who had just succeeded his father over his people and was on his way to Memphis bearing tribute to Meneptah. To this tributary nation Egypt was remote, splendid and full of glamour. The name was synonymous of the world and all the glories thereof, and particularly had it appealed to the active imagination of this youth. He had seen many Egyptians, but they were naked prisoners laboring in the mines of Sinai, or overseers or scribes or the ancient exile who was governor of the province,—and surely these were not representative of the land.
Now he was to get a glance at real Egypt.
In the early hours of the dawn a follower came to his pallet and told him in awed tones that the prince was without. Tremulous with pleasurable trepidation, he went out into the misty daybreak twilight of the open. And there he met an imperial stranger who towered over him as a palm over a shrub. At a single glance the Amalekite saw that there was a circlet of gold about the brow, that the face was fine and that the garments swept the sands. All this was significant, but when the stranger delivered him two rolls, one addressed to the chief of the royal scribes of the Pharaoh, the other to the royal murket, and paid him with a jewel, the Amalekite, convinced and satisfied, prostrated himself.
But we may not know what the youth thought when he found that there were few in all Egypt like this princely stranger.
After these writings came, with all fidelity, to the hands of those who loved him in Egypt, silence fell between them and Kenkenes.
Meneptah erected no more monuments after the eighth year of his reign, for in that year Mentu, the murket, died. None could fill his place, since to his name was attached the title “the Incomparable,” as befitted the artist of that great Pharaoh, likewise titled, who had so loved him and his genius. Meneptah, in memory of Mentu and his artist son who had served his king so well, set up no sculptor nor any murket in his place. It was the one graceful act in the life of the feeble king, the one resolution to which he held most tenaciously.
Though Mentu’s union with Senci was short, it was most happy, save perhaps for the absence of Kenkenes. But after the letter came from the well-beloved son there was more cheer in the heart of the father. Kenkenes was not dead, only absent, as he would have been had he lived in Tanis or Thebes. Furthermore, the young man had spoken glowingly and at length on the future of Israel and the Promised Land, and Mentu told himself that he might visit Kenkenes one day in that new country.