“It is strategy worthy the Incomparable Pharaoh—”
“It is Hebrew craft!”
“Perhaps thou art right. But what personal grudge hath Mesu against Egypt or the priesthood or Meneptah?”
“It is said that he was wanted out of the way, and by an unfortunate sum of accidents, the miscarriage of a priest’s letter and a fight between a messenger and Bedouins in front of a Hebrew tent, gave the information into the hands of Mesu himself.”
By this time Kenkenes was on his feet.
“A miscarriage of a priest’s letter,” he repeated slowly.
The artist nodded.
After the silence the young man spoke again:
“And thou believest truly that because of this letter—because of this Israelite’s grievance against the powers of Egypt, we shall have uprising and serious trouble among our bond-people?”
“I have said,” Mentu answered, raising his head as though surprised at the earnestness in his son’s voice. Kenkenes did not meet his father’s eyes. He turned on his heel and left the work-room.
Had the spiteful Seven, the Hathors, used him as a tool whereby mischief should be wrought between the nation and her slaves?
 The Fayum.
When the imperative necessity of harmonious expression became apparent, the young artist laid aside his chisel and mallet, and the Arabian desert knew his footsteps no more for many days after the rough-hewing of Athor’s face. Instead, he mingled with the people of Memphis in quest of the expression. The pursuit became fascinating and all-absorbing. With the most deliberate calculation, he studied the faces of the betrothed and of newly wedded wives, and finding too much of content therein, he sought out the unelect for study. And with these, his search ended.
Thereafter he made innumerable heads in clay, and covered linen scrolls with drawings. But it was the semblance he gained and not the spirit. The light eluded him.
On the day after Mentu’s return from On, Kenkenes paid the first visit to Masaarah since the incident of the collar,—and the last he thought to make until he had won that for which he strove. He went to bury the matting in the sand and to hide other evidences of recent occupancy about the niche. He left the block of stone undisturbed, for the transgression was not yet apparent on the face of Athor. The scrolls, which had been concealed under the carpeting, were too numerous for his wallet to contain, but he carried the surplus openly in his hand.