“We do not say that, Prince. It is true that our arts have shown us another filling your place in a time of wizardry and wonders and of the death of thousands. Yet when we look again we see not that other but you once more filling your own place.”
Here I, Ana, bethought me of my vision in Pharaoh’s hall.
“The matter is even worse than I thought, Ki, since having once left the crown behind me, I think that I should have no wish to wear it any more,” said Seti. “Who shows you all these things, and how?”
“Our Kas, which are our secret selves, show them to us, Prince, and in many ways. Sometimes it is by dreams or visions, sometimes by pictures on water, sometimes by writings in the desert sand. In all these fashions, and by others, our Kas, drawing from the infinite well of wisdom that is hidden in the being of every man, give us glimpses of the truth, as they give us who are instructed power to work marvels.”
“Of the truth. Then these things you tell me are true?”
“We believe so, Prince.”
“Then being true must happen. So what is the use of your warning me against what must happen? There cannot be two truths. What would you have me do? Not go upon this journey? Why have you told me that I must not go, since if I did not go the truth would become a lie, which it cannot? You say it is fated that I should go and because I go such and such things will come about. And yet you tell me not to go, for that is what you mean. Oh! Kherheb Ki and Bakenkhonsu, doubtless you are great magicians and strong in wisdom, but there are greater than you who rule the world, and there is a wisdom to which yours is but as a drop of water to the Nile. I thank you for your warnings, but to-morrow I go down to the land of Goshen to fulfil the commands of Pharaoh. If I come back again we will talk more of these matters here upon the earth. If I do not come back, perchance we will talk of them elsewhere. Farewell.”
THE LAND OF GOSHEN
The Prince Seti and all his train, a very great company, came in safety to the land of Goshen, I, Ana, travelling with him in his chariot. It was then as now a rich land, quite flat after the last line of desert hills through which we travelled by a narrow, tortuous path. Everywhere it was watered by canals, between which lay the grain fields wherein the seed had just been sown. Also there were other fields of green fodder whereon were tethered beasts by the hundred, and beyond these, upon the drier soil, grazed flocks of sheep. The town Goshen, if so it could be called, was but a poor place, numbers of mud huts, no more, in the centre of which stood a building, also of mud, with two brick pillars in front of it, that we were told was the temple of this people, into the inner parts of which none might enter save their High-priest. I laughed at the sight of it, but the Prince reproved me, saying that I should not judge the spirit by the body, or of the god by his house.