The Jewel of Seven Stars eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 326 pages of information about The Jewel of Seven Stars.
We fixed our own rope, and as arranged Trelawny descended first, I following at once.  It was not till we stood together at the foot of the shaft that the thought flashed across me that we might be in some sort of a trap; that someone might descend the rope from the cliff, and by cutting the rope by which we had lowered ourselves into the Pit, bury us there alive.  The thought was horrifying; but it was too late to do anything.  I remained silent.  We both had torches, so that there was ample light as we passed through the passage and entered the Chamber where the sarcophagus had stood.  The first thing noticeable was the emptiness of the place.  Despite all its magnificent adornment, the tomb was made a desolation by the absence of the great sarcophagus, to hold which it was hewn in the rock; of the chest with the alabaster jars; of the tables which had held the implements and food for the use of the dead, and the ushaptiu figures.

“It was made more infinitely desolate still by the shrouded figure of the mummy of Queen Tera which lay on the floor where the great sarcophagus had stood!  Beside it lay, in the strange contorted attitudes of violent death, three of the Arabs who had deserted from our party.  Their faces were black, and their hands and necks were smeared with blood which had burst from mouth and nose and eyes.

“On the throat of each were the marks, now blackening, of a hand of seven fingers.

“Trelawny and I drew close, and clutched each other in awe and fear as we looked.

“For, most wonderful of all, across the breast of the mummied Queen lay a hand of seven fingers, ivory white, the wrist only showing a scar like a jagged red line, from which seemed to depend drops of blood.”

Chapter XII The Magic Coffer

“When we recovered our amazement, which seemed to last unduly long, we did not lose any time carrying the mummy through the passage, and hoisting it up the Pit shaft.  I went first, to receive it at the top.  As I looked down, I saw Mr. Trelawny lift the severed hand and put it in his breast, manifestly to save it from being injured or lost.  We left the dead Arabs where they lay.  With our ropes we lowered our precious burden to the ground; and then took it to the entrance of the valley where our escort was to wait.  To our astonishment we found them on the move.  When we remonstrated with the Sheik, he answered that he had fulfilled his contract to the letter; he had waited the three days as arranged.  I thought that he was lying to cover up his base intention of deserting us; and I found when we compared notes that Trelawny had the same suspicion.  It was not till we arrived at Cairo that we found he was correct.  It was the 3rd of November 1884 when we entered the Mummy Pit for the second time; we had reason to remember the date.

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The Jewel of Seven Stars from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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