[Literally the “cutting” which, under Seti I., the father of Rameses, was the first Suez Canal; a representation of it is found on the northern outer wall of the temple of Karnak. It followed nearly the same direction as the Fresh-water canal of Lesseps, and fertilized the land of Goshen.]
which is to join the Nile to the Red Sea, three were killed by the Ethiopians, and the last, the star of my hopes, by this time is eaten by the hyaenas of the north.”
At these words the old woman, in whose lap the head of the girl rested, broke out into a loud cry, in which she was joined by all the other women.
The sufferer started up frightened, and opened her eyes.
“For whom are you wailing?” she asked feebly. “For your poor father,” said the old woman.
The girl smiled like a child who detects some well-meant deceit, and said:
“Was not my father here, with you? He is here, in Thebes, and looked at me, and kissed me, and said that he is bringing home plunder, and that a good time is coming for you. The gold ring that he gave me I was fastening into my dress, when the chariot passed over me. I was just pulling the knots, when all grew black before my eyes, and I saw and heard nothing more. Undo it, grandmother, the ring is for you; I meant to bring it to you. You must buy a beast for sacrifice with it, and wine for grandfather, and eye salve
[The Egyptian mestem,
that is stibium or antimony, which was
introduced into Egypt by the Asiatics at a very early period and
for yourself, and sticks of mastic,
[At the present day
the Egyptian women are fond of chewing them, on
account of their pleasant taste. The ancient Egyptians used various
pills. Receipts for such things are found in the Ebers Papyrus.]
which you have so long lead to do without.”
The paraschites seemed to drink these words from the mouth of his grandchild. Again he lifted his hand in prayer, again Pentaur observed that his glance met that of his wife, and a large, warm tear fell from his old eyes on to his callous hand. Then he sank down, for he thought the sick child was deluded by a dream. But there were the knots in her dress.
With a trembling hand he untied them, and a gold ring rolled out on the floor.
Bent-Anat picked it up, and gave it to the paraschites. “I came here in a lucky hour,” she said, “for you have recovered your son and your child will live.”
“She will live,” repeated the surgeon, who had remained a silent witness of all that had occurred.
“She will stay with us,” murmured the old man, and then said, as he approached the princess on his knees, and looked up at her beseechingly with tearful eyes:
“Pardon me as I pardon thee; and if a pious wish may not turn to a curse from the lips of the unclean, let me bless thee.”