In a few hours they were brought to a close, for the Asiatic and Egyptian scribes had agreed, in the course of the long march southwards, on the stipulations to be signed; the treaty itself was to be drawn up after the articles had been carefully considered, and to be signed in the city of Rameses called Tanis—or, by the numerous settlers in its neighborhood, Zoan. The Asiatic princes were to dine as guests with the king; but they sat at a separate table, as the Egyptians would have been defiled by sitting at the same table with strangers.
Rameses was not perfectly satisfied. If the Danaids went away without concluding a treaty with him, it was to be expected that the peace which he was so earnestly striving for would before long be again disturbed; and he nevertheless felt that, out of regard for the other conquered princes, he could not forego any jot of the humiliation which he had required of their king, and which he believed to be due to himself— though he bad been greatly impressed by his dignified manliness and by the bravery of the troops that had followed him into the field.
The sun was sinking when Mena, who that day had leave of absence from the king, came in great excitement up to the table where the princes were sitting and craved the king’s permission to make an important communication. Rameses signed consent; the charioteer went close up to him, and they held a short but eager conversation in a low voice.
Presently the king stood up and said, speaking to his daughter:
“This day which began so horribly will end joyfully. The fair child who saved you to-day, but who so nearly fell a victim to the flames, is of noble origin.”
“She cones of a royal house,” said Rameri, disrespectfully interrupting his father. Rameses looked at him reprovingly. “My sons are silent,” he said, “till I ask them to speak.”
The prince colored and looked down; the king signed to Bent-Anat and Pentaur, begged his guests to excuse him for a short time, and was about to leave the tent; but Bent-Anat went up to him, and whispered a few words to him with reference to her brother. Not in vain: the king paused, and reflected for a few moments; then he looked at Rameri, who stood abashed, and as if rooted to the spot where he stood. The king called his name, and beckoned him to follow him.
Rameri had rushed off to summon the physicians, while Bent-Anat was endeavoring to restore the rescued Uarda to consciousness, and he followed them into his sister’s tent. He gazed with tender anxiety into the face of the half suffocated girl, who, though uninjured, still remained unconscious, and took her hand to press his lips to her slender fingers, but Bent-Anat pushed him gently away; then in low tones that trembled with emotion he implored her not to send him away, and told her how dear the girl whose life he had saved in the fight in the Necropolis had become to him—how, since his departure for Syria, he had never ceased to think of her night and day, and that he desired to make her his wife.