Setchem rose and went up to Pentaur, she smiled at him and stroked his face and breast.
“It is he,” she said. “May the Immortals bless him!”
Pentaur would have clasped her in his arms, but she pushed him away as if she feared to commit some breach of faith, and turning hastily to the bier she said softly:
Poor Paaker—poor, poor Paaker!”
“Mother, mother, do you not know your son?” cried Pentaur deeply moved.
She turned to him again: “It is his voice,” she said. “It is he.”
She went up to Pentaur, clung to him, clasped her arm around his neck as he bent over her, then kissing him fondly:
“The Gods will bless you!” she said once more. She tore herself from him and threw herself down by the body of Paaker, as if she had done him some injustice and robbed him of his rights.
Thus she remained, speechless and motionless, till they carried her back to her boat, there she lay down, and refused to take any nourishment; from time to time she whispered “Poor Paaker!” She no longer repelled Pentaur, for she did not again recognize him, and before he left her she had followed the rough-natured son of her adoption to the other world.
The king had left the camp, and had settled in the neighboring city of Rameses’ Tanis, with the greater part of his army. The Hebrews, who were settled in immense numbers in the province of Goshen, and whom Ani had attached to his cause by remitting their task-work, were now driven to labor at the palaces and fortifications which Rameses had begun to build.
At Tanis, too, the treaty of peace was signed and was presented to Rameses inscribed on a silver tablet by Tarthisebu, the representative of the Cheta king, in the name of his lord and master.
Pentaur followed the king as soon as he had closed his mother’s eyes, and accompanied her body to Heliopolis, there to have it embalmed; from thence the mummy was to be sent to Thebes, and solemnly placed in the grave of her ancestors. This duty of children towards their parents, and indeed all care for the dead, was regarded as so sacred by the Egyptians, that neither Pentaur nor Bent-Anat would have thought of being united before it was accomplished.
On the 21st day of the month Tybi, of the 21st year of the reign of Rameses, the day on which the peace was signed, the poet returned to Tanis, sad at heart, for the old gardener, whom he had regarded and loved as his father, had died before his return home; the good old man had not long survived the false intelligence of the death of the poet, whom he had not only loved but reverenced as a superior being bestowed upon his house as a special grace from the Gods.