Uarda : a Romance of Ancient Egypt — Complete eBook

Georg Ebers
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 684 pages of information about Uarda .

During this speech the old woman had stood in silence opposite the dwarf.  Now she sat down on her rough wooden seat, and said, while she proceeded to pluck a lapwing: 

“Now I understand you; you wish to be revenged.  You hope to rise high, and I am to whet your knife, and hold the ladder for you.  Poor little man! there, sit down-drink a gulp of milk to cool you, and listen to my advice.  Katuti wants a great deal of money to escape dishonor.  She need only pick it up—­it lies at her door.”  The dwarf looked at the witch in astonishment.

“The Mohar Paaker is her sister Setchem’s son.  Is he not?”

“As you say.”

“Katuti’s daughter Nefert is the wife of your master Mena, and another would like to tempt the neglected little hen into his yard.”

“You mean Paaker, to whom Nefert was promised before she went after Mena.”

“Paaker was with me the day before yesterday.”

“With you?”

“Yes, with me, with old Hekt—­to buy a love philter.  I gave him one, and as I was curious I went after him, saw him give the water to the little lady, and found out her name.”

“And Nefert drank the magic drink?” asked the dwarf horrified.  “Vinegar and turnip juice,” laughed the old witch.  “A lord who comes to me to win a wife is ripe for any thing.  Let Nefert ask Paaker for the money, and the young scapegrace’s debts are paid.”

“Katuti is proud, and repulsed me severely when I proposed this.”

“Then she must sue to Paaker herself for the money.  Go back to him, make him hope that Nefert is inclined to him, tell him what distresses the ladies, and if he refuses, but only if he refuses, let him see that you know something of the little dose.”

The dwarf looked meditatively on the ground, and then said, looking admiringly at the old woman:  “That is the right thing.”

“You will find out the lie without my telling you,” mumbled the witch; “your business is not perhaps such a bad one as it seemed to me at first.  Katuti may thank the ne’er-do-well who staked his father’s corpse.  You don’t understand me?  Well, if you are really the sharpest of them all over there, what must the others be?”

“You mean that people will speak well of my mistress for sacrificing so large a sum for the sake—?”

“Whose sake? why speak well of her?” cried the old woman impatiently.  “Here we deal with other things, with actual facts.  There stands Paaker—­there the wife of Mena.  If the Mohar sacrifices a fortune for Nefert, he will be her master, and Katuti will not stand in his way; she knows well enough why her nephew pays for her.  But some one else stops the way, and that is Mena.  It is worth while to get him out of the way.  The charioteer stands close to the Pharaoh, and the noose that is flung at one may easily fall round the neck of the other too.  Make the Mohar your ally, and it may easily happen that your rat-bites may be paid for with mortal wounds, and Rameses who, if you marched against him openly, might blow you to the ground, may be hit by a lance thrown from an ambush.  When the throne is clear, the weak legs of the Regent may succeed in clambering up to it with the help of the priests.  Here you sit-open-mouthed; and I have told you nothing that you might not have found out for yourself.”

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Uarda : a Romance of Ancient Egypt — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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