Uarda : a Romance of Ancient Egypt — Complete eBook

Georg Ebers
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 551 pages of information about Uarda .

“And I too,” said the shoemaker with a sigh, “for who would follow the king of the Gods through the Necropolis barefoot.”

“You must earn a good deal,” cried the basket-maker.  “We should do better if we had better workmen,” replied the shoemaker, “but all the good hands are gone to the war.  One has to put up with stupid youngsters.  And as for the women!  My wife must needs have a new gown for the procession, and bought necklets for the children.  Of course we must honor the dead, and they repay it often by standing by us when we want it—­but what I pay for sacrifices no one can tell.  More than half of what I earn goes in them—­”

“In the first grief of losing my poor wife,” said the baker, “I promised a small offering every new moon, and a greater one every year.  The priests will not release us from our vows, and times get harder and harder.  And my dead wife owes me a grudge, and is as thankless as she was is her lifetime; for when she appears to me in a dream she does not give me a good word, and often torments me.”

“She is now a glorified all-seeing spirit,” said the basket-maker’s wife, “and no doubt you were faithless to her.  The glorified souls know all that happens, and that has happened on earth.”

The baker cleared his throat, having no answer ready; but the shoemaker exclaimed: 

“By Anubis, the lord of the under-world, I hope I may die before my old woman! for if she finds out down there all I have done in this world, and if she may be changed into any shape she pleases, she will come to me every night, and nip me like a crab, and sit on me like a mountain.”

“And if you die first,” said the woman, “she will follow you afterwards to the under-world, and see through you there.”

“That will be less dangerous,” said the shoemaker laughing, “for then I shall be glorified too, and shall know all about her past life.  That will not all be white paper either, and if she throws a shoe at me I will fling the last at her.”

“Come home,” said the basket-maker’s wife, pulling her husband away.  “You are getting no good by hearing this talk.”

The bystanders laughed, and the baker exclaimed: 

“It is high time I should be in the Necropolis before it gets dark, and see to the tables being laid for to-morrow’s festival.  My trucks are close to the narrow entrance to the valley.  Send your little ones to me, and I will give them something nice.  Are you coming over with me?”

“My younger brother is gone over with the goods,” replied the shoemaker.  “We have plenty to do still for the customers in Thebes, and here am I standing gossiping.  Will the wonderful heart of the sacred ram be exhibited to-morrow do you know?”

“Of course—­no doubt,” said the baker, “good-bye, there go my cases!”

CHAPTER XXVI.

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